How should we prepare for installing Windows 7. (Software, savegames, hardware)

I’m asking for advice but I reckon there are plenty of people in the same boat as me so this thread is for you too.

I have a couple of games that I’ve invested a lot of time and effort into. Most notably Fallout 3 and Oblivion.

Microsoft recommends a clean install of 7, and quite frankly even if it didn’t I’d still want to.

That means I need to re-install the games. I am going to make copies of what seem to be the save files of those games and then copy them back to the appropriate directories once the games have been re-installed.

For Oblivion I’ll have to make sure to re-apply the Mods.

For FO3, since I have every official DLC, re-installing that is going to be a big job. I hope I don’t run into any DRM difficulties (I paid for all but two of the DLC through Live. the two I didn’t I bought from Amazon)

I am tempted to just keep the current Vista Drive as a secondary drive and install W7 on a fresh drive.
Blah-de-blah I haven’t really made this thread as coherent as it could be. Basically I just want the W7 install to be as hassle-free as possible.


I just bought a new hard drive on which I plan to install Windows 7. (A one terabyte drive only cost a hundred bucks.) I’m going to leave the existing 640GB drive with Windows Vista untouched for a while so I can switch back to it if things go badly. Eventually, I’ll wipe it and use it as a secondary drive.

I got my latest terrabyte drive for $60 at Microcenter! :slight_smile:

Ok, now that I’m done bragging.

I JUST did this on my machine. Though I did it for a newer RC build of windows 7. I’ll pay for windows 7 just before the RC is about to stop working (March, I think?) I too have Oblivion and Fallout 3. All I did was copy over the saved game folders. Once the games are installed and updated on Windows 7 (you can re-download the DLC for Fallout 3. I had no issues doing so by logging into LIVE!) Copy the save game files from your old profile directory to your new one (I think I had to run the game once before the directories were created). Live automatically updated fallout 3 when I ran it for the first time, btw (you have to log in though).

Don’t forget to backup your favorites, and your email, as well as you critical documents, of course.

I still haven’t beaten Fallout 3. Can you believe it? I’ve run through almost every other quest though but the main one.

I nuke and pave often enough that I consider it a hobby. Things I try to do every time to make my life easier:

Drivers- I suggest downloading them beforehand in case you end up like a friend of mine who reformatted, lost his network driver in the process and couldn’t get back online to download it. I imagine you already know the importance of video drivers. Depending on your setup you may need sound drivers as well. The Win7 driver model is pretty nice- it’s built on the Vista model so theoretically any driver that works on Vista should work on 7. The only thing I found that didn’t work was my monitor software, which installs just fine but won’t function at all under any circumstance (admin mode, compatibility mode, etc). LG’s support told me they’ll get around to releasing a 7 version eventually.

Save games may or may not work because Win7 has a different folder structure and stores your data under Users instead of Documents and Settings. As mentioned above, you might have to install and start a game so you can find out where the save folders land in 7.

You can export your bookmarks to a file so that they can easily be brought back. You can do this with cookies too if you don’t want to have to sign in to every single site once you’re back up and running.

Check your Documents folders (Pictures/Music/Video) to make sure you aren’t going to lose anything in there. I’m not a big fan of how Windows has slowly been abstracting file locations from the user and 7 is king of abstraction with its Libraries feature. The libraries are just saved search results. Thanks Windows but I can organize my own files just fine.

Defrag the system after you’ve finished reinstalling everything on 7. It might be a fresh drive but the install process does not leave everything nice and linear on the disk.

If you need security software I recommend Microsoft’s Security Essentials, which is now out of beta and is absolutely free. It’s a very low-profile security suite unlike AVG or the like which feel the need to bleat at you every five seconds to say I’M PROTECTING YOU! AREN’T YOU GRATEFUL?!?! Security Essentials sits in the system tray and turns the icon from blue to orange when it needs something from you, which will either be an update or a scan. Both of these can be done painlessly in the background. In fact, it’s so low profile it’s almost dangerous because Win7 likes to hide tray icons so you might not notice it needs an update. However, definition updates for it come down through Windows Update which is automatic in 7 so you’ve got some coverage there.

