I'm contemplating moving from WinXP Pro to Windows 7 Ultimate, doing a clean install along the way and am in the midst of a long overdue pruning and consolidation of 2 hard drives in preparation. I guess I'm a little nervous because it's been a while (uh, about 6 years) since I've done a clean install like this before and am a little uncertain about what I'm going to find on the other side as well as the tools I might need to get there. I have:
- an Acer PowerFH desktop with an Intel® 946GZ Chipset Family Driver Version: 188.8.131.5224 (dated 6/26/06) ... there was a later Driver Version: 184.108.40.20685 (dated 2/27/07) but per Acer Tech Support, I rolled back to the earlier version when I had problems. There is also a later update
"Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver 220.127.116.11.64.1930 for Win7" which I presume I will need for Windows 7.
- 2 GB of of DDR2 533/667 MHz SDRAM.
- I am intent on backing up off the necessary files and programs from my primary 160 2-partition C:\ drive to my 40 GB slave drive (and/or some online storage if that is not enough space) and then formatting the C:\ in the Windows 7 install.
- Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 3000 with Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT) 3.0; PCI-Express x16 card supported
I had thought that with Windows 7's XP Mode, it would be a fairly painless migration ... but now I find out that my almost 3 y.o. PC apparently doesn't have the "Hardware Assisted Virtualization" necessary to run XP Mode ... apparently the BIOS doesn't support it (at least that seems to be the case based on the scattered information I found ... but then again, maybe I wasn't looking in the right places). Which, unless there's a way around it, makes me nervous about what I have that might not work in Win7 ... but I guess the only way to find out is to get my feet wet (right?). So, unless anyone can see away around this short of another PC (and I'd consider either a motherboard or CPU upgrade if someone can recommend something compatible), I guess I'm just looking for a little hand-holding in these areas:
1) When I start the Win7 Install, is the Install disk likely to have the drivers/files it needs to :
a) access fdisk.exe and or format.com if those are still the necessary tools to format the hard drive and/or set up Partitions?
b) access both my hard drives, my CD/DVD Drive and my USB flash drives?
c) access my ethernet Network card (Integrated RealTek Gigabit (RJ-45 LAN connector) so I'll have Internet access?
3) I see my Phoenix Technologies, LTD BIOS Version|Date is R01-B2 | 9/28/2006, but there is a later BIOS R01-B3 | 7/19/2007 ... do I need this? Or will I need it under Win7? If so, how should I go about updating this?
4) At some time in the past, I created a 'Boot' folder on a USB FlashDrive with the following files on it:
ATTRIB.EXE 4/23/1999 21:22
config.sys 6/2/2001 19:14
DELTREE.EXE 4/23/1999 21:22
DOSKEY.COM 4/23/1999 21:22
EDIT.COM 4/23/1999 21:22
EMM386.EXE 4/23/1999 21:22
EXTRACT.EXE 4/23/1999 21:22
FORMAT.COM 4/23/1999 21:22
HIMEM.SYS 4/23/1999 21:22
IO.SYS 4/23/1999 21:22
MSCDEX.EXE 4/23/1999 21:22
MSDOS.SYS 4/23/1999 21:22
SCANDISK.EXE 4/23/1999 21:22
SMARTDRV.EXE 4/23/1999 21:22
SYS.COM 4/23/1999 21:22
XCOPY.EXE 4/23/1999 21:22
XCOPY32.MOD 4/23/1999 21:22
... I don't know if I will need this 'Boot' folder or if there are other files (or more recent versions of these files) I should have on this ... just in case Windows 7 can't find the necessary files I need to get through the install. For example, I don't see the fdisk.exe file here if I need it ... I can also envision possible needing WinZip to unpack some of the files I will need to restore ... but don't know if I ought to put this on the USB drive before the install ... obviously, I'm assuming I'll have access to my USB drive for this purpose (i.e., I've got access to the driver necessary to do so) ...
So, all-in-all, I don't travel this path often enough to necessarily remember everything that maybe I ought to do here or to navigate the differences I will be experiencing this time around and Help/Assurances/Warnings to do with any of the above from those Experts who have traveled this path more recently or frequently is appreciated!