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Windows 7: questions prior to upgrading

27 Nov 2009   #1

windows xp home edition sp3
 
 
questions prior to upgrading

Hi. I'm currently running windows xp sp3. I apologise for the long post but i have a number of questions prior to taking the plunge and upgrading to windows 7 - the more i read the more nervous i get. I am an average home user not really tech savvy but not a technophobe either.

1. my computer has 3 hard drives (separate hard drives not partitions). At the moment i have xp installed on drive c with all my programs, i have my documents and pictures on a second drive and use the thrid drive for more storage. (i am open to suggestions as to whether this is a good setup). Each drive is 250gig and i have at least 100gig of photos.
My question is how easy will it be to set up windows 7 the same way - can i move the my pictures and my documents folder to a different hard drive?
and will windows automatically pick up that i have three hard drives when i install?
when i install windows 7 on drive c will the other 2 drives be affected if not how do i tehn tell windows 7 that thats where my pics and docs are already?

2. What is the benefit of formatting on install and if i select to format will it format all three drives?

3. I see microsoft recommends using easy transfer wizard - what does this program actually transfer and does it let me decide which files and setting i want to move across as there are some programs i don't plan to install so i don't need to save their settings? If windows creates a windows old folder doesn't this do the same thing anyway? Will it recoginise the files i have on all my hard drives?

4. If i have installation disc of all my programs and backups of all my files would i be better off just manually setting up windows 7 as i want? mY main concern with this is does windows 7 automatically detect internet settings? and would i have to reinstall device drivers that i would otherwise not have to?

5. does windows let you look at your pictures and organise into folders or do you have to download the windows live program to do what you can do in xp?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Nov 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Just move your files off of the XP drive, unplug your other drives, then boot from the Windows 7 installer, choose Custom install and use Advanced drive tools to format your target drive.

Afterwards you can plug back the other drives and move your files in and around as you wish, and reinstall your programs.

I avoid Easy Transfer as it is no easier for me than just moving my files off, except that it can save settings (in hidden appdata files) which I never import because they often have embedded corruption. Start fresh and clean.

When you have it all set up as you wish, use Windows 7 Backup Imaging to save a backup image of your Windows 7 to another drive, on a partition which you create/format primary in Disk Management for easy detection, should you ever need to boot from the installer/repair disk repair console to reimage your HDD or a replacement. This way you never have to reinstall Windows 7 again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2009   #3

windows xp home edition sp3
 
 
thanks

Thanks that is helpful advice regarding not using windows transfer. When you say unplug other drives does that mean pysically open the box and unplug them (i warned you i am not tech savvy!) or could i just disable them using windows xp safely remove hardware? Would windows 7 then pick them up after install?

If anyone could address my other questions i would be truly grateful too! Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Nov 2009   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by daunted View Post
Thanks that is helpful advice regarding not using windows transfer. When you say unplug other drives does that mean pysically open the box and unplug them (i warned you i am not tech savvy!) or could i just disable them using windows xp safely remove hardware? Would windows 7 then pick them up after install?

If anyone could address my other questions i would be truly grateful too! Thanks again.
If you are not accustomed to plugging/unplugging your HD's, then you can leave them plugged. But first right click Computer>Manage>Disk Management and make sure none of the other drives/partitions besides C: are marked Active, as this can confuse the Windows 7 installer.

You hesitations about drivers and internet connections/settings are understandable coming from XP, but the Windows 7 installer has almost all drivers except for really specialized software, and Windows Updates will deliver newer ones quickly. THis is because MS funded a partnership (WHQL) with most manufacturers to develop 7 drivers, so they have them first.

If you fill out your systems specs, including your ethernet or wireless adapter, we can help you back them up now so you can get online quickly. But most times Windows 7 is already connected to ethernet, and connecting wirelessly only requires clicking the icon in the system tray to choose network. All IP config is automated, as are the troubleshooters.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2009   #5

windows xp home edition sp3
 
 

thanks Gregrocker! When i go into disk management and right click on the two other drives it gives me the option of "mark as active" so i assume they are not active?
Regarding the internet I have a motorola modem that is appartently compatible with windows 7. I have to have it connected by usb as for some reason it does not work when i try to connect it by ethernet. I would like to avoid the expense of a new modem and the hassle of changing modems with my isp, but is usb internet connection likely to be a problem?
I will take your advice and fill in the system specs (once i work them all out).
Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2009   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Ethernet cable should be a much better connection, so plug in that cable before install to see if it gets a driver that works.

Every ethernet adapter I've installed 7 on (about 3 dozen) has gotten it's driver and been connected at startup.

My friend was using Motorola Surfboard USB modem for the same reason as you. I plugged in his ethernet cable during install of 7 RC and it autoloaded the driver. He got twice the speed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2009   #7

windows xp home edition sp3
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Are you using Motorola surfboard USB modem connection ? get the driver for that usb modem from disk provided using Device manager after plugging.

Ethernet cable however should be a much better connection, so try pluggin in that cable during install to see if it magically gets a driver that works. Every ethernet adapter I've installed 7 on (about 3 dozen) has had the driver and been connected at startup.

Yes Motorola surfboard USB modem connection. I have not tried with windows 7 but the ethernet connection won't work with xp - i think the modem might be faulty as it only works with usb.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2009   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by daunted View Post

Yes Motorola surfboard USB modem connection. I have not tried with windows 7 but the ethernet connection won't work with xp - i think the modem might be faulty as it only works with usb.
Call your ISP as they owe you a modem that works, and full speed which you can't always get with USB.

But I think if the modem isn't defective that you can plug the ethernet cable in before Windows 7 install and be connected when you startup. Just reset the modem first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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