General discussion

re-fomat disk before WIN7 install?

I am going to install WIN7 from a full WIN7 disk. Would it be wise to reformat my drive to totally wipe out Vista to be sure WIN 7 cleanly installs? Also, part of my C: drive is partitioned into a D: drive Dell restore partition. Do I need to remove this soon-to-be-useless partition prior to WIN7 install?
Thank you.

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Please don't re-format.

I've lost count how many times that trips up the Windows installer.

A blank drive with no partitions gives me the best install.

--> FIRST, must decide if you want that drive and what is there "ALL GONE." If so, we are ready.

There are 2 ways I do this. The Microsoft way and another way. Here we go.

1. STEP 9 of shows where we can remove the old partitions, create one new one and carry on with a CLEAN INSTALL.

2. The other option I use a lot is GPARTED. Found with google I can boot that CD and delete the old partitions there. Not hard to use.

Hope this helps.


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Looks like a fantastic, easy and FREE software. I will delete the Dell partition and let WIN setup do the rest. I assume WIN 7 will have the majority of the hardware drivers to run my XPS 420.

Thanks again

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If you have any questions about compatibility, you can run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor before upgrading, You can also check out the Compatibility Center if you have questions about specific hardware or software compatiblity with Windows 7.


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I've always had

I've always had the opposite experience. If the drive isn't at least partitioned, then the Windows installer gets confused and won't start. Granted this was with the "old" 2K/XP installer, so maybe the "new" Vista/7 installer has fixed this.

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Dell Driver Disk

I guess I need to install the Dell Driver/Utilities Disk after WIN7 is installed. I guess they are acceptable to WIN7 as they were to VISTA. I guess video will work under default diver temporarily, but NIC card, sound card etc. will need the proper drivers to work.Is my thinking straight?
Thanks again.

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Just go to Dell's site

Just go to Dell's support site, and put in your system's service tag or select the model from the list. If they have drivers for 7, they will be listed there. Vista drivers SHOULD work, but keep them as a last resort. Always a small chance of an unexpected interaction.

It's probably best to do this beforehand, and just have all the driver installers on a CD or something for after you've formatted.

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WIN7 Dell Drivers

Dell does not show WIN7 drivers for my Dimension XPS 420. I guess it is because it was built before WIN7 existed. The system does meet the WIN7 hardware requirements per the WIN7 Upgrade advisor. I guess I am counting on the VISTA drivers to work when re-installed in WIN7. If not, I have wasted a lot of time and money. Thanks for helping.

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Win 7 Install

Just my 2 cents worth.

Wiping the drive and doing a clean install is useful only if you have serious problems with the previous version of the OS. With an upgrade,you don't lose many of your apps, and you retain all your data. Driver installation is minimal, usually only the video driver. Win 7 installs any driver you need automatically. You may have to uninstall a program or two that the installation doesn't like. I needed six from my M1530 and none from my E1705. Some apps, mostly utilities, need an upgrade. My laptops ran fine after the upgrades, having zero problems. You can modify the D: partition after the upgrade to recover the extra 10 GB of space.

I know many feel that the clean install is the only way to go, but I disagree. Many also reinstall the OS on a routine basis, which I also disagree with. If you routinely clean up your registry and old files, there is no advantage in a routine clean install except in the case of an unrecoverable error or malware infestation.

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good point

I may have to reconsider clean install....

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