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Windows 7 migration assistance

Hi Experts,

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: 6.14.10.4624 (dated 6/26/06) ... there was a later Driver Version: 6.14.10.4785 (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 15.12.75.4.64.1930 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!

Jeff


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jeffreywsmith
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jeffreywsmith
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Bump ... anyone?  Umm, I can see I'm asking 5 or 6 questions here and that might be 'discouraging' to Experts  ... to me they're all related to what I am trying to get done though but I'd certainly be willing to add 5 or 6 or whatever number of "pointer questions" of 500 points each that it takes to bring this home (just let me know if that's appropriate ...).  Thanks!

Jeff
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
1) Run the "Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor" to make sure all of your hardware and software will function:

   http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=1B544E90-7659-4BD9-9E51-2497C146AF15&displaylang=en

2) Call the manufacturer and ask them about the hardware drivers.

3) Just do it. Be prepared to pop for a new box with 7 already installed in the likely event you succumb to frustration.

Kevin
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for posting (Didn't know u hung out here ;--).

>1) Run the "Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor" to make sure all of your hardware and software will function:

Already did that once and it advised my graphics card might have issues with the Aero Interface but when I ran it again now, it advised me it needed a Critical Update, did that, ran it again and this time, it gave me the all clear along with what seems like a more complete report.

> 2) Call the manufacturer and ask them about the hardware drivers.

Did that, too, but this is Acer and since it's beyond it's one year warranty, they won't talk to me for less than $69.00 ... hell, even their sales people wouldn't talk to me to tell me what Video card they might be able to sell me to make my PC compatible with the Aero interface ... I don't think I'll be giving them any more money if I can avoid it.  Their web site sucks, too in giving us existing customers any information about Windows 7 compatible drivers ... they're all about selling you a new W7 computer though ... (guess they haven't learned the value of repeat business yet ...).  All that said, the WUG Advisor now says I meet all system requirements. Here's the details:

Windows Aero support Your graphics adapter supports the Windows Aero user interface.

 CPU speed: 2.8 GHz Your CPU meets the 1 GHz minimum requirement.

 2.0 GB of RAM Your PC meets the 1 GB minimum requirement.  
   
Devices Status Details
 Amyuni Document Converter 300
AMYUNI Technologies Unknown We don't have compatibility information about this device.
 HP LaserJet 1200
HP Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.
 HP LaserJet 1200 Series PCL 6
HP Check Windows Update Check Windows Update after installing Windows 7 to make sure you have the latest driver for this device, otherwise it may not work.
 Intel(R) 946GZ Express Chipset Family
Intel Corporation Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.
 Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 27DF
Intel Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.
 Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27C8
Intel Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.
 Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27C9
Intel Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.
 Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27CA
Intel Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.
 Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB Universal Host Controller - 27CB
Intel Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.
 Intel(R) 82801G (ICH7 Family) USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 27CC
Intel Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.
 Intel(R) 82801GB/GR/GH (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller - 27C0
Intel Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.
 Realtek High Definition Audio
Realtek Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.
 Realtek RTL8139/810x Family Fast Ethernet NIC
Realtek Semiconductor Corp. Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.

Hopefully, you'll give me your blessings on this report ...?

3) Just do it. Be prepared to pop for a new box with 7 already installed in the likely event you succumb to frustration.

> Man, that is not what I want to hear ... why r u telling me this?  If it's that bad, and I can't cheaply upgrade by box to support 'hardware assisted virtualization' technology so I can use XP Mode, then I'll just roll back to XP itself until I'm ready to buy a new box ...

I guess I'm leaning towards your advice about just pulling the plug and doing it but getting some answers to these possibly critical questions would make me feel better (and would make me happy enough to close this topic ... ;--):

Can u advise whether or not the Fdisk.exe will be included in the Windows 7 disk?  Will it allow me to blow away all the partitions, including Acer's Recovery partition? And lastly, my question 3) above might be kind of important here - I'd really appreciate input on that:

> 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?m

Jeff
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
>Hopefully, you'll give me your blessings on this report ...?

Jeff, in all seriousness, are you going to expect anyone in Excel to know what Windows 7 will do with that list of stuff? If you really want some guidance, I suggest closing this question and giving me all the points for effort ;-), and then asking a new question in the Windows 7/hardware zones. They will probably tell you pretty much the same thing though: run the advisor and follow the advice.

Kevin
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Oh, man.  This is the 2nd time this has happened to me (I still have an outstanding Topic with Community Support about the last time).  I deliberately Removed the (my default) Excel Zone from this topic, and Added the Windows 7 Zone and two others under Hardware Zone to the question before  I posted it (the only thing I can think of is that in Clicking to Preview the topic before I posted it, I wanted to make changes and there is no Edit button on that new? EE Preview Window that pops up (Only Close and Submit), so users are left wondering what to do to Edit - what I did, and I'm wondering if it cleared my choices of Zone, was to (I think) click my FireFox browser's Back button (and that may have taken me back a page too far?  And maybe then, I clicked the browser Forward button and it took me back to my question in process but, I'm betting, with my Zone choices now forgotten ...

Do you think you might have any pull with the Moderator to get this question moved to those intended Zones ... and maybe expedited it that's possible?  I'm really slammed getting this thing done (can't believe how long this is taking me) and having my question in what was effectively the Limbo Zone for 24 hours isn't helping any ... (sorry, I should know: this is a "No Whining" Zone).

I'll post this expanded comment on the EE Zone choice question I have open so maybe they can get to the bottom of it ...

Thanks, Kevin.

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
That's a 500 point answer, Mr. Kevin ;--).  Heck, because I am worn down and weak right now, I'll even make it a Grade A!

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Oh, crap.  I didn't realize this question had already been moved to the proper zones - I was thinking it would be a new question there and I was awarding points to Kevin here.  Can this question be re-opened under a new (and hopefully equally expedited ) Topic?!?

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you.  Can I have Lotus 1-2-3 and maybe Javelin, too?  Oh, Javelin was for Windows wasn't it?
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TedInAKCommented:
Win 7 is pretty good about drivers...I installed the release candidtate (RC) on a 5 or so year old computer with no problems.  It's an AMD Athlon 2400+ / 1.5GB RAM / 128MB GeForce FX 5700 Graphics.

 After all the updates were installed, only my older NIC wasn't recognized, but I was using my Wireless adapter anyways, so it wasn't an issue, and Win7 was actually faster than XP on my older system (both fresh installs).

Win7 has built-in partition management;
I wouldn't flash your BIOS unless you are very comfortable with your skill level;
You shouldn't need your boot USB;

If you're willing to shell out for a new MOBO and/or CPU, you might want to instead get a new hard drive.  You can find 1TB (1000GB) drives for around $100usd.  Then, you can remove your 40GB and install Win7 to the TB drive.  After completing that, you can dual-boot Win7 and XP and not have to worry about which XP programs don't work (lol, my dad has a XP/Win98 dual-boot for his legacy 98 programs).

But, after saying all that, you might want to invest in a brand-new system...you can probably get one for $400 with 500GB drive / Win7 installed / hardware virtualization ability.  Then you can use XP mode and forgo the dual-boot, or you could do both.


Ted
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TedInAKCommented:
And no...you can't have Lotus 1-2-3...you have to go all the way back to SuperCalc! :-p
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willcompCommented:
A few quick comments:

Your CPU most likely does not support virtualization mode required for XP Mode in Win 7. For more information: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/windows-xp-mode-virtualization-intel,7709.html

Most software will install and run without problems. Win 7 has a compatibility mode (same as Vista) which often allows older software to run. http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/316-compatibility-mode.html

You should not experience any problems installing Win 7 on your system. Most, if not all, drivers will be included in Win 7.

Prior to installing Win 7, I recommend that you disconnect secondary hard disk and wipe boot hard disk using DBAN to remove all partitions and formatting. Then you will have a pristine disk for installation. DBAN and a number of other useful utilities are on the UBCD.  http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Let us know if you have any specific questions.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Hi Ted & willcomp - thanks for posting!

SuperCalc?  Man, that's harsh! You may be spending too much time hanging around zorvek ... I know from experience how corrupting that can be (just kidding, Kevin, it's always enlightening!).

All in all, both your comments are making me feel better about moving forward but I do have a few questions remaining.

>Win7 has built-in partition management;  

I guess I'd ask both of you about the W7 "built-in partition management" (and/or fdisk.exe if that is included on the W7 disk) ... vs. the DBAN utility -  Since the latter apparently requires me to "disconnect secondary hard disk and wipe boot hard disk using DBAN to remove all partitions and formatting" (The brief documentation on the web site says: "DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect" so I am sussing form willcomp's advice that this is automatic (i.e., I can't tell it to do C:\ only).  Since I hate hardware and mess with it as little as I can possibly get away with, I'd just as soon not have to worry with figuring out which is my 40 GB slave drive and disconnecting same unless I am getting something important in the process (it's not that I haven't done these things before, adding slave drives, flashing BIOS, etc. but I only get into it, on average every 5-6 years so I don't remember all the details and find myself getting frustrated with cryptic or missing labels, small parts [vs. my big hands and worsening eye sight] and every time I have to spend an inordinate amount of time on re-learning what I've forgotten, finding out what's new since the last time I came this way and generally poking around in things that you guys can likely do in your sleep if you do it more frequently than me).  Long way to say, I do understand that DBAN is a better way to dispose of a PC hard drive from a forensic perspective, but what will it do for me that W7/fdisk.exe won't?  Also, will both of them be able to detect and delete Acer's Recovery partition?

> I wouldn't flash your BIOS unless you are very comfortable with your skill level;

Well, as said, I've done it long, long ago but "very comfortable with your skill level" does not describe me in the HW arena.  From what I've read, though, there seems to be conflicting advice: a) "Don't do it unless it's broken" vs. b) "Staying current on your BIOS (& Drivers) is one of the best things you can do to keep your PC up to speed".  That combined with a dearth of information from the BIOS authors/PC Manufacturers as to why you might want to do it, what are the risk, and what is the procedure (Did I mention I hate HW?)  So, all that said, I'd be willing to attempt it if I knew what to expect, why I should do it ... and how.

> You shouldn't need your boot USB

So, again, FDISK or equivalent is onboard the W7 disk, correct?

> $400 with 500GB drive / Win7 installed / hardware virtualization ability (and a Terrabyte for a $100)!

Wow!! It's been a few years but I'm shocked at what you can get for the $ these days.  That does allow some alternative escape routes ... and I may end up using them ... but right now I'm trying to do this cheap (Santa's knocking already).  Can I ask where you find the best prices/values for those PC's & HD's?  I know (remember) the usual haunts but again, I don't frequent these places that often that I consider myself to be up to date ...

Thanks again guys.

Jeff

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willcompCommented:
Win7 does not include fdisk -- but neither does XP. It will allow you to repartition, but I prefer to completely wipe disks to eliminate any possible problems with old partitions. DBAN is not automatic unless run from a specially set up boot disk. I recommend disconnecting secondary drive even if you do not use DBAN. Surely you can remove 2 cables - it's not hard.

Select Custom as installation type to repartition hard disk using Win 7. Here's a good tutorial from MS.  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help/upgrading-from-windows-xp-to-windows-7
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TedInAKCommented:
I misspoke by calling it a partition "manager"...it's just like XP, before installing it will allow you to pick which partition to install to, allow you to delete a partion (or more than one).  So if you delete each partition in turn you will have a clean drive.  It will then format it before you install.

I usually use the Sunday newpaper ad's to find the best deals.  I live in Alaska, so most online stores that offer free shipping don't ship free here.

If you just want to do a test install of Win 7 to see how it is on your system, and your 40gig is empty (or has worthless stuff on it), you should be able to install it to that (deleting the 40gigs partition(s) with Win 7 at the beginning of the install process).  Just don't delete your 160gig's stuff!
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
willcomp:

> Win7 does not include fdisk -- but neither does XP. It will allow you to repartition, but I prefer to completely wipe disks to eliminate any possible problems with old partitions.

So, if I put fdisk.exe (any advice to where to find the latest or most applicable version is appreciated) on my USB flashdrive, am I able to utilize that during the Win7 install?  or, I guess, rather before the install (I have a full -not upgrade - version of Win7 Utlimate)? Am I gaining anything by using fDisk that the 'normal' Win7 partitioning doesn't do? Either way (with or without fDisk), will I be able to delete any Acer Recovery partition, without resorting to DBAN?

> I recommend disconnecting secondary drive even if you do not use DBAN.

I'm not refuting your advice, willcomp, just trying to understand it (hey, I'm here to learn!), but why do you recommend this ... what am I protecting against?

Lastly, I guess I still don't understand: what will DBAN do for me that W7/fdisk.exe won't? Again, what am I protecting against?

Ted:

Thanks for the idea about a "test install of Win 7 " on my slave drive. It's a thought ... but I'm hoping that the Win7  reality lives up to its hype and I'm going to be happy about the transition and won't mind leaving XP (though, now that I think about it, I may well have to be able to get back into an XP environment for some of the clients I support ... that might push your 1 TB drive to the forefront as the cheapest way for me to get there ... Can you advise how seamless it is to work in dual boot XP/Win 7   environment ... vs. using the XP Mode within Win 7 (& MS Virtual PC)?  Assuming I don't have major compatibility issues, my need to go into XP ought to be minimal, but I guess I'm looking for some idea of how long it takes me to boot up to an XP mode ( & maybe even how long it takes to hot-switch over (I assume you can do this ... is that true?)



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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
One more thing:  The way I am contemplating going forward is this:

- Trash C:\ (& the XP installation)
- Install WIN 7 etc.
- IF I pursue the 1 TB drive option, I'd likely have to start over again but maybe not if I can add XP (in  a dual-boot mode) if I already have the later Win 7 OS in place?  I know in maintaining  several versions of Office, the advice is always to install the earliest version first and then stay in sequence for subsequent versions - does that apply to multiple OS's, too?

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
Do not use fdisk on an NTFS disk. Use Win7 DVD.

If you do decide to dual boot XP and Win7, install XP first. It will be much simpler that way.

Sometimes additional hard disks cause problems during OS installation though not frequently. I have also seen the wrong drive selected and wiped. Disconnecting additional hard disks just eliminates any possible problems and it's easy to do.
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willcompCommented:
In a dual boot - OS is selected during bootup and a reboot is required to change OS. Performance is not affected.

A better approach may be to install MS Virtual PC within Win7.
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TedInAKCommented:
If you go the TB route, here's the way I'd do it.  The TB drive should come with some kind of drive manager software, allowing you to clone partition(s) from your old drive, set up multiple partitions on your TB, etc.  So I'd:

Install TB as master on primary IDE channel;
Install 160 as master on secondary IDE channel;
Run drive manager software and set up the TB as you see fit, e.g., 1 big NTFS partitiion, 2 smaller ones, or however you want;
Install Win7 on the TB (if you partitioned it, Win7 will give you option of which partition to install on);

Win7 installation should recognize that there's an XP installed on the 160 and should automatically setup the dual-boot.

Another option (since the TB drive should be faster than your 160...likely has a larger cache) is to take the TB drive and make two or three partitions.  Clone the XP partition to the beginning of your TB.  Resize it to however big you think it will need to be.  Create a second partition to house Win7 (optionally with a 3rd partition if you wanted a data / media partition).

Boot it up to make sure that the XP is running correctly.  If so, boot up with the Win7 disk and do a full install (custom option in the menu, IIRC) to the 2nd partition.  When install is complete you should now have a dual-boot configuration.
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TedInAKCommented:
I forgot to mention, the second option is the route I took when I installed Win7 (without the stuff re: a new drive).  Used Acronis Disk Director to do the partitioning, had XP as the first partition, created a second partition for Win7, did the install as previously mention.  Worked like a charm.  And you'll still have your comfortably broken-in XP still the same as it is now.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Thanks, willcomp, that helps me understand better.

> Install TB as master on primary IDE channel;
Install 160 as master on secondary IDE channel;

Will the options to choose these primary and secondary IDE channels be available as part of this "drive manager software" ... and clear to me as to how to make that happen?  Or do I need to do this in some other way?

Lastly, I'm still not sure whether the W7 disk will allow me to delete any Acer Recovery partition, without resorting to DBAN? Anyone have any insight into that?

I've got a couple of seemingly intractable problems in my XP Installation that MS hasn't been able to straighten out that has been leading me to do a complete re-install of XP (i.e., before I decided to do the W7 install) ... and I wouldn't want to bring those problems over to a new installation ... so I guess I've got to decide if I'm going to go hunting for that TB and bring it into the mix now (or do it all over again to get the XP/W7 sequence right later ... if I just do the W7 install now)

I am still in the process of completing my backup and want to move on this soon before my backup gets 'stale' ... so, I will give your answers some more thought here and try to sort out my direction over the next day or so.  If you guys don't mind, I'd like to leave this question open for a day or two in case I have any follow up questions.

Thanks again,

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
I haven't installed Win7 on a hard disk containing existing partitions -- they've all been new disks. I believe you will have the same options as in Vista which include deleting partitions from hard disk(s). So you should be able to delete recovery partition.
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
The Excel guy says just do it!

(Then report back so I know if I should do it too.)

;-)
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Thanks, willcomp.  Zorvek, don't you have some unanswered questions in the Excel Zone to keep you from stirring up trouble in other people's neighborhoods?   ;--)

Jeff
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
I do, most definitely, but I am faced with the same dilemma as you and am wanting you to proceed down the treacherous path so I can see just how bad it may or may not be. You know, kind of like sending that canary down into the mine or the monkey up into space. It doesn't mean I love you any less, I'm just being a true blue American and taking advantage of you every way I can.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Well, heck ... you put it that way, Kevin ... and it's only fair (you KNOW I am far more guilty of that than you could ever be).  I intend to put all the wisdom I accumulate on this process together for posterity ... but if you get where you need it before I get there ... you know where to reach me ;--).

Jeff
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Ha! No way dude! I'm not stupid. I'm a "user".

