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Windows 7: Upgrade from XP to Win, clean install on new HD

10 Jan 2011   #1

XP Pro 32 bit, Win 7 Home Premium 32 bit
Upgrade from XP to Win, clean install on new HD


Thanks for all the great info here - very helpful! Getting ready to upgrade from XP Pro to Win 7 Home Premium. In the process, have installed a new, much bigger harddrive to better handle Win7. So, currently, on the same machine I've got my original drive with XP Pro installed, which the machine is currently booting from, and which I plan on wiping clean once I've completed a clean install of Win 7 onto the new drive (in order to be compliant with MS upgrade licensing, etc.) I've done a lot of digging, and think I have all my questions answered for correct install procedures, etc., except for one: I'll install booting from the Win 7 dvd, clean install, point to my new drive, and away I go. What I am not clear on is, since I will be installing to the new drive, which is not currently the boot drive, what will happen during the installation when the machine needs to reboot (which I assume it will do a couple of times during the install of Win 7?) Do I need to change the boot sequence in the BIOS to the blank drive [and can I do this for a blank drive?] prior to booting from the Win 7 dvd? Bottom line: how do I make sure the machine boots to the proper drive while Win 7 is installing and likely needing to reboot during the install process?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


Unplug all other HD's during install. Afterward you can plug back in other HD's to acdess data, or boot them using the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key which every computer has.

If you install to new HD, the installer will issue a 100mb System Reserved boot partition which conveniently places the Repair Console (normally only on the DVD or Repair CD) on the F8 Advanced Boot Tools menu. So I would choose Custom Install and then Drive Options to partition as you wish and format: Clean Install Windows 7

If you have Upgrade version and wipe the HD, skip inserting the key during install and do one of the workarounds given here for installing to a wiped HD: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

The installer is mostly driver-complete, with newer arriving quickly via optional Windows Updates. Just in case, have your Ethernet/Wireless driver on flash stick or CD so you can get online to Update quickly. Then enable hardware driver auto-updating:

Any drivers then missing in Device Manager can be found on the Support Downloads webpage for your model computer or device. Driver Install - Device Manager

Install updates and then programs slowly over time to gauge performance after each. Don't let any programs write themselves into msconfig>Startup as they slow startup, become freeloaders on your RAM/CPU and can spy on you. I only allow AV and gadgets. Startup Programs - Change

Use a lightweight free AV like MS Security Essentials which works perfectly with Windows 7 Firewall.

When it is finished, clean and order the HD perfectly using state-of-the-art free CCleaner then Auslogics Disk and Registry defraggers monthly.
CCleaner - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET
Auslogics Disk Defrag - Reviews and free Auslogics Disk Defrag downloads at
Auslogics Registry Defrag - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET

Then save a Windows 7 Backup image externally so you never have to reinstall again, just reimage the HD or replacement using DVD or Repair CD. Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Upgrade from XP to Win, clean install on new HD

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