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Win 7, XP mode, & other first install queries

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

I'm installing Windows 7 professional. I'm interested in XP mode as I'm still using software from 1999 :)
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:
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

Stoic Joker:
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.

Carol Haynes:
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.

thanks Carol & sj :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.-Stoic Joker (July 18, 2011, 04:00 PM)
--- End quote ---
that sound impressive :)

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. 8)


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