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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I am trying to upgrade a desktop machine (Intel Quad core 2.40 G|Hz - nothing special) from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Premium via the Family Pack DVD. I happened to buy a laptop recently with Win7 on it and thought it a good idea to upgrade the other 3 computers in the house - this is why I am a litle late hitting what may be a common problem.
    With all the past advice in Windows Secrets and my own experience over the last 20+ years I followed the clean start and reformat the hard drive approach. I had even installed the Win7 RC last year to play with and that was no problem, installed fine but since removed. I have now wasted 3 days on this process and need to call for the advice of the gifted.
    My procedure has been:
    reformat the system hard drive, boot from the Win7 DVD (I've tried both the 32 bit and the 64 bit versions);
    everything apparently installs albeit slowly but on the final reboot as it would start up in the Win7 screen, one gets a blue screen full of error messages that lasts for maybe one second (counts down to 100) and then reboots. I've tried various tricks to try and record the information on the screen but it does not freeze the process long enough to read. It seems to be writing to a dmp file but this file cannot be easily retrieved as the computer is stuck in a continuous reboot cycle until I wipe it and start the next variation.
    During the frustration I reinstalled Win7 RC just to see if it would and it did! Obviously it cannot be activated becaudse the time has elapsed but it did prove to work just fine.
    I'm not used to being unable to solve this sort of problem and, like many of yourselves, am more used to solving other peoples computer hiccups. However on this ocassion I request advice or a miracle - preferably a miracle!
    Regards,
    Ralph

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    The first thing I would want to do is boot with the Windows 7 DVD and get to a command prompt and run a "repair" via the recovery console,
    then run a thorough checkdisk with the r switch enabled.

    Are there any complicating factors involved here, like a dual boot environment or mutiple partitions?
    Has the BIOS been updated?
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  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thank you for coming back Clint.

    No dual booting here but there are 2 other partitions on this particular drive, one is the standard Rescue Disk (1.47 GB), the other is a hidden 50 GB partition created during the installation of Acronis True Image 2010. Neither of these affected the installation and running of Win7 RC. Now you've raised it I will probably eliminate the other partitions the next time I play.

    BIOS - this machine is about 2 years old and I cannot remember if I have updated the BIOS on this particular one. I will look at the possibility.

    During one of the different approaches taken I'm sure I tried the "repair" path but I recall it would not play. I can try this again but I am currently back to running this computer under Vista to relieve the frustration.

    Obviously time to get in and get dirty again, ho hum. I'll report back.

    Ralph

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    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    Hi Ralph, welcome to the lounge.
    I am unsure of what a 'Family Pack DVD' is. If the files are for an 'upgrade' and you have a good image made with Acronis, restore your PC using it.
    Now you should be able to re install W7 successfully, boot from dvd, select clean install, format C: only, without removing other partitions, enter the key code when asked, make coffee and wait with fingers .
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    The Windows 7 Family Pack is indeed an Upgrade pack for three upgrade installations. The C:\ partition should not be formatted prior to booting from the install DVD. Choosing the Custom Install will provide you with essentially a clean install, while placing your Vista installation in a folder named Windows.old. After booting to the DVD and selecting Custom Install, point it to the C:\partition where Vista is installed and let Windows 7 handle the formatting of the drive. The Windows 7 Family Pack Upgrade wants to see an earlier version of Windows in order to install as designed.

    Hopefully you do have a means to restore your Vista install so you can follow the upgrade procedure. If you do not have a viable backup of your Vista installation, then check out this MS TechNet forum post.

    For instructions on doing the actual Windows 7 install without having to first reinstall Vista, check out Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows article here.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Ralph, Welcome to the Lounge.

    To expand upon what Gerald stated, the windows.old folder includes everything in the Vista OS. You can open this folder as any other folder and drag or copy stuff to the new OS. I was able to grab favorites, links, contacts, all data, pics, music, etc. This makes re-establishing this stuff much easier. After you have everything you want, and Win 7 is operating properly, it would be advisable to delete this folder as it is quite large.

    The method Paul Thurrott has listed in the article Gerald mentioned has been available in the last couple of versions of Windows. It is a method Microsoft put in their OS.

    Once you have Win 7 up and running I would get rid of the rescue partition as it rescues back to the original OS. Since this partition generally resides in front of the OS partition you will have to use a 3rd party partitioning app to recover the unallocated space after deleting the partition. My partitioning scheme is to use approx 75 GB for the OS and apps, and the remainder of the HD as a Data partition. Again any good 3rd partition partitioning app will be able to handle these partitioning needs very easily. If you feel more comfortable, do the partitioning prior to installing Win 7.