Now start reformatting. I'm getting tired of your pussy footing around this deal. Man up and do the manly thing. How are you going to change Washington if you can't even tackle your little old computer?
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Well, you know me too well, Kevin ... and you should know that I am not only doing this, but at the same time trying to cannibalize one laptop to enhance another while installing Windows 7 on that (so far so good, but there wasn't anything I needed to save off the old laptop which made it much easier ...), and last, but not least, finish a project for a customer which may put a little jingle in my pocket to make Santa happy.  But I'm hustling on this as fast as I can go ... but now that I see how you are, maybe I just need to slow down enough where you get tired of waiting and then you'll be the one "just doing it" (cheep, cheep, canary style) and I'll be like: "Well, how did it go, Kev?"

;--)
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Blah, blah, blah...

FDISK
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
If you were keeping up here, Kevin, you would have known that willcomp has already warned me off of FDISK ... said just to use the Win 7 prompts to partition/format the drive ...

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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Big magnets work too.
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younghvCommented:
jeffreywsmith -
You've got some seriously good help working here (except for that Excel Dude), but if you could do a short - bullet comment type of post on your remaining questions, it might help to finish this up.

I've done several Windows 7 installs - all on existing HDD's, but with NEW partitions created just for the install. As 'willcomp' mentioned already, getting a clean surface for the new install is really important. It's kind of like washing the blackboard instead of just using the eraser.

Getting this (these) questions resolved will be good for a whole bunch of folks, since so many of our Members will be going through this same process over the next few months.

1. I always use the "Upgrade Advisor" that Kevin mentioned (hey Kevin) and it hasn't failed me yet.
2. The installs have all been "dual-boot" in addition to the older OS (XP or Vista) - and all of the component parts have been 2-4 years old.
C. I buy almost all my parts from NewEgg.com (great prices, variety, and shipping) - except for memory, which I get from Crucial.com
IV. '7 has been nowhere near the resource hog that Vista was (possibly 'faster' than XP).
Finally - I have not had to 'download' any drivers yet - '7 seems to be capable of managing that all by itself - somehow.

Great question!
Vic
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willcompCommented:
Vic,
Thanks for weighing in. I'll do my first install of Win7 on an existing XP system today. PC came in yesterday and I am backing up user files now. It's one I built and only about a year or so old with E6800 CPU and 4GB RAM. Win7 Pro 64 bit is the version of choice. Home Premium would have been a better choice but she didn't ask before buying Pro.

Did check what setup options were and one can delete any or all existing partitions as expected. I'll wipe hard disk (zero fill) prior to installing Win7 though.

Dalton
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younghvCommented:
Hey Dalton - I think you're going to like the process - and will be surprised how quick and easy it is. I got permanently burned with my 64 Bit Vista and don't think I'll ever go that route (64 Bit) again.

Do you think Jeff and Kevin took the weekend off?
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willcompCommented:
I'm running Win7 64 bit on one of my PCs and haven't had any problems so far. Plans are to eventually make Win7 PC my "production" system to replace an older XP system. I've had an electrician working here today and am behind on getting puter work done. Needed some grounded outlets for my LCD TVs -- joys of a 100+ year old house with original knob and tube wiring in portions of the house.

I believe the boys did take a break. Lucky devils :-)
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Break? Jeffery is probably getting some beauty sleep (ugly bugger needs it) or his box really did finally burn up and died.

I'm doing things y'all should be doing: running up my hill, riding my bike, chasing women, and working some billable hours. Not drinking beer and wondering where the other point whores are.
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younghvCommented:
On the "Right" side of this here country, it is 18 minutes past beer time (and the wimmens chase us). I've got my 3,000 points for the month and all is well in the Smokies.
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Right side my ass...out here the men are real and the women want to be chased. Gotta know how to play the game. A lot more fun.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Hi Vic and thanks for posting.  Yeah, I do feel well cared for on this topic (well, like u said, except for the Excel guy who's content to send me out to battle as a pawn on his digital chessboard).  As far as remaining questions:

1) I had asked: "Lastly, I'm still not sure whether the W7 disk will allow me to delete any Acer Recovery partition, without resorting to DBAN? Anyone have any insight into that?"

To which Dalton responded:

"I haven't installed Win7 on a hard disk containing existing partitions -- they've all been new disks. I believe you will have the same options as in Vista which include deleting partitions from hard disk(s). So you should be able to delete recovery partition."

... so, since Dalton hasn't been down this particular path, if you can shed any light here, it's welcome.  Dalton has shamed me enough to make me think I can (overcome my fear and) disconnect my slave drive and use DBAN on my C:\ drive ... but I'm still trying to understand this a bit more so it's not just voodoo for me ... What might something like DBAN do that the Win7 partition/format wouldn't do?

2) As stated previously, 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?

Ted answered that with:

> I wouldn't flash your BIOS unless you are very comfortable with your skill level;

And I responded with:

Well, as said, I've done it long, long ago but "very comfortable with your skill level" does not describe me in the HW arena.  From what I've read, though, there seems to be conflicting advice: a) "Don't do it unless it's broken" vs. b) "Staying current on your BIOS (& Drivers) is one of the best things you can do to keep your PC up to speed".  That combined with a dearth of information from the BIOS authors/PC Manufacturers as to why you might want to do it, what are the risks, and what is the procedure (Did I mention I hate HW?)  So, all that said, I'd be willing to attempt it if I knew what to expect, why I should do it ... and how.

If you have any insights here, that, too is appreciated.

As an aside (& in defense of what little honor I might still have left), I have NOT been getting some beauty sleep as Kevin unjustly accuses me of. I'd like to say that I had been out carousing with all the women you all are thinking about chasing or tell you that while you've been otherwise occupied in exchanging " point whore" insults (apt title, Kevin: I like it ;-), they've been chasing me ... (ugly as my sleep-deprived face may be), I've been working on generating some of those "billable hours" and waiting and cussing at the Acronis True Home Image backup software to correctly do my backups.  It has actually just finished a few minutes ago so I think I am ready to pull the plug and go but hope to hear back on this post before I do ... and want to take a look at all my backups with some fresh eyes before I do ... so, sometime tomorrow, I expect I'll make that switch.  

BTW, one of the reasons my migration is more difficult is I'm taking the time (this time around) to really get my hard drives pruned and properly backed up (my previous backups were ... well, a little haphazard might be the word ... trying to do a complicated 2-way backup of important files on each of the 2 drives ... trying to use Windows Scheduler and incremental backups and stuff like that which never really worked the way they should.  As a result, I had a lot of duplicate files in different locations and had to sort that out first.  I looked around at least a half-dozen different duplicate file removers before I finally stumbled on 'Beyond Compare 3' at http://www.scootersoftware.com whose praise I can't sing high enough.  While it costs $30 ($50 for a pro version I didn't need), it also comes with a 30 day free trial. Maybe that will help someone else.

G'nite all.

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
If you read one of my later posts, I mentioned that I'm in the process of installing Win7 on an XP PC. Although I'll wipe the hard disk as usual, I did boot from Win7 DVD and check out installation options. You can delete any partitions on hard disk just like Vista as I had assumed earlier.
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willcompCommented:
One last comment before I call it a day. The only good reason to flash a BIOS is if it is needed. Although BIOS flashing is not as risky as it once was, there's enough risk that it should only be done when necessary and not just because an update is available. Many BIOS revisions just add additional CPU support.
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younghvCommented:
Hey Jeff,
I'll be glad to improve on Dalton's advice ... but first I have to finish giving Larry (Olivier) his acting lessons. [That analogy isn't too far off :)]

Thanks for the tip on "Beyond Compare" - I'm always looking for something to get my (multiple) backup files squared-away.

One comment I will make is that I haven't used Acronis nor Ghost since finding "BootIT- NG". The best (and simplest after the install) imaging app I have run across. About $30/device, but creates an absolute image of your entire partition with the click of a button. Indispensable to me.

I will monitor and kibbitz as needed, but you're in better hands than mine now.

btw - did you see this line from the Excel guy: "out here the men are real"?
I wonder what he's been smokin?
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys.  I'm feeling pretty good about the process ahead of me and you all are responsible for that ... I hope to come out the other side in the not too distant future and report back from a working Win7 environment where I can then try and close this out and assign points ... (which I can see is going to be difficult but I'll do the best I can).

I don't know what that Excel guy has been smoking (but that is the State that is all down with that I guess ;-). And the "real men" part?  I don't know ... maybe they just like each other like that ;--)

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Some possibly particularly important advice from:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help/upgrading-from-windows-xp-to-windows-7

"Windows Easy Transfer doesn't move your programs, only your files and settings. You'll need to reinstall your programs by hand after Windows 7 installation is complete. Windows Easy Transfer will provide you with a list of programs that you are currently using with Windows XP.

Don't use the File and Settings Transfer Wizard in Windows XP to move your files. It isn't compatible with Windows 7, and if you use it, you won't be able to restore your files in Windows 7. Use Windows Easy Transfer instead.

