Before OEM WIN7 install, format HDDs now, or during O.S. Install?

vbimport

#1

Hello,
I WANT TO DO A CLEAN INSTALL of WIN7. I now have WIN XP PRO.

I have an OEM version of Windows7 Pro. I presently have Windows XP Home and want to format two of my three HDDS. I’m changing the boot drive from my 74GB RAPTOR to my 500GB Blue caviar, so after moving everything from my500GB storage to my new 2TB Caviar green HDD, I’m ready to format both the first two drives and install win7.

Can I format these drives first, go in the BIOS change to boot sequence from Raptor Boot Drive to the DVD/Rom to boot the WIN7 from, or should I format while installing Win7?

Is it absolutely necessary to unplug the other two drives, while formatting and installing the WIN7 O.S.? People tell me that there is a chance of the OS installing sometimes on the other drives.

Also, if I want to change the now boot drive Local disk letter © to my storage drive (G) and the other two drives letters can I do this in manage disks, anytime?

Thx :disagree:


#2
  1. What speed is your WD Blue drive -> RPM’s really make a difference for your OS drive.

  2. Partition and format your 2TB HDD … the sector boundaries are gonna be all messed up, so you’ll have to do it again later using Windows 7, you just need a temporary place to stick your doco’s & stuff.

  3. Stick the Windows 7 CD in, and run the migration wizard/Windows Easy Transfer from the windows 7 Disc … it collates all your files, locally stored emails, address books & etc/etc and store it on the new 2TB HDD. Take note of what programs you have installed (it gives you a report at the end).

  4. Do either of :
    4a) Reboot, get into the bios & change the HDD boot order.
    4b) Turn your PC off. Open your case and switch the cable connections between your boot 74GB Raptor HDD & your 500GB HDD, because if you reflash your bios at some point, you don’t have to remember to reset the boot drive order :wink:

  5. Install Windows 7 to your 500GB HDD, partitioning it however you want.

  6. Install all programs that you noted earlier …

  7. Run the Easy Transfer wizard, and point it to the files that you stored earlier.

  8. Repartition your 2TB HDD using windows 7 -> Delete all existing partitions.

  9. Wait 2 weeks before reformatting your 74GB WinXP install, in case you’ve missed any files.

You can also do the bios thing first, install Win7 to the 500GB HDD, partition the 2TB HDD however you want, go back to bios, change back to the 74GB HDD, boot, run the Easy transfer wizard in XP, reboot, change the boot HDD, boot back to Win7 … restore doco’s from the easy transfer backup … but that would mean getting into bios multiple times … which i guess is easy enough … just seems like more screwing around.

It is NOT necessary to unplug other drives during OS install …[B][I][U][B] ON THE PROVISO[/B][/U][/I][/B] that you HAVE changed the boot order in bios to make your OS drive the first boot drive.
If you didn’t change the boot order in bios (and accidentally left it as the 74GB Raptor), windows 7 will install it’s boot loader to the 74GB raptor … and all the windows/system files & folders to your 500GB HDD. If you then remove the 74GB HDD, or change the HDD boot order in bios … your PC will sit there and look at you funny, because it can’t find the boot loaders.

You can re-assign drive letters for all drives/partitions except:

  1. The boot partition -> This partition is nominated “C:”
  2. The partition that windows system files reside on (for the currently running OS) -> usually nominated as “C:”, but may be “D:” if the boot partition is not the same as the system partition.

In most computers, 1 & 2 are the same -I understand that Windows 7 forgoes the boot partition with it’s boot loader.

Something I find handy is that you can mount entire partitions in an empty folder … I love that :wink:


#3

When installing Windows7 to a hard drive there is one difference that you’ll see depending on if you do the format and initial partition of the drive with the windows installation disc or if you install the new installation of windows 7 on a partition created elsewhere…

This difference is that if you partition the drive as a seperate, prior operation
the OS partition will be the size you choose.

If however you create a partition form a “Raw” or drive on which you have deleted all the partitions the OS partition that the Windows 7 installation creates will be 100mb smaller than whatever size you choose.

that 100mn isn’t lost, but the FIRST partition on the drive will be an unlettered
"System reserved space" / “Paging file” partition

As windows editions in general won’t let you create more than Three primary partitions, any additional partitions will be created as “Logical drives” nested inside an “extended partition”

But here’s a unique wrinkle, if you do your backups by a “Brute force” approach like I do, and that is to NOT create windows generated backups
but rather simply clone the entire hard drive, making the OS partition as
a seperate prior operation makes it easier to clone the drive and create a functioning clone is easier.

