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  1. #1
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    W7 Upgrade from Custom XP

    I am preparing to upgrade a 7-year old Gateway FX 530 factory-built with XP Media Center to W7 Home Premium with the retail upgrade disk.

    This system hasn't been used until recently and I've just updated it to XP SP-3.

    The primary hard drive has a recovery partition, the C partition and a D partition I created for data.

    I have 2 additional internal hard drives.

    I've run the MS Upgrade Advisor and it seems to be happy with most everything.

    Here's my big concern:
    I plan to do a clean install and have no idea what will happen to the "custom" pieces of the current OS like the Intel Chipset Installation Utility and the Intel Matrix Storage Manager.
    I've looked for updated drivers for the GPU and Network Adapters and found Gateway's posting of the Vista versions, which I hope will work.
    But how do I know if the system will even function without the correct custom pieces I've listed, and any others I'm too dumb to know about?

    Also, will a clean install preserve the Recovery Partition? It's the only place I can see to recover several "custom" factory-installed applications.
    If not, I think I can burn a recovery disk that will preserve them.

    This is a beautiful machine that I'd love to have W7 fully installed on, but I've never done an OS upgrade before and I'm a little puckered about it.

    Thanks,
    Ron

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    Well, first thing you should do if you haven't already used something is grab a free copy of Macrium Reflect or EaseUS ToDo and make an image of your system drive for safekeeping in case anything goes completely upside down.

    Sounds like this is a very late XP or early Vista era system? If so, I would bet W7 is carrying most of the chipset/matrix storage drivers it needs; the advisor would probably have been more "unhappy" if otherwise.

    I would disconnect the two additional drives in the system before starting the install, and as long as there is enough room on the C drive for the install, you will want to install to the C drive from the boot disc without any formatting changes, replacing XP with W7. That way it will put W7 on the same partition as XP and store XP in a folder called Windows.old so you can retrieve anything you might need later before deleting it.

    The thing with the recovery partition is that it will remain after the install of W7 (as will the data partition), but the key combination during startup to access and begin the process of recovery will be destroyed by the installation of W7. You will still be able to access the partition though and even initiate a recovery most likely if you use a third party partition boot disk and set that partition as the active one. It's always worked for me in any event if I ever want to sell a venerable old system with the original install on it.

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    I've used my ATI boot disc to image the C partition "as-built" and 2 additional checkpoints as I've cleaned it up and installed SP3.

    It's good to hear you say W7 would likely be carrying the Intel drivers I need. I assume then it would install them in the correct sequence during the install.

    I'm wondering why you suggest disconnecting the 2 additional drives before the install. Yes, C has enough room.

    If I was going to return the system to its original install I'd use the as-built image from Acronis.
    I'm mostly concerned about re-installing some specific factory-built apps that came with the system.
    Would I still need to mark the recovery partition active to do that?
    Perhaps I'd be smarter the burn a restore disk for that...
    I have burned a system backup disk as belt and suspenders if the world ends...

    My long-term plan would be to watch a miracle happen and have a fully updated, working, stable W7 system installed, then format the recovery partition.
    I use Acronis Disk Director in XP but don't think it works in W7.
    Perhaps the MS disk management utility in W7 will do that?
    I also pucker about messing with the C partition afterwards... size, placement, etc.

    You can tell I know some of the questions but few answers in this adventure.
    I really appreciate having some expert advice along the way.

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    The original Win7 release did NOT have the Intel Storage Matrix Manager in it. If your version the original Win7 or Win7 SP-1?

    Not sure if it was added to SP-1 or not. You should check at Intel for the correct version for your hardware. Also, make sure you get the version that corresponds to the bitness of Win7.

    Joe

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    Most likely your system will work with 7, with default Windows drivers. If no bad news were given by the upgrade advisor, you should be ok. Wait for Windows to finish installing and then check to see of anything is missing drivers and everything is working properly.

    A clean install does not mess with partitions, unless you choose to format the disk, which you don't have to. Windows will create a windows.old folder (I think it does it when upgrading even from XP) and all the old stuff will be there.

    Not sure about custom apps. They may or may not work in W7, but is that very relevant?

