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  1. #1
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    I currently have a Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop running on 32-bit Vista Home Premium, plus two Dell XPS 435MT desktops each running on 64-bit (note that is different from the laptop) Vista Home Premium. I am seriously considering buying a copy of Windows 7 Upgrade with a three-user license, with intention of upgrading all three of the above machines, but would like to get some unbiased advice and/or suggestions before I take the plunge.

    To begin with, is it possible to obtain a single upgrade copy in the first place with a 3 user license that can upgrade a 32-bit laptop AND two 64-bit desktops, or will it be necessary to get an individual upgrade for each machine? Also, at present I'm currently having issues with one of the 64-bit desktops which Dell is working on resolving. They are still working with me on it, so may yet resolve the issues, but in the back of my mind I am considering upgrading at least the one with the issues in the hopes of replacing issues in Vista Home Premium with a hopefully properly-functioning copy of Windows 7 "just in case" Dell cannot fix what is becoming a very stubborn issue (see my "REMOVING Microsoft Net Framework?" discussion under Microsoft Vista elsewhere in this forum).

    As a general note, I've been looking at upgrading to Windows 7 anyway, but my current issue with one of the desktops has got me considering doing it sooner than intended. In view of Microsoft's much-publicized problems and general issues over the last few years, I would ideally have preferred "watching" Windows 7 awhile longer to see what issues and problems develope with it so that is also a factor in my thinking as well. I PRESUME that if I were to upgrade, I should get a copy of Windows 7 HOME PREMIUM to replace the Vista HOME PREMIUM, but is this true? I've read some things that recommend sticking to the same "subcategory" (such as Home Premium) because to change increases the liklihood of problems in the upgrading process. This seems logical to me, but I am no expert on this subject so if you have any thoughts there I would appreciate hearing them.

    And finally, after reading in this very forum about so many problems I am very nervous about upgrading in the first place. . . .except that I can also find a lot of horror stories about Vista as well. Only my one desktop has any current issues, so if I do this that desktop (Dell XPS 435MT) running on 64-bit Vista will likely be my initial upgrade.

    I thank you in advance for any suggestions and/or advice you can share, and look forward to hearing from you. I've not bought Windows 7 yet, but would like to do so in the very near future in case it is needed to correct the current issue mentioned above in one desktop.


    David E. Cann

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    The last I knew, MS had a 3 license package deal. Their disks come with both 32 bit and 64 bit copies. However you cannot install both a 32 bit and 64 bit with 1 key. With the 3 key package you can install any combination of 32 bit and 64 bit totalling 3 installs. In your case you would install 1 32 bit and 2 64 bit. I would STRONGLY suggest a clean install for all. Do not do an in place update. It appears that many of the problems people are having are with in place upgrades or older hardware not supported by Win 7. Several links that may be helpful:

    http://www.microsoft...de-advisor.aspx MS Upgrade advisor

    In searching, it appears the Win 7 Family pack for $150 was while supplies lasted. I can not find it for that price at this time.

    To Clean install simply insert the DVD then restart. Choose to boot from the DVD. Choose custom and install in the same partition as your present OS.

    The clean install will, when completed, will have a folder called windows.old which contains your old OS. You can actually open this folder and drag what ever you need to your new OS. Once you have everything you want, I would suggest deleting this folder since it consumes huge amounts of space.

    Perhaps some more searching would find the family pack special still available.

    I did not mention previously, but the Win 7 disks you get from most sources will be the generic Win 7, not the manufacturer branded Win 7. This means that all the junk the manufacturer throes into their Win 7, most of which you will probably never use, will not be there. You may loose some funtionallity of extra Av mode buttons that may be present on you PC's. You would have to get this specialized software from the PC manufacturer.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    The last I knew, MS had a 3 license package deal. Their disks come with both 32 bit and 64 bit copies. However you cannot install both a 32 bit and 64 bit with 1 key. With the 3 key package you can install any combination of 32 bit and 64 bit totalling 3 installs. In your case you would install 1 32 bit and 2 64 bit. I would STRONGLY suggest a clean install for all. Do not do an in place update. It appears that many of the problems people are having are with in place upgrades or older hardware not supported by Win 7. Several links that may be helpful:

    http://www.microsoft...de-advisor.aspx MS Upgrade advisor

    In searching, it appears the Win 7 Family pack for $150 was while supplies lasted. I can not find it for that price at this time.

    To Clean install simply insert the DVD then restart. Choose to boot from the DVD. Choose custom and install in the same partition as your present OS.

    The clean install will, when completed, will have a folder called windows.old which contains your old OS. You can actually open this folder and drag what ever you need to your new OS. Once you have everything you want, I would suggest deleting this folder since it consumes huge amounts of space.

    Perhaps some more searching would find the family pack special still available.

    I did not mention previously, but the Win 7 disks you get from most sources will be the generic Win 7, not the manufacturer branded Win 7. This means that all the junk the manufacturer throes into their Win 7, most of which you will probably never use, will not be there. You may loose some funtionallity of extra Av mode buttons that may be present on you PC's. You would have to get this specialized software from the PC manufacturer.

    Ted, a quick clarification if I may. You do not specifically say one way or another, but can I do a "clean install" such as you describe using an UPGRADE package such as a Family Pack or must a FULL VERSION be bought in order to do that? Also, I have a suggestion from a friend suggesting I not get an upgrade at all, and to get a full version, but he cannot offer any information on his reasons for saying that. Is anything gained by doing this?

