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Windows 7: Replacing Vista - drivers and system programs?


05 Dec 2009   #1

Vista
 
 
Replacing Vista - drivers and system programs?

Hi all. Thanks to all the many, many helpful people and posts on here. Iím sorry if this has been asked before but Iíve looked through and donít see my questions addressed exactly.

I have a brand new Toshiba laptop with Vista. It arrived just a few days before the Windows 7 release so I put the Toshiba aside and waited for the free Windows 7 upgrade disk, which just arrived.

Since I havenít used the Toshiba yet, thereís no data or personal programs to protect. I donít want to keep Vista, and of course I donít want to keep all the bloatware. Currently, Vista is on the C disk; there is a recovery or backup partition (D); and E is free for data. The Toshiba did not come with a Vista restore disk so I will burn recovery disks with Vista before I install Windows 7.

Like everyone, I want a fresh, clean sparkling brand-new install of Windows 7. I can follow the tutorials to boot from the Windows 7 upgrade disk, go to advanced tools and re-format the partition with Vista (i.e. C) and then install Windows 7. I should have no problem with registration or activation since Windows 7 will see Vista before itís deleted. Iím not 100% clear whether the recovery partition (D) will be maintained but it shouldnít matter much because Iíve got recovery disks Ö right?

My two questions:

1) Do I need to worry about losing my drivers in this scenario? Should I be taking a copy of all drivers ahead of time, and if so, is there somewhere (on the Toshiba) I can easily find them all? Or will they all be on the recovery disks I burn, should I need them?

2) What about the one or two Toshiba-specific programs I might want to keep, like Config-free and facial recognition software? Are they gone with the clean install, or can I also get them off the recovery disks (or recovery partition, if it still exists post-clean install)?

Is there anything else I need to know before I get started?? Iíd like to make this as painless as possible ...



Thanks for your help.






My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

05 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

For your driver question, run Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, that will tell you if there are any updates required. As long as the network works, you can always find drivers after the install.

As for the programs, they will be gone. You will not be able to reinstall or recover them from the recovery disc you burn.

If the programs are important to you, then consider creating your recovery disc, then cleaning up the current Vista install to get rid of all the bloatware and any other stuff you don't want.

Install and run CCleaner to get rid of any accumulated junk, then try a upgrad install of Windows 7, see how the computer runs. If it's okay then you may still have access to your programs. If not or if you have any problems, you can always do a clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2009   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

Look on the Toshiba website's Support Downloads page for your model and you'll see what drivers and apps are avialable there.

The Upgrade Kit should have a clean Windows 7 DVD (required by MS this time) as well as a driver/apps disk from Toshiba where you can select apps you want to install, or browse for drivers not in the Windows 7 installer.

However, the Windows 7 DVD is nearly driver-complete and newer ones come in quickly on Windows Updates, and are even updated during install if you plug ethernet and select "Keep me connected to internet during install."

MS has the drivers first this time because they sponsored the WHQL partnership with manufacturers to build Windows 7 drivers, enticing manufacturers to make more apps/programs compatible up front with Windows 7. And since MS paid the bill, they get them first.

So you can boot from the DVD and get the cleanest possible install by selecting Custom>Advanced drive tools and formatting. I would first delete the recovery partition (after making Vistas recov disk) since it is diisabled by install anyway, then Create new partition(s) as you wish before formatting and installing.

Hunting down favorite programs from Toshiba, apps disk, and finding apps like Adobe flash/Reader and Java runtime, a reader (Java has an ofc compatible free one), you will experience what tech enthusiasts have been doing for years to overcome the corruption which bloatware introduces, even when it is uninstalled.


If there was ever a time to go completely clean, this is it with the greatest OS ever - made easier by MS pressure on manufacturers to free us from the bloatware monster.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 Dec 2009   #4

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

The Upgrade Kit should have a clean Windows 7 DVD (required by MS this time) as well as a driver/apps disk from Toshiba where you can select apps you want to install, or browse for drivers not in the Windows 7 installer.

I know you weren't responding to me, but thanks for this. I didn't know this was how it worked. Good to know. The same should be true for other vendors then, right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #5

Vista
 
 

Thanks very much, Gregrocker.

Just to let you know, the Upgrade DVD I got only includes the Windows 7 disk - no driver/apps disk. (I'm in Canada so maybe it's different here.) But I checked the support pages at toshiba.ca, and just like you said, all the drivers are there as well as all the Toshiba utilities I'm interested in. So I'm fine with that.

