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Author Topic: Win 7, XP mode, & other first install queries  (Read 9838 times)
tomos
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« on: July 18, 2011, 03:49:56 PM »

New computer arriving probably tomorrow, and I have a few queries as I know SFA about windows 7 and want to install it smiley
Hope you can help!

I'm installing Windows 7 professional. I'm interested in XP mode as I'm still using software from 1999 smiley
New machine will have 8GB ram, i5 2400 CPU. So I guess if XP mode is unsuccessfull I can use XP in a virtual whachamacallit (I have no experience yet with "virtual"!). [1] or should I install XP as well and dual boot?

Other aspects are, [2] how large a partition should I use for windows + software (very roughly) I wont be installing games but will be installing some spacehoggers like adobe illustrator.

Wont have to worry about page file till after install, but think I could chance disabling it, will wait see how I get on

[3] What's the story about win 7 recovery partition - and diagnostic tools? would I have to create a recovery partition like this:
http://en.kioskea.net/faq...eate-a-recovery-partition
not sure if I need or want that, suspect I'd prefer to work with an image made once the software is installed.


I'm sure I'll have more once I get going.
TIA, Tom
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Tom
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 04:00:48 PM »

I love the VirtualPC thing and will probably never go back to dual booting. I've got networkable virtual copies of everything back to DOS v6.22.

C: partition, I thought 40GB would be enough but it's bitten me a few times, if you got the space and are going to be using large apps go at least 60 or 80GB.

Recovery partions are only useful if you don't have the install media (IMO). If you really want to image, use a 3rd party app to image it to a completely different external drive that can be moved to a safe location.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 04:01:38 PM »

Is your computer preinstalled with Windows 7 Pro or do you have to upgrade?

If you have to upgrade just switch it on and let the manufacturer's install complete and then when you get top the desktop bung in your Pro disk and follow the Upgarde instructions (they have to be the same architecture - ie. both 32 bit or 64 bit).

If your computer isn't preinstalled or you want to change from 32 bit to 64 bit Pro then you will need to do a clean install. Boot the computer from the installation disk and do a clean install.

You don't need a recovery partition but it easy to make one - just install windows and during installation use the partition manager to select partition sizes and make an extra small partition at the end of the disk (leave about 40Gb - you can always resize it later). Do the whole install including any important apps and then use Backup in Windows 7 to create an image backup to the extra partition. When it is done go into computer management disk manager and hide the recovery partition by removing the assigned letter (you can still recover from it but you won't see it in Windows). Recovery partition is a quick easy way to do a clean reinstall with all your main software preinstalled and preactivated.

If you have a Windows DVD to install from all the recovery tools are on there and you can use them by booting from the Windows disk. Alternatively Windows backup gives the option to create a Windows Recovery CD (worth doing so that you don't overuse the MS original disk).

My partition layout goes something like this:

System Reserved: 100Mb (created by Windows Installer)
Windows partition: 100Gb
Data Partition: rest of the Disk - about 40Gb
Recovery partition: 40Gb

I have other drives installed too to allow other data storage.

Re. XPMode you need to download it from MS website (wait until you have Windows 7 installed or it won't let you).

If you have an old Windows XP disk you might want to consider using VirtualBox or VMWare instead and install XP on it. XPMode hasn't got great hardware support.
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tomos
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 04:43:54 PM »

thanks Carol & sj thumbs up
it's a custom built machine, so I'll be doing a clean install myself. Havent got either yet (machine or windows disc) so just thinking ahead yet.

I do have a couple of XP licenses so virtual sounds like the best idea. From what I've heard about windows 7 it's easy enough to install etc.

The last time I installed XP, I used Parted Magic/gparted first to setup the partitions. Will probably just do that with the win install this time.

I've got networkable virtual copies of everything back to DOS v6.22.
that sound impressive smiley
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Tom
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 06:04:56 PM »

I use gparted to do my initial setups. But I'd strongly suggest running a Microsoft "fix master boot record" (i.e. run bootrec /FixMbr from the DVD on the harddrive prior to installing Windows7 "just in case." 

Details and how-to here if you need them. Cool




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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 06:47:16 PM »

 huh You really don't like the 100MB boot partition? Given the new breed of scareware rootkits and their tendency to infect the MBR ... I'm thinking the system is best left in control of that one.

