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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Hi,

    Just putting this out here to see if there are any drawbacks to a plan I have.

    I've got a Dell Studio 17 Laptop - plenty of RAM for running Windows 7. It's currently still more or less in it's original Dell shipped configuration with Windows Vista Home Premium.

    I build my own desktops and can't stand laptop sludge ware and the fact that you don't get OS discs - you get the dumb restore partition instead. What I'd like to do is this:

    1. Burn a backup DVD of the restore partition to keep if I ever want to sell the laptop.
    2. Back up my documents (obviously).
    3. Partition the hard drive my way - perhaps just one big partition (250 GB) or other partitions of my choice - thus dumping the restore partition.
    4. Install my clean store bought copy of Windows 7 Professional, along with my other software.

    Any foreseeable problems? Windows 7 should have all the drivers I would need. I have my own AV and other protection programs to install. I could always continue to download Dell specific updates from Dell.

    Thanks for any input.

    John

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  3. #2
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFD View Post
    1. Burn a backup DVD of the restore partition to keep if I ever want to sell the laptop.
    2. Back up my documents (obviously).
    3. Partition the hard drive my way - perhaps just one big partition (250 GB) or other partitions of my choice - thus dumping the restore partition.
    4. Install my clean store bought copy of Windows 7 Professional, along with my other software.

    Any foreseeable problems?
    1. Burning a backup DVD of the recovery partition will do no good. Once you install a new OS, the functionality of the recovery partition is lost (lots of information about this on the Dell forums). If you want to be able to recover the machine to its present state, you would be best to use an imaging program such as Shadow Protect or Acronis True Image.
    2, 3 and 4 sound fine. I would suggest using the Windows Upgrade Advisor to ensure that everything (hardware & software) is compatible with Windows 7. I would also suggest using Windows Easy Transfer if you wish to migrate all of your files and settings to the new installation of Windows 7. Windows Easy Transfer for migrating from XP to W7 is found here, and Windows Easy Transfer for migrating from Vista to W7 is found here.

    After you install Windows 7, make sure that you install the chipset drivers for your machine. BTW, if you didn't receive the original OS disks from Dell, you can order them at no charge.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  4. #3
    New Lounger
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    Hello,
    I did a simlar process with my HP Business Vista Business Laptop.

    The only variation was I bought an new larger SATA laptop drive from NCIX and used Acronis True Image to clone the existing drive to the new one I had hooked up to a SATA USB addaptor.

    After cloning the exisiting hard drive I shut down the laptop and swaped hard drives.
    The ond one went into my strongbox for save storage.

    I booted the laptop to Vista and used drive mangement to resize C and create 2 new partitons.
    I then went to HP's web pages and downloaded all the drivers and put them on the second partition called DATA

    I then did a reboot with the Windows 7 DVD in place and performed a Clean Install
    and choosing Custom Install to install Windows 7 to my 3td partition called Win7

    Even though Windows 7 renames the Windows partiton to C it still displays the name.

    Mike the mod

  5. #4
    New Lounger
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    There is no reason you couldn't sell the laptop with Windows 7. You can legally install Windows 7 on three machines. If you have the original restore disks that came with the laptop you can always use those to restore the Dell to out of box.

  6. #5
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tina Susner View Post
    You can legally install Windows 7 on three machines.
    Unfortunately Tina, you are incorrect. Unless you have purchased the Windows 7 Upgrade Family Pack, you can install Windows on ONE machine only.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  7. #6
    New Lounger
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    Why not simply avoid problems by putting the existing hard drive on the shelf and installing a new drive to load Windows 7 on? That's what I did with an old Compaq v2000- it's now running Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit, of course, since the CPU won't do the 64-bit dance). The clean install keeps from carrying old clutter over to the new OS, and you can use an Upgrade disk by double-installing the OS, just as most of us did with Vista.

    By swapping hard drives back and forth you can use the Transfer Wizard to migrate your programs and data via DVD or flashdrive, and the original disk is always there when you get ready to sell the machine.

