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brucek

OS HDD Windows 7 new install

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My old system 9 P6X58D-E) quit unexpectedly a few days ago. I will soon have a new mobo/CPU (P8P67 Pro) and assume I will need to reinstall Windows 7 (64). My old C: drive has plenty of space left after the original Win 7 install, and I'm wondering if I can install a new instance of Windows 7 on the same hard drive, as well as preserving some of the files I have on there (not erasing the original Windows install).If this is possible, how do I manage the two instances of Windows 7 on the same hard drive? Will this produce a "multi-boot" configuration? I will never need to run the original instance of the OS but would like to access some of the files if possible.Thanks, Bruce.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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My old system 9 P6X58D-E) quit unexpectedly a few days ago. I will soon have a new mobo/CPU (P8P67 Pro) and assume I will need to reinstall Windows 7 (64). My old C: drive has plenty of space left after the original Win 7 install, and I'm wondering if I can install a new instance of Windows 7 on the same hard drive, as well as preserving some of the files I have on there (not erasing the original Windows install).If this is possible, how do I manage the two instances of Windows 7 on the same hard drive? Will this produce a "multi-boot" configuration? I will never need to run the original instance of the OS but would like to access some of the files if possible.Thanks, Bruce.
Before doing anything else, try to save yourself from reinstalling Windows 7. Instead, just run the new PC using the HD from the old one as the main HD. This has always worked for me in the past: Windows just takes a while to install new drivers and then hey presto! (although once you're in Windows, you'll want to run Windows Update, as well as checking from your vendor's website that you have the latest chipset and other drivers). If it works, all you need to do is re-activate Windows. Other people have had less luck so your mileage may vary. But what's the harm in trying? If it works, you'll save yourself a ton of bother. If it doesn't work, you're no worse off. It won't magically format the disk or lose any data (unless you tell it to do so).Tim

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Hi Bruce,You should be able to do a non destructive clean install of Windows 7 on your current hard drive that already has a Windows 7 installation on it. To do so, when you set up your new system, you need to first go immediately into the bios, to set things like date, time, etc - and also make sure you set it to boot from the cd/dvd drive first. Insert the Windows 7 DVD, then save those changes and exit. Do not let the system boot into your old windows install from your previous system, you need to boot from that Windows 7 dvd first. When setup begins, it should find your existing windows install on your hard drive, and offer to let you do a clean installation , it will preserve your existing Windows 7 install and move it to a Windows.old folder , thereby preserving your existing data files, which you can access any time by going to that folder in explorer. Once the new install is all set up and you have all your data files you need moved to where you want them, you can eventually delete that Windows.old folder.Now, I would mention what I would do if I were in your shoes. I would probably go ahead and purchase a new hard drive, for doing the new install of Windows 7 on. I would assemble the system, and not put the older hard drive in the system yet, at least not hook it up. I would put the new hard drive in, boot from the Windows 7 dvd, and do a clean install. After Windows is all set up and updated, then hook up the old hard drive, and have access to all the existing data files on it, eventually migrating them to where I want them, then I have a second hard drive available for data storage, or to even put fsx on.Lastly, Tim's suggestion may work and may be worth the effort to try, if you really don't want to spend a few hours /days getting everything installed and set up like you want. I am just of the opinion, that if I change motherboard chipsets, I always want to do a clean install and set everything up fresh - kind of cleans the cobwebs out so to speak. I don't want issues arising from trying to do a chipset change, using existing settings, that may not even show up till a few days or even weeks later. But again, that is just my humble opinion and how I do things for myself.Best of luck in the upgrade, and enjoy the new system!