Otherwise the Windows install partitioning is super easy to use. Hit advanced, set C: as X, and worry about the rest later when you start moving in.


[Just thought to check]
On my office machine I went with a 40GB C:, and it's rather cramped these days(mentioned before). Here at home I went with 85GB and that's been much better. So ideal is probably somewhere between that and Carol's 100GB. Anything smaller = bad.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 06:51:50 PM by Stoic Joker » Logged
Carol Haynes
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 06:49:35 PM »

If you are going to dual boot XP make sure you install XP first and make sure you use the tool to align the hard disk at the format stage (Win 7 does this automatically so use that to create the other partitions - in fact you could use the windows 7 set up disk to create one partition for windows XP, allow it to format the drive and then abort the installation and install XP on it). If you install XP first it will sort out a multiboot installation when you install Windows 7 - if you install XP after 7 you will have to build a new bootrecord.

Also if XP is installed first you won't get an extra boot partition - the boot stuff for windows 7 will be placed on the XP partition to allow dual booting.

Not sure if Windows 7 Backup will backup both the XP and the 7 partition - but I can't see why not.

I would suggest:

Part 1: Windows XP (80Gb)
Part 2: Windows 7 (100Gb)
Part 3: Data (Shared between both) (Rest of the Disk)
Part 4: Recovery backup - 50Gb (to allow enough space for the whole initial install)

Both system will assume the currently running Windows is drive C (sol long as XP is installed first) - then you can use disk management to make sure that the data drive has a consistent drive letter in both versions of WIndows.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 06:55:46 PM by Carol Haynes » Logged

cranioscopical
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 08:28:10 PM »

will be installing some spacehoggers like adobe illustrator.
Don't  forget to decommission the license for that, if you still can, ready to go on the new machine.
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Chris
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 09:22:10 PM »

Hi, Tomos.  I recently bought a computer rather similar to the one you've described: Win 7 Professional 64-bit, 8 GB RAM, i5 2400.  Like you, I have some programs that date from the 1990s, and I was afraid that they wouldn't run on this machine and so I would have to figure out how to use XP mode.  Well, to my surprise, almost all the programs I have will run under Windows 7.  Every now and then, I'd be asked whether I wanted to run the program in "compatibility mode."  If I said yes, I was given a choice of various earlier versions of Windows.  I didn't have to install anything to make the computer give me this choice.  It seems to be a feature simply built into Windows 7 (or perhaps Windows 7 Professional).  Whether this is what is meant by XP-mode, I'm not sure.  I didn't expect the process to be so seamless.  Anyway, I think you too may find that all or almost all your programs will run on Windows 7 without your having to do much to make that happen.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 10:41:53 PM »

If I understand it correctly, the XP-Mode is basically a free copy of Windows XP installed in Microsoft Virtual PC.

So if you already have an XP license, you might as well install it in your VM software of choice.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 04:02:48 AM »

If I understand it correctly, the XP-Mode is basically a free copy of Windows XP installed in Microsoft Virtual PC.

So if you already have an XP license, you might as well install it in your VM software of choice.

You do understand correctly.

Having said that I installed XPMode when I set up my system but apart from the initial testing to see how it worked I have never had to use it for any real purpose. Almost everything I need has installed immediately in Windows 7 64-bit without issue. The only software I upgraded was Quickbooks.
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tomos
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011, 05:05:46 AM »

Cyberdiva, that's funny, you having the same setup and older software! Good to know of your experience, will see how I get on with a straight-forward install first. Can mess around with VM's later if necessary.

Thanks Chris, Deo, for the tips
(sent you a PM Chris re illustrator)

Carol, it sounds like I could be okay on the xp front, and if not, I can go the VM route.

Ta very much all smiley
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Tom
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2011, 07:17:44 AM »

The only trouble I had going to Vista x64, and later Win7 x64, was with 16 bit installers, and software that isn't UAC-fähig. In practice, being a developer most of the time, I have UAC turned off just for the convenience of not having to confirm program-starts during my daily work.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2011, 08:55:09 AM »

Having said that I installed XPMode when I set up my system but apart from the initial testing to see how it worked I have never had to use it for any real purpose.