From which version of XP / Vista are you upgrading and to which version of Windows 7 are you upgrading?

You cannot do an in-place upgrade from a 32 bit OS to a 64 bit OS. I upgraded from 64 bit Vista Ultimate to 64 bit Windows 7 Ultimate and I made sure I had good backups, put the DVD in the drive, started the upgrade process, and left it going. It took about 12 hours. But I’ve had only one problem since.

Quartz, Lobsang specified a clean install, which has the advantage of taking much less time. On my machine it takes about 20 minutes to install.

I don’t recommend that anyone do an in-place upgrade if they have a choice. It takes a lot less time to just back your data up and start fresh.

Yes, he did, but my point was that he doesn’t necessarily need to. The upgrade process works. It takes time, but you simply leave it going overnight, while you’re asleep. And if it fails, you’ve got your backups.

How will it work if the Windows 7 media is an upgrade edition, but I want to do a clean install? Will I need to insert the Windows Vista media to prove that I’ve got an earlier OS?

That’s how it used to work. I assume it will still be the case.

twelve. freaking. hours???

I think I’ll do a clean install (was going to anyway. Better peace of mind that way.)

What I’m going to do is get off the vista drive anything I want to keep (savegames, films, TV etc) and do a clean install on that.

I have my copy now BTW. Was delivered by a third-party delivery company because Britain’s primary services just love striking. (Post Office)

When I upgraded from XP to Vista, I assumed this as well. So I reformatted my hard drive, then stuck the Vista DVD in, only to be told XP had to actually be installed.:mad:

So I reinstalled XP, then upgraded to Vista. Later, of course, I found out about the trick to just cancel when it asks for the reg key.

Anyway, I read somewhere - don’t remember where - that Win 7 will be the same way, possibly minus the trick. Almost makes it worth just buying the full version…

I guess I’ll find out tomorrow. I have a midterm in the morning, so I didn’t allow myself to buy Win 7 today. The temptation to blow off studying would have been too great…

So, assuming i have no problem doing a clean install, is there any reason not to switch from Vista 32 bit to Windows 7 64 bit? I’d like to be able to install more ram.

I don’t think besides driver issues, there is no reason not to use 64 bit. I am a happy camper with 64-bit. Most of my 32-bit applications (games mostly) work fine.

When will the Windows 7 RC nag screen pops up? I am still using the RC though my shiny copy of Win 7 is besides me; I am just too lazy to re-format and re-install :stuck_out_tongue:

You’re supposed to run the installer from within your activated version of Windows and then when it reboots you specify clean install and go from there.

However, if you want you can skip product key entry, install and then re-install 7 over top of itself to trick it into thinking you’re activated.

Details on how to do it for Vista here:

Error message you’ll get if you try to do a clean install from an upgrade disc without using this trick:

The Windows 7 installation went fine. (I started with a drive containing a bare Windows Vista install.) But now I’m thinking whether I should install the 64 bit version instead. The big advantage I can think of is that I can add more than 4GB of memory. Is that the only reason to do so? Are there any reasons not to do so?

I bought a new computer in August. It came downgraded with XP. I am now eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 7. Dell is supposed to send me upgrade instructions next week.

How do I back up my existing data? I have a terrabyte drive. Do I just ask it to back up the entire c: drive?

We bought the Windows 7 Family upgrade pack (you can install the upgrade on up to three computers). I installed Win 7 on our laptop as a clean install, even though the laptop was running Vista, because we wanted to downgrade to the 32-bit version (we’ve encountered too many hassles with things that won’t run on the 64-bit version).

The instructions on Microsofts Windows 7 web site (sorry, I don’t have the link available) we actually pretty good – I followed them for the upgrade, and didn’t encounter any difficulties at all.

Of course, the laptop had the fewest documents, games, etc., installed on it. I’m going to have to take a deep breath before I start the upgrade on my Alienware gaming rig that’s running Windows XP.