Windows 7 forum


I want to upgrade my windows XP SP3 desktop to Windows 7 Hom

by 22780456510080458547738546144935 / April 18, 2013 3:46 PM PDT

I have a Dell desktop I am currently running with Windows XP SP3,I would like to upgrade it to Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit and have a couple questions.1.I used MS windows upgrade advisor and most of my hardware will have drivers I can download.I recently updated a laptop that was running win Vista 64 bit with a clean install of windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit vs. I wanted to know if I can use that same CD to clean install on my desktop and obtain another windows license from MS?. If so how much does it cost to obtain another license?Thank you very much in advance.

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All Answers

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Upgrade a XP system?
by mchainmchain / April 18, 2013 4:28 PM PDT

In short, no.

Two caveats.

Not possible to go from XP to 7. It is possible to upgrade from Vista to 7, or from XP to Vista, but not XP to 7.

Only way to upgrade to 7, the newer operating system, is to have a 64-bit capable processor and do a clean install.

If the desktop only has a 32-bit capable processor, it is not possible to install a 64-bit operating system with it. If your desktop only supports 32-bit, then 64-bit will not work or even install. One way to fix that is to install a new 64-bit capable motherboard along with a new 64-bit processor, memory, etc,.

Is the Dell 64-bit?

Only way you will know how much this will cost is by calling Microsoft.

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Computer Specs
by 22780456510080458547738546144935 / April 19, 2013 11:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Upgrade a XP system?

Hi: I;m sorry I forgot to post the computers specs.
It is a Dell E521,AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core Processor
3800+ 2.00 GHZ,2.50GB of Ram. Running Microsoft Windows XP
Media Center Edition Version 2002 Service Pack 3.
Regarding the ram,the computer came with 1.0gb of ram.A couple of
years ago I brought 2 1 gb sticks from Crucial, there was 2 512mb that were in there.
I put the 2 new 1 gb of ram in seat 1 and 2 and the other 2 512mb in seats 3 and 4.
The pc with the XP SP3 install only shows 2.5gb of ram. I called Crucial and the guy
said with a 64 bit OS it would recognize 4gb.
I hope this information helps.Thanks again.

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Service Manual Available at Dell
by mchainmchain / April 19, 2013 8:58 PM PDT
In reply to: Computer Specs

It is always a good idea to get the service manual at the vendor site. I've gone to the trouble of linking such here:

You can also get the owner's manual here too:

It looks as if the motherboard supports a maximum of 4 GB memory. With a 64-bit os, you will see the whole memory capacity installed.

It is normal for a 32-bit os to report only 2.5-3.0 GB memory when 4.0 is installed due to 32-bit limitations. For best results in upgrading the 512 MB to 1 GB cards, be sure to get the exact same cards as the 1 GB cards in slots 1 and 2. New memory cards must match exactly what you already have.

Always use an anti-static wrist strap when inside the computer case to guard against static electricity. It only takes 30 volts to damage electronic parts; doorknob discharge is in the thousands of volts.

The key here was that the motherboard and processor can support 64-bit processing, but your system was not originally configured as such.

I'd look into the Dell site a little deeper and get drivers and such before I installed the Win 7 os beforehand. Have a plan and a step by step process and you will be rewarded by a system that runs smoothly from the beginning. Use your service tag to see if Dell already has Win 7 support for your system.

Hope this helps.

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by 22780456510080458547738546144935 / April 20, 2013 11:17 AM PDT

I wanted to thank you for posting the links to the users manual and Dell site.It used to be at one time when I got my first PC a Packard Bell and then a Dell XPS they would come with the full users manual so you could read them right there in your hands.
I saw some updates on Dells update site, but those are from 2006,2007 along time ago.Is it wise to download those or might they already be on my system?
But in the mean time I will make back ups of my bookmarks and my documents and put them on a Flash Drive and also burn them to CD. I will also check some of my hardware to see if there are any updated windows 7 updates. And I will explore the users manual to see what info that has in it that will be helpful.Thanks for the links.

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Upgrading vs. Clean install
by mchainmchain / April 20, 2013 9:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

A clean install is the equivalent of a virgin install of an operating system. Typically the hard drive is blank and not formatted with a file system beforehand.

Likely you already understand what an upgrade is; it is an in-place modification of operating system files from the old to the new, and if successful, allows the installed programs and personal files to be left intact and brought forward into the new operating system.

A clean install will first format the hard drive you designate to be the operating system drive.

Formatting a drive will always result in the complete loss of all data; upgrading an operating system does not format the drive at all.

It will then proceed to install the necessary operating system files to begin the installation process of fully installing the operating system. While it is doing that, it will also look for and find drivers for the actual hardware present on your Dell system. When the appropriate driver is found, it will attempt to install that particular driver.

Sometimes the driver install will fail, and you will need a backup plan to manually install the needed driver later after the operating system installation is complete.

You will need to plan ahead and fix driver problems such as no sound, no internet, etc., and get these driver files ahead of time. If no Win 7 driver files are available, Vista 64-bit or 32-bit files should work, provided you use only the ones at the Dell site.

The vast majority of the time an os like Win 7 will have the needed driver files for your machine. But not always. Dell has a helper driver file you may need to get Dell updates and such; you may want to look into that as well.

Then there is the issue of installing the Service Pack 1 for Win 7. If the installation disk already has SP1 built-in, then your new system will come out of the box upgraded to SP1 when done. Turn on the firewall, and have active resident antivirus protection running and immediately head for Windows Updates to get all of the accumulated service advisory updates to current status as soon as possible.

As you can see, you need a plan ahead of time. A crucial part of that plan is the use of a disk imaging program; imaging the hard drive as you go along with Windows Updates is always a good idea.

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Re: Windows 7
by Kees_B Forum moderator / April 18, 2013 6:15 PM PDT

A clean install from the same disk would be fine technically. But indeed you need a new license.


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by 22780456510080458547738546144935 / April 22, 2013 12:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Windows 7

I called MS to see how much a new OS product key or license would cost and the guy told me they no longer sell
them for Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit or any Windows 7 product key. Support lasts until 2020 which is not bad. So I checked prices online for a full version of Win 7 Home Premium and the prices range between $105.00 and $199.00 so far,I am still checking. 2GB more of Ram from Crucial would be $37.99 which is ok.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

PS: Naturally the guy was pushing Windows 8.

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