I'm still clunking along on 32-bit XP and will be until my next machine.
Can XPMode run 16-bit stuff?
I tried something that's important to me on DOSBox under W7 Home Premium and that fell over, so that avenue is closed to me.
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Chris
Carol Haynes
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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2011, 08:58:26 AM »

XPMode is standard XP 32-Bit OS running in VirtualPC - so there is no reason why anything that will run in XP should have a problem in XPMode (unless it directly accesses hardware or needs a decent graphics card).

I use VMWare a fair amount for testing things in XP etc. and I find it a lot better than VirtualPC - I can even run some games in XP under VMware which I think would be very unlikely in XPMode.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2011, 10:04:32 AM »

Thanks Carol.
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Chris
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2011, 11:49:50 AM »

XPMode is standard XP 32-Bit OS running in VirtualPC

With USB support.

I'm not sure on the graphics, but I'm thinking XPMode also gives better access to the real native graphics hardware.
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4wd
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« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2011, 12:17:14 PM »

XPMode is standard XP 32-Bit OS running in VirtualPC

With USB support.

I'm not sure on the graphics, but I'm thinking XPMode also gives better access to the real native graphics hardware.

VirtualBox also gives you USB access, (at least storage, not sure about printers, etc), and DirectX access, (although Serious Sam ran very slowly smiley ).

It's also faster than XPMode, (as is every other VM software IIRC).

I think about the only useful situation where XPMode could be considered 'better' than the alternatives is in a business environment where it possibly saves the IT guys some work.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2011, 12:19:28 PM »

XPMode is definitely aimed at the business market.

Best way to use printers is to share it from the host machine but that does mean changing the way the network is accessed (by default file and printer sharing doesn't work - though you can access the host drives in an alternative manner).
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tomos
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« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2011, 06:05:42 AM »

Otherwise the Windows install partitioning is super easy to use. Hit advanced, set C: as X, and worry about the rest later when you start moving in.

I took you literally there, just created the C partition and let it off - it's "Expanding windows files" as I write thumbs up
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Tom
tomos
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2011, 10:27:25 AM »

Otherwise the Windows install partitioning is super easy to use. Hit advanced, set C: as X, and worry about the rest later when you start moving in.

I took you literally there, just created the C partition and let it off - it's "Expanding windows files" as I write thumbs up

already gone pear shaped - probably my mistake embarassed
I created a partition of 100GB and proceeded with the install (I did look at the unalotted space and wondered whether to create another partition, maybe my downfall)
What happened then was that windows was installed in the unalloted space.
So I now have:
  • 100GB partition empty, presumably at the start of the disk
  • VERY Large partition with windows in it.....

Well, Im laughing about it, so things could be a lot worse smiley

Not sure how to proceed, will probably start from scratch, can windows remove the partitions already made?
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Tom
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2011, 10:42:01 AM »

You should select/highlight the desired partition (100 GB) before clicking on Continue (or what was that button called), and maybe even format it, but I'm not sure about that.
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tomos
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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2011, 10:52:38 AM »

You should select/highlight the desired partition (100 GB) before clicking on Continue (or what was that button called), and maybe even format it, but I'm not sure about that.

Yeah, it was a very easy install but I'll be more careful next time!
I think I'll format the drive completely & start again though, no point in NOT having windows at the start of the drive....
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Tom
tomos
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2011, 01:08:31 PM »

More complications:

the computer was built with two drive, one faster one slower.
The slower drive is Disk 0
So I installed Windows on Disk 1, but the System 100MB partition went automatically on Disk 0 (or could I have made a mistake there too, no I dont believe so, I had no choice with that).

Is that a problem?
I guess I could swap the drives within the case if necessary....

in case you're totally confused by the above, left column is Disk 0, right is Disk 1

Disk 0 - slowerDisk1 - faster
System 100MBD 100gig / empty
unallocated 2gigC 800gig / Windows!

wot a messy business!
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Tom
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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2011, 01:26:33 PM »

The down side to having done this 100s of times is all the details become second nature so one forgets to mention them.  embarassed

Start the machine with only one disk installed, the one you want Windows on. You can use the Windows setup program to delete the now booboo set of partitions and start over cleanly with only the 100GB partition and the 100MB boot partition on the same drive.

If you leave it split up the way it is now it'll bite you in the ass down the road when you start trying to troubleshoot something.
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