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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Which is best upgrade option from Windows Vista ?

    I have an E 6750 with 2 Samsung 465GBdrives and an Asus 5PK Premium. Vista 64 bit Home Premium isinstalled on C. D has 90GB XP Pro partition as backup. It also has 3 Linux partitions that add up to 72GB (I wanted only 1 partition but it didn't go as planned). The boot manager of Linux is pulling thestrings.

    I have now a Windows 7 64-bit licence and I think these 2 options :
    1. Upgrade Vista to 7
    2. Install 7 on the 300GB unpartitioned space of drive D
    Advantages of 1 : - If all goes well, I can just keep using my computer as before.
    Disadvantages : - Problems are to be expected. Win 7 may inherit all the garbage from Vista (errors due to crashes, obsolete programs, program remains, ...). At worst, not even Linux and Windows XP will work anymore.
    - If I want to install Windows 7 on another computer (e.g. after buying a new one), I probably won't be able to revert this one back to Vista. Basically, my Vista licence becomes worthless. Or may I use Win 7 on both computers ?
    - I'll have to spend time making backups. I could install Vista on the unpartitioned space of drive D to make more space and salvage Vista.

    Advantages of 2 : - The only way Windows is likely to mess this up is by incorrectly installing the boot manager.
    - I keep Windows Vista.
    Disadvantages : - I'll have to spend time installing programs and services (like e-mail, printer, ...)
    - I'll lose space as much will be present on both OS installs.
    - The unpartitioned space of drive D is probably a slower area than where Vista is now installed on C.

    Do you folks have any advice to give on what I would best do ?

  2. #2
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    If your Vista installation is having problems you should NOT upgrade it without resolving all the problems first. Otherwise, you'll just be bringing problems to Windows 7.

    I've had good results in upgrading a couple of Vista systems that were in good shape to begin with. In general though a clean install brings the best results. You can look at the time spent installing programs as a way to review what you really want and only install those. Once you have Windows 7 the way you want it you can migrate your data from the Vista installation, back up both the Vista & Windows 7 installations, and then get rid of Vista.

    Joe

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
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    Boot Manager

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoranemix View Post
    Advantages of 2 : - The only way Windows is likely to mess this up is by incorrectly installing the boot manager.
    - I keep Windows Vista.
    If you run into this problem check out http://download.cnet.com/EasyBCD/300...-10556865.html

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Also, look into using Windows Easy Transfer to ease the transfer of data and program settings to Windows 7.
    Note that you may run into permission issues reading files on the Vista partition when running Windows 7.

    Jerry

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for the tips. I decided to install Windows on the free space of D.
    Installing Windows XP on this computer went without significant problems. Installing Windows Vista and Ubuntu Linux were chores. I hoped Windows 7 would be better than average, but I was being too optimistic.

    The 305GB partition was formatted by Linux and Windows 7 can't do anything with it. So I asked Vista for help. All it could do with it was delete it. In the process it also deleted one of the 8GB logical partitions of Linux, creating an area of 314GB marked as 'free space' and surrounded by a green box. Whether that area is a partition I don't know. Windows Vista refuses to do anything else with it, allegedly because there isn't enough free space.

    Back to the Windows 7 installer. The free space there is identified as 'Disk 1 Unallocated Space' of 314GB and Type 'Extended'. Pressing next to proceed with the installation on that area gives the error message
    “Windows could not create a partition on disk 1. The error ocurred while preparing the partition selected for installation. Error code: 0x8004240F.”
    Formatting that 'parition' is not an option (because that's greyed out)
    Trying 'New' gives a window for creating a partition which gives as max size the free space (314GB) + 8GB (the size of the Linux logical partitions) totalling about 321GB (Vista also proposed that as max and default size). Continuing gives the error message
    “Failed to create a new partition on the selected unused space.[Error: 0x8004240f].”