Windows Easy Transfer can't transfer files from a 64-bit version of Windows to a 32-bit version of Windows. If you're running a 64-bit version of Windows XP, but you plan to install a 32-bit version of Windows 7, you'll need to copy your files manually to an external location before installing Windows 7, and then move them back after Windows installation is completed."

I'm not going to be using either of these MS facilities ...  as mentioned, I've got some issues in either my XP installation and/or my User Profile that are leading me to leave both behind as I move forward - but thought I'd mention this in case it's of interest.

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
I should have mentioned: that page was the one that Dalton recommended.  They also had this to say:

"Note

Formatting your hard disk during Windows 7 installation isnt necessary. If you want to format your hard disk, and youre using an upgrade version of Windows 7, dont use a program from another software manufacturer to reformat your hard disk prior to installing Windows 7. Instead, start your PC using the Windows 7 upgrade DVD, click Custom (advanced), and then click Drive options (advanced)."

And this (which raises another question):

"Before you begin

Connect your PC to the Internet so you can get installation updates during the installation process. (If you dont have an Internet connection, you can still install Windows 7.)"

... the question comes because I have seen other forum postings (don't ask where) suggesting just the opposite ... to disconnect until the install is done ... Any advice on this, guys?

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
P.S. - I wonder, too, if the answer to that last question (should we disconnect from the internet during the install) depends upon whether you are upgrading from XP, Vista or doing a clean install (with or without using Win Easy Transfer) ... Restated, if we are going to be connected to the internet for a while with no anti-virus running ... aren't we more of a target to some of the zombie bots (or whatever the flavor of the month is)?  So, what's the solution here? (I am behind a router if that makes any difference).  Without an internet connection we are denied the benefit of any updates to the installation process that MS has added since these disks were burned ... but with an internet connection and no active anti-virus, we have a certain amount of exposure to the bad guys ... What to do, what to do?

Jeff
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younghvCommented:
All of mine have been done with a live Internet connection - and there have been some small 'install update' files downloaded before the install actually starts.

Nothing on this planet (except some .... nevermind) would induce me to do an 'upgrade' of one OS to another. I still have mental scars from those days, oh so many years ago.

I don't have time to re-read the entire string, but I am really hopeful that this is about a fresh (Full) install of Windows 7 - and not an upgrade.

I visit (and contribute to) other web sites, but can't think of any where I would take their advice over that of willcomp.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Thanks, Vic.  I didn't think I was proposing to take anyone else's advice over Dalton's ... did I miss something here?  (Thought this was a new question ...)

Yes, this IS a fresh install of Windows 7.  

Good to know your views on OS upgrades ... though I've done them in the past ... I've also 'tolerated' more aberrant behavior than I would have thought reasonable, too ... I've kind of marked it up to being involved in the software development end of things that has lead me to tinker with things more than average ... but who knows, maybe more of it comes just from having done a frigging OS upgrade ...

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Ok, am a little confused by Dalton's earlier recommended page link for DBAN:

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ 

On that page, it also says:

"For those of you interested in a Windows version of the Ultimate Boot CD, you might want to check out this project initiated by Ben Burrows." ... and links to: http://www.ubcd4win.com/ 

... where it describes:

"What is the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows?
UBCD4Win is a bootable recovery CD that contains software used for repairing, restoring, or diagnosing almost any computer problem."

... but it doesn't list the DBAN tool.

So, I'm inclined to go with the download on the page that Dalton recommended but I'm confused by this additional offering ... I AM a Windows user ... this language makes me think the original link was for non-Windows users ...

Jeff
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younghvCommented:
Jeff -
I just checked my UBCD4WIN and DBAN is not on there.
IMO, the '4WIN' is a little more familiar for basic Windows folks and the original UBCD is a little on the geeky side ... but that's just me.

Forgot to 'refresh' on my last post and missed yours at http:#a26091298
Your install is going to take about 15-20 minutes. I tend to be more paranoid than most about security matters, but that part has never concerned me.
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willcompCommented:
UBCD and UBCD4Win are two very different CDs. You need the UBCD or you can download DBAN directly from the source.

DBAN -- http://www.dban.org/download
UBCD -- http://majorgeeks.com/Ultimate_Boot_CD_UBCD_d4981.html   -- less confusing link

Hook it up to the Internet and let 'er rip. Same advice for XP and Vista.

I'm afraid Vic gives me way too much credit and not enough to himself. I have been working on PCs a long time and have a few hundred Windows installs under my belt with most being XP since it's been around so long. I never had a customer request Vista on a new custom PC but expect quite a few will want Win7.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Ok, so I've bought a 1TB Seagate Expansion External Drive ($89.99 @ Best Buy) with these specs:

" Plug n play  no software to install
" Simply drag-and-drop to save files
" USB 2.0

And now I'm trying to adapt Ted's advice above to my situation.  Here's his advice on the subject, followed by my comments:

"If you go the TB route, here's the way I'd do it.  The TB drive should come with some kind of drive manager software, allowing you to clone partition(s) from your old drive, set up multiple partitions on your TB, etc.  So I'd:

Install TB as master on primary IDE channel;
Install 160 as master on secondary IDE channel;
Run drive manager software and set up the TB as you see fit, e.g., 1 big NTFS partitiion, 2 smaller ones, or however you want;
Install Win7 on the TB (if you partitioned it, Win7 will give you option of which partition to install on);

Win7 installation should recognize that there's an XP installed on the 160 and should automatically setup the dual-boot.

Another option (since the TB drive should be faster than your 160...likely has a larger cache) is to take the TB drive and make two or three partitions.  Clone the XP partition to the beginning of your TB.  Resize it to however big you think it will need to be.  Create a second partition to house Win7 (optionally with a 3rd partition if you wanted a data / media partition).

Boot it up to make sure that the XP is running correctly.  If so, boot up with the Win7 disk and do a full install (custom option in the menu, IIRC) to the 2nd partition.  When install is complete you should now have a dual-boot configuration."
________________________________________________________________________________

> The TB drive should come with some kind of drive manager software, allowing you to clone partition(s) from your old drive, set up multiple partitions on your TB, etc.

Well, it didn't have any software, just says plug-n-play.

1) What should I use to partition the drive?
2) How many partitions should I use? I'm thinking 3, one for the XP install, one for Win 7 and one for my data files, then using the 160 GB as a slave for backups ...
3) How large should each partition be?
4) With a dual OS install like this, how do I elect which OS I want to boot into? And/or set the default?

Given that my XP installation has issues, I plan on re-installing XP, right after I run DBAN I guess. So, sequentially, I think this is what I need to do (please confirm or correct as necessary):

1) Remove F:\ 40 GB slave drive with (most of) my backups
2) Run DBAN to wipe my 160 GB C:\
3) Install 1TB drive as my Master drive on primary IDE (this is done on boot as a BIOS option, correct?)
4) Partition TB drive as C:\, D:\ and E:\ (?) with partition sizes & software as determined from responses to questions above
5) Install XP on C:\ partition on TB drive
6) Install Win 7 on D:\ partition of TB drive
7) Install F:\ 40 GB slave drive with (most of) my backups and copy to E:\ data drive
8) Remove F:\ 40 GB slave drive with (most of) my backups and replace with 160 GB drive, likely installed as slave drive F:\
9) Reinstall programs and setup backups
10) Set restore point
11) Maybe make an image of this system as it then exists (now that I have enough memory to do this) - What software would you recommend I use for this?  I have "Explore & Burn" which can burn an ISO to disc ... is that all I need here?

Thanks for everybody's insights here.

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
The instructions he gave you were for an INTERNAL hard disk not an external drive. I recommend you copy data files to external drive (an image is no use unless you want to revert back to XP) and also use the Easy Transfer Wizard to backup emails, settings, and data files. Two backups are better than one and the Easy Transfer Wizard does a good job.  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/features/windows-easy-transfer

Do not install any OS on the external drive. You can use it for backups. You're trying to make something relatively easy hard.

You are correct about disconnecting 40GB and wiping 160GB hard disk. Then install Win7 on 160GB hard disk. If you want to dual boot XP and Win7, then let us know. I thought that was not the preferred path.
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younghvCommented:
/unsubscribe
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton, thanks for posting back.  I'm sorry to have to keep asking more questions here but some answers do spur more questions and the deeper I get into this, the more I am seeing now (and maybe the more I need to ask as a result).

> The instructions he gave you were for an INTERNAL hard disk not an external drive.

Well, I have to admit that this is the first time I am hearing about that an external drive was different in any way except location (and since Ted didn't make a distinction, I guess he must have just thought this was common knowledge - my bad - I haven't traveled this path before).  

> I recommend you copy data files to external drive (an image is no use unless you want to revert back to XP) and also use the Easy Transfer Wizard to backup emails, settings, and data files. Two backups are better than one and the Easy Transfer Wizard does a good job.

I agree two backups are better than one and have made online backups of some 44GB of files as well as copying them to my slave drive.  But since I've got those issues with my existing XP installation/User Profile that I don't want to migrate to the new environment, I would have thought I'd need to stay away from something that was going to transfer my 'settings' ... (I do know my way around enough to identify, find and copy my Outlook .pst files, selected settings for my Favorites, QuickLaunch bar, Foxfire profile, Documents and program files, etc) ... are you telling me I shouldn't worry about that with Easy Transfer?

> Do not install any OS on the external drive. You can use it for backups. You're trying to make something relatively easy hard.

Is that because it is a speed issue?  Are external drives just inherently slower than internal drives? And, Dalton, trust me, I am certainly not trying to make anything harder here ... just trying to get things right the first time (and understand what I am doing and why) ... When Ted mentioned that the new TB drive would likely be faster, not knowing the External/internal distinction ... well, that's why I went that direction.  So, if Ted is correct that new TB drive would likely be faster, should I be returning this external drive and trading it in for an internal one? Is the speed difference going to be significant enough, or are there other considerations?

> If you want to dual boot XP and Win7, then let us know. I thought that was not the preferred path.

Well, we did have a good deal of discussion about the dual boot option (as my need for XP would hopefully be minimal, and it also meets my criteria for cheap as I don't have to buy a new machine just for XP Mode).  I may not have definitively said I was going that way, but I don't think I said it wasn't preferred either, or least not most recently (I really hadn't made up my mind previously).

I've revised my previous questions in light of our most recent discussion - can you also address these below?:

1) What should I use to partition the drive?

If this is the 160 GB which presently has 2 partitions plus an Acer recovery partition, my understanding is that Win7 will give me the ability to re-partition this as I want ... but since I'm installing XP first, does a boot from an XP install disk give me that option, too?  Also, to complicate things further, what I actually have is an XP Upgrade Disc ... which I guess is going to want to find Windows 2K or something there to begin with, correct? (If so, I do have a 2K disc I burned at some point along with the Product ID but it's not the original MS disc ... but do I really have to go back that far? I also have an Acer 'Windows Vista Business Express upgrade disc which I've never used if that helps with establishing licensing rights).  Given this complication, if I DON't use DBAN, and just do a re-install of XP on top of the existing installation, the XP install should recognize my existing installation (and associated licensing rights to use an Upgrade disc instead of a Full disc) ... correct?  And if so, will I have the same ability to partition/format the hard drive as the Win7 install will provide? I guess this is at least partially what Will was speaking to when he said "Nothing on this planet ... would induce me to do an 'upgrade' of one OS to another" ... but it's where I'm at unfortunately.  I'd like to be able to follow your advice here, Dalton, and use DBAN on the 160 GB disc, but I'm a little uncertain how the rest of this is going to play out ...

2) How many partitions should I use? and 3) How large should each partition be? (I'm combining those questions in this revised asking):

This answer will obviously depend upon whether or not you recommend I return the external drive and trade it in for an internal one ... but either way, I guess what I'm looking for is how large a partition should I have for the XP Partition and how large for the Win7 partition?  

And are both of these OS's in Dual Boot modes going to behave nicely with things like if I go to save a file somewhere in my 'My Documents' folder in say, XP, or say a sub-folder within it that I created in XP, will I find that sub-folder and file in my 'Documents' folder in Win7?

I'm thinking I'd like to put my Documents folders in a 3rd partition (that I can easily backup) to the alternate drive ... should I be able to point both the XP and Win 7 OS's to use these folders in a separate partition with a common (shared) folder path?

3) With a dual OS install like this, how do I elect which OS I want to boot into? And/or set the default?

Vic:

> /unsubscribe

Sorry to see you leave us - thanks for your contributions.

Hope I'm not making a muddle of this ... but it's the decision-making process I'm going through ... got to be some way to give extra credit for anyone who sees this through ... ;--)  (well, except for the Excel guy who has already disclosed his vested interests).

Jeff

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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Ok, turned in the external TB drive for an internal at the same $89.99 price.

Am reading the Seagate 3.5" Barracuda manual and it states therein: ""The Windows 2000 and XP operating systems require SATA host drivers for embedded motherboards and add-in SATA host adapter cards to be loaded from a floppy (diskette) drive".

I don't know what a SATA host driver looks like (filename, extension, whatever) or if I have them or not.  If I do, I don't have them on a 3.5" diskette but I may have them on either a Acer's Upgrade DVD (for upgrading to Windows Vista which I never used), or on an Acer's 'Drivers" CD disc that I burned a couple of years ago.  Does a "diskette" in this sense include either a CD/DVD or possibly a USB Flash Drive?  If not, I suppose I've got a 30 mile round trip to fetch my USB Floppy A:\ drive ...

Any clues how I can identify SATA drivers and whether anything other than a 3.5" floppy diskette will work?

Thanks,

Jeff

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willcompCommented:
Have you even looked inside your PC to see whether there are any SATA connections on motherboard?
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Yes, my 160 GB C:\, D:\ drive is a SATA Drive and I have an extra SATA connection on the cable to use with the Seagate TB drive.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
I see from he Windows Upgrade Advisor report that it lists:

Intel(R) 82801GB/GR/GH (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage Controller - 27C0
Intel Compatible This device is compatible with Windows 7.

I've got the box apart on that PC now (to install the Seagate TB drive) ... but if I put it back together, and check Device Manager for this boot drive, will that tell me the name and/or location of the SATA driver?  IF so, do I still need to get that to a floppy diskette medium or will CD, DVD or USB work?

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
In a nutshell, here's the easy way for a dual boot system:

Leave 160GB disk with XP connected

Remove 40GB disk

Connect 1TB disk (you need signal and power cables)

Install Win7 on 1TB disk. Create whatever size partition you wish for Win7 -- at least 100GB on a disk that size. You can add partitions later using Disk Manager once Win7 is installed.

Once Win7 is installed, you should have a dual boot system

Note: since 160GB disk is boot disk, Win7 boot loader will be installed on that disk and it must remain installed to boot Win7.

There is no need for SATA drivers with Win7 and an ICH7 controller. Drivers are included in Win7.

That's it for now.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Hi Dalton - thanks for the latest advice - that helps clear up some of the mystery for me.  However, if I "Leave 160GB disk with XP connected" ... then aren't I continuing to live with my existing (& seeminlgly intractable) problems in my XP installation and/or any disk "irregularities" that DBAN might cure?  If that's so, and the only way for me to finally fix that is to scrub the 160 GB drive and re-do my Win XP install, I think I 'd rather do that ... but I don't know how to solve the SATA issue ... for an XP initial install.  If there's a way to identify which are the SATA drivers so I can copy them to a 3.5" floppy, then I think I'm good to go ...

Jeff
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Oh for God's sake...64 posts...just do it!

Sacrifice goat. Big magnet. Stick 7 DVD in DVD drive. Boot. Follow instructions.

If not satisfied, buy new box with 7 installed.

Now gimme my points.
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willcompCommented:
@zorvek -- thanks!!

As best I recall, F6 drivers are not needed when installing XP on an ICH7 SATA controller. It has nothing to do with drive and everything to do with controller. You will need XP SP1 or later for hard disks larger than 120GB though.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Geez, Dalton - you're THANKING him?  Pleaeeeeese don't encourage him.  Here I am trying to do the right thing and he just wants to see me crash and burn ... then he'll sit back and go, "Tsk, tsk, Jeff ... why didn't you do so-n-so?"

Here are links and text of 2 articles on the subject.  If you're telling me that I've got onboard SATA drivers and don't need to worry about it, Dalton, that's good news but I'm just nervous about it ... I can't find any information about this on my machine ... and I've looked a lot of places.

This is why I am concerned about SATA and XP:

http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org/how_do_i_install_windows_xp_on_a.htm 

"How Do I Install Windows XP On A SATA Hard Drive

Serial ATA (SATA) drives are the latest in the hard drive fashion and, in theory, installing Windows on the drive should prove relatively simple. The problem is that Windows XP doesnt contain the necessary drivers to allow windows to see the drive so that Windows can install it.

To load Windows XP onto a SATA drive you need to proceed as follows:

1/ Copy the SATA drivers (these can usually be found on your pc or motherboard's support disk.  Usually these consist of PIDE/SATA Folders and TXTsetup.oem files. Alternatively they may have been supplied on a separate CD that accompanied your SATA drive, assuming you purchased it separately from the pc.)

______________________________________________________________
NOTE:
I have an Acer Upgrade disk (to Windows Vista) which I've never used but I searched it and found
I did not have any PIDE/SATA Folders or files, and the only TXTsetup.oem files I found were in these folders:

E:\Common Drivers\ATI VGA driver for Desktop\Packages\Drivers\SBDrv\SB6xx\RAID\LH
E:\Common Drivers\ATI VGA driver for Desktop\Packages\Drivers\SBDrv\SB6xx\RAID\LH64A

In similarly searching a disk I burned of Acer Drivers years ago, I found only this file with the characters "PIDE" in it:

Intel® Processor Identification Utility - Windows Version [PIDXX13.MSI] - pidenu13.msi

and none of the referenced SATA/PIDE or TXTsetup.oem files

I'm guessing that none of the files I found are the SATA drivers he mentioned.
_____________________________________________________________

2/ Insert the Windows XP CD (full retail version  you should not need to follow these instructions if your pc came with a recovery disk) into the CD-ROM and Reboot your PC

3/ Watch carefully as the Windows XP installation progresses and look carefully at the text at the bottom of each screen.