Don B

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Thanks Tim and Don, much appreciated.Don- your idea of telling the Win 7 setup to ignore the old Windows install and back it up into a "Windows.Old" folder would certainly work for me- I still have gobs of unused space on that HD. What advantage would the adding a new HD to the mix for the new Win 7 install have over this method? Are there still interactions with the backed up old Win 7 files that would concern you? (Not that I mind buying a new HD).Tim- you're saying that I should just try the old Win 7 files as is and see what happens- I wonder if one day we will see a Windows version that will just mutate itself to accommodate a new motherboard (and need to be activated again, obviously to avoid the potential for piracy)? I have never before not installed an new copy of the OS when changing motherboards, but it might be worth a try. My concern in posting this thread was ending up with 2 Windows installs and how would the boot sequence differentiate between them, or not being able to avoid over-writing the old files and therefore losing them, but you guys have shown me how to get around that. I had resigned myself to days of re-installing add-ons, and trying to recall all of the setups and tweaks that I did originally for FSX to get it back to something that runs well.... Thanks again for your helpful replies, much appreciated. It's amazing how much accumulated knowledge there is on these forums, from real airliner pilots to hardware questions like this... thanks to Tom and the AVSIM staff again for providing the infrastructure to accommodate this.Thanks, Bruce.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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Thanks Tim and Don, much appreciated.Don- your idea of telling the Win 7 setup to ignore the old Windows install and back it up into a "Windows.Old" folder would certainly work for me- I still have gobs of unused space on that HD. What advantage would the adding a new HD to the mix for the new Win 7 install have over this method? Are there still interactions with the backed up old Win 7 files that would concern you? (Not that I mind buying a new HD).
The only advantage would be having your FSX install on a hard disk/partition, seperate from your system volume. For me, I think this is the ideal situation. Is your hard disk you have now, with gobs of extra space, all on one partition? The next best thing, imho, would be to install FSX on a seperate partition on your system drive. Although I am not sure that you can create another partition without wiping out your current windows install, on that drive during the windows setup process...You are very welcome, and best of luck!

Don B

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  • Hi Don,

Thanks again- I should have pointed out that I did have two HD's, One for the OS and other apps, and one exclusively for FSX and associated add-ons/apps. I am hoping to preserve the data on both of these HD's, and it sounds like by installing Win 7 onto my old "OS HD" and having it put all of the old system/OS files into a folder "Windows_old" would do that....Thanks again, Bruce.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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  • Hi Don,

Thanks again- I should have pointed out that I did have two HD's, One for the OS and other apps, and one exclusively for FSX and associated add-ons/apps. I am hoping to preserve the data on both of these HD's, and it sounds like by installing Win 7 onto my old "OS HD" and having it put all of the old system/OS files into a folder "Windows_old" would do that....Thanks again, Bruce.

If you already have two HDs, then you could just put both of them into the new PC, check the BIOS to ensure you're booting from the right one, and fire it up. There's a very good chance that Windows will set everything up for you after a few re-boots and all you'll have to do is re-activate.I'm not trying to persuade you BTW - but I've done this myself often enough to feel confident that Windows is not better or more "pure" if you start from scratch for each PC. Likewise, FSX does not run better from a fresh installation than an old one, assuming fragmentation is not an issue. Anyone using a PC quickly builds up a complex, unique, mature "ecosystem" that is difficult or impossible to recreate if you start from scratch: in fact, in my experience, the chances are that you'll miss out some subtle ingredient and may actually make life harder for yourself. So IMHO you need to have a pretty compelling reason to WANT to start with a blank sheet of paper. Personally I don't think that aspiring to a "pure" installation just for the sake of it is a sufficient reason, unless there's something actually wrong with the one you've already got (or unless you're one of those people who actually enjoy the installation and tinkering phase - which I suspect is the real reason why a lot of people would rather start from scratch: it takes all sorts!) IMHO unless you're in the latter category then starting from scratch is something you should only attempt if you have first tried, and failed, to get the new PC working using the old HDs.Similarly, if you want to upgrade the HDs, for example to SSD, then I'd recommend trying the software offered by Acronis or one of its competitors to clone the old disk onto the new one: (almost) anything rather than spending hours fiddling with the blasted thing just to get it working as well as the old one did.Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide to do.Tim

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Thanks Tim, it sounds like it's worth trying at least...... and no, I'm not someone that likes to use my time installing an OS and re-making my FSX !! :). I have always just assumed it was a necessary evil (and maybe was more necessary in an older OS).Thanks, Bruce.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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