Advice Formatting

Edmond

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I'm about to format an old laptop with Vista on it and put Win 7 on it

Can I just format C as there seems to be a partition (E) with about 6gb on it labelled 'recovery'

If I format C will the clear the lot, which is what I want to do

Also when that's done, can I just put the win 7 disc in and let it install?

Ta
 

caLLous

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I would make sure you have all of the drivers for the various bits before starting afresh (just in case there's any funky hardware in the laptop that isn't supported but tbh if it runs Vista ok you shouldn't have any problems with win7). Look on the manufacturer's website and see if they support Windows 7 on that model (if they don't then Vista drivers will usually suffice).

When you put the win7 disc in and reboot it will give you options re: formatting when the install starts - you want to do the custom install and delete all existing partitions on the disk (so it's completely unallocated) and then make one big partition (it will most likely make a 100mb one just before the install partition, it needs this), and then install to that.
 

Edmond

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I would make sure you have all of the drivers for the various bits before starting afresh (just in case there's any funky hardware in the laptop that isn't supported but tbh if it runs Vista ok you shouldn't have any problems with win7). Look on the manufacturer's website and see if they support Windows 7 on that model (if they don't then Vista drivers will usually suffice).

When you put the win7 disc in and reboot it will give you options re: formatting when the install starts - you want to do the custom install and delete all existing partitions on the disk (so it's completely unallocated) and then make one big partition (it will most likely make a 100mb one just before the install partition, it needs this), and then install to that.

Its our old work laptop which is full of crap and running Vista, when we bought it they were doing a deal of a free upgrade to 7 when it came out (which was about 4 months later) but we never took them up on the deal.

Its only going to be used to run a CAD program. Its an old DELL Inspiron. I have the driver & utilities discs which came with it
 

Edmond

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Ok I installed Win7 but it didn't delete/format the HDD, its still running very slow and showing there is still 160gb of stuff taking up the HDD

I then tried to format the C drive but it said I couldn't as it has windows on it, its allowing me to format the E drive which is the recovery bit. I don't think it has 2 separate drives surely its just partitioned

Just trying to install win7 again to see if I clicked on a wrong bit

How do I format the HDD
 

ECA

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When you install windows and have to pick a drive for the install, go to advanced options - then you can delete the partitions and format after.
 

Edmond

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When you install windows and have to pick a drive for the install, go to advanced options - then you can delete the partitions and format after.
It gave me the option of choosing c drive, but there weren't any advanced options ?
 

caLLous

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If I remember rightly you have to go to the custom/advanced install option (whatever it's called) and then, when it's asking what drive to install to, you have to enable the advanced options (delete partitions etc).

Edit: yeah. "Custom (advanced)" in @ECA's video at 2:03 and then "Drive options (advanced)" on the next screen to enable the partition tools.
 

Edmond

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Ok the problem is that when I get to bit about choosing a drive, I don't get the 'drive options (advanced)' text to click on?
 

Edmond

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I didn't have the boot from dvd set, which I have now done, it seems to be getting there now. I have formatted the main partition, but its split into 3, partition 2 is recovery and has 6.9gb on it, do I need to format this too?
 

caLLous

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Delete the partitions (don't format them) and then create one primary NTFS partition of the entire disk and install into that.
 

Shagrat

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cant you just boot from the recovery partition? that will usually have some manufacturers tools on it for reinstalling etc which you can use to format the c drive with.
 

Edmond

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Its all done, once I got it to boot direct from the disc it worked as it gave me the option to format

Thanks for all you're help people
 

Syri

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This may be too late now, but there should be an option to create some recovery discs (if you haven't already done so), which will put the recovery partition onto a couple of DVDs. Why should you do this? Well, the version of Windows 7 that was supplied is likely an upgrade version, which means you need another version of windows installed first, before that will install. In other words, if you were to replace the hard drive in the future, you would first need to install the old system, before it would allow you to upgrade to windows 7.
If it's too late to get the recovery discs created, and you don't already have some, you might find that if the hard drive needs replacing in future, you may need to get hold of an OEM copy if windows vista to install first, before you can then reinstall 7. I'm not sure if this will definitely be the case, but if you can still make the discs, definitely doesn't hurt to have them just in case.
 

dysfunction

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His old laptop had vista so the recovery thing would install vista.
He is now putting Win7 on so my guess is he doesn't need any of the crap in the recovery partition
 

Edmond

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This may be too late now, but there should be an option to create some recovery discs (if you haven't already done so), which will put the recovery partition onto a couple of DVDs. Why should you do this? Well, the version of Windows 7 that was supplied is likely an upgrade version, which means you need another version of windows installed first, before that will install. In other words, if you were to replace the hard drive in the future, you would first need to install the old system, before it would allow you to upgrade to windows 7.
If it's too late to get the recovery discs created, and you don't already have some, you might find that if the hard drive needs replacing in future, you may need to get hold of an OEM copy if windows vista to install first, before you can then reinstall 7. I'm not sure if this will definitely be the case, but if you can still make the discs, definitely doesn't hurt to have them just in case.
Thanks @Syri although a bit too late i'm afraid, but I wiped Vista completely and installed 7, so it wasn't an upgrade as such, but a clean install.

Also its for a 5 yr old laptop which was struggling, I just wanted to put a CAD program on it that we use at work to design conservatories, which wont run on 8.1

CAD software is