I’ve used only ONE cloning program that correctly clones a windows 7 operating system when it has the seperate 100mb Reserve partition, Clonezilla.

BTW, Vista and Win7 will only create three primary partitions (the unlettered partition counts) Windows XP will create a fourth.

So when I’m setting up a windows 7 OS on a notebook with a large drive
I tend to create what will be the OS partition as a seperate operation on
another computer (this blocks the creation of the seperate 100mb partition and includes it in the main OS partition) AND allows as many as four primary partitions (presuming that the last one will be created while the drive is connected to a computer running a Windows XP system.)

It is my impression that allowing that 100mb partition to be created allows a computer to boot just a tick faster than one where Windows7 was either
installed onto an existing partition OR installed as an “upgrade” over a previous Vista syste, but with sufficiently fast hardware the difference is less than the tolerance of my ability to measure the difference.

I’ve installed Windows 7 on a bunch of desktop computers using 500gb 7200rpm WD “blue” drives.

My habit is to use 65-ish Gb for the OS partition and the remaining 400gb
for a single large data partition Typically this is for non critical media files that are also backed up somewhere else (typically several “somewhere elses”)

Windows 7 simply doesn’t “bloat up” as badly as a Vista installation does
so more than 65gb really isn’t necissary.

For a DATA drive it doesn’t matter how it’s partitioned.

New Format technology drives are subject to the same issues with partition “alignment” as SSD drives are, but this only applies to OS drives.

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#4

[QUOTE=rivrbyte;2596830]Hello,
I WANT TO DO A CLEAN INSTALL of WIN7. I now have WIN XP PRO.

I have an OEM version of Windows7 Pro. I presently have Windows XP Home and want to format two of my three HDDS. I’m changing the boot drive from my 74GB RAPTOR to my 500GB Blue caviar, so after moving everything from my500GB storage to my new 2TB Caviar green HDD, I’m ready to format both the first two drives and install win7.[/QUOTE]

You just have to make sure all your important data from the Rapter and Blue is all moved to your 2TB before formatting those other two drives. To get the full usage of W7pro a clean full install is the best option if your have the full version. And in any case you can’t upgrade from XP to W7 it will not work as W7 will ask to reformat and wipe clean the XP formatted drive. Also when you start formatting the drive in W7 pick the more options so you will make sure you complete wipe clean the 500G drive and any partitions that are there so you will get all of the drive space.

[QUOTE=rivrbyte;2596830]Can I format these drives first, go in the BIOS change to boot sequence from Raptor Boot Drive to the DVD/Rom to boot the WIN7 from, or should I format while installing Win7?[/QUOTE]

Without knowing what motherboard and what and how each HDD are connected that will be hard to know what sequence and hooked you will have to do to get the right boot setup?? You can always reformat those empty HDD after installing W7 on the Main C:\ boot drive. And yes, the Sata motherboard does allow you to choose which sata connector is the boot drive but it usually safer for my purpose to make the main drive the first Sata connector but you can choose differently but make sure you remember where each drive is.

[QUOTE=rivrbyte;2596830]Is it absolutely necessary to unplug the other two drives, while formatting and installing the WIN7 O.S.? People tell me that there is a chance of the OS installing sometimes on the other drives.[/QUOTE]

Those other drives can be hooked up still and powered up and it won’t affected the drive that will be your Root Boot drive. But you have to make sure your formatting the correct HDD and not your backup HDD. Windows will always want to be on the root drive C:\ not any other drive maybe for dual boot but if you just going W7 then it will be C:. You don’t need to remove the other two drives but if it will give you peace of mind then unplug the data and power cable so the computer won’t try to use those other drives and plug them back in after your down formatting and before plugging them in shutdown the computer completely first then plug them back and restart your computer.

[QUOTE=rivrbyte;2596830]Also, if I want to change the now boot drive Local disk letter © to my storage drive (G) and the other two drives letters can I do this in manage disks, anytime?

Thx :disagree:[/QUOTE]

Windows will not boot correctly as it is expecting the C:\ to be the root drive. But as before without knowing your motherboard make it will be hard to know how to inform you what setup you need to do. I would advise not doing this as W7 might not like the setup cause it will do and format differently from XP and how it was set to which drive is C:\ or not. It’s always best if you have Sata to plug the drive that will become C:\ to Sata 1 and the rest on the other Sata connectors. But for Sata you can tell the Bios which drive will be the boot drive as well. But I myself just hook the drive that will be C:\ to Sata 1 regardless and then check the switch on the motherboard to make sure my Sata1 connector is the main drive and so on.