    W7 includes support for most partition management ops, but there is also something like the free Mini Tool Partition Wizard, which best W7 native features. You can dump the acronis stuff. I did that to mine.
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    You would only mark the recovery partition as active if you were trying to perform a full factory recovery. Have you installed apps from the recovery partition in the past? It's been my experience that that doesn't work, that those files are protected from such selective installation.

    W7 Disk management is more sophisticated than XP's in that you can shrink and expand partitions (always to and from the right (no messing with the partition boundary unless you delete partitions completely)) but if the recovery partition is the first partition on the disk, you'll need MiniTool Partition Wizard or EaseUS Partition Wizard free to move any partitions leftward after deleting the recovery partition so you can expand the C or D partition and absorb the free disk space.

    Disconnecting the other two drives temporarily is only suggested so you are presented with just the partitions on the system drive and it is impossible to make a mistake other than choosing the incorrect partition on the system drive to install to.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-07-12 at 12:27.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    The original Win7 release did NOT have the Intel Storage Matrix Manager in it. If your version the original Win7 or Win7 SP-1?

    Not sure if it was added to SP-1 or not. You should check at Intel for the correct version for your hardware. Also, make sure you get the version that corresponds to the bitness of Win7.

    Joe
    The Upgrade Disk part numbers are X15-60500-01 and X15-60501-01 which are 32 and 64 bit, respectively.
    When I look at the DigitalRiver iso download names for the SP1 versions they are X17-58896 and X17-58897
    So that makes me think I've got the pre-SP1 upgrade.

    I'd love to download the SP1 iso's but can't get any downloading success from the site:
    Windows 7 Home Premium 32Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58996.iso
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit: http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58997.iso

    My XP is 32-bit but I am planning to install the 64-bit version of W7 just to be able to upgrade my RAM beyond 4GB.

    I have downloaded what I think are the Vista updates for the Chipset Driver and the Matrix Storage Manager from the Gateway site.
    I'll try to find the W7 versions from the Intel site, I guess.
    My system doumentation (Read Me) for the Storage Manager seems to say I won't be able to access my HDs without the right one installed - (pucker?).

    Being a virgin here, I just got anxious about how the system would function after the upgrade if I didn't have the right MB and HD drivers from the start....
    Last edited by DrRon; 2013-07-12 at 14:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F.U.N. downtown View Post
    You would only mark the recovery partition as active if you were trying to perform a full factory recovery. Have you installed apps from the recovery partition in the past? It's been my experience that that doesn't work, that those files are protected from such selective installation.


    W7 Disk management is more sophisticated than XP's in that you can shrink and expand partitions (always to and from the right (no messing with the partition boundary unless you delete partitions completely)) but if the recovery partition is the first partition on the disk, you'll need MiniTool Partition Wizard or EaseUS Partition Wizard free to move any partitions leftward after deleting the recovery partition so you can expand the C or D partition and absorb the free disk space.

    Disconnecting the other two drives temporarily is only suggested so you are presented with just the partitions on the system drive and it is impossible to make a mistake other than choosing the incorrect partition on the system drive to install to.
    The Gateway build provides two different hooks into the Recovery Partition, a Driver and Application recovery and a System recovery.
    When I launch the first, it brings up a dialog list of the installed applications and drivers, including the chipset, storage, network, BIOS, etc.
    I haven't tried to uninstall / re-install any under XP, but it looks fairly reliable...

    OK, I'll get EaseUS...

    OK. Thanks. I'm pretty comfortable there and was thinking I'd use another HD to load in an updated driver if required...

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    Can I add a question here about Driver Updates?

    Assume I've downloaded some updated drivers and have them in appropriately named folders on a separate HD.
    Assume I manage to get the upgrade to run successfully.
    I then look in Device Manager and see a device with a yellow caution symbol.
    I go to Properties and select Update Driver and point to the appropriate folder.

    Now, looking at the content of those folders, there's a mess of files and folders in there.
    How do I know which one to select, or can Windows figure that out automagically with my just pointing to the top level folder?

