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brucek

Nightmare installation of Win7 64 Upgrade (to XP 32)

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I can't recall when I have been so frustrated with a PC :) . Today I purchased the upgrade version of Win 7 (I had XP 32 before). Since I had previously installed a RIAD 0 array, the Win 7 install failed due apparently to the fact that it doesn't like installing to such a drive. (MS recommend removing all drives that have been formatted as RAID). I messed around with this for a while, then decided to finally just go and buy a new drive for the OS (500 GB), and removed all the old drives. Now setup ran OK, until I got to the product key entry, where this was rejected. I tried many times thinking that I was keying in a wrong code, then finally went on line at MS and found that one cause was the fact that the previous OS needs to be installed. I tried this, but by now the Win 7 install had made a small 300MB System partition, with the remainder of the drive being a primary partition. When trying now to install Win XP, all it can see is the 300 MB portion of the drive. I have configured BIOS to recognize this new drive as the bootable drive, but all it does when installing XP now, is when the first re-boot occurs it just cycles through reboot cycles. I can't reformat the new drive as I can't get an OS installed to it. I'm writing this on my Mac, I just can't believe how cumbersome MS makes things. Has anyone experienced this or have any ideas how I could proceed?Thanks, Bruce (sorry if I sound frustrated :) ).


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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Sounds to me something very wrong is happening.How it sounds to me: you bought an upgrade version which needs a previous OS installed - which it can be ONLY Vista. There is no upgrade from XP. If you wanted to install an upgrade with XP in mind, that was your first wrong step.Concerning the 300mb partition, it can be deleted by any OS install, W7 or XP, if you can get to it. Booting off the DVD manually usually solves the problem, no matter what is set in BIOS (on my motherboard, it's F8 I think, called Boot Selection Menu).Installing XP is futile, since you can't upgrade from it. Go and buy a full version and install it clean.

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Sounds to me something very wrong is happening.How it sounds to me: you bought an upgrade version which needs a previous OS installed - which it can be ONLY Vista. There is no upgrade from XP. If you wanted to install an upgrade with XP in mind, that was your first wrong step.Concerning the 300mb partition, it can be deleted by any OS install, W7 or XP, if you can get to it. Booting off the DVD manually usually solves the problem, no matter what is set in BIOS (on my motherboard, it's F8 I think, called Boot Selection Menu).Installing XP is futile, since you can't upgrade from it. Go and buy a full version and install it clean.
Hi Word Not Allowed,Thanks- you may be correct, however on the Win 7 box:"This version of Windows 7 is designed as an upgrade to Windows Vista. If you are upgrading rom Windows XP, you will need to back up your files and settings (I did that), perform a clean install, and then re-add your settings, etc........." . I read this as meaning that this would work when XP was installed, but that it needed to wipe XP off and do a "clean install" rather than upgrading the OS and keeping files, settings. etc. My bad I guess, and yes, I had come to the conclusion that buying the full version was a good idea now. That was going to be my next move in this saga, thanks for confirming that.On this MS sitehttp://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows...lling-Windows-7it also refers to the "clean" install as being one where I use the "custom" install, which I had selected. A "clean" install, by my figuring, does not imply that I need the full install version of the OS. However, that said, I am at that point of frustration where my next step was to write off this as a bad $200 decision and go get the full version.Thanks, Bruce.

ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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However, that said, I am at that point of frustration where my next step was to write off this as a bad $200 decision and go get the full version.
Come back off the ledge... your $200 is certainly not wasted! Remember that your XP to Windows 7 upgrade is a legitimate, legal upgrade path from a licensing perspective - so you qualify legally and morally to use the upgrade edition.-BUT-As you mentioned, XP to Windows 7 is not a workable "update" installation path from a technical perspective. Microsoft made the decision to not allow users to "update" their XP machines to Win7 because they knew that a clean install would be better. (*This is also the case if you were "upgrading" from Vista32 to Win7-64... the Vista-to-Win7 "update" path is only functioning if you keep the "bits" the same, 32 or 64)Since you are required to do a "clean" install to migrate from XP32 to Win7-64, and your first installation was a bit snafu'ed, you're cursing things right now. Not to worry. Even though you can't seemingly get XP back on the machine, all is not lost. The GoalWe need to install Windows 7 64 Upgrade Edition onto your computer without a qualifying upgrade product installed. Win7, like Vista before it, no longer allows you to use a qualifying product CD/DVD as proof of ownership - the qualifying product needs to be installed on the computer. BUT, Win7 (again like Vista), has a trick up it's sleeve to get around this.Step OnePreserve your backups! Safely tuck away your install files for all your programs, addons. Safely tuck away your photos, documents, music, and other personal items. Put them on a removable USB2 hard drive and unplug it if you'd like. Make sure they are on a different hard drive than the one you will be installing the operating system on at the very least. You will be working with your OS hard drive, and you will be removing partitions and rendering it completely blank, so make sure that you've safely stored your data elsewhere. I have to disclaim that you are taking your data into your own hands - each person's backups are done differently, so the responsibility for keeping your data safe and sound must rest with you. If you rolled your eyes and said "Well, duh!" to this sentence, and your backups are safe and sound, let's proceed! Step TwoInsert your Win7 DVD in the drive, and BOOT off that DVD, proceeding with the Win7 installation. When selecting the hard drive for the installation, choose the advanced option and manually delete all the partitions off that drive. This will clean up any of the strange bits left over from your previous installation attempt. (*Use caution, as you do not want to delete any partitions which hold data backups you need). Once the partitions have been removed, select that drive as the destination for your Win7 installation and continue. Proceed with the installation as you normally would, except DO NOT enter your product key, and DO NOT choose to activate Windows 7. Just get yourself to a desktop as quick as you can. Step ThreeWin7 is now installed, and you just got to your first desktop. It's time to do it all over again, but with a twist! This is the little trick that Microsoft injected to save us from having to reinstall our previously qualifying operating system each time we needed to reinstall. This takes advantage of the MS designed fact that Windows 7 is a qualifying upgrade OS for Windows 7. (*It was like this for Vista as well) From INSIDE WINDOWS 7, run the Win7 DVD setup utility. Proceed with the installation. You will perform a "Custom" install, which will act as another clean installation, not saving your settings or anything from your just performed temporary install. Select the same hard drive, but don't worry about deleting any partitions - let the install system handle it all. Proceed with the installation as you would expect to.(*The important part here is that the installation must be started from within Windows 7 - you cannot boot off the DVD like you did for the first installation and get it to work. The Setup.EXE file must run from inside Win7) Step FourWindows is all installed (again), but this time you are sitting at the desktop of a fully qualified, functional system. You may enter your product key and activate whenever you'd like to... I recommend waiting until you've gotten all your drivers and system settings tweaked to your liking, just in case something goes horribly wrong. That way you can reinstall again and not worry about having burned through an activation.When you're done configuring, browse to your C: drive and delete the "Windows.Old" folder - these are the leftover bits and pieces from your first, temporary Win7 install. You have absolutely no need for them, so delete them out without concern. (*remember that before you installed Win7 that first time, you purged the partitions, leaving the drive empty already. The only thing in the .Old directory is literally components from the first Win7 install) TestimonialSince day one, I have used this method to install Win7 on my machine. Even though I own XP and Vista, I found it easier and my paranoia to have a nice, clean install of an operating system has been fully satisfied by only having Win7 installed without any other OS's polluting the business. The double-install method just plain works, it's legal, and it should get you working pretty quickly. Win7's installation is actually fairly quick, so it shouldn't take TOO much time to get you to the final, functional desktop screen. Additional ReadingHere's how it worked in Vista.... and low and behold, here's how it works in Windows 7. The Win7 article lists 3 different methods listed... I've always just used "Method 3 (double-install)" because it is Microsoft supported and it always works. No muss, no fuss.Good luck! You should be enjoying Win7 before you know it!

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Come back off the ledge... your $200 is certainly not wasted! Remember that your XP to Windows 7 upgrade is a legitimate, legal upgrade path from a licensing perspective - so you qualify legally and morally to use the upgrade edition...............Good luck! You should be enjoying Win7 before you know it!
Hi Gregg,Thanks for this amazing post. One half of me wants to ask how you discovered this, while the other amazes at a process that maybe should be more transparent.In any regards, thanks- I have yet to try this, might do this tomorrow evening, when I have more time. I'm still surprised that you can proceed in the install without entering the key data, I never expected that, but also never quite knew what was happening.Thanks again for your help, much appreciated. And I am certainly more "relaxed" now, nothing like a long day at work to get the frustration of a hobby out of the system! :)Thanks, Bruce.PS. I also read the excellent article that you linked to.

ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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Having re-read the procedure that you linked to, Gregg, I noted a part of that procedure:


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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Thanks for all the help, I have now done the "double install" and although I have yet to activate, it is running fine.Bruce.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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Good to hear... the real test will come when you enter your key and activate. If all was done correctly (*and I am certain it was!), you'll be just fine.

Is this the way that the Win7 install is checking for the fact that a Windows OS (XP in my case) was installed previously, and that by importing this data later from within Win7 will verify that I had a legal copy of XP? (which I do).
Probably not. They likely look at the boot records and other localized files to see if you've got the right goods in place. Many people don't use the backup assistants, they use their own tools or simple file copies. The Microsoft Police will not be after you if you use the upgrade media to perform a double-install, and as you've already found out you don't need it during the process. Just hang on to whatever master disks or docs you have for your computer indicating it had XP, if only to keep a clear conscience that you indeed still have the qualifying product. Good luck!-Greg

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Good to hear... the real test will come when you enter your key and activate. If all was done correctly (*and I am certain it was!), you'll be just fine.Probably not. They likely look at the boot records and other localized files to see if you've got the right goods in place. Many people don't use the backup assistants, they use their own tools or simple file copies. The Microsoft Police will not be after you if you use the upgrade media to perform a double-install, and as you've already found out you don't need it during the process. Just hang on to whatever master disks or docs you have for your computer indicating it had XP, if only to keep a clear conscience that you indeed still have the qualifying product. Good luck!-Greg
Thanks again, Greg, it activated fine with the key,e tc.Bruce.

ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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