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Windows 7: How to install Upgrade to formatted first partition

20 Oct 2009   #1
Microsoft MVP

How to install Upgrade to formatted first partition

I just tested this with Win7 Upgrade disk:

MS makes it clear that using Win7 Upgrade disk with XP requires a clean (Custom) install, which most people assume means over the same XP. This can be done, and places your files in windows.old for redistribution. This is only an option for Vista, since you can do an in-place upgrade which reinstalls your programs, files and settings.

You can also direct the clean install to another formatted partition or second primary formatted HDD which allows for a cleaner install. The problem is that you may still have XP in the first partition on the same HDD, which you probably will not want for long, and a laptop is hard to connect to a second HDD. Plus, an OS in an outer HDD partition takes a fraction longer to be read by the laser.

But there is a way to install from XP with an Upgrade disk to to a clean formatted first partition. Here is the way I did it:

Use a Partition manager like Paragon or Easeus to copy your XP partition over to a partition other than the first (or install XP to another partition) then use EasyBCD to Add it to the Boot Menu if necessary.

Now comes the hat trick: Boot into the new XP partition and use Disk Management to mark it active, then go to Control Panel>Folder options and show hidden system files. Make sure boot.ini, ntldr, and are in the roots of both OS drives so you can boot back into XP later.

Now delete and format the first partition using Disk Management (or Easeus) from the XP desktop, then without rebooting install WIndows 7 to the first partition. After install, you can copy files over from XP via explorer and then hide or delete the XP partition, because you now have the best operating system ever and it's installed on formatted metal from an Upgrade disk.

Be sure to use Win7's great new imaging backup to image your installation after you get it like you want it, so you'll never have to reinstall again.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2009   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install

So, I understand, from your post, that it is not possible to use an upgrade disc, use the format option, and clean install on a truly clean drive? Win7 upgrade differs from Vista in that respect, correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2009   #3
Microsoft MVP


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
So, I understand, from your post, that it is not possible to use an upgrade disc, use the format option, and clean install on a truly clean drive? Win7 upgrade differs from Vista in that respect, correct?
Yes, because you cannot just insert the Vista/XP activation key as you could with Vista., but must start the install from the Vista/XP OS according to MS's early announcement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Oct 2009   #4
Microsoft MVP


Just endorsed by MS Technet MVP here!

Most of the license issues were previously debated on Technet in this and many other posts.

Keep in mind that Techwrighter has rarely been wrong on any issue.

But the rules are laid out for you to decide.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to install Upgrade to formatted first partition

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