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Windows 7: Windows 7 Install - Do I Wipe Hard Drive First?


21 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 
Windows 7 Install - Do I Wipe Hard Drive First?

Hello,

I have a desktop computer that currently has a Pentium 4 CPU, 2 Gigs of Ram and Windows XP.

I want to install Windows 7 OEM on this machine. Do I need to wipe the hard drive first?

Also, I am thinking of just replacing the hard drive anyway....can I replace the hard drive and then install Windows 7? Do I need to worry about any drivers for the mother board, sound card, video card, etc. before I scrub or replace the hard drive?

Thanks for the assist!

Cheers,

Dave


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 May 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I always prefer to install Windows to a blank, unallocated drive. If you don't at least format it, then you'll be left with a lot of XP's files.

If you decide to replace the hard drive, it will already be blank. You would need to worry about drivers either way, and it is always good to have them handy, especially your network ones. Windows Update may get some or all of your hardware, but I always have them downloaded to a flash drive, ready to install, just in case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Thanks for coming back to me.....

Regarding drivers, is there a place on my computer (XP O.S.) that I go to find out which drivers I should download and save? Which ones are the must haves?

Many thanks,

Dave
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


21 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

If it's the laptop in your system specs, go to Toshiba's website and input the model number. It will give you a list of available drivers. If you don't see ones for Windows 7, that's fine, but it means you'll have to go to the individual component manufacturer's to get it. The biggest, most crucial thing is to have network drivers available, so if Windows 7 doesn't have them built-in, you can get online to run Windows Update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wisedave View Post

I want to install Windows 7 OEM on this machine. Do I need to wipe the hard drive first?

Also, I am thinking of just replacing the hard drive anyway....can I replace the hard drive and then install Windows 7? Do I need to worry about any drivers for the mother board, sound card, video card, etc. before I scrub or replace the hard drive?
First question: No, if by "first" you mean before you begin the installation, as a separate operation. All you need to do is boot from the installation disc and delete all partitions when that option is shown. Windows will then create a new partition and format it.

You should probably download the necessary drivers from your motherboard manufacturer's web site.

You may not have to use them as the drivers on the Windows disc work well in most cases.

I would be sure I downloaded the LAN driver for your motherboard, though. So you can be sure you can get an Internet connection going after a clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

I'd use 32 bit on that hardware.

Follow these illustrated steps to Clean Install Windows 7

Afterwards install your Windows Updates watching for newer drivers via optional Updates after enabling Automatically get recommended drivers and updates for your hardware.

After updates are installed any drivers missing in Device Manager should be imported from the Support Downloads webpage for your model device.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Hey All,

For a bit more clarification....

This is not for the system listed in my profile. It's for a desktop that is about 8 years old. It has a P4 3.01 CPU and about 2 gigs of RAM.

I went out and bought Windows 7 64 bit OEM and when I started the process to install, it kicked it out stating the system was not 64 bit compatible. That's when I had my 'oh shit' moment and realised that I should stop and research.

My wife wanted that OS anyway for her laptop so no biggie......

I now realise that I need to upgrade my RAM and well as HD which is only 160GB.

Thanks for the help...more info is always nice.

Cheers,

Dave
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

You're entitled to install either 32- or 64-bit Windows 7 with each license, whether the other disk was provided or not. You can download it at Windows 7 SP1 ISO from Digital River My Digital Life

With an 8 year old Pentium 4 I would not worry too much about upgrading hardware since it's only about 2 years shy of retirement - I regularly make them run 10 years but 12 is pushing it unnecessarily when you can get fine rigs for $329. What I'd put on it is Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade version in 32 bit which can later migrate anywhere. It will work fine if you keep it lean and clean as suggested in these steps to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which steps are the same as retail. I'd also edit Video Effects of sliding, fading, animation, dragging intact and selection rectangle - you'll not even notice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #9

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional
 
 

The processor is not 64bit capable, even when you upgrade the ram and hd the version of windows you got still wont install unless you use a 32bit install dvd.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wisedave View Post
Hey All,

For a bit more clarification....

This is not for the system listed in my profile. It's for a desktop that is about 8 years old. It has a P4 3.01 CPU and about 2 gigs of RAM.

I went out and bought Windows 7 64 bit OEM and when I started the process to install, it kicked it out stating the system was not 64 bit compatible. That's when I had my 'oh shit' moment and realised that I should stop and research.

My wife wanted that OS anyway for her laptop so no biggie......

I now realise that I need to upgrade my RAM and well as HD which is only 160GB.

Thanks for the help...more info is always nice.

Cheers,

Dave
It'll be helpful to run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, which you can download here: Download: Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 Install - Do I Wipe Hard Drive First?




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