Thinking of upgrading to Windows 7

  Esc4p3 22:20 13 Mar 2013

Hi there

I currently have Windows Vista 32 bit and am thinking of moving to Windows 7 32 bit. I have run Windows 7 upgrade advisor, which didn't highlight anything too bad (just a few out of date programs). The PC is a nearly 6 year old Evesham PC with 2gb ram, 2.4ghz Core 2 duo E6600 processor, 400gb hdd, 640mb 8800gts graphics card.

At the moment, I am using the PC for music production, gaming (just finished Assassins Creed 3) and general office duties. However, I am thinking of moving over to the dark side of gaming (consoles) and just leaving the PC with the easier stuff....otherwise I would be looking at a more substantial PC upgrade.

I may consider doubling the ram (with 32bit limitations obviously) and also upgrading the hard drive to 1tb or so.

My question, is it worth my investment? I don't see why the pc won't run Windows 7? My other question, is how to do it. Do I buy a new HDD, and install Windows 7 on that, then set the current HDD as a slave and gradually copy files across, or format and reinstall the current HDD from scratch. I have good backups of all my files on 2 separate USB hDDs.

All advice greatly received! Cheers, Carl.

  lotvic 00:59 14 Mar 2013

I've got a 7 year old dell 9150 with XPmce. The way I did it is:

Got Retail W7, as you get 32bit and 64bit dvds with that and no problem if/when I buy new pc.

bought new 1TB hdd (got 3 as wanted others for backup and extra storage)

disconnected XP hdd and connected and installed W7 32bit on a 200GB partition on 1TB drive on Sata 0 on motherboard. My motherboard will only take 4GB ram max and also couldn't get drivermod for W7 for onboard sound (ancient Sigmatel IDT onboard sound) to enable line in/stereo mix to record with Audacity.

I used free EaseUs Partition manager to make the partitions on new hdds prior to installing W7

I now run both as separate OS's, swapping the sata cables over on back of hdds to make connecting the one I want to boot from to motherboard Sata 0.

I am hampered from easier choice of ways to do it as I didn't want a dual boot manager and dell bios doesn't give me F8 choice of drives to boot OSs.

I have so many programs on XP that because of the licences, Giveaway of the Day freebies that I can't put on W7, I wanted to keep XP for those. But I am gradually gathering more W7 ones now.

I keep all my data on separate internal 1TB drive on sata 2 (and backups go to the 3rd one via usb) so it is all accessible from whichever (W7 or XP) OS I boot into. The other OS then becomes a slave on Sata 1 slot on motherboard.

Not a sophisticated setup but I am happy with it at present as all hdds are visible in Windows Explorer. Won't be long now before I get new Tower and make the leap to all W7 on new one. That means I can still keep old Dell XP working as normal as an extra pc.

  lotvic 01:15 14 Mar 2013

I should add that I keep OS and programs partition smaller to make it easier and quicker for Acronis Images for backing up/restoring XP and W7.

It also makes it more secure having my data on a separate hdd, I can easily disconnect that drive and with the aid of a cable turn it into a usb drive and access my data on my ancient ThinkPad should it be necessary.

  Esc4p3 09:19 14 Mar 2013

Thanks lotvic, that's a really comprehensive answer and in line with what I was thinking. Funnily enough it is Acronis that is one of the programs upgrade advisor fails, but it is about time I updated it anyway.

another thing that would be useful is an order of works when reinstalling everything. What drivers I may need to have ready, such as mobo and other core ones. It has been a very long time since I tinkered, so am a bit nervous....or does windows handle all that?

  lotvic 21:47 15 Mar 2013

From personal use and experience of Acronis, it makes no difference if you use the boot cd/dvd for making images, as that works without Windows being started up.

I found that W7 already had all the drivers needed and didn't get any warning triangles in Device Manager Hardware.

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