    It looks like both Vista and Windows 7 have a problem with that free space and honouring the tradition of keeping users in the dark, won't identify the problem. A net search for the error code shows that this was a known Vista problem back in 2007. Why hasn't Microsoft fixed that for Windows 7 ?

    I unplugged the C drive to see whether that would help, but Windows 7 still wouldn't install on the free space.

    How should I proceed ?

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Did you try to format that partition as NTFS from Vista prior to attempting the install of Win 7? I have found that installing Win 7 (at least 7 installs on various configurations) was the easiest of all the various Windows version so far.

    You might be having problems with all the various partitions. I know several people that swear by installing different OS's on different HD's while all others are disconnected (from PS). This way when you want to use a particular OS, you connect that HD. Want to switch to a different OS, connect a different HD. I do not go that far, but I suspect your problem is caused by the many different partitions on at least 2 different HD's and attempting to install yet another OS.

    Personally if it were my system, I would install Win 7 directly into the Vista partition using the Custom (Clean) install method. I would also probably delete the Linux partitions, combine then together and if you still need Linux, redo it so the installation is correct. There are several learned persons in these forums that actually advocate to have each OS on it's own HD and simply have the HD with the OS you want to use plugged in and all the others unplugged from the PS. This way you don't have to worry about the various boot loaders, etc.
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  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Surrounded by a green box is the key here.

    That indicates what you are looking at is an extended partition which can only contain logical partitions and most operating systems can only be installed in a primary partition. You will need to delete the extended partition to allow Windows 7 to use the free space.

    Have a look here for more info on disk partitions.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    I could not format the 305GB in Vista because that option was greyed out (just like in the Windows 7 installer). After deleting the partition (which apparently transformed it into an extended partition and made it absorb one of the 8GB Linux partitions), formatting wasn't even an option anymore.

    Using only one hard drive at the time looks cumbersome and wasteful and it defeats a purpose of having 2 drives : using one as a backup for data on the other. So I would need for my 4 OS's 4 internal drives + 1 external one for backups. I could ditch Windows XP, but so far that has been the best OS I have seen(excluding MacOS). I could ditch Linux because I dislike it. If I ditch Windows XP and Linux, I could probably try to proceed by buying an external hard drive, backing everything up on it, wiping drive D and installing Windows 7 on it; but given the troublesome area on drive D, would that solve anything ?

    Upgrading Vista to 7 would require the purchase an external hard drive, unless I can somehow back up on the305GB area of drive D, but how if I can't format it ? In addition,according to JoeP517, Windows 7 would inherit some of the problems of Windows Vista.

    The wikipedia article Browni pointed to says that a computer can have at most 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition. However, according to the Vista disk manager I had 6 primary partitions and 1 extended partition. I have 5 primaries now since I removed the USB stick. The remaining primary partitions are c: on drive C, d: on drive D, a 56 GB Linux partition, an 8GB Linux partition and the Windows 7 DVD. The extended partition is the unusable area on drive D. Could these excess partitions be causing the problem ? Deleting the extended partition, how can I do that ?

    I tried checking for disk errors, but apparently most tools only accept to check named partitions (e.g. System Mechanics only wanted to check c: and d: ) and CHKDSK won't run (but I didn't try hard).
    Last edited by Amoranemix; 2012-02-09 at 06:44.

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    I got the idea to try formatting the area using my Windows XP Pro intallation, but it was no longer working. Maybe the Linux install damaged it, since I am not sure I tried it since that install. So I picked the pîrated copy Windows XP Pro CD to try and install it in the free area. It could format the area, but the installation failed due to it's inability to copy many files from the CD. In Vista, the area had become available as a new drive that the OS could use.

    So I tried to install Windows 7 again. It did and afterwards it had installed it's own boot manager and all 4 OS's now work. Windows 7 identifies the partition on which it is installed as a logical drive.

    A pirated Windows XP could do what Vista and Windows 7 could'nt. How is that possible ?

    Moral of the story : Don't throw away your Windows XP CD. Later OSs might need it's assistance.

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