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  1. #1
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    Couple questions regarding Win XP 3 to Win 7 Home Premium

    Hi: I have a Dell E521 that is running win xp sp3 64 bit at the moment.I would like to upgrade it to win 7 home premium 64 bit.
    The questions I have are 1). Is there a utility or web site that would check the hard drive to see if there are any bad sectors before
    I would install win 7.The reason I ask this question is because while running win xp sp3 the hd light would always show it was busy and a couple times on start up it would show sectors and freeze up and then proceed to boot up. Also there is no problem with compatibility issues.
    I would have 4gb of ram. 2) When using Windows Update to check for updates ,wu would always just scan and never come back with any updates.
    When set on auto update I would get the symbol in the task bar showing me updates were ready.Would this situation carry over if win 7
    is installed.I would appreciate any help. Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2
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    You are eligible for upgrade pricing but there is no direct XP to Windows 7 upgrade path so you will be installing from scratch so there will be no carry over of the Windows Update situation.

    You can run chkdsk /r from a command prompt window (RUN>CMD) in XP to check for and reallocate any bad sectors. It may have to do that during a restart before loading up Windows XP again.

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  5. #3
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    If I were you and I had questions about my hard drive, I would go to the hard drive manufacturers web site, find the support tab, and find their disk utility program, such as WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows or Seagate Seatools for Windows.

    Then even if It checked out okay, I would still buy a new hard drive. Your current hard drive is probably about 80.0 GB, and you can get a new much larger one for not too much money.

    If you do buy a new drive, get the manufacturer's disk utility and check it out before you load a new operating system, and check it several more times during the first couple of months.

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  7. #4
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    I agree with Prescott. This is a good time to get a new hard drive. In addition to getting a much bigger hard drive, it will be that much more time before you will have a drive failure. Also, your old hard drive becomes a full backup.

    Installing a new OS is the right time to install a new hard drive, because you will have to reinstall everything anyway.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2014-03-11 at 12:46.

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  9. #5
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    Hi these answers sound good to me.I will hook my machine backup online.
    It will be my secondary PC.When I get a new hard drive I could assume it goes into
    the place of the old HD,I had a problem with an HD on a Win 98se pc years ago
    and I had a hard time finding the jumpers for the HD.I hope the new HD's install
    better.Also it was stated I could use the original HD as a back up.The only free space
    I could get is if uninstall my Floppy Drive(I ordered it custom so I could copy my floppy's)
    Actually what I:m getting at can the old HD be installed as an external or does it
    need a space to install and once installed how do I get the new HD to be the boot up
    HD?I hope I have explained myself clearly here.Just need some advice on this.Thanks.
    Last edited by Zee15; 2014-03-12 at 22:07.

  10. #6
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zee15 View Post
    Hi these answers sound good to me.I will hook my machine backup online.
    It will be my secondary PC.When I get a new hard drive I could assume it goes into
    the place of the old HD,I had a problem with an HD on a Win 98se pc years ago
    and I had a hard time finding the jumpers for the HD.I hope the new HD's install
    better.Also it was stated I could use the original HD as a back up.The only free space
    I could get is if uninstall my Floppy Drive(I ordered it custom so I could copy my floppy's)
    Actually what I:m getting at can the old HD be installed as an external or does it
    need a space to install and once installed how do I get the new HD to be the boot up
    HD?I hope I have explained myself clearly here.Just need some advice on this.Thanks.
    You don't need to worry about jumpers on the new hard drive; just make sure it is a SATA drive (almost all are these days). There's only one jumper on a SATA drive, and its purpose is to step the speed down for backward compatibility. SATA drives are very easy to install.

    There is room to mount two hard drives in your computer.

    To choose the new drive as your boot drive, you will go into the BIOS setup for your computer, and you will specify there which drives can be used as boot drives, as well as the order that they go in the list. After connecting both drives and going into the BIOS setup, remove the old drive from the boot list (you can tell which drive it is by the size), then reboot. It will boot from the new drive from that point forward.

    If for whatever reason you don't want to mount a drive in the case (perhaps there isn't enough room for it, or perhaps you want to use that drive only occasionally for backups), you don't need to mount it in the case. The only thing you need to do is to get data and power cables which are long enough to extend from the inside of the case to the outside; then power down, connect the drive, and power up. You will have an "internal" drive which sits outside of the computer.

