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Author Topic: Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7  (Read 2716 times)

cranioscopical

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Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7
« on: October 07, 2013, 10:38:38 PM »

In a classic case of the blind leading the blind I have to help someone upgrade her XP netbook to Windows 7.

At the moment I don't have an available copy of Windows 7 so I'd welcome any suggestions about where to get one these days.

The netbook will boot from a USB stick.
It has an Atom N270 1.6 GHz processor.
1 GB memory.
160 GB hard drive.

So, my questions are

    Assuming I can get my hands on new Windows 7 DVD, what's the best way to go about creating a bootable USB stick and getting the DVD contents onto that?

    Any idea if Windows 7 will update the existing XP leaving things intact (data and executables)?

    Which version of Win7 should I be looking for?


(The software now on the machine is legitimate but nobody knows where the installation media are, nor does there appear to be a record of serial numbers. Having to wipe the drive will therefore have unhappy consequences.)

Your help would be appreciated.
 

wraith808

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Re: Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2013, 10:42:25 PM »
As far as I know, there is no upgrade path from XP to Windows 7.  You have to do a clean install.

http://windows.micro...o-windows-7#T1=tab01

As far as where to get it, I just purchased copies from Newegg a bit ago.

http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16832116986


Ath

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Re: Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2013, 01:39:39 AM »
As far as I know, there is no upgrade path from XP to Windows 7.  You have to do a clean install.

Correct, but it's possible to do the in-between step of Vista. It'll feel like hell, taking ages for 2 consecutive upgrades, but if an upgrade is required to keep some unique application installed, it's a solution.

Though I do advise to make a clean W7 install, if only for stability and sanity.
W7 can quite easily be installed from an USB stick. Step-by-step procedures all over google.

oblivion

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Re: Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2013, 04:31:47 AM »
Though I do advise to make a clean W7 install, if only for stability and sanity.
W7 can quite easily be installed from an USB stick. Step-by-step procedures all over google.
In case it's available at a discount from the standard version, I would also say that my netbook (which came preinstalled with Win7 Starter Edition) works fine with that version. The only notable issues for me are: you can't set wallpaper (but there's a freebie called Oceanis Change Background that works very nicely) and you can't spread your desktop over multiple monitors (but if your netbook allows you to plug in an external monitor W7SE will cheerfully use it AND remember what screen resolution is appropriate for it.) There probably are other deficiencies but I've never found any reason to consider upscaling to a fuller version of W7...
-- bests, Tim

...this space unintentionally left blank.

mouser

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Re: Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2013, 04:50:20 AM »
Given your scenario, the first order of business is to make a full image backup of the netbook hard drive, onto an external usb hard drive, which you should already own.  Any drive imager software will work, but I use Macrium Free edition in such situations.

That will give you both peace of mind if you have to go back, and just as importantly, access to the installed programs and data if you need them later.   If you think you might need access to the files and have enough room on your external usb drive, do a normal COPY of all files on the netbook hd in addition to the drive image, just to make it easier to access the files until you know you have them all transfered.

One option to installing using a windows 7 dvd on a netbook pc, is to buy an external dvd drive.




4wd

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Re: Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2013, 05:58:25 AM »
You can download the official Windows 7 ISOs, (you still need to purchase a valid license), and use to install on a machine, direct from Digital River.

Official Windows 7 SP1 ISOs

You can use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to create a bootable flash drive of the ISO to install with.

Note that unless you install Windows 7 with a valid license it will install into trial mode in which you have 30 days to try it out.  This can be rearmed a total of 3 times to give you a trial period of 120 days after which it requires that you register it with a valid license.

The eicfg removal utility will allow you to install all retail versions of Windows 7 using the one ISO, (within the same architecture naturally), this includes Starter, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate.  What you choose to install will need a matching license if you want to keep using that version after the trial period ends.

Depending on the existing netbook configuration, I would recommend upgrading the RAM to the maximum 2GB, (1.5GB for some early netbooks, eg. Acer ZG5 chassis).

Re. the installed software, depending on what it is you may have some success in using a license backup program to discover the serial/license, eg. License Crawler.  Otherwise, most software keeps its serial/license info either in the registry, (which means you can export the relevant keys), or a file under the program directory, %USERDATA%, or %PROGRAMDATA%, (which means you can just save it) - used to be the way you were able to reinstall GAOTD programs.

As for the installers for the programs, you can usually find them somewhere on the net or the company typically keeps previous versions, (sometimes on its ftp servers), so a polite email may help - especially if you can produce a valid license.

And like Ath, I'd recommend only a clean install of Win7 especially onto something like a netbook with its limited resources.