4/ At the Windows Setup Screen (this should be the second screen after installation starts) you should see, at the bottom of the screen) a message saying Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver.

5/ At this point press the F6 button

6/ When the next screen appears press S to specify an additional device

7/ Now insert the floppy disk containing the SATA drivers into your floppy drive

8/ Windows will next ask you to select a driver from the provided list

9/ Select VIA Serial (or whichever controller your motherboard supports) ATA RAID Controller (Windows XP)

10/ The SATA drivers on your floppy disk should now load

11/ After the drivers have loaded Windows XP will recognise your SATA hard drive and you can continue installing the Windows XP operating system"

... and this:

SATA Driving You Crazy? (An unrelated comment on SATA)
http://www.acronis.com/resource/tips-tricks/2004/sata.html

"Why can't get my Windows system to recognize my new SATA drive?

Serial ATA (SATA) is a new, fast, low-cost disk drive standard, but Windows doesn't come with device drivers for Serial ATA drives. Without the proper drivers installed, your system can't recognize a SATA drive. This is made worse by the fact that Windows expects you to install the new drivers from a floppy rather than a CD like the rest of the Windows installation procedure. This is problematic on some systems that don't include floppy disk drives.

The first step is to get the right drivers. SATA drivers generally come with your SATA drive or on the driver CD that came with your motherboard. However, SATA is so new that the drivers are evolving rapidly.

Your best bet is to check the manufacturer's web site and download the latest versions of the drivers. These will usually be in a zip file. Create a folder for them and unzip them to the folder. Then load them onto a floppy disk. If your computer doesn't have a floppy disk drive, copy them to a writeable CD.
If this is a brand new drive for your system and you will be installing a fresh copy of Windows XP, you'll want to follow these steps.

During the initial portion of the Windows Set-Up, there will be a point where a message flashes on the screen telling to you press F6 if you have new devices to install. The message scrolls past quickly, so be alert for it. Pressing F6 will give you the opportunity to install your new drivers.
When you do this, be sure to disable any IDE disks on your system so that Windows will boot from the SATA drive.

There are a couple of things to watch out for in installing a SATA drive. Some motherboards have more than one SATA controller and you need to make sure you configure the drivers to the correct one."
_____________________________________________________________________

There's more horror stories about SATA and people wanting to reinstall XP having to create slipstreamed XP SP2 discs ... etc. elsewhere ...  

Any way, sorry to make this an even longer post, Dalton, but I figure about half of them were probably that Excel guy just razzing me one way or another ... and I want to make sure you understand my situation before I proceed.  Thanks!

Jeff

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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Don't know if this is relevant or not, but I've attached a screen shot of my 160 GB Hitachi drivers details as shown on Device Manager.

Jeff
Hitachi-hdd-Drivers.gif
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Jeff, man up and flat line. How much is your time worth? You could have just bought a new box for the sunk cost on this grand adventure. My spreadsheet told me so.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Get back to work on those spreadsheets, Kevin or I'm going to be forced to report you for trolling in uncertified zones, generally raising hell, heckling OP's and causing undue fear, pain and frustration.  

Is it so bad that I'm trying to cover my bases here so I don't end up looking at an unrecognized drive ... because I might not have the right drivers?  Especially when I'm dealing with Acer & its pitiful support?

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
I may have installed XP on a few dozen PCs with ICH7 controllers and F6 drivers were not needed. No more advice from me -- I'm tired of answering and re-answering questions.
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Oh oh...
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton,

Please don't take my questions as anything but an abundance of caution. You last told me:

"As best I recall, F6 drivers are not needed when installing XP on an ICH7 SATA controller"

... which suggested to me that there COULD be some circumstances where this might not hold. I searched around Acer's site (who manufactured both the AcerPower FH PC and it's motherboard - nothing on SATA drivers or ICH7.  Ditto for the Hitachi (manufacturer of the 160 GB Hard Drive).

So, when I come across advice from another MVP source that seemingly applies to my situation and possibly is contradictory to your "recollection" here, I think it's only prudent for me to run it by you.  I'm not busting your chops, trying to make this more difficult or any such thing.  I'm following your advice as best I can but wanting to make sure you understand my environment.  Your telling me now: "I may have installed XP on a few dozen PCs with ICH7 controllers and F6 drivers were not needed" is welcome information, but it's also new information ... previously, it was expressed as a "recollection" that I couldn't find any other information anywhere to confirm it.  

Hope I haven't run you off by trying to do the right thing here ... I do try to be a participative, communicative and conscientious OP in the EE forums (and do my part to try and build a useful KnowledgeBase).  I think Kevin will vouch for my credentials in this regard).

Jeff
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
And that I do!
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willcompCommented:
OK. Just wipe hard disk and start XP install. If it doesn't recognize hard disk, then you need F6 drivers which are readily available from Intel web site. There's no need for continuing questions. My recollection is usually pretty good :-)
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Well, since my last post, I had already started the process by removing my 160 GB drive, replacing same with the new Seagate TB internal drive, booted up to ensure the CD/DVD drive was 1st in boot sequence and SATA controller was enabled. Then following my Seagate manual (I figured I'd come back and DBAN the 160 GB Hitachi drive when I was done with the XP install (disconnecting the TB drive while I did this).  During the install process, I was presented with the F6 option, but did not elect it (cuz I thought the drivers might be onboard with the SATA controller).  But after a couple of minutes in Windows Setup, I am getting this error:

"File \i386\vgaoem.fon could not be loaded.
The error code is 14

Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit."

Obviously, I've take a wrong turn.  I'm off to the Intel site to see if I can find the F6 drivers.

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
Go ahead but F6 drivers, if needed,  are required to even start XP install. You keep changing and striking out on your own -- so have fun.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton, I don't know what I am doing to get on your bad side here:

> You keep changing and striking out on your own -- so have fun.

I don't know what I am changing here ... I had already started down this path at the time your then last comment here was: " No more advice from me -- I'm tired of answering and re-answering questions."  And the only thing I've done different from your last post is I'm starting from the blank Seagate drive to install XP ... instead of wiping the 160 GB drive with DBAN and starting from that.  If there's a difference, I don't see what it is.  Still, this isn't a change from the direction I expressed in my 12/20/2009 9 PM post where I said:

"And now I'm trying to adapt Ted's advice above to my situation.  Here's his advice on the subject, followed by my comments:"
...

Ted: 'Another option (since the TB drive should be faster than your 160...likely has a larger cache) is to take the TB drive and make two or three partitions.  Clone the XP partition to the beginning of your TB.  Resize it to however big you think it will need to be.  Create a second partition to house Win7 (optionally with a 3rd partition if you wanted a data / media partition).' "

My following 11 step proposal in that same post laid out that this was the direction I was trying to go ... where have I changed anything since then?  

All that said (and I hope with this additional explanation, you're still on board because I do need and am trying to follow your advice, this is where I am now:

Following your last advice: " You will need XP SP1 or later for hard disks larger than 120GB though":

Ok, so I went to the Intel site, searched on "946GZ SATA driver" (which is my Intel Chipset) and got no hits on that or on search for "SATA drivers" that matched my version of Windows.  Searching on "download F6 drivers" brought me to this page:

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-021736.htm

... which is titled:
 
"Intel® Matrix Storage Manager
How to load the driver during OS installation using F6 when in AHCI/RAID mode"
 
This page led me to download a "32- bit Floppy Configuration Utility" (which I'm assuming is the correct SATA drivers for me) and I downloaded those files to my USB flash drive which it said was acceptable (the files included were these: IAAHCI.INF, IAAHCI.CAT, IASTOR.INF, IASTOR.CAT, IASTOR.SYS, and TXTSETUP.OEM).  

I inserted the USB Flash Drive, then restarted my XP install. When it got to the F6 Prompt, I pressed it and the installation proceeded quite a bit further along than the first time.  It got to the point where I had to key "S" for the Mass Storage drivers which I did ... and now the Setup is hung on this error message:

"Setup could not find a floppy drive on your machine to load OEM drivers from floppy disk.

   * Press ESC to cancel loading OEM drivers
   * Press 3 to quit setup"

This is where I am stuck now, Dalton.  If I've gotten off the prescribed road in some way, please let me know and I'll back track ... but one of the reasons I wanted to do a clean install of XP (& hopefully on the new drive) was because of ongoing issues with my current XP installation.  

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
All you needed to do way back when was say that you wanted to use a 1TB drive and install both XP and Win7 in a dual boot configuration instead of writing pages that were hard to follow.

You do not need the F6 drivers -- please reread my last post. If XP setup "sees" the hard disk, they are not needed. You will get a hard disk not found error and setup will not continue. For XP (and W2K) F6 drivers must be installed from a floppy disk or slipstreamed into the XP setup CD. You cannot use a flash drive.