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    Many come with a standalone setup.exe. If it's just the drivers divided into 32-bit/64-bit XP/Vista-W7 folders you'll just need to locate the .inf file in whichever is the appropriate folder. I know in XP you could point to a top level folder to search and it would come back with several driver versions to choose from. W7 has the same option but I've never used it to see how results were handled.

    I let SlimDriversFree tell me what's missing or needs updating and let it handle the job, making a restore point just before each driver update in case it gets it wrong, which it does from time to time.

    Edit: Caveat; I suspect both hooks into the recovery partition will be destroyed by the installation of W7; it'll just be another ordinary partition. Unless someone else knows that's not the case.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-07-12 at 15:17.

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    Ron md, hello.
    My XP is 32-bit but I am planning to install the 64-bit version of W7 just to be able to upgrade my RAM beyond 4GB.

    Oh ! I do not think that this will work. The bitness is machine specific. I would bet my bottom $ on this. Jean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by handcuff36 View Post

    Oh ! I do not think that this will work. The bitness is machine specific. I would bet my bottom $ on this. Jean.
    JP,

    Hello... I don't think that is true about "Machine Specific" ...I have done this with two machines a HP Pavilion , and a Home Built ASUS MOBO,
    I have both 32 and 64 Bit OS's on each and increased the RAM too... The one thing i can add to this discussion is IDE vs AHCI (SATA) ... Bios must be changed from the XP install from IDE to run AHCI (SATA) HD's or install the correct drivers... Regards Fred
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    The one thing i can add to this discussion is IDE vs AHCI (SATA) ... Bios must be changed from the XP install from IDE to run AHCI (SATA) HD's or install the correct drivers... Regards Fred

    OK, please be patient with me here...
    I'd like to re-state what you said to make sure I heard you right.

    The XP install uses IDE controler to run the HDs.
    The W7 install will need the BIOS changed to AHCI mode to run my SATA HDs.
    Or, install the correct drivers???

    Let's see, the BIOS lives on the MB in flash memory, right.
    The drivers live in the C drive in the OS, right?
    Are you saying there's an option to run the HDs in one or the other place?

    I thought I understood the Intel Matrix Storage Manager was the "driver" to run them.
    When you boot into your XP Pro, does the BIOS know?

    Darn it's hard being green...

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    Quote Originally Posted by F.U.N. downtown View Post
    Many come with a standalone setup.exe. If it's just the drivers divided into 32-bit/64-bit XP/Vista-W7 folders you'll just need to locate the .inf file in whichever is the appropriate folder. I know in XP you could point to a top level folder to search and it would come back with several driver versions to choose from. W7 has the same option but I've never used it to see how results were handled.

    I let SlimDriversFree tell me what's missing or needs updating and let it handle the job, making a restore point just before each driver update in case it gets it wrong, which it does from time to time.

    Edit: Caveat; I suspect both hooks into the recovery partition will be destroyed by the installation of W7; it'll just be another ordinary partition. Unless someone else knows that's not the case.

    I've burned the Driver and Applications Recovery application to a disk which I can launch and see the same run menu as the recovery partition hook.
    Do you think that will work for me after the upgrade if I want to reinstall an application or driver in the W7 environment?

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    That depends on how it's set up; my guess is it's specific to your XP install now and won't install anything to W7 individually but I might be wrong.

    If the system drive is SATA connected, there's a chance the BIOS is already set to AHCI mode, check to confirm or set to AHCI if not. Doesn't really matter but you will get slightly better disk performance during heavy I/O multitasking in AHCI mode vs IDE or compatible mode. W7 will recognize either and install appropriately. Those are just the basic bus drivers for hardware recognition. Matrix storage drivers come later and give Windows sophisticated control of the reading and writing to disks.

    Edit: As far as 32-bit or 64-bit, does your elderly motherboard support more than 4 gigs of RAM? There are probably no 64-bit drivers for any peripherals you may be using if they are not new-ish but there may be 32-bit Vista drivers which should work fine.

    If the mobo does support more than 4 gigs and you have 64-bit drivers for all the peripherals or plan on upgrading them, then it's more logical to go for 64-bit.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-07-12 at 18:13.

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