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Windows 7: Same old 32/64 pre-install questions

09 Dec 2009   #1

Win XP Home/Win Vista Home 64 dual boot
Same old 32/64 pre-install questions

Hey folks.. I may be covering some old ground here, but I haven't quite found the answer I was looking for so here goes:

I'm currently running a WinXP 32 bit/WinVista 64 bit dual boot on a Gateway FX 6000. I have to do this since a program I run for business (Pro Tools) won't run at all in the 64 bit OS that was pre-loaded with the PC. This setup also allows me to keep my business and gaming stuff separate. Each OS is on it's own Hard Drive, no boot.ini type stuff to worry about since Gateway has a handy boot selector hotkeyed on the BIOS. I now will be getting Windows 7 soon and would like to blow out both XP and Vista in favor of a Windows 7 32/64 dual boot. Will MSFT let me do that without an extra license? Can I buy extra licenses?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Dec 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP


Just as a hunch, I think the fact they are on separate HD's might fail the activation hardware config. check when Windows 7 starts up.

Not enough of a change, perhaps, to fail reactivation or even trigger the suspicion the key has been changed to a new machine. That requires more of a hardware change than HD.

But maybe enough to cause MS activation to realize something is amiss in the hardware signature when it starts up the other -bit HD.

That said, someone here recently said flatly that they were doing it.

There is only one way to find out for sure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2009   #3

Win XP Home/Win Vista Home 64 dual boot

OK, I'll give it a shot.. at least I'll be able to blow out Vista if nothing else. Also, on the upgrade vs full version front: I have a Win98B full install disc which I then used to do a clean install of my old WinXP upgrade disc. Should I get the Windows 7 upgrade to do a clean install or the full version?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Dec 2009   #4
Microsoft MVP


You have XP so you are qualified to use an Upgrade.

You can still do the cleanest possible install, which is to boot from the Windows 7 DVD and choose Custom>Advanced drive tools to Format the drive first.

The DVD will scan the HD at first and see XP to accept the Upgrade key.

Afterward make a Windows 7 Backup image stored externally, and/or to the opposite drives, so you never have to reinstall either again, just reimage the HD or a replacement in 15 minutes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2009   #5

Win XP Home/Win Vista Home 64 dual boot

Scans the Hard Drive, interesting. The old WinXP upgrade disc prompted for the actual install disc from the old OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2009   #6
Microsoft MVP


That hasn't been the case since XP. The reason is that many don't have the actual DVD, like those buying a computer with Windows 7 or downloading files. The installation media doesn't indicate ownership anyway, it is the key which determines which version you have bought.

You can even install to a new or pre-formatted HD with workarounds widely available. MS didn't want to inconvenience 6 million beta testers, many of whom had bailed out of dual boots early on when they realized Windows 7 is the best OS ever.

Since release date people are wanting to bail out of dual boots in hours and days, rather than weeks and months it took many of us beta testers. Each one is its own special puzzle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Simplify, and do away with dual-booting. It saves you the cost of a second license as well. You're system is more than capable of running XP Mode, which would allow you to run the business app that doesn't play nice with x64 OSes. Dual-booting is an old method, and should be left to die off. It's 2009, almost 2010....virtualize!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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