Unfortunately I was wrong about the disk management I have on the Toshiba though, and now I'm confused. I'm attaching a screen shot from the Disk Management tool. As you may see, there seem to be 4 primary partitions. Two are small unnamed partitions, one with "EISA configuation". Both of these seem to be empty. Then there is a big partition called C which seems to have the system files, and another called E which I can see has two files - "$RECYCLE BIN" and "System Volume Information".

All four only seem to add up to 465 Gigs and it's supposed to be a 500 Gig HD so is it possible maybe there's another partition somewhere?? Could that be the recovery partition and if so how can I find it (to delete it)?

I'm guessing I should a) install Windows 7 to C; b) remove all other partitions; and c) create a new partition for data and shrink the C partition down to 20 Gigs. You mentioned that the recovery partition will be disabled after the install so I assume all these other partitions will also be unavailable post-install, and if so, I'd rather not lose all that disk space.

I'd also rather not lose the invisible 35 Gigs or so, but don't know how to locate them to delete whatever's there. Any ideas (or should I be posting on a Toshiba forum)?

Do I need to delete the three primary partitions (E plus the two unnamed ones) first, via the Disk Management tool? Or can I do this from Advanced Drive Tools and Formatting during the install? Can I create the new partition (for data) and shrink C to 20 Gigs during the installation as well?

I've heard that EISA drives can't be deleted using the Disk Management tool but since that one is just 1.5 Gigs I can leave it if necessary.

Sorry, I realize these are more disk management questions than installation questions but I'm trying to figure out what I have to do in advance of the install to make sure all goes smoothly.

Thanks again.


Attached Thumbnails
Replacing Vista - drivers and system programs?-disk-management.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Before advising you further, need to know for sure if that DVD is a clean copy of Windows 7. Please put it in your DVD drive, restart the computer and see if you can boot from it by "hit any key to boot from CD/DVD" prompt.

If so, click through the first menu and confirm you can access both the Installer and Repair My Computer tools.

You can also browse the files on the DVD and make sure they are the usual 7 installer files:
Attachment 40825

The reason is because this is the first Upgrade kit sent by manufacturer which does not have a separate CD with drivers/apps, so I am wondering if instead your maker didnt construct a special DVD that may not function correctly for the formatted clean install desired, or access the Repair tools needed to recover the MBR when we delete those partitions.

While you are doing that, I will be studying your config.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #7

Vista
 
 

Sorry! I think I can (partly) answer my own questions. I went ahead and booted from the upgrade disk to see what options are available with the Advanced Drive Tools and Formatting menu.

There I could see the four primary partitions. #1 is the small EISA, which is "OEM Reserved", #2 is the big System one, #3 is called HDD Recovery (so there it is), and #4 is unnamed. Both #3 and #4 are unavailable for installing Windows 7.

So I should:
a) delete #3 and #4
b) create new (for data)
c) shrink #2 to 20 Gigs if possible (?)
d) format #2
d) proceed with the install on #2.

If c) doesn't work, I can always shrink #2 and expand the newly created data partition using the Disk Management Tool later.

I'd be happy to get confirmation that I have this right. :-)

I'm still wondering what happened to the other 35 Gigs of my HDD though. I know you typically lose a little hard drive space but 35 out of 500 seems like a lot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

I would see if you can make the Vista Recovery Disks from that EISA partition, or order them later from Toshiba if needed - which they won't be since reinstalls are now replaced by Windows 7 Backup Imaging and you don't need Vista to reinstall Windows 7 Upgrade anyway. (Acer provides them free within 90 days of purchase if you call; others charge handling).

Otherwise EISA is not needed, becomes disabled anyway and should be deleted off that prime lower address. It requires special DiskPart commands that can be run from the Windows 7 DVD Repair console Command Line:

Delete and Remove to Unlock EISA Hidden Recovery or Diagnostic Partition in Vista My Digital Life

Then plug ethernet, Boot back into the Windows 7 DVD, select Install Now, choose "Connect to internet during installation," Choose Custom Install and use Advanced Drive Tools to Delete everything, Create New partition(s) as you wish, and Format before install.

The Windows 7 installer is driver complete because MS funded the partnership (WHQL) to develop Windows 7 drivers with all manufacturers, so they have them first since they paid the bill. The installer will even be updated during installation if you stay plugged during install, and Windows Updates will have newer when you start up.

