Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7!

By golfnut 58 ยท 8 replies
Oct 20, 2011
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  1. I just bought a 3 yr old desktop Dell Inspiron 530 with Windows Vista Basic installed on it. The psu has gone bad and has to be replaced.
    I have a Dell Studio 1749 with Windows 7 on it. Shortly after I bought the said laptop (last year) I created a system recovery disc. My question is this: Can I use the system recovery disc to install windows 7 on this dell inspiron 530? Or do I have to purchase a upgrade disc from dell? All answers appreciated. Thanks!

  2. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    The recovery disc created from Win7, isn't the same thing as installing Win7 O/S.
    It's a way of sorting out a damaged (already installed) O/S.
    I would think the Recovery disc you created will be linked by it's product key to the original pc it was created from, so won't be of any use on a second pc.
    On the other hand, you can buy the 'Upgrade from Vista' disc, which is cheaper than the full retail Win7. It's what I did as soon as Win7 came out. It will have it's own product key.
    There can be some driver problems when installing Win7 on an older pc, (one that was built before Win7 existed) but my Dell 5150 is 2005/6 and I have had no trouble at all. It was originally supplied by Dell with XP pro installed, then I upgraded it with Vista, then 7. Also upped the RAM to 3GB DDR2. Hoped that helps.
  3. golfnut 58

    golfnut 58 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Mike. I thought the system recovery disc could not be used but I wanted to check with the experts first. The dell inspiron 530 is a 2008 model so there shouldn't be any problems with drivers if I buy the upgrade version.

    Let me ask one more thing. The hdd is a 160 gb sata drive that is in the inspiron 530 desktop computer. My question is, if I was to remove the sata drive and install in my older dell desktop computer with windows xp home, is there an adapter for the power supply and sata cable to motherboard? The reasoning is my daughter loves her xp home and it only has a 40gb drive. That and I don't know when I will be able to buy a new psu because I've had 3 surgeries this year and missed alot of work. The drive now in the older dell is a ide drive and looking at the ps cable, they don't match.
  4. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    If I'm understanding this correctly, you intend to take a 160GB sata hard drive and build it into an older pc that currently has a 40GB IDE HD with XP on?
    In a word, probably yes. There is an adapter that claims to adapt one to the other;


    But then you will have to install XP from scratch, 'day one' type of thing.
    As long as you have an original XP disc and product key, it should activate.
    ( There may be a SATA/RAID driver to install in this case as XP didn't support SATA drives as standard.)
    So any wanted files will have to be saved off the 40GB HD first.

    Another option is...
    If the older pc can support 2 hard drives, it would be much easier to fit the 160GB as slave drive, and leave the existing 40GB HD with XP on as is. So you will have 'C' with XP on, and 'D' as an empty 160GB storage drive.
    You may find when connecting to the 'net, that XP needs to 'activate' your O/S again as it is considered a major change in hardware. It should be fine.

    You may know that the obvious option, to copy the XP drive contents over to the 160GB drive, is the one option you cannot do, as it will fail the Microsoft 'activation test'. ( A very common problem).
    The only real problem is that the older PC may be of the type where it can only have one hard drive, in which case you will have to fit the 160GB HD, and install XP onto it, ( with a SATA/ RAID driver ) as the only drive.
    Worst case, is if you can't get it to work, you can put the 40GB XP back!
    If I have got this wrong, just post on here again.
  5. medo997

    medo997 TS Rookie

    is it going to keep the files ?
  6. medo997

    medo997 TS Rookie

    what is the differience between upgrade and fresh install ?
  7. golfnut 58

    golfnut 58 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes the Dell dimension 2400 does support two hard drives. I do have the reinstallation disk for windows xp home.

    Medo 997 a clean install formats the hard drive which is removing everything on hard drive and then reinstalling the operating system new.

    A upgrade adds to what you already have, other words adding newer features to a program you already have.
  8. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,034   +55

    Fairly sure if you upgrade from XP you will lose all your work, but in any case I wouldn't trust any automatic system to get it all right, no matter what it says on the paperwork/site. I would backup anything you value off the pc altogether.
    I did use the 'upgrade vista to 7' disk, and it did leave all my programs, photo's and music intact, but it was very slow.
    It's far better to do a full format of a hard drive, install the O/S then drivers, then programs.
    The option of leaving the existing XP hard drive as is, and just add the extra 160GB as further storage is the easiest, and certain to work.
    I have only ever seen one old OEM pc that had one IDE connection, but normally any PC can handle at least two HD.
    On the box of Win 7, it does mention that if going from XP to 7 then a 'clean install' is required.
    In practice, the most annoying part of it is getting the drivers for everything installed again.
    It's worth saving off the drivers while they are known to be working, with a program such as 'Driver magician' or 'Double driver' or 'Drivermax'. Some still may be wrong for the upgraded O/S but most of the work is done.
    *I think 'Double driver' is the only free one that will restore the drivers, the other programs are paid for, or will save only.
    HERE; http://www.boozet.org/dd.htm
  9. golfnut 58

    golfnut 58 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Mike for all the insight. I'll probably keep xp home and just eventually buy another psu for the inspiron 530. If I don't like vista then I'll upgrade it to windows 7, do backups for both the xp home and windows 7 on an external drive.


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