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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    Question Windows 7 64-bit and older file systems

    I'm finally going to take the plunge and get Windows 7 to replace Windows XP Pro.
    I've run the adviser and I have pretty new hardware, so that shouldn't be a problem; my real concern is that I don't know if the 64-bit version, which I want to get, uses a different file system (NTFS, FAT32) than 32-bit Operating systems do.

    Paranoia footnote - I'm only worrying about this - I will be doing the install in a clean hard drive anyway - is because right now I have 6 separate physical hard drives in my PC and I want to make sure the older, irreplaceable data on them will not be affected by the new 64-bit OS.

    That has been my "backup" method for years - whenever Windows slows to a crawl and it's time to reinstall, I get a new hard drive, move all the others over a slot, and just install Windows on the new, blank drive. No backup needed (always an issue with me because I'm never sure I remembered to list everything I wanted to back up) and all my old data is still available on the older drives. (I know it's far from foolproof, but what can I say? I'm lazy.)
    Have a cookie -

    Don

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  3. #2
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    There are no file system differences from Windows 7 to the previous Microsoft OSes. Everything will work as usual.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to ruirib For This Useful Post:

    djmoore (2011-08-13)

  5. #3
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    Thank you!
    Have a cookie -

    Don

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    You're welcome .

    You don't need me to tell you this, but probably consolidating all those disks and backing them up would be a good strategy. Hardware eventually fails and only a good backup strategy can avoid the losses that result from such failures.

  7. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Win 7 64 Bit and Win 7 32 Bit both use the NTFS system. The biggest question is that your hardware is 64 Bit compatible.

    A much better option for back ups of your system is Imaging. This way you back up the entire HD including all customizations, installed apps as well as data. I also create a new Image whenever my OS changes. Backing up data separately, more often than the Images is a great idea as well
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  8. #6
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    Every time I add a new drive I remind myself that I need to consolidate all my data - and I never get around to it (of course). This time, however, I have no choice - my case only has room for 6 drives, so next go-round one of them has to go! Although that could be in a year or two - I need to do it sooner than that.
    I've been meaning to do regular backups ever since I got my first tape drive back in 1993 (250-mb Colorado). Then it was CDs, then DVDs, now external drives (as of now I refuse to even consider a cloud service - if the data leaves the house it leaves my control, as far as I'm concerned).
    Anyway, I've pulled the trigger, so to speak, and have bought a Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) upgrade. The hardware isn't an issue - the key components (mobo, CPU, RAM) are all less than a year old and pass the test; I ran the adviser anyway just to be absolutely certain. My only regret is the need to use (for various reasons) Office 2010 - I can't stand not being able to have my easily-configured button bars available in Excel and Word any more. I spend more time searching for the right function than I do actually creating my documents any more. Ease-of-use, my foot!

    But I digress - many thanks, as always, for the helpful information!!
    Have a cookie -

    Don

  9. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Five drives with nearly identicle content is an awfull waste of good hard drive realestate.
    Don't ya think?

  10. #8
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    Office 2010 is more easily customizable than Office 2007. You can add commands to the quick access toolbar. With the ribbon, you can add a new tab or a new group. Just experiment with what you can do.

    There are several other threads about customizing Office 2010 & tools to help with Office 2010. IIRC, they are mostly in the General Productivity forum. A search of the Lounge might help.

    Joe

  11. #9
    3 Star Lounger djmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Five drives with nearly identicle content is an awfull waste of good hard drive realestate.
    Don't ya think?
    The data's not identical. While the drives are all relatively new, I've been "copying it forward" since the 90's. In fact, a decent amount of the data goes back as far as Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. I do have all the original drives down in the basement, although they're almost all defunct now; almost all of them are IDE drives, too, so their usefulness has passed.
    But the drives actually in use do go back as far as 2006, which I just noticed as I quickly went through some online invoices out of curiosity. Time flies when you're doing hardware upgrades. I have 200gb, 250gb, 320gb(2), 500gb; Hmmmm. 5 drives in disk management and I could swear I have all 6 bays occupied. Either I misremembered from last time I had the case open, or one of those drives has bit the dust. Time to check, I suppose.

    I used to feel the need to have separate drives (or at least partitions) for different purposes - a drive for photos, a drive for music, a drive for general (older) data - I've been getting out of that frame of mind in recent years, though. Partition Magic soured me on the "magic" of all those partitions; and I felt I was making good use of the 2gb threshhold at another point as well. But those are road blocks that are no longer issues.