Don't worry about the missing space; some of it may be recovered but there is always some taken away.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #9

Vista
 
 

Thank you again for your help, Gregrocker. And thanks for the cautions about my upgrade DVD which, as you suspected, is not at all standard.

To clarify - yes, I was able to make Vista recovery disks, no problem.

Quote:

Before advising you further, need to know for sure if that DVD is a clean copy of Windows 7. Please put it in your DVD drive, restart the computer and see if you can boot from it by "hit any key to boot from CD/DVD" prompt.
Yes, I can definitely boot from the upgrade DVD.

Quote:
If so, click through the first menu and confirm you can access both the Installer and Repair My Computer tools.
No, there's no sign of Repair My Computer tools anywhere.

Here's the sequence when I boot from the upgrade DVD:

Windows is loading files ...
Starting Windows [MS name and logo]
[Then a customized Toshiba screen. I couldn't get a screencap and it's too long to type, but basically it says, "If you don't want to do a 'clean install', leave now. If you do want to do a 'clean install', continue.]
[Then back to Windows screens]
Setup is starting ...
[language selection]
[license terms]
Which type of installation do you want? [upgrade or custom]
Where do you want to install Windows?[list of partitions as I described before]
[There is a "Drive options" link here - gives Refresh, Delete, Format, New, Load driver, Extend]
[Then starts installing]

Quote:
You can also browse the files on the DVD and make sure they are the usual 7 installer files:
They are not. The upgrade dvd just has one file on it (see attachment) which, when opened, launches a Toshiba page on Explorer (see second attachment).

I guess they really want to make sure you get all those Toshiba utilities!

Quote:

The reason is because this is the first Upgrade kit sent by manufacturer which does not have a separate CD with drivers/apps, so I am wondering if instead your maker didnt construct a special DVD that may not function correctly for the formatted clean install desired, or access the Repair tools needed to recover the MBR when we delete those partitions.
Your guess was right. But how big a problem is it?

Looks like I can still delete partitions, create new ones, and format, then do a clean install. But I don't have any repair tools. Which means I can't do this:

Quote:
Otherwise EISA is not needed, becomes disabled anyway and should be deleted off that prime lower address. It requires special DiskPart commands that can be run from the Windows 7 DVD Repair console Command Line:

Delete and Remove to Unlock EISA Hidden Recovery or Diagnostic Partition in Vista My Digital Life
Is it a problem to just leave the 1.5G EISA as the first partition?

Should I go ahead and do the clean install even if I can't delete the EISA? Is there anything else I need the Repair tools for during installation?

I'm really not willing to do an upgrade install at this point - I really want that clean, fast, uncluttered start. If I have to, I'll go buy an upgrade DVD (but that will be really annoying, considering I already paid $20 for this "free" upgrade from Toshiba!)

Thank you again for your help and advice - I really appreciate it. And so far I have no trouble following what you're saying!


Attached Thumbnails
Replacing Vista - drivers and system programs?-dvd-file.jpg   Replacing Vista - drivers and system programs?-startup64.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2009   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

Well Toshiba may have done their best to confound the Windows 7 clean install DVD but I think that you will get a clean install from it all the same!

I would imagine that EISA will not get in the way of the clean install (with formatting) that you want. It might block deleting it with that hybrid clean installer, however it would do that with a regular Windows 7 DVD, as EISA requires special diskpart commands run from Repair console's Command Line: http://www.mydigitallife.info/2008/0...tion-in-vista/

But it might let this EISA be deleted now since this is Toshiba's edited installer, so you might try at least to delete it, then I'd delete all of the other partitions, create New partition(s) as you wish and format (very important) at least the Windows 7 partition before installing. Or you can just format C:

Do not worry about there not being a Repair console evident on that DVD, as one of the first things you need to do after you get your Windows 7 up and running is to make a Windows 7 Backup Image of your HD saved externally (and to a Primary formatted partition if you want) so that reinstalls are never again necessary, just reimage the HD or its replacement from the Repair disk. The Backup Center will offer to make the needed Repair CD when it saves your first Backup Image, or just type Repair in Start search box.

So you'll likely have a Repair CD and an Install DVD with no sneaky bloatware, best possible situation.

Let us know how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Replacing Vista - drivers and system programs?




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