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Performing a clean Windows install

Posted on 2014-12-31
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Last Modified: 2015-01-05
I am preparing to install Windows 7 64bit onto a laptop which has had Windows 7 32bit.  I am prepared to make a backup of my files, but what else should I do or be mindful of?  Should I reformat the hard drive?
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Question by:pjfromny
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Expert Comment

by:Tom Chadaravicius
ID: 40526254
1. After backing up, create more than just one (usually the "C" drive) partition, and install the operating system into one such smaller partition.
Benefits:
1.1. If a disaster hits (eg, a virus attack), you will be salvaging the operating system with data (most likely) intact;
1.2. Option to have multiple operating systems on one computer
1.3. The bigger the partition, the costlier is the data recovery

2. Back up the Master Boot Record (MBR) as well.
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Author Comment

by:pjfromny
ID: 40526259
Thank you.  My drive is 280GB; any recommendations on partition size?  Would that include a reformat?

I'm not sure I understand backing up the MBR; wouldn't it be different with a new OS?
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Expert Comment

by:Tom Chadaravicius
ID: 40526264
1. My Windows XP OS sits on a 12 GB partition. 20 GB is the recommended minimum for Windows 7
"Windows 7 Hardware Requirements" . This is for the operating system. Data partition can - and should - have more. You can even reuse the same data off different operating systems.
The total number of partitions per hard drive: one to four (compatibility).

2. MBR gets overwritten most of the time when a new operating system is installed. The MBR is small, about a kilobyte, and its backup should fit on most backup media.
MBR is where your "boot" takes place; it is whence the boot menu is shown (for multiple-OS computers)
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Author Comment

by:pjfromny
ID: 40526267
Thank you.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 800 total points
ID: 40526281
You have to do a fresh install - you have no option when moving to 64-bit from 32-bit.

If the computer manufacturer has recovery DVD's you can order, you are always best to use these (drivers will always be correct amongst other things).

If not, then yes, after you have backed up documents, format the hard drive. If the Windows 7 install gives you the option, delete all partitions first. Your drive is not very large so I would not further partition it. Just use the whole thing for Windows and your documents.
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Expert Comment

by:Tom Chadaravicius
ID: 40526284
1. Back up
2. Format your hard drive into desired partitions (if you wish, per my 22 year experience with Windows)
3. Windows 7 will give two install options. Select "Custom" to be able to select the target partition.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40526295
As soon as you backup the data boot the laptop from Windows installation DVD and follow the wizard. Select new installation then after you agree with license agreement get to partitioning step. There first delete all partitions. The press Create new partition and provide the size. For Windows 7 you are good with 70GB system partition. In Megabytes select 73000MB. Then press next. Windows will install.
When installation is done in Windows right click on My Computer - Manage - Disk Management.
Right after C drive you will see unallocted space. Right click on it - Create partition.
Select 100GB (104000MB) select Quick format. Drive is ready for usage. Repeat the operation with remaining unallocated space. Thats it.
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 1200 total points
ID: 40526406
Here is how i do it  - after backup:
insert DVD or usb stick for install
when i come to point 7 - drive options, i DELETE all existing partitions(except factory reset partion, and diag partition) then click next
all you then need to do is follow screens

here a well documented,  complete write up :  http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1649-clean-install-windows-7-a.html
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40531100
Interesting. I posted the same steps which nobus repeated and I did not get a single point. Last time I am thinking that the only thing expert needs to do in EE is just to repeat the same recommendations which someone gave. And you get easily your answers accepted.
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Author Comment

by:pjfromny
ID: 40531293
Sorry, I awarded points to the answers which seemed most clear to me.
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