    Just my 2 cents worth, YMMV.

  8. #7
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Carrigan View Post
    Why not simply avoid problems by putting the existing hard drive on the shelf and installing a new drive to load Windows 7 on? That's what I did with an old Compaq v2000- it's now running Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit, of course, since the CPU won't do the 64-bit dance). The clean install keeps from carrying old clutter over to the new OS, and you can use an Upgrade disk by double-installing the OS, just as most of us did with Vista.
    Exactly what I do when moving up to another/newer O/S. It allows a quick backtrack if something doesn't work out, like network drivers, and your stuck out in neverland. SATA's are so inexpensive, that you can eventually turn the old one into a spare USB drive for Backup purposes when you have your system up and running.
    Keystone Province, Canada!

  9. #8
    New Lounger
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    I think there are some excellent ideas already posted here but I have one suggestion before you pull the old drive/software out and that would be to run the Upgrade advisor under the current OS so that you get a clear idea of what hardware/software you may have to do some special searching for to get the system cleanly running (with everything recognized) in the new configuration.

    I speak from sad experience, even with a good image/backup if you don't examine the upgrade advisor for Windows 7 you may find some little hangup to getting everything functioning under Windows 7. In my case it was an ASUS notebook with Vista Business installed and while I did run the upgrade advisor first, I casually overlooked two critical items that on first examination didn't look like major hangups but turned into quite the nightmare and ultimately the complete reinstallation of the old Vista back into the machine. They were the Trusted Platform Manager drivers and software and the (now the name escapes me) Intel accelerator module (1GB of RAM that is used by Windows Vista to speed up the system) which apparently is STILL not supported by Intel's drivers nor is ASUS going to pressure Intel to write drivers for Windows 7. So the module causes the system to slow down until Windows 7 determines that it can't install or run the correct drivers EVERY TIME windows boots.

    The system will run fine after the error messages but it's annoying to have to deal with the delays and so on.

    So do first be sure that the Upgrade advisor (which will be available to run by just putting your Windows 7 disc in and running the advisor) and really pay attention to any issues that it brings up!

    Eric

  10. #9
    New Lounger
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    Post

    I did almost exactly what you are describing on my toshiba. I simply used the easy transfer,loaded the files on an external drive, clean installed windows 7 after wiping drive with drive scrubber 3,and after installing all appropriate programs into win7, i simply used easy transfer to reload my files. win7 had all required drivers, and some drivers were newer than my vista drivers. Others were the same, so I searched for updated drivers manually. The process went smooth as silk all the way through with absolutely no problems from start to finish.
    okleadfoot

  11. #10
    Lounger
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    I believe Windows 7 would install fine, I have done this with XP and Vista Ultimate, and updated the drivers from Dell as needed. Create an image prior of course, just in case.

    What I read from your post is that you want to be able to sell the system in the future with the original operating system, hence the saving of the recovery partition. Saving the existing disk image or the disk will not help with this as your personal information is on the disk now and you would want to do a disk scrub and fresh reinstall of the current OS before selling. Laptops differ, some have ways to create an ISO from the recovery media and burn a copy of the install disc. Dell will probably sell you an install disc pretty cheap, maybe even just for shipping if you take it high enough. There might be a download on the DEll website. it is sometimes painful to call Dell, but that might be a good idea.

    The important thing is to scrub the hard disk very well (I do 7 times) before selling the system. I would sell it without any OS rather than leave any iota of my usage on the disk. Also, the disk scrub applies to any disk elimination, throwing away those old 20gb or selling a 200gb. Unless, of course, the disk breaks, whereupon you get to have some real fun and take the disk apart and hammer and or chop up the platter(s) before you trash it.

  12. #11
    New Lounger
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    I have developed a New Laptop Setup Procedure that I use.

    It is posted to my blog at

    http://dnyankosh.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!7691FE170122BB16!123.entry

    This procedure can be used with Vista or Windows 7 laptops.

    I have found that this helps keep the laptop running efficiently for a longtime.

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