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Windows 7: Reinstallation from Upgrade Media

25 Dec 2009   #1

Win7 Pro
Reinstallation from Upgrade Media

A friend did an overlay upgrade from Vista (+ lots of software, incl. Norton I.S.) to Windows 7, ending up with a borked computer. After much struggle, it's working, but boot times to desktop are extremely long. I have suggested a clean reinstall, with disciplined addition of drivers and apps, carefully checking functionality along the way.

I am assuming that reinstalling from his upgrade media, and choosing Custom, then formatting and etc., will not result in any activation troubles. Correct? I want to help him get to a properly working system (w/o the execrable Norton stuff, if possible).

There should be no issues between Windows 7 and his system hardware--my box is essentially the same and performs great, and I know to look to the mobo and hardware vendors for drivers rather than taking them from Windows Update (wrong Realtek LAN driver, thank you, MS).

My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Dec 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP


Just boot from the Windows 7 DVD, it will scan the drives and see former OS to allow Upgrade key before you format the HD with Custom drive tools to get the cleanest possible install.

The installer is mostly driver-complete. MS sponsored the WHQL partnership with all manufacturers to build Windows 7 drivers, so since they paid the bill they have the drivers first.

If you select to "connect to internet during install" and keep ethernet plugged the installer will update drivers during install (it can run your adapter). More will arrive from Windows Updates.

Any missing drivers in Device Manager or favorite apps can be found on the Support Downloads page for your computer model.

However beware of using drivers other than those installed with Windows - this is not XP or Vista and many performance problems are reported from those who unknowingly replaced superior WHQL drivers with older mobo drivers.

I haven't yet found drivers on manufacturer's downloads pages which are better; suggest you use them only if some are missing in Device manager and not delivered by Windows Updates.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2009   #3

Win7 Pro

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I haven't yet found drivers on manufacturer's downloads pages which are better; suggest you use them only if some are missing in Device manager and not delivered by Windows Updates.
The motherboards in both my computer and my friend's use a Realtek LAN chip. Microsoft Update pushes a driver for a version of the LAN chip other than that on our boards. If that driver is allowed to install, the ethernet ports become non functional. That incorrect driver comes through as an "Optional Update". Found out the hard way....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Dec 2009   #4
Microsoft MVP


This should be a known issue to MS by now: Windows 7 and realtek Lan Driver problem

Good that you are tech savvy enough to workaround.

May have grown overconfident in Windows 7 installer/Update drivers since there are so few reports of bad/missing ones, yet quite a few problems with chipsets installed by XP migrants that replaced better installer drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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