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Want To Rebuild My Win7 Boot Camp System From Scratch!

Posted on 2016-08-06
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Last Modified: 2016-08-10
My Win7 64 system and Mac Pro are eight years old (3,1 early 2008). Mac upgrades includes 14 gigs ram, HD 5770 video card, 2560x1440 monitor, USB 3.

Win7 has gotten an Upgrade Install maybe 3 times to clean up system files.

But time for a full refresh in which I will trash a lot of stuff I no longer use.

Have 100 plus Apps and thousands of files, folders.

Want to know the best way to approach the rebuild. I have a number of hard drives including 2 HD caddies.

I will start with a fresh HD and want to move my data over to new system over a few days.

Can I put a New parallel Win7 system into Boot Camp (OS 10.11), basically creating a triple boot, and access my Old HD and files from the new system... and once the new system is ready to go dump the old one?

Thanks...
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Question by:mtnhome
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41745785
I do not even believe in dual boot and I certainly would not triple boot. I use virtualization instead.

Back up the data from your Windows 7 system to an external drive. Then rebuild Windows 7 from the Windows 7 DVD.  Make certain the DVD is SP1 or download SP1 and install it straightaway.

Then use the April 2016 Rollup to complete most of the updates. Then install applications and restore your data.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-ca/kb/3125574
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 41745833
VMware or Parallels?
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41745836
Both work. I always prefer VMware (Fusion) but Parallels works as well. In my opinion VMware is more robust
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Expert Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 41746163
before moving to any of the two virtualisation solution, do a research and make sure your existing 100+ apps are compatible with the new VM platform especially if any of them belongs to CPU or graphics intensive application such as video games or CAD software.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41746168
True, and the old machine (8 years old) won't be the fastest.  But one of the values of workstation virtualization is that you can make a copy of the machine, test a concept and then if it does not work, delete the copy and start again. Nice sandbox approach.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 41746234
Appreciate the ideas gentlemen but I'm going to stay with Boot Camp. I ran a trial on VMware a few years back. Didn't like it. Always a hassle and slow! Using 2+ operating systems simultaneously (indeed more like 3 with the Virtual software itself) is not terribly compelling! I have enough issues with Win7 and  OS10 standalones!

Moreover, I spend 99% of my time in Win7 so I don't need the quick flip back and forth.  And if I later change my mind, I will always have a Fresh Boot Camp install to load into VM or Parallels!

Would appreciate getting some ideas on The Rebuild using Boot Camp!

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41746269
So then start again with the second boot partition and do a fresh install of Windows 7. That will work.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 41746286
From what I'm reading the 2nd boot partition does not look that simple!
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John Hurst earned 250 total points
ID: 41746290
I am not sure what to suggest for you.

1. Your machine is old (starting to near a decade old) and not fast.
2. Windows 7 is starting to drop. It has lost 25 points of market share in the last six months.
3. You spend 99% of your time outside of MAC.

Keep your MAC the way it is to have a MAC.

Get a new, small, lightweight Windows 10 Pro 64-bit laptop. If you need it, make a Windows 7 virtual machine. I have this myself.
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Assisted Solution

by:davidanders
davidanders earned 125 total points
ID: 41746309
Apple Win 7 Bootcamp installation
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205016

WinClone is the recommended BootCamp backup utility.
http://twocanoes.com/products/mac/winclone

Download El Capitan, install onto New blank drive, update OSX and apps in App Store.
Three partitions exist at this point.
El Capitan's Disk Utility has been simplified and is less robust.
Download BootCamp Win7 drivers
Run Boot Camp Assistant.

Backup OSX install with TimeMachine, SuperDuper, or CarbonCopyCloner.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 41747438
Actually, my 3,1 Mac Pro tower is not slow. Indeed, just bought my wife a new iMac 27 i5 3.2 16 gigs with 1G fusion and other than startup, I don't find my system to be too far behind... and with a fresh Win7 it should run even better.

On top of that the Mac Pro 08-12 is bullet proof, even after I made several hardware upgrades, 14G ram, USB 3, Video card and multi HDs! A 3G fusion drive would really kick it in the pants.

Anyway, I have never been able to adopt Mac because all my data files, 15 years plus, are all on NTSF Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc and I do not like the conversions by either apple or microsoft.  I am trying the new Office 365 on trial and it seems much better. May even give the new Paragon NTFS for Mac a shot.

If I ever decide to drop Mac hardware, which i doubt, I'd probably go with a Dell XPS tower.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 41747442
David...  thanks for the feedback. Noticing that my Boot Camp on the Mac is Version 6, on Win7 it's 3.1!! What gives?
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Assisted Solution

by:serialband
serialband earned 125 total points
ID: 41748250
Both Parallels and VMWare are much better than they used to be.  The reach about 90% of the speed of the boot camp.  VirtualBox is still a bit slower at 60%.  With virtualization as good as it is now, I don't multiboot any systems anymore.  It's time consuming to reboot just to get to another OS.


Just a suggestion:
If you're just using Windows and not OS X, it really doesn't make sense to use a Mac Pro just to run Windows.  You can get a better system now for less and save money long term.  Do you use your computer more than 8 hours a day?   A Mid end Windows laptop would pay for itself in electricity saved and likely outperform that old Mac Pro.  Just don't get the lowest end Windows hardware and you'll have years of reliable service from them too.  You can also configure a Windows system to be higher end than a Mac, but expect to pay more.  You can hook up your external Keyboard, mouse an Monitor to a laptop, just like a Mac Pro.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 41749112
Well... maybe I've give Parallels a shot if I can get a free Trial. As for Macs, I like their hardware and software, but transitioning from Windows is not appealing.  Maybe I will use the OS more if I can flip over in a second and or access files on the Win side with ease. I've been out of the PC market for 8 years. Last one was a Dell XPS tower which I bought in 2004.  Never had a hardware issue. Gave it away to a friend 2 months when my wife decided she wanted to go with iMac.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41749118
You probably can get a trial of Parallels. You can for certain get a trial of Fusion.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 41749383
For the record, installed Parallels. No better than I remembered it or VM from years ago. Slow and buggy! Trashed it within the hour!
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41750938
Thanks. I have not used Parallels so cannot comment. I have used VMware Workstation on Windows for 15 years.
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 41750962
Maybe it doesn't like my Boot Camp Win7 installation on a separate 2nd Internal HD!

My Mac Pro only came with a 320G HD so I bought a 2nd 1G 7200 and put Win7 on that!
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 41750969
The thing I really really like about Apple is their reliability and SUPPORT!

In the last 2 days I've talked with a Rep twice , each 10-15 minutes, about my 8 year old Mac Pro.

Seems that the only PC maker that holds a distant, very distant, candle to Apple regarding Support is Lenovo!!

The rest are almost useless.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 41750975
I have only ever used IBM / Lenovo and find getting support from them as easy as Apple (I have iPhones).
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Author Comment

by:mtnhome
ID: 41751005
Good to hear. I had read where Apple was rated a 9 and Lenovo was 7-8. The rest not even close. I give Apple a 10... could not reasonably ask for better support.

Have looked at the Lenovo Y900. Appears pretty impressive for the long-run... a lot  like a Mac Pro!
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