    It does indeed sound as though your problems stem from the formating of the HD prior to installing Win 7. Either do the Custom install directly over the Vista partition or follow Paul Thurrott's methos. Either should work.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    You're obviously a good bunch of guys across The Pond there and I thank you for the responses.

    Right now I am running a full chkdsk c:/r on the problem computer but it is a slow process. No problems flagged up so far. Because I am 'upgrading' from Vista Ultimate to Win7 Home Premium via the Family Pack it will not do an upgrade (would have to be Win7 Ultimate) so one has to follow the Custom Install, Advanced Options, format path.

    On this occasion I decided to eliminate the other partitions on the drive to clean it up as I really do want to get Win7 on this machine.

    Thanks to Gerald for the link to Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows article but fortunately I am familiar with the technique and was following the general advice. I am not having a problem with Activation as yet because the crash happens before Win7 has finished installing. This time around I managed to get a brief glimpse of the Blue Screen Of Faults and it seems to be complaining mostly about drivers.

    Check disk is still only at 60% on stage 5 simply verifying the free space with no faults flagged up so far. I'll let it finish but I don't think it will add anything new.

    Next stage is to strip the machine down, unplug everything and retry with as bare bones as possible in case the drivers of any of the peripheries are the root cause.

    I'll keep trying and listening,

    Ralph

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Also check with the computer's manufacturer to see if any additional drivers are required upon loading if upgrading from Vista to Windows 7. I doubt it though.
    Seriously consider that BIOS update flash if available. Most manufacturer's will have a revision update spec sheet that will list the BIOS changes and potential bug fixes, if any.

    Let the checkdisk run until completion.

    Yes, that's a good idea; unplug or remove all unnecessary peripherals when performing a clean install.

    Have you run the Windows 7 upgrade advisor while still in Vista? It may prove useful in pinning down potential problems.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
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  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    Some of your good selves are proffering more advice before I respond - that's differing time zones for you!

    Ran the full chkdsk and everything was clear. I've stripped down the computer and am trying again with a bare bones monitor, wired keyboard, wired mouse and Ethernet connection.
    This machine is set up with a 500GB drive for data and another 500GB drive for Windows and system files so partitions should not be an issue. I also use a NAS for holding backups and drive images of each of the computers on my little home network. So, OK, I can get back to base with no problem but it still isn't solving the installation of Win7 problem just yet.

    I have been trying to photograph the faults just before it crashes but it is just too quick. One starts to wonder if some of these DVDs are faulty. Can one gets one's money back ?

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    Gave up on Win7

    Just an update in response to all the good advice. I think that every variation has now been tried, including the totally clean approach. Even managed to glimpse the faults listed as it crashed and they turned out to be the usual useless comments with no specific code faults listed.

    I have temporarily given up on Win7 and reinstated Vista as we are shortly due to move house into a thatched cottage in rural Devon. This particular machine was purchased while living in Spain built by the local guy so it's a 'no namer' and there are no obvious bios upgrades available.

    I will just mention that I hit a problem while reinstating the system from the Acronis True Image 2010 backups in that during the process it found some corrupted files and would not complete. I eventually had to do it the hard way but this time I ran a full verification at each stage in hope it is good for the next panic.

    Ho hum, will try again after the move.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    This particular machine was purchased while living in Spain built by the local guy so it's a 'no namer' and there are no obvious bios upgrades available.
    Once you've got the Vista os set up you can research you motherboard's make and model by using SIW. It should then be a simple matter of tracking
    down the manufacturer's website to get updated driver support, including BIOS updates.
    I would still use the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor in this instance as well. (even though you are not doing an upgrade installation)
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-01-27 at 12:22.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birder56 View Post
    I am trying to upgrade a desktop machine (Intel Quad core 2.40 G|Hz - nothing special) from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Premium via the Family Pack DVD.
    You can't downgrade; you can only upgrade. In order to upgrade your Vista Ultimate, you need Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade. Windows 7 Home Premium will not upgrade Vista Ultimate.

    Your only option with the Windows 7 Home Premium family pack is to upgrade Vista Home Premium (or lesser) installations.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    To add to what bbearren mentions. You can move from Vista Ultimate to Win 7 HP, but only using the Custom install and install directly over the Vista partition. To upgrade you would need the same version as he mentions.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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