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  12. #7
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    Did a chkdsk

    Hi I did a chkdsk today via command prompt and pushing F8 to get into safe mode with command and those
    passed.I then went to the Seagate website and used their HD checker(it took forever) and it passed both the long and short test.My HD is a Seagate
    ST3160812AS 160 gb. Windows XP is so slow on that pc (Dell E521).
    When I was shutting the pc down there was a memory error I could not write down because it was shutting down.
    Any suggestions as to what brand and size HD for windows 7 home premium 64 bit?

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    Did it with Seagate ST500DM002

    Hi Zee15,
    I have an E521 that ran XP SP3. Now I upgraded it to win7 home premium 32bit; 32bit was OK since I only use 2GB of memory. I replaced the original hard drive with a Seagate ST500DM002 (500GB 6Gb/s 7200rpm). I simply installed it in the empty slot, (had to buy a SATA cable: one side straight, one side 90° angled) and the computer recognized it immediately. Still in XP, I formatted the drive (NTSC) but that was actually not even necessary. Then, I took out the old drive en kept only the new one. Started up from the win7 CD I bought, and had it installed (I experienced NO problems; the drive was recognized again). Everything works, an it boots up quicker than before.
    After installation, less than 20GB are used on the new disk. So plenty is left.
    Like I said I have 2GB of memory, 660MHz. I am thinking of an upgrade to 800 MHz which should work and gain some speed. Never had memory problems or screen notifications of problems. Maybe you can check if the memory is all plugged in and fixed correctly.
    Regards,

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    Any suggestions as to what brand and size HD for windows 7 home premium 64 bit?
    I used to always get Western Digital Black, but I don't believe their QA is as good since the flood. And Hitachi used to have a pretty bad rep, but I think they have gotten better. At this time I would not steer you to a particular brand, or away from another one.

    Look for bargains.

    As far as size is concerned, I have a 1TB drive now, but that was because it was the biggest drive I could get then. Now you can get 2, 3, and 4TB drives, but don't get bigger than 2GB because you must have EUFI and GPT to boot to it.

    Windows 7 can support the larger drives (larger than 2.2TB), but only after it is booted up and in control of the computer, and only as a data drive, the boot is still controlled by the BIOS, and still has to be less than 2.2TB.

    If you suspect you have a memory problem, get memtest86+ and run it.

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    I picked ST500DM002 because it is Seagate's drive with the lowest data density (MB/square inch). 750GB disk and more have higher data densities, and I have the idea that they are more vulnerable for that reason. Since this is my primary disk used for booting, 500 GB is more than enough. I use a WD20EARS green as data disk, but I would never use it for booting.

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  19. #11
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    The mainboard of a Dell E521 can only address up to a maximum of 4 Gb RAM so you need to decide whether there's any advantage in buying the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium (unless it's a retail version, in which case you'll be able to re-use it when/if you decide to replace the PC).

    If you end up buying an OEM version (i.e. non-transferrable) then, if it's cheaper, you may wish to consider buying a 32-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium (which will only be able to address 3.5 Gb of memory).

    If you are buying a new SATA drive then there won't be any jumpers on it. (Only older SATA drives had jumpers on to limit speed, e.g. to SATA 1.0, but these often caused problems with newer SATA 2 drive controllers.) The mainboard of a Dell E521 supports both SATA 1.0 and 2.0. As a result there's no reason to buy anything faster than a SATA 2 hard disk. You wouldn't see the benefit, even though a SATA 3 disk should be backwards-compatible. (However, if you think you may be changing the PC itself soon there there may be a reason to buy a SATA 3 drive for eventual use in a newer PC.)

    The boot disk will be the one holding the Windows 7 boot files and with a primary partition set as 'active'. This is not set in the BIOS.
    boot.jpg
    Click to enlarge

    (I don't know about the Dell E521 - which has 4 SATA connectors on its mainboard - but certainly with some HP workstations the boot disk also had to be attached to the SATA0 mainboard connector and wouldn't boot if attached to any other SATA mainboard connector.)

    If you just replace the current hard disk with the new one and install Windows 7 on it then a) you will know it is attached to the right SATA connector on the mainboard and b) during setup, the hard disk will be set as active automatically and the boot files installed. Afterwards you may wish to add the old disk back using the second hard disk bay (the Dell E521 has 2 bays).

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  21. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dre_Belgium View Post
    Like I said I have 2GB of memory, 660MHz. I am thinking of an upgrade to 800 MHz which should work and gain some speed.
    I suspect your current setup is 2 x 1Gb modules installed in Channel A. I doubt you would notice any difference in speed if you replace the 2Gb RAM running at 660MHz with 2Gb RAM running at 800MHz. Bear in mind Dell's advice to remove the original modules and to not mix them with new. (See page 16 of the Dell Dimension E520 Service Manual.)

    If you buy an additional 2 x 1Gb running at 800 MHz and install them in Channel B, i.e. running alongside the 2 original modules in Channel A, then the 2 new modules will only run at 660MHz.

    For best performance, get 4 x 1Gb modules running at 800MHz. This is the maximum addressable by the Dell E520's mainboard and it will be the increase from 2Gb to 4Gb (even though only 3.5Gb will be recognised - a limitation of all 32-bit OS's, not just Windows) that provides the performance boost, not the faster speed of the memory.

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  23. #13
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    Hi: I have a retail version of Windows home 7 premium, It came with a 32 bit and a 64 bit,but only one license is available.
    (I got it last year and it was a good buy for when I was going to change from win xp sp3). re: ram the pc came with 1gb(2 512).
    I purchased a pair of 1gb ram from crucial and have them in slot 1 and 2 followed by the older 2 512.At the moment with xp sp3 the pc recognizes 2.5 gb. I purchased another pair of 1gb ram from crucial( was a great price) for when I change over to win 7.
    RE:64 the pc came with this configuration, Dimension E521,Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (2.00,512kx2).I am thinking a 500gb HD
    will be enough for what I will use the PC for.With those answers to some of the above questions.Where do you you think is a good place to purchase the HD? New Egg,Staples, Amazon? I think the 64 bit vs of windows 7 home premium will work. Any other advice or suggestions before I start shopping around.Thanks.

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    Purchase from whomever has learned to package them well for shipment! I've had a few Jim Carey Pet Detective delivery guy incidences in the past, I know at least that Newegg ships well-protected hard drives now. The rest probably do as well.

    If you have the time and notion I would try out both flavors of Win 7. I have 64-bit on two systems and 32-bit on the rest (another 6 or so), all older systems up to about 2010 vintage or so and if I didn't need the extra RAM to run VMs comfortably, everything would be 32-bit. Your mileage may vary of course but I find the 32-bit as stable and trouble free as my XP systems while the 64-bit is just a little bit glitchy here and there, I think because not so much care and precision went into drivers for older systems but I don't know that for sure; could just be me. Also 64-bit is just that little bit more resource-hungry to the point it may cancel out any small gain you make in RAM utilization when 4 gigs is the limit.

    You're used to running 64-bit XP though so perhaps you're more than familiar with lack of or glitchy drivers eh?

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    WinXp to Win7-32-bit is a good option

    Hi Zee:

    FWIW: I recently upgraded the last remaining WinXP box (an ASUS netbook) we had. The system was limited to 4GB of RAM, so we just went with Win7-Home-32-Bit. Although the popular knowledge is that you cannot directly upgrade from WinXP to Win7, in fact it offered to just upgrade and then ran to completion with no problems, no wiped drive, and no lost programs or files. I have no idea why it worked, but it did and it took a whole bunch less time than when I used the usual approach of clean install on the previous WinXP upgrade. The added advantage is that I didn't have to reinstall anything, and everything I tried just worked. Lucky. For the record, there was not much on that Netbook in the first place, and I had cleaned out most of the crapware years ago from the original purchased setup. And, Granted, a clean install is probably preferable. It seems to run just fine. Not real fast, but it wasn't anyhow. Battery runtime is shorter, but that was expected as I have no newer power management software from ASUS to use...

    But, what a pleasant surprise not to have so much time and effort wasted on a little used PC...

    Good luck.

    Rob
    Last edited by rbsteinbach; 2014-03-20 at 20:05.

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