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Windows 7: Installing Windows 7 on XP Laptop...

14 Oct 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 Bit
Installing Windows 7 on XP Laptop...

My wife has an Acer laptop currently running Windows XP. I know the laptop will run Windows 7. My question is will Windows 7 overwrite the XP install files (the laptop has a hidden partition with the XP install files on it) already on the laptop?
I'm worried about losing is the hidden partition PQSERVICE which is needed for the eRecovery Management to work if it's decide to go back to XP Home.

I do have the recovery disks for the laptop, but does anyone know if those disks will recreate the hidden partition with the install files??

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP


Yes, the Recovery Disks will reimage the HD as it came from the factory.

However the Recovery partition will not run after Win7 Clean install so if you're hesitant you'd be better off to start out with a Dual Boot by shrinking XP to install Win7 to a partition you create in the shrink space as shown here: Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP.

Then when you're ready we'll help you delete XP and the Recovery similar to this: Partition Recover Space Used by an Older OS

But if you're satisfied having only the XP Recovery disks as backup then you can go ahead with a Clean Install Windows 7 making sure to delete all partitions using the Drive Options in Steps 7 and 8.

To be aware of any issues with that PC I'd run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.

Be sure to put your network adapter driver in the backup so if it isn't provided during install you can install it to get online to immediately enable Automatically deliver drivers via Windows Update (Step 3) then Check for Updates, install all Important and Optional Updates with reboots until there are no more. Any drivers still missing then can be imported from the Acer Support Downloads webpage for your model PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2013   #3

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

It should if you created the recovery discs correctly. Most mfgrs create recovery media with the sole purpose of bringing the machine back to factory released condition (as far as SW anyway).

I cannot guarantee this with Acer, but I've done it on Dell, HP, Toshiba, and Lenovo machines.

Another option is to get a new drive and install Win7 on that. If you want to go back you could just put the old drive back in the machine. You could also get an enclosure for the old drive and connect it to a USB port to access any old data, possibly even boot from it if your BIOS supports USB booting.

edit: good advice Greg, I was trying to find a definitive answer in the Acer manuals while you were posting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Oct 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 Bit

Thanks for the replies, Gregrocker and Slartybart...

I also tried to find an answer in the Acer manuals, but nothing there... I also tried getting a straight answer from Acer, but they would only say I should send it back to them and have Win7 installed, and I really don't want to do that..

Gregrocker, I followed your instructions you gave above. I did shrink the XP partition and installed Win7 on the newly created partition. So it is now dual boot.

I think my wife will be happy with that for now, this way she can get to know Win7 and still use XP until it's support runs out.

As for the drivers, I only needed to download 2 plus the camera app... so that wasn't a problem.

So far everything seems to be running smoothly...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2013   #5

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Sounds good Omega1,

You can show your appreciation to Greg by tipping the scales on his post that guided you.

I tried to add to Greg's reputation, but I need to +rep other people first (guess I 'tipped' Greg not too long ago).

Please mark this thread solved after you run this way for a while, thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2013   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 Bit

I'll leave this thread unmarked resolved for a few days, just to besure there are no problems or I decide to carry on futher...
As for now, no thank you for the help... :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

In your situation, Dual Boot was the best way to go.

Last month, I sold off my last XP machine. Windows 7, is so much better.

If I'm remembering this correctly, Microsoft will be discontinuing support on XP as of May 2014.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Installing Windows 7 on XP Laptop...

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