Problem could be a faulty XP CD, faulty CD drive, bad memory, or bad sectors on hard disk. Most commonly, it is bad or incompatible memory. Memtest 86+ is on the UBCD I referenced much earlier. Boot from UBCD and run Memtest 86+ for at least 2 full passes (it'll take a while).

Was hard disk partitioned and formatted or did error occur when setup was loading files into memory to begin installation process.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Ok I've tried both:

1) NOT taking the F6 option on install & ended up with:

"During the install process, I was presented with the F6 option, but did not elect it (cuz I thought the drivers might be onboard with the SATA controller).  But after a couple of minutes in Windows Setup, I am getting this error:

"File \i386\vgaoem.fon could not be loaded.
The error code is 14

Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit."

... and

2) taking the F6 option and using Intel's  "32- bit Floppy Configuration Utility" which at this Intel page says:

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-021736.htm

"If you do not have a floppy drive on your system, you can use a USB floppy drive or create a slipstream version of the operating system."

... I then copied to my USB Flash Drive what I thought were the needed SATA driver files from this Intel page:

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&ProdId=2101&DwnldID=17883&lang=eng

... re-started the boot process ... and as above ended with this error:

 It got to the point where I had to key "S" for the Mass Storage drivers which I did ... and now the Setup is hung on this error message:

"Setup could not find a floppy drive on your machine to load OEM drivers from floppy disk.

   * Press ESC to cancel loading OEM drivers
   * Press 3 to quit setup"
_________________________________________________________________

So, I've tried that both ways, I think.  

> Was hard disk partitioned and formatted or did error occur when setup was loading files into memory to begin installation process?

I did not partition the TB drive before hand and haven't been presented an option to do so thus far. Both errors occurred while setup was loading files into memory to begin installation process.

Hope this is clear, Dalton.

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
Floppy drive does not mean flash drive. A USB floppy drive will work on some systems.

To reiterate -- you do not need F6 drivers.

Now test the memory. Error apparently occurred while loading video driver into memory.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton, just giving you an update here:

I am currently running Memtest86+ (v 1.70) ... it is, after 62 minutes onwhat I guess is the 1st pass,  "Pass  72%" with No "errs" showing yet.  I'll report when the 2nd pass is done.  I don't know what your availability will be from here to "completion" but if I can keep this install running, I'll stick with it until completion or exhaustion overcomes me first ... I hope that's not too optimistic ... I'd really like to be done with this before Christmas (and trust me, just as much as I expect you want me to be, too ... ;--).

Jeff
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
How's that?
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willcompCommented:
Assuming Memtest completes 2 passes with no errors --

What memory is installed? Sizes and brands. Is memory dual channel?

What PC do you have? Manufacturer and model or motherboard manufacturer and model if custom system.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
> zorvek:How's that?

Umm, how's WHAT?

> Willcomp:

> What memory is installed? Sizes and brands. Is memory dual channel?

- 2 GB of of DDR2 533/667 MHz SDRAM.  

I don't have present access to the PC we're discussing as it' still doing the Memtest86+ ... but maybe the above helps?

> What PC do you have? Manufacturer and model or motherboard manufacturer and model if custom system.

Acer PowerFH desktop with an Intel® 946GZ Chipset Family |bDriver Version: 6.14.10.4624 (dated 6/26/06) ... there was a later Driver Version: 6.14.10.4785 (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 15.12.75.4.64.1930 for Win7" which I presume I will need for Windows 7" but I haven't installed that yet ...

HTH,

Jeff

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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton, I don't kow if I've answered your question:

" Is memory dual channel?"

If I haven't please advise how I can tell ..

Thanks,

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton,

Sorry if I'm out of sequence here in answering your questions:

re: "What PC do you have? Manufacturer and model or motherboard manufacturer and model if custom system."


 an Acer PowerFH desktop with an Intel® 946GZ Chipset Family | Driver Version: 6.14.10.4624 (dated 6/26/06) ... there was a later Driver Version: 6.14.10.4785 (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 15.12.75.4.64.1930 for Win7" which I presume I will need for Windows 7." ... but I haven't installed this yet.

Both the PC manufacturer and MB manufacturer are Acer.

Jeff
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Oh jeez, you are in a place! I changed your comment to an admin comment. Get with it man!
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Thank you, Kevin for making that an "admin comment" (whatever that means ... I just figured if you are using it, then I should, too ... got to be some benefit, right? ... ;--)

And, YES, I AM "in a place"!!

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
memtest86+ is currently showing:

66% Pass
95% Test

... 151 minutes and counting ...
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Ok, I'm looking a little closer at the memtest86+ output and I see there is a "Pass" column that indicates I am on Pass # 5, with no "Errors" or "Errs" indicated (I guess I was expecting a new row to appear for each pass ... but that's not the way it works). Unless, there's something else I should do here, it looks like the Memtest+ is not showing any problems ...

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
About memory -- it's either 533 or 667. How may sticks are installed (e.g. 2 x 1GB)? After Memtest finishes, remove memory and give us data from label(s). One will do if all are identical.

Win7 will have a driver for Intel GMA3000 video and you can search for updates after Win7 is installed. Use the Win7 driver update utility rather than downloading from Acer.

946GZ chipsets support dual channel memory.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton:

> How may sticks are installed (e.g. 2 x 1GB)?

Yes,  2 x 1GB memory sticks

> After Memtest finishes, remove memory and give us data from label(s). One will do if all are identical.

I'm currently on Memtest+ Pass # 7 with no Errors detected ... how long should I wait or how will I know when it "finishes"?

> Win7 will have a driver for Intel GMA3000 video and you can search for updates after Win7 is installed.

I'm still waiting on the XP to install ... so I'm not sure how to take this comment about the Win7 install ...

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
""Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver 15.12.75.4.64.1930 for Win7" which I presume I will need for Windows 7." ... but I haven't installed this yet." -- that's what generated comment.

Memtest will run forever. Tell it to quit.
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Ugh...97 posts...make that 98.

Dell's sale is still on, dude. Christmas present!
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton:

> After Memtest finishes, remove memory and give us data from label(s)

Both 1 GB sticks have the same label:

1GB DDR2 667MHZ

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Just checking in ... I think I've done what I've been supposed to do ... but if you're still waiting on some feedback from me that I haven't provided... please let me know.

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton,

I know and appreciate that you are likely a busy guy and this "question", maybe topic is a better word, may be one of a dozen you are juggling in your spare time, so don't think I don't appreciate your efforts here.  Anyway, just in case I wasn't clear (or took too many posts to say it), I'm like dead in the water here.

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
I know that, but we need to know why. Memtest 86+ is the best memory diagnostic available but memory can pass the test and still cause problems with XP setup. We'll assume memory is OK for now and try some other things.

Did you create a UBCD? Who is manufacturer of your 1TB hard disk? Are any other hard disks installed at this time -- should not be?

Just to be certain -- XP setup never got to a graphical interface and was still in "DOS" or text mode when error occurred.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Yes I have created the UBCD. Seagate is the TB drive manufacturer (3.5" Barracuda model). No other hard drives now present, though I did have the USB Flash Drive "mounted" when the system booted.

> Just to be certain -- XP setup never got to a graphical interface and was still in "DOS" or text mode when error occurred

Exactly.

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
OK. Try to install XP again without flash drive inserted. Check XP CD for scratches or marks. If you have more than one optical drive, try the other drive.

Do you have another XP CD?
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
FYI: I will be on the move for a bit later in the day.  Likely from ~ 1:30 PM to at least 3:30-4:00 PM that I won't have internet access. If this topic is still open then, I'll log back in as soon as I'm able.

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
Left Coast time?
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
No EST (Tampa FL).
0
 
jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
> OK. Try to install XP again without flash drive inserted. Check XP CD for scratches or marks.

Will do.

> If you have more than one optical drive, try the other drive.

Only the one

> Do you have another XP CD?

There might be one around but I might not be able to access it until around 1:30 or so.  If I can find and use that, would I be able to use my Product ID code just to keep the licensing issues straight?

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
"If I can find and use that, would I be able to use my Product ID code just to keep the licensing issues straight?" -- Yes, if it's an OEM CD. If setup accepts your product key, you have the right type of XP CD.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Now I can't even get the box to power on!! Tried re-seating both memory sticks.  No luck.

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
By OEM CD, I mean a generic OEM CD and not one from Dell or HP. Another Acer CD would probably work OK.
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willcompCommented:
Any signs of life --- LEDs lit, fans spinning, beeps?
0
 
willcompCommented:
Also, what kind of issues were you having with XP that led you to undertake this project?
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
> Any signs of life --- LEDs lit, fans spinning, beeps?

Nothing at all.

> Also, what kind of issues were you having with XP that led you to undertake this project?

1) Windows Update kept on trying to install a critical update and every time I booted it would start a dialog window with a countdown timer until the system would automatically reboot to install the update. If I remember correctly, sometimes this counter would automtically launch itself, though it never got to the point in the default 10 minute timer where it actually did a forced reboot because I clicked to kill it.