    At any rate, I'll be consolidating data onto a newer, larger drive very soon - realizing the age of these drives was a real eye-opener, and the older I get, the more I tend to worry.
    Have a cookie -

    Don

  12. #10
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    I would suggest you removeall your old drives from that case. Install 2 new drives. Put your OS on one and use the second only for making backups of the data on your OS (C) drive. Windows 7 has a built in backup program. You can configure it to do automatric backups of your data , and you can also use it to do an image backup.
    Label and store your old drives and get an external USB adapter to connect them to the pc when you want to pull data from them. You can get an adapter to connect a bare IDE or SATA ( 2.5 or 3.5") drive, including DVD writers, to your pc through USB.
    If you really want to , install 3 drives in your case.. Use your C drive for OS and programs , a second drive for automatic data backups and the third just for image backups of the C drive. You pc will use less power and run cooler on top of being used more efficiently, as well as always having the data backed up automatically . The USB adapter will allow you to read all your old drives, right back to the earliest IDE ones.

  13. #11
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    When I upgraded to Win 7, after years of the other Windows O.S.'s, I merely Installed a new SATA for the Win 7 O.S. and set my old IDE (with all of the old programs), as a slave. Create DeskTop icons pointing to the the programs on the old drive, and all of my old programs are accessible! I've found very few that won't work under 7.

  14. #12
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    micker, Welcome as a poster to the Lounge.

    Did you have to remove the OS from the new (old HD) slave drive and just leave the apps in place? I assume you had to create shortcuts pointing to the apps on the slave drive (I assume D Drive???) from the new C Drive with your new Win 7 installation???

    More info on how you accomplished this would be very helpful to those thinking of making such a move. I believe many people are holding off on Win 7 because they feel the task of reinstalling their apps is somewhat daunting.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  15. #13
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    By the way, data are completely agnostic about the file system on which they are stored. As long as the Active Windows Partition is correctly formatted (which is guaranteed in most installation operations), and as long as Windows 7 can recognize all of the older file systems (There are plug-ins and conversion utilities if Windows 7 needs a little "reminder" of the Old Days.) your data are as safe as the physical condition of the drives on which the data are stored. My concern is that if you have a bunch of older drives which have been run hard and heavy for a number of years, they may be nearing their expected times of failure. It is for this reason that I would copy (or clone) all the partitions (or drives) onto newer drives. Just for safety, you know.

    With 64-bit Windows 7 you can choose any hard drives of any capacity. In 32-bit Windows, I would stay away from external drives larger than (or in some cases equal to) 2 TB, as these may have hardware and formatting types which are not recognized natively in 32-bit Windows. Even with the WD translation overlay, the larger drives are unreliable when used with 32-bit Windows. But in 64-bit Windows, there will be no issues.

    I include the information about 32-bit Windows in case you are still running other computers which are 32-bit. These computers should not be used with external drives larger than (or equal to) 2 TB.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2011-08-22 at 15:12.
    -- Bob Primak --

  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    There are no file system differences from Windows 7 to the previous Microsoft OSes. Everything will work as usual.
    Well, almost no differences (unless you don't consider the system restore mechanism to be part of NTFS, which could be debatable). XP considers Vista/Win7 system restore points to constitute file system corruption and deletes them (I hope that Vista and Win7 are more tolerant of XP's restore-point structures). In general, operating upon newer versions of NTFS than a given Windows OS ever knew about can be a little risky, even though the NTFS developers did attempt to modify it in backward-compatible ways.

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    Variation on davefrombc's suggestions, and sort of what I do

    Two drives in the case. Small drive C: for the OS & Software (250G s/b plenty unless you're running a CICS emulator or something ). Big Drive, E:, for data (mine's 1.5TB) . I don't use Microsoft's My Documents, My Pictures conventions so I leave them as is (empty) in c:Users/<myusername>/ with no redirections.

    I have my own directory schema on the 1.5TB drive, "invented" on an LSI-11 running TSX-11, migrated to a uVax, then to a SparcStation and now to Win7 via XP

    I have a 3 slot drive dock with an eSata interface. In one slot there's a 2TB drive that backs up the 1.5TB D drive using GoodSynch, a 250GB that backs up the C: drive using Windows Backup. The 3rd slot is available for casual use.

    Drive docks are great, much better than separate external drives. Less trannies, less wires and sort of hot swappable (I always demount a drive before I pull it out of the dock). They also make it easier to keep the backup drives in a fire/waterproof safe or even off site.

    nearly forgot, there's a 3rd drive (F: 500GB) in the box for torrents, it doesn't get backed up. I copy anything I want to keep "forever" to the E: drive. Once a torrent has a ratio of 1.5 it becomes a candidate for scavenging for free space for new torrents.

    cheers
    Last edited by northwood2222; 2011-08-25 at 07:29.

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