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Windows 7: Newbie-Opinions on Clean v Custom Install


28 Oct 2009   #1

Vista 64-bit
 
 
Newbie-Opinions on Clean v Custom Install

Hi. New to posting but have been reading the forum for a couple of weeks.

I'm still a little confused on what I should do, so I thought I would register and see what opinions y'all might have.

Here is the setup.

I have a HP 6180t Desktop, 64 bit with Vista installed. Just bought it in July so I got the free HP upgrade to Windows 7.

In everything I have read, it seems a totally clean install is the best way to go. However, on the HP site, it gives the options between upgrade and custom install. Now, they act like the custom install is the same as clean, but I understand it is not, since it would create the windows.old folder when a totally clean install would not.

My machine came with Vista installed and all I have for backup is the recovery disks I made(I also have an image but the recovery disks are straight from the HP Recovery partition) . I have a extra hard drive(D:/) that is a recovery partition installed by HP. I do have two external hard drives which I'm using to backup all programs,etc.

OK, here is my confusion. If i was to just do the custom install, do you think it would be much worse than trying to do a totally clean install? In other words, from what I can understand, the only difference is the windows.old folder is created and if I deleted that after the install I would essentially have a "clean" install.

I'm a little weary of trying a totally clean install since HP does not give instructions for that and I'm afraid my warranty will not be valid if I do. But if the custom install is not deemed to be as foolproof (or as foolproof as you can get) to work best, I can try the clean install.

Thanks for the help and if any of that is not clear, let me know.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

28 Oct 2009   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

i think that most would agree that a clean is better than an upgrade. Is a clean better than a custom, well that is another matter. I think that they are both equally good. If you do a custom the windows.old is created than the drive is wiped clean. How is that different than you doing it yourself? I just did a custom Yesterday, no problems and its up and running 100%. I think that sometimes we can become obessessed with the inconsequential. If you do a custom, when you are done you have a completely new OS, with all the sins of the past gone; no more virus, no more spyware, no more computer slowing down; what could actually be left behind. But, the final analysis is subjective. Takes no more time, and there will be no problems if you have a full back up of the entire OS, before you format. Oh yes, one more thing I installed my copy and I love it. I know that you will too. If you are coming off Vista, no big changes, just a lot more convenience, little more speed and more security and those little friendly "cute features" that make "puting" fun.
enjoy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

If your run Windows 7 UPgrade from teh desktop, you can choose UPgrade for an in-place upgrade that reinstalls your programs, files and settings, or Custom which puts all your files in windows.old folder.

If you boot from Upgrade disk, you can choose CUstom to get Advanced tools to delete, create and format partitions.

My only question before giving you the standard advice about recovery partitions is whether the Upgrade disk HP sent you is a standard MS Windows 7 Upgrade, or some special version burned by HP. If it is a MS Windows 7 UPgrade disk without extra HP bloatware on it, then:

Since you have made your Vista recovery disks, you do not need to save the Recovery partition which will most likely become disabled after installing Windows 7 anyway. Those disks are how you would reinstall, as well as proof of prior OS for Upgrade.

Be sure to use Windows 7 Backup Center to save externally a backup image of your finished job which can reimage your HDD (or a replacement) flawlessly in 15 minutes, making reinstalls are a thing of the past.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


28 Oct 2009   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Humpty Dumpty once said "When I use a word, it means exactly what I choose it to mean, no more and no less".

So you have to realize that words get tossed around loosely.

As MOST people use the terms:

A clean install is the preferred method. You would have to reinstall your programs.

The Windows 7 install screens refer to "custom install", which as they use the word is a synonym for clean install.

Most people use "clean" and "custom" interchangeably. Clean is the original term.

The most common term for the other type of install is "upgrade" or "upgrade install" or "in-place upgrade". This does takes longer, but with luck you won't have to reinstall your programs.

The standard advise here and elsewhere is to stay with a clean aka custom install, unless you have an over-riding reason.

I have no idea if your concerns about an HP warranty are valid or would qualify as an over-riding reason.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #5

Windows 7 x64 finally!
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ChubbyTubby View Post
In other words, from what I can understand, the only difference is the windows.old folder is created and if I deleted that after the install I would essentially have a "clean" install.
Welcome to the forums ChubbyTubby

The answer to your question above: No.

An upgrade or in-place upgrade (thanks ignatzatsonic for the good clarification) will preserve your programs and all the junk associated with them that build up in your registry file. A clean install would clean the slate. The pain is that you have to reinstall all the junk...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #6

Vista 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
If your run Windows 7 UPgrade from teh desktop, you can choose UPgrade for an in-place upgrade that reinstalls your programs, files and settings, or Custom which puts all your files in windows.old folder.

If you boot from Upgrade disk, you can choose CUstom to get Advanced tools to delete, create and format partitions.

