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Partitioning and formatting for clean install

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#1 gellswor


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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:58 PM

I am moving from Vista to Windows 7 doing a clean install from an upgrade disk.  I have purchased a new 1TB disk to use, I plan to archive my existing system disk in my safe.  I would like the new HDD to have the same letters, C and D, as my existing HDD.


My Question:


How do I get the new drive partitioned and formatted with the correct drive letters?  Once I remove my current HDD, I no longer have an OS, hence no windows, hence no ability to partition/format a HDD.


I assume I am missing something here, it can't be as difficult as I am making it seem, so I would greatly appreciate some advice.


Thank You.

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#2 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:22 PM



You can use the upgrade media to do a clean install of Widows 7. What you basically need to do is the follows.


 -Boot from the upgrade media and partition the hard drive to your needs. I suggest creating 3 partitions - a 100 GB C Drive and 2 partitions for data storage.


 -During installation, don't enter the product key. Also unselect the "automatically activate Windows when i am online" check box 


 -After installation finished and system boots to desktop, manually enter the key and activate either via online or by phone.


 - Image the C drive to avoid the hassles of re installing next time.


If you encounter any activation problems, there are workaround exists .


Here is a great guide which illustrates all possible methods of clean install with upgrade media.





If you are not sure about how to partition the drive, watch this nice video tut.


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 16 May 2013 - 01:43 PM.

#3 hamluis



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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:42 PM

To be perfectly honest...drive letters don't really matter to Windows...other than the letter assigned to the partition reflecting the Windows install :).


Every install of Windows...no matter if it's the only install or whether it is one of several Windows installs on that system...will reflect the letter C, when booted into.  All other partition/drive letters (if any) reflecting a Windows install...will then change to something else.


This is because the C: designation...refers to the Windows partittion which is currently booted into.  Some refer to this as the "acrtive partition" but that's really inaccurate, since any bootable partition is, by definition, an "active partition."


I'll use this system that I'm on to illustrate what I'm saying.


I have 3 hard drives, reflecting a total of 8 partitions.  One partition reflects my XP install, one partition reflects my Win 7 install...the other six reflect various storage partitions  (Movies, Graphics, Require Work, Warehouse, Music, Overflow).


When I installed XP, it was the C: partition.  When I installed Win 7, it was the C: partition and my XP install became D:.  The optical drive is E: on either install.


When I boot into the XP install, as I am now, it is the C: partition. My Win 7 install becomes D: automatically.


When I boot into my Win 7 install, the Win 7 partition becomes C:, with the XP partition being the D: partition automatically, when viewed from My Computer.


Assigning drive letters by Windows...happens automatically, there is no reason to be concerned with such.


FWIW:  If you plan to do a clean install using an upgrade version of Win 7...you may have to have your old hard drive with the XP install detectable by the Win 7 install.  That's perfectly normal, IME.


As for formatting the Windows 7 install...the means for doing that is included within the instructions reflected in the upgrade disk and it will be done as part of the installation process.  The Win 7 DVD provides the ability to create a new partition, then format it...then install Win 7 on that partition.


Windows 7 install completes.


At this point, you have two hard drives, with 2 Windows installs (XP and Win 7).  When you reboot, you will be given the option of choosing whichever you want to boot into.


If you don't want to keep the XP install hard drive on your system...just shut the system down, remove the drive...and reboot.


You may still get a boot screen that reflects the XP install...but that can be corrected by editing the boot files of the Windows 7 install...later.



#4 gellswor

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:18 PM

Thanks for the help!  As soon as I get my HDD, I'm on my way!

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