    As for the sale price for Family Pack Upgrades, I have seen a few (VERY few) still available in the $150 to $175 price range (mostly on eBay), but you are right about them getting pretty scarce. For this reason though, I'll likely order it online SOMEWHERE pretty soon while they are still available at a reasonable cost. One way or another, I need to do something pretty soon, if nothing else than in order to have it available if needed to resolve the current issue I referred to in one of the desktops if that becomes a viable option.

    One more thing, conflicts with older software shouldn't be much of a problem because my desktops are less than a year old and I already went through most of that when I installed (or tried to) my software back into my first 64-bit computer, with a couple of things having been left out. As for compatibility with Windows 7, I cannot say, but I do not see that as a major problem. . . . hopefully. :-(

    David E. Cann

  4. #4
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    I have a Dell Inspiron 1521, which is very similar to the 1520, along with a desktop so I bought the three license family pack and I can assure you it contains two disks - one for a 64 bit upgrade and one for 32 bit upgrades. There is only a single license number and your system automatically goes online shortly after the upgrade to register the license. I have upgraded both my desktop and my laptop. Both registered automatically without problems.

    I elected to upgrade the desktop first, a Acer M5620 with a Core 2 Quad 6600 processor, and I elected to upgrade to 32 bits and did an upgrade in place. The upgrade went without a hitch and only one problem showed up after the upgrade. It was significant. I was unable to exercise any admin functions that required Admin. capabilities, like add accounts etc., even though I was signed on to the Admin account and everything appeared normal otherwise. A call to the free Microsoft support found the problem quickly even though I was the first to report iy. It turns out a file that is part of Norton 360 was the problem. It was called (I think) NortonUAC and was a portion of the suite that worked with the Vista UAC. Anyway, the solution was as simple as deleting the file. I would be very surprised if you had any hardware incompatibilities coming from Vista and you must be coming from Vista in order to be eligible for an in-place upgrade.

    As I said, I upgraded a 32 bit Vista to 32 bit Win 7, although I now wish I had gone to 64 bit. While that would have required a clean install, the Photoshop PS4 that I recently purchased would benefit from 64 bit. I may still be able to upgrade to 64 bit but I am unsure if it will consume another license or not.

    The Dell 1521 went equally smoothly and I already knew the solution to the Admin. problem.

    In both cases, I made complete system disk clones to my NAS drives using Acronis along with a bootable CD so I would have been able to do a complete restore had I run unto problems.


    I still have one license and am considering buying a netbook that still has XP on it so I can upgrade it to the full Win 7.

    In terms of reliability, I have found it to be nearly as stable as Vista which was rock solid from day one. I now believe the occasional crash on Win 7 have been due to a faulty SD chip that I have been using as Readyboost. At least, I have had zero problems since removing it.

    In terms of speed, both my systems were bought with Vista on them so I can only compare Win 7 to Vista. Win 7 is very noticeably faster at shutdown and startup, particularly starting from Hibernate. Other than that, they are so close that a human cannot detect any difference but I understand benchmarks give Win 7 an edge.

    As was pointed out, any manufacturer supplied software will disappear. Most will not be missed but the recovery partitions, common on production systems, will become useless, although it doesn't disappear.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by decann View Post
    Ted, a quick clarification if I may. You do not specifically say one way or another, but can I do a "clean install" such as you describe using an UPGRADE package such as a Family Pack or must a FULL VERSION be bought in order to do that? Also, I have a suggestion from a friend suggesting I not get an upgrade at all, and to get a full version, but he cannot offer any information on his reasons for saying that. Is anything gained by doing this?

    Let me put it this way, I have installed Win7 on 5 PCs, all going from Vista and/or Win 7 RC. In each case I used the upgrade version, NOT the full install version. Here are a couple of sites worth looking at:
    http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/
    http://www.howtogeek.com/tag/windows-7/
    http://www.winvistaclub.com/Ultimate...s_Tweaker.html

    The first is Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Win 7. Paul is probably quoted more than anyone in these forums.
    The second is a dynamite list of tweaks, customizatios, tricks, etc to help you speed up your windows and customize it the way you want.
    The third is a link to Ultimate Windows Tweaker. Check it out.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Another trick to speed boot time is as follows:

    Choose Run and type msconfig. Choose the Boot tab. Check No GUI boot and change the timeout to something more manageable like 3 sec.
    Next choose advanced options. Number of processors can be set to the best option, Duo Core as 2, Quad core as 4. Check OK, then OK again. You will be surprised at the decrease in boot speed.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  7. #7
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    The only requirement for the "upgrade" version of Win 7 is that your PC is currently running a valid copy of Windows. Whether you perform a "clean" install or an "upgrade" install is up to you. I have upgraded 5 PCs (3 laptops, 2 desktops) to various versions (32/64 bit, Professional, Enterprise, Home Premium) of Win 7. In each case I did a clean install on a new hard drive (well there was the Enterprise install on a laptop where I first wiped Vista) and those PCs are now dual boot (or multi-boot - my primary desktop boots into XP, Vista, 7 and Ubuntu). I very heartily recommend the buy-a-new-disk-and-install-there approach.

    As Ted pointed out, the 3-computer upgrade for $150 was a limited time offer and is no longer available (my Dad looked for it a few weeks agaoi)

    And whether you upgrade to 32 or 64 bit does not matter. In other words, if you could still find the 3-computer upgrade you can mix and match 32/64 bit.

  8. #8
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    All earlier versions of Windows are eligible for the "Upgrade" version (and price). It is my understanding anyway that all copies are identical and that whether you do an in-place upgrade or a clean install is determined by the version you are coming from. The only in-place upgrade possible is from Vista to Win 7 and then only 32 bit to 32 bit or 64 bit to 64 bit. All other upgrades must be from a genuine copy of Windows and must be a clean install. The only time you need buy a full version is when installing on a system such as a home build.

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