Windows 7 forum


Can't do clean install of Windows 7 Operating System

I just bought a refurbished Dell desktop PC that came with Windows XP Home preloaded.

I have bought the disc from Microsoft for Windows 7 OS and want to do a clean install on that PC.

When I put in the Windows 7 disc and restart the PC, the cursor will appear for about a minute flashing in the upper left hand corner of the black screen before the machine finally boots to Windows XP Home edition.

Things I've tried:

1. Reboot and hit F2 to check the reboot order which is already set to do "Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive" as the first choice.

2. Reboot and hit F12 to see if there are any other options that make sense (which don't to me).

3. Reboot in Safe Mode (and then what do I do?)

Here's my PC's configuration:

Dell GX280 DesktopPentium 4 2.80 GHz

750 Gb Hard Drive

2 Gb RAM

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.<span id="INSERTION_MARKER">

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All Answers

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Well for starters

In reply to: Can't do clean install of Windows 7 Operating System

Well for starters, you really probably wouldn't be happy with the performance of Windows 7 on a P4 system in the first place, so this may be something of a blessing in disguise. Vista and 7 were very much designed with dual and quad core CPUs in mind. Even if you have a hyperthreaded P4, it's not going to be the same. The process scheduler was overhauled in a big way with Vista, and 7 just being a minor update to Vista, just has it tweaked and refined even more.

If you haven't activated that copy of 7, you should be able to get a refund off Microsoft for it. I'd do that, and just stick with XP or something else like Linux until you get a better system.

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I want to keep and use Windows 7 OS

In reply to: Well for starters

Windows 7 has already been activated on an older Dell and worked fine (and on a Pentium III). I'm formatting the old PC hard drive and donating it. On my newer PC I want to use the same Windows 7 that was working on the older Dell PC. All I need to know is how to install it.

When I go into the Bios my boot order is:

Bios Boot Choices:

1. Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive
2. Onboard or USB Floppy Drive
3. Onboard SATA Hard Drive
4. Onboard IDE Hard Drive (not present)
5. Onboard Network Controller

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If it is not booting from the CD-ROM

In reply to: I want to keep and use Windows 7 OS

Just a note here, that Windows 7 disk is a DVD not a CD, so you need a CD/DVD ROM that is bootable. If your Dell GX280 does not have a DVD drive then the process stops there.

If the drive is CD/DVD then either the drive is faulty or the disk is faulty. If the drive is faulty replace it. if the disk is, then some users have had success in a complete copy of the disk to a new DVD, but that is not guaranteed. You could try a lens cleaner kit.

One other thing, since this Win 7 is already activated on some other computer it may not activate on this new one initially and you may have to contact Microsoft to explain what you have done.


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Important: Regarding your system specifications.

In reply to: Can't do clean install of Windows 7 Operating System

I think the previous post is very important to pay attention to. Windows 7 is a DVD not a CD. If you have a CD-ROM/RW then you will not be able to install from disk.

In respects to the comments regarding the ability to run 7 on older hardware, 7 is actually very resourceful in and of itself and has a lot of flaws in the kernal that were present in the previous NT builds resolved which require less hardware to operate functionally. It's important to note that you may want to disable AERO for maximum performance on an older laptop/video card with less than 512mb of dedicated memory.

I've also run across a fairly common issue with re-installations on Dells. Make sure in the BIOS that the disk is not trying to build a raid-array and note whether AHCI is enabled or not. If it is, try disabling it.

You may also want to try formating the drive with an XP cd and then installing from the 7 disk. However this shouldnt be required. I have a very strong feeling that your problem lies within the fact that WIN7 is a DVD and you probably only have a CD-RW drive.

Can you please verify your disk drive.

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On second thought

In reply to: Important: Regarding your system specifications.

I just thought of something.

When your installing, on a DELL it automatically attempts using AHCI and or RAID. So go into your BIOS and disable AHCI and make sure its not attempting to create a raid array. I bet 90% likely this is the issue.

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Ahh that thing.

In reply to: Can't do clean install of Windows 7 Operating System

I've found older machines can't boot the DVD. Fixes are many so I'll just the most common I use.

1. Install a new DVDRW drive.
2. Clean the DVD LENS.
3. Oops, it's a CDROM drive. See idea 1.
4. The DVD is not master on it's channel. Make it so.
5. The BIOS was not set to boot from the DVD.
6. The machine is so old that it's BIOS can't boot from DVD!

That's the usual so let's see what you can shoot down.

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In reply to: Can't do clean install of Windows 7 Operating System

I had problems installing Win7 on my Gateway GT5628 and the problem turned out to be the fact that Gateway had put in an IDE DV/DRW with SATA hard drives. I kept getting an unable to find driver for DVD (even though it was reading the DVD). I had the same problem installing from my USB external drive. I found several posts that had the same problem and the solution was to install a SATA DVDRW. I don't know if this is any help but good luck.

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