My only question before giving you the standard advice about recovery partitions is whether the Upgrade disk HP sent you is a standard MS Windows 7 Upgrade, or some special version burned by HP. If it is a MS Windows 7 UPgrade disk without extra HP bloatware on it, then:

Since you have made your Vista recovery disks, you do not need to save the Recovery partition which will most likely become disabled after installing Windows 7 anyway. Those disks are how you would reinstall, as well as proof of prior OS for Upgrade.

Be sure to use Windows 7 Backup Center to save externally a backup image of your finished job which can reimage your HDD (or a replacement) flawlessly in 15 minutes, making reinstalls are a thing of the past.
First, thanks to everyone that replied. Much appreciated. Now, on this reply, how would I know if the HP Upgrade disk is a regular Windows 7 or a special HP version? I don't see anything on their site that states it would be anything other than just the regular disk but wouldn't put it past them that it could be. Wondering if there was a way to check? The only additional software they are giving is something called an HP upgrade advisor disk. Which checks the BIOS, and supposedly has the HP drivers on it. It's mainly for the upgrade option but I don't see why I couldn't use it after a clean install if there are drivers I can't get from the Windows 7 update. (I've already went and downloaded Windows 7 drivers from HP's site anyway) The only thing that concerns me about doing a clean install is that HP doesn't give instructions for that but does for a "custom" install, which they deem a clean install. Yet, it states it will still have the windows.old folder. The concern is that the disk they sent will either not be able to do a totally clean install or by doing one my warranty will be void. If I go ahead with the clean install and it doesn't work, I could still reinstall my Vista from the recovery disk and then do another "custom" install, don't you think? Kind of a backup plan. lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #7

Vista 64-bit
 
 

sorry about not spacing that response, must have something disabled on this computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

Why not just make a copy of your HD (you can use Acronis, et al) to an external HD. Then if you ever need it, you can just copy it to your HD, again. You of course would have a copy of Windows 7 that can be copied to the HD. Doing it that way, you can format your HD (if that makes you feel better) and there would be no need for concern.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ChubbyTubby View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
If your run Windows 7 UPgrade from teh desktop, you can choose UPgrade for an in-place upgrade that reinstalls your programs, files and settings, or Custom which puts all your files in windows.old folder.

If you boot from Upgrade disk, you can choose CUstom to get Advanced tools to delete, create and format partitions.

My only question before giving you the standard advice about recovery partitions is whether the Upgrade disk HP sent you is a standard MS Windows 7 Upgrade, or some special version burned by HP. If it is a MS Windows 7 UPgrade disk without extra HP bloatware on it, then:

Since you have made your Vista recovery disks, you do not need to save the Recovery partition which will most likely become disabled after installing Windows 7 anyway. Those disks are how you would reinstall, as well as proof of prior OS for Upgrade.

Be sure to use Windows 7 Backup Center to save externally a backup image of your finished job which can reimage your HDD (or a replacement) flawlessly in 15 minutes, making reinstalls are a thing of the past.
First, thanks to everyone that replied. Much appreciated. Now, on this reply, how would I know if the HP Upgrade disk is a regular Windows 7 or a special HP version? I don't see anything on their site that states it would be anything other than just the regular disk but wouldn't put it past them that it could be. Wondering if there was a way to check? The only additional software they are giving is something called an HP upgrade advisor disk. Which checks the BIOS, and supposedly has the HP drivers on it. It's mainly for the upgrade option but I don't see why I couldn't use it after a clean install if there are drivers I can't get from the Windows 7 update. (I've already went and downloaded Windows 7 drivers from HP's site anyway) The only thing that concerns me about doing a clean install is that HP doesn't give instructions for that but does for a "custom" install, which they deem a clean install. Yet, it states it will still have the windows.old folder. The concern is that the disk they sent will either not be able to do a totally clean install or by doing one my warranty will be void. If I go ahead with the clean install and it doesn't work, I could still reinstall my Vista from the recovery disk and then do another "custom" install, don't you think? Kind of a backup plan. lol
Don't sweat the drivers. YOu will be amazed at how good Windows 7 is with the latest drivers, almost all of which will be installed with Windows 7 and a few following up in the first Windows Update. You can always back up your Vista drivers from windows/system32/drivers.

It sound like they are sending you a clean Windows 7 Upgrade disk, but you can check for sure by browsing it to see if it has the standard 7 files boot, efi, sources, support, upgrade, autorun, bootmgr, setup, then scrutinizing any extra files.

The additional disk they promise is probably apps like Works, adobes, java and drivers, and bloatware. Go with the Windows 7 installer/update drivers unless you confirm better. You seem to have the ability to bypass their bloatware which they may try to sneak past you since it provides a big part of manufacturer's profit margins nowadays.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2009   #10

Vista 64-bit
 
 

Thanks, Greg. I'll do that check and use the tutorial from this site. I've already read it and it was easy to understand

Rich, I am going to do what you say about making an image of the HD before I start. I've got Macrium Reflect to do that. So, with the recovery disks, the image of the HD, I should be covered in case of a mistake. lol

Thanks to everyone for clearing up some stuff for me. This is my first time changing OS's and just over thinking things. Y'all have calmed my nerves. lol Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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