2) Outlook had issues (besides too frequent crashes) that would not retain something as simple as I wanted always to Show Full Menu's

3) As an Excel developer (Kevin will likely take me to task for awarding myself such a lofty title ;--), I often (so I'm told) get into "the dusty knooks and crannies of Excel" and experience quite a few crashes along the way ... Don't know if that's the price I pay for the territories I move in ... or if it's an OS bugaboo.

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
Remove the memory and see if it powers on.

Do you have another power supply to swap power supplies?
0
 
jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
> Remove the memory and see if it powers on.

I'll try that

Do you have another power supply to swap power supplies?

No
0
 
jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
> Remove the memory and see if it powers on

No, it didn't
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Well, I put the memory back in again, rebooted and this time it's running ... more later.

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Is the XP install supposed to give me the opportunity to partition the TB drive?  I know Win7 is supposed to do that, but I'm installing XP 1st to maintain install order ...

Presently Setup is loading files (Generic USB Generic Parent Driver) if that's any clue to where I am in the install.

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
I've also had no licensing check thus far ... even though this is an XP Upgrade disc ...
0
 
jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Don't know if this is normal or not ... but Setup will display in the status bar ... for minutes at a time something like "...loading files (Human Interface Parscer)" before it finally goes on to the next one ... I see it installing things like Toshiba devices or drivers or whatever even though this is not a Toshiba machine ... and nothing in it comes from Toshiba (that I know of).  Just reporting any kind of anomaly I'm seeing ...
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
There is just a blue DOS looking window on the screen - at the top it reads "Windows Setup" nothing on the screen except for the status bar updating occasionally with whatever device/adapter it is currently installing ... seems strange ... I don't remember XP installing like this ... but then it's been a long time, too.

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Just now got to a "Windows XP Professional Setup" screen ... allowing me to select Enter to set up Windows XP now ... fingers crossed.

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Got thru licensing check with Win 2K full disk, going to partitioning now ...
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willcompCommented:
"Is the XP install supposed to give me the opportunity to partition the TB drive?" -- yes later on after setup files are loaded into memory. Just create a partition for XP, say 100GB or less, and leave rest of disk unpartitioned.

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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Set up 3 partitions (C:\ 72,000 MB, E:\ 420,000  MB and F:\ for the rest.  Started (and I guess completed) formattiing.  Now have an error: "Setup cannot copy the file: driver.cab"

Have tried using a Dell "Reinstallation CD MS Windows XP Professional including Service Pack 2" disk (though this is not a Dell PC).  Tried cleaning both discs with AutotMax disc cleaner and both discs gave me the same error.  Quit Setup and tried again after a cold boot.  Getting a series of errors like:

 "NTLDR is missing"

"File \i386\ntkrnlmp.exe could not be loaded"

... then with a different (Dell XP, I think) disc, another similar error but naming another file in the \i386\ folder could not be loaded ...

Don't know what is going on.  Tried booting from the Seagate Utilities CD and got the  "NTLDR is missing" message again (like I did earlier with the Windows Install disc).

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
" Tried booting from the Seagate Utilities CD and got the  "NTLDR is missing" message again (like I did earlier with the Windows Install disc)." -- change boot order in BIOS, you are trying to boot from hard disk rather than CD. There may also be a key to select boot drive when BIOS is loading -- usually F10, F11, or F12.
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TedInAKCommented:
Jeff...something I didn't notice posted (and don't feel like re-reading this novella :-)), but what service pack version of XP are you trying to install?  You might consider slipstreaming SP3 into a legit copy of XP and burning it (legal to do as long as your copy/product key is).  If you need help, I saw a program that should automate the process (need to ask a new Q though...this thread is freaking long!).
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Ok - I finally gave up on the XP piece ... was costing me too much lost time for too little demonstrated benefit.  Proceeded with Windows 7 Install. Which went without a hitch.  Not a single error.  Not a single driver that 7 didn't find.  What a relief that was after the XP fiasco.  Anyway, I will come back and close this question out when I can do justice to it but for the time being, all is looking good though I've got a ways to go to put Jack back together again.  Thanks to all who contributed, especially Dalton who saw it through to the end.

Jeff
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
:-)
0
 
willcompCommented:
I've done far fewer Vista and Win7 installs than XP ones but all Vista and Win7 installs have gone without incident. Can't say the same for XP. Counting RC installs (release candidate was very close to final), Win7 installs are now up to 5 and they were easy. My PC with Win7 has a mirrored array on an nVidia controller and no drivers were necessary. It even recognized an inexpensive Brother network laser printer and then downloaded and installed 64 bit driver. Very impressive so far.

Glad I was able to help a bit even if some of it included grumbling along the way.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton:

> Glad I was able to help a bit even if some of it included grumbling along the way.

First of all, I would be grumpy as hell if I had to deal with this kind of stuff all the time (so no worries).

Second, it was just in the paper this week under the byline of "50 Things we know now that we didn't know this time last year" that:

"Grumpy people think more clearly because negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking."  (Source: http://behavioralhealthcentral.com/index.php/20091112130885/Latest-News/good-news-for-grumpies-new-research-indicates-miserable-people-may-be-better-at-processing-information-tahlequah-daily-press-okla.html )

So, the way I see it, that's got to buy you a lot of forgiveness. ;~)

Lastly, you did provide a lot of help and guidance that is appreciated.  

Ted and Vic: You guys helped, too - my thanks go out to you, too.

You might be interested in knowing that after I got through the Windows 7 install, I later found out I couldn't get the PC to boot (again).  After much hair pulling, I finally took it to the repair shop where I found out I had several leaking capacitors on my motherboard, requiring replacement of same.

I've got one related follow-on question I'll post separately ... if anyone has time to address.

Thanks again,

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Ok, guess I wasn't cognizant of how the "Author's Comments" on the solution appear on every assisted answer instead of as just the last comment - anyway, I'll post it again here for 'clarity' (in my mind anyway), followed by my last question:

Dalton:

> Glad I was able to help a bit even if some of it included grumbling along the way.

First of all, I would be grumpy as hell if I had to deal with this kind of stuff all the time (so no worries).

Second, it was just in the paper this week under the byline of "50 Things we know now that we didn't know this time last year" that:

"Grumpy people think more clearly because negative moods trigger more attentive, careful thinking." (Source: http://behavioralhealthcentral.com/index.php/20091112130885/Latest-News/good-news-for-grumpies-new-research-indicates-miserable-people-may-be-better-at-processing-information-tahlequah-daily-press-okla.html )

So, the way I see it, that's got to buy you a lot of forgiveness. ;~)

Lastly, you did provide a lot of help and guidance that is appreciated.

Ted and Vic: You guys helped, too - my thanks go out to you, too.

You might be interested in knowing that after I got through the Windows 7 install, I later found out I couldn't get the PC to boot (again). After much hair pulling, I finally took it to the repair shop where I found out I had several leaking capacitors on my motherboard, requiring replacement of same.

I've got one related follow-on question I'll post separately ... if anyone has time to address.

Thanks again,

Jeff
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Dalton,

I followed your advice about using the UBCD DBAN utility to wipe a hard drive on a laptop I am re-building (different machine) but when I get to the part of the Windows XP install it says that Windows Setup can't find a hard drive (sorry, I don't have the machine with me at the moment to get the exact wording, but that's the essence of it).  Is there something separate I need to do to format the now wiped drive where Windows can see it?  And if so, what is it I need to do?  (Which program should I run and what drivers might I need to do so?).

Thanks ... and I won't have any more questions on this topic ... (Promise!)

Jeff
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
Oh gawd! I thought you were done!
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zorvek (Kevin Jones)ConsultantCommented:
You are done!

Now what do I do?
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willcompCommented:
"when I get to the part of the Windows XP install it says that Windows Setup can't find a hard drive" -- read back though this opus carefully and you'll find some pearls of wisdom which address that very occurrence. You will need either F6 drivers or change BIOS settings to place SATA controller in IDE or OS Install mode (preferable provided BIOS supports those modes). You can change back to SATA mode once OS and drivers are installed unless AHCI mode is locked into SATA mode. If you need more info -- time for a new question. We work for points here.
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jeffreywsmithAuthor Commented:
Kevin:

> Now what do I do?

Go to this post:  "12/16/09 02:31 PM, ID: 24984299" and start reading here.  Proceed very carefully and sequentially through every post since then, including any attachments. When you are done with that, let me know if you have any more questions.

Dalton:

I wasn't even thinking of the F6 drivers here as I was thinking it was related to the state that DBAN left me in.  But I do take your point:  " We work for points here ".  I'll see if I can suss that issue out from the guidance you've provided here. In the meantime, I've got another issue I may have created for myself if anyone has time to look at it:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_25014550.html#a26159989

Title:
"Windows 7 AppData folder structure - Need to know how this is supposed to be set-up"

Thanks again for all the hard work done here.

Jeff
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willcompCommented:
I'm not that big on points anymore -- have more than enough and usually just answer a few questions per month. But it's only fair to give others a shot when a separate issue arises and original question has been answered or beat to death as in this case.

Only reason I responded to begin with was an assistance request. I'll proceed with more caution on those for a while :-)
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