Performing a clean Windows install

Posted on 2014-12-31
Medium Priority
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?
Question by:pjfromny
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • +2

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.
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.

Author Comment

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?

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)
Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!


Author Comment

ID: 40526267
Thank you.
LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Experienced Member
Experienced Member 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.

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.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

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.
LVL 92

Accepted Solution

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
LVL 47

Expert Comment

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.

Author Comment

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

Featured Post

Want to be a Web Developer? Get Certified Today!

Enroll in the Certified Web Development Professional course package to learn HTML, Javascript, and PHP. Build a solid foundation to work toward your dream job!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Possible fixes for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 updating problem. Solutions mentioned are from Microsoft themselves. I started a case with them from our Microsoft Silver Partner option to open a case and get direct support from Microsoft. If s…
When you try to share a printer , you may receive one of the following error messages. Error message when you use the Add Printer Wizard to share a printer: Windows could not share your printer. Operation could not be completed (Error 0x000006…
In this video, we discuss why the need for additional vertical screen space has become more important in recent years, namely, due to the transition in the marketplace of 4x3 computer screens to 16x9 and 16x10 screens (so-called widescreen format). …
This Micro Tutorial will give you a basic overview of Windows DVD Burner through its features and interface. This will be demonstrated using Windows 7 operating system.
Suggested Courses

762 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question