Or if you're feeling adventurous PickMeApp claims to be able to transfer programs between XP and Windows 7 - you have to register to get the download links.  Otherwise you can try the light version, PickMeAppLight, without registering.

Needless to say, as per mouser, backup the system before trying - and I'll add, backup twice to two different storage devices and test the backups.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 06:59:54 AM by 4wd »

Shades

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Re: Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2013, 07:18:05 AM »
I found that a small, simple, free and portable tool called 'Rufus' makes bootable USB sticks from any Windows DVD (or Linux for that matter) even when the computer that has to create the bootable USB stick does not run on Windows 7.

On another note, I noted that my old 2GByte RAM, XP based dual core PC with 1GByte/sec onboard network card communicated better/faster with my Linux server I use to backup my data to than the 8GByte, i5, Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate with 1GByte/sec onboard network card. I re-used the HD from the XP PC in the new PC and did a clean install of Win 7 (with the bootable USB stick I made on my XP PC).

All I did on the XP PC was aligning the partitions and the speed difference was really noticeable. If it is speed you are after, a netbook made for XP might benefit more from partition alignment than anything else. Considering getting a netbook made for Windows 7/8 might prove to be better bet overall as the 1GByte of RAM of the current one is not that much.

In my experience Windows 7 is quite workable with 2GByte of RAM and improves quite a bit still with 4GByte of RAM. An external DVD drive is a bet I wouldn't consider as the netbook might not be able to boot from it. Unfortunately it can be that the BIOS inside the netbook supports the option, but it could be very picky about the brand of the drive or the controller that the drive uses.

wraith808

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Re: Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 09:29:28 AM »
Correct, but it's possible to do the in-between step of Vista. It'll feel like hell, taking ages for 2 consecutive upgrades, but if an upgrade is required to keep some unique application installed, it's a solution.


I didn't even mention that b/c its not really viable in the space that most netbooks have (ask me how I know).  Once I got through both, the system was pretty borked and slow, and I had very little HDD space left.  Thankfully, I had an image of how it was before, so I was able to just do a clean install and get what I needed from the image.

MilesAhead

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Re: Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 10:50:21 AM »
The "intact upgrade" approach is detailed in this thread

Assuming you make a backup image so that you can get back to square one if need be, another alternative is to get an ISO image of W7 and do a clean install with no product key.  It should allow you to evaluate Windows Seven on the machine for 90 days.  If you use this technique be sure to impress upon the owner of the machine that they should not commence an activation when prompted.  Unless of course they have decided all is well and they wish to purchase a license etc..

90 days should be plenty of time to decide if Windows Seven is nice to use.  If the owner turns out not to be thrilled, the system image of XP can always be restored.

edit:  The sojourn from XP to Vista to W7 I only found by search.  But sevenforums is a good site with knowledgeable posters.  I should note that the "Custom Install" which leaves a lot of the old OS stuff still does gather up programs installed in Program Files and the registy entries etc.. and wraps them in Windows.old folder.  So it's not like you can just keep using installed apps.  But data is ok.  Stuff that doesn't need install, like AHK programs etc.. that I put on my machine in C:\Utils, well they came through the custom install I did from Vista to W7 and I could use them just by making a new shortcut.

On the 90 day evaluation... install with no product key.. many people get paranoid and think it is some kind of a hack. Not at all. It's totally legal.  In fact sevenforums and vistaforums are both loaded with Microsoft MVPs and very paranoid about any license infringing info such as booting another OS to overwrite Admin passwords etc...  They won't post it if they think it's questionable. Even on sevenforums there's a tutorial to "rearm" the 90 day evaluation to get 30 more days.  The OS is fully operational during the evaluation.  No hamstrung demo crapola.   Just so you know.  :)
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 01:19:44 PM by MilesAhead »

cranioscopical

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Re: Objective upgrade Netbook with XP to Netbook with Win 7
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 01:52:35 PM »
Thanks to everybody for the replies!

Plenty of good guidance here for me.

I'd forgotten (briefly) even the existence of Vista, which is why I was thinking of an XP to 7 upgrade. Given the circumstances I'll opt for a clean install of W7.

I use mainly Macrium Reflect Pro for backups, so that would be my first step (and second  :) )

I'll trawl around the netbook for any keys I can find. I'll probably recommend some good freeware alternatives to anything I can't fix.

Mainly, this machine will be for internet browsing (NOT with IE), email, data, some utils to make life more pleasant/safe, and a few basic games. That's probably not too challenging, even for a low-resource machine.

The reason for changing is that XP is moving out of support. If I could keep this thing off of the internet it would be XP for ever.

As always, DC is a great starting point to gather informed opinion  :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup: