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  1. #1
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    I'm finally going to go from XP to 7 to 10 and have a few questions.

    I have for the longest used separate partition for "Program Files". "My Documents" and a very small drive for my temp files. When I install 7 I'll changes the defaults to my locations. Will I have to do that with the upgrade to 10? Will/could there be a problem with "My Documents" being over written? I know I have to install all the software again. What a PITA!!! So I'll just rename the existing "Program Files" to something else and delete the programs in that folder as I install them in the new folder. Did I miss anything?

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I assume you are going to get the free upgrade from 7 to 10. If that is the case, I would highly recommend doing a clean install of 7 before upgrading it to 10. In this way, you will eliminate a lot of potential problems which may be in your XP install, as well as problems which may result from doing a double upgrade (XP to 7, then 7 to 10). Of course, in order to do this, you'll need to be able to reinstall all of your software (i.e. you'll need to have the original disks, or be able to download it again).

    Since you have an XP computer, I assume that your hard drive might be a bit old. Therefore, this would be a great time to install a new hard drive. You'll get a bigger, faster, better hard drive, and you'll set the failure clock back to zero. Also, your old drive becomes a full backup when you replace it with a new one. Even with a new drive, though, I would still do a complete backup of your current drive before you begin.

    1. Do a complete backup of what you have now, before you do anything, so that you can easily recover if something goes wrong.

    2. Install the new hard drive, and do a clean install of Windows 7. Do all updates, including SP1; but don't install any of your software.

    3. Do the upgrade to 10. Do all updates.

    4. Install your old hard drive as the secondary hard drive. Copy all of your files (downloads, pictures, documents, etc.) from the old drive to the new drive. Remove your old drive, and store it in the static bag which came with the new drive.

    5. Install all of your software.

    Summary:
    * By installing a new hard drive, you'll have a better drive. And you'll have all of your stuff easily at hand on the old drive.
    * By doing a clean install of Windows 7 before upgrading to 10, you will have the least problems possible with Windows 10.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps
    2. Install the new hard drive, and do a clean install of Windows 7. Do all updates, including SP1; but don't install any of your software.

    3. Do the upgrade to 10. Do all updates.
    Sorry Jim but I can't see the sense in wasting time updating a freshly installed OS just to upgrade to another OS, particularly with the current hoops you have to jump through with Windows 7 to get Windows Update to work properly. The updates to a clean install of Windows 7, inc. SP1, take several hours and multiple reboots. The upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 using Windows Update takes another long time. It's really not necessary IMO.

    I would suggest amending steps 2 and 3 to the following instead:

    2. Install the new hard drive, and do a clean install of Windows 7. Connect to the Internet and make sure Windows 7 is activated.

    2a. Download the Windows 10 ISO using the Media Creation Tool and create either a DVD or USB (preferable) installer. See How to Download a Windows 10 ISO File for more info.

    2c. Follow steps 4 to 6 inclusive in this article to save a GenuineTicket.xml file with the current Windows 7 activation details.

    3. Boot your device from the Windows 10 media you created in step 2a and install Windows 10. Follow steps 8 to 11 inclusive in the same article as above to copy the GenuineTicket.xml file you created earlier to Windows 10.

    3a. If not already, connect to the Internet so Windows 10 is activated and your 'Digital Entitlement' is stored on MS' activation servers.

    3b. Allow Windows 10 to install all updates then reboot. Keep checking for new updates until no new ones are left.

    This should save Check Marc hours of time and mean it's a clean install of Windows 10 rather than an upgrade.

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I forgot about the fact that you can do a clean install of Windows 10 as your free upgrade. That would definitely be better.

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    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, over a time period of a few years, I went from XP to 7 by in-place upgrade, then fresh installed to change from 32-bit to 64-bit setup; then moved to new hardware (SSD and motherboard) (with Acronis TI) then in-place upgraded to 8, then moved to new hardware (complete new Desktop and new drives, graphics card etc) then in-place upgraded to 8.1 and then in-place "free upgraded" to 10. No hassles (other than having to on-line re-activate Office when upgrading to Win 10), and all still works just fine. I ran CHK DSK and sfc scannow before each upgrade; and then used cCleaner and Windows Disk Cleanup to tidy up after each upgrade had been tested and found to be OK. (Full system backups were made before each upgrade "just in case").
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

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    Thanks everyone. I'm installing it on A SSD so I don't need a new drive. Is changing the defaults folder location (Program Files, My Documents, temp folders) as easy as it is to do in XP. Basically some registry changes? Are there any issue with doing that?

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Why not just take the SSD and and clean install 10 on it, just entering the Win 7 product key when the installation asks for it? Don't bother with any upgrading. I've done this successfully.

    Edit: Thinking about it now, mine was a Win 7 machine to begin with. Would the fact that this is an XP machine keep this from working, by not allowing it to be activated as a Win 10 installation?

    An advantage to using a new drive is that you can experiment all you want with it, and still have your original hard drive to fall back on if necessary.
    Last edited by Vincenzo; 2016-07-03 at 11:55.

  8. #8
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    Is changing the defaults folder location...
    I seem to recall a problem with Windows 8 upgrades when the Program Files (or was it My Documents?) folders had been moved to a different volume than C:. At the time Microsoft's response was basically, "that was an old method that we don't support anymore. Modern drives aren't space constrained and don't need folder relocation."

    Does anyone else remember this? Is it still a problem?

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    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    In File manager, right click on a library (e.g. documents). Now select the location tab. That's where (IIRC) you can move the library to wherever you want (as it says). I assume that's what's required. What you shouldn't do - again IIRC - is just move them arbitrarily.
    Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHarder View Post
    I seem to recall a problem with Windows 8 upgrades when the Program Files (or was it My Documents?) folders had been moved to a different volume than C:. At the time Microsoft's response was basically, "that was an old method that we don't support anymore. Modern drives aren't space constrained and don't need folder relocation."

    Does anyone else remember this? Is it still a problem?
    I've always moved all the User folders (Docs, photos, etc) to a different partition, using Move on the Location tab, and have never had a problem upgrading to Win 8 and then 10, on at least 5 or 6 computers. But Fred Langa wrote an article a year or two ago where he said he no longer recommends it.

    But I don't think moving Program Files is a good idea.

  11. #11
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    Just throwing this out there. I have several smaller drives 320GB and up. Can I just install Windows7/10 on one of those make sure it works and pull it out of the computer and gradually update the software and slowly migrate from XP to 10? When everything is copacetic clone the 10 to the SSD?

  12. #12
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    You can clone the HDD to SSD at any time, so you can do the upgrade any way you like.
    Clone HDD to SSD.

    cheers, Paul

  13. #13
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    Thanks Paul. COA for Windows 7 are dirt cheap. If I have other COAs I'll only need to download 10 once and use the COAs to activate it or will I have to go through the entire process of install 7 then downloading 10?

  14. #14
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    W10 will accept a W7 COA at install, but it needs to be valid for your machine - using a Dell COA on your home build probably won't cut the mustard.

    cheers, Paul

  15. #15
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    The pictures of the COA shows them being OEM.

    Thanks again Paul.

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