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Windows 7: Formatting HD first?

22 Oct 2009   #1

Vista, soon to be 7
Formatting HD first?

I was wondering if it's better to first reformat my hard drive before installation or should I let the Custom Installation do it?
I was thinking I could make a Vista recovery disk from my recovery partition before I start, and reformat then restore it to factory condition before running the 7 installation (I need Vista before installing because I purchased the upgrade). Is this all unnecessary? I just want to be sure my computer is running the best it can.
If the custom installation is going to reformat it anyway there is no need, but it doesn't sound like it will since it saves your old Windows files.

Oh, the other complication may be the drivers. If I let it do its own thing, it will save all of my drivers in the C:\Windows.old folder which could be helpful. However, it's a laptop which doesn't have many peripherals attached, so I may not need to worry about it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP


You need the qualifying Vista O.S. to run the Upgrade from.

As far as the recovery partition, in most cases it will be useless after installing the new O.S., so be sure to make or order your recovery disks in case you need to reinstall both O.S. again. Afterward, you can delete the recovery partition. It should be recreated when you run the recovery disks anyway.

Be sure to make an image of your finished job with the great new WIndows 7 Imaging backup so there will never be the need to do a reinstall, just reimage your HDD in about 20 minutes from the image stored externally.

Upgrade Install with Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #3

Vista, soon to be 7

Thanks. You're suggestion about making an image of the fresh Win 7 installation is great. Now I won't have to worry about installing Vista before I can reinstall 7 in the future.
However, I'd like to clear up a few points on the other topics.
For my clean installation, should I allow the Windows 7 installation to format the hard drive for me? Or do you think it's better to reformat it first and install from boot? If the windows 7 installer does a good job at reformatting, then I will just allow it to do all the work.
The other bit I just found out is that since I bought my copy through Digital River, I may actually have the full installation rather than the upgrade. That would make it simpler still to install from boot after a drive reformat.
Do you think this is a good idea?

The other idea I'm dappling with is doing a dual-boot if my copy is indeed the full installation. Is this feasible to do on a laptop with 100Gb HD?

I'm sorry if I am asking lots of questions but this is the first time I have ever had the need to upgrade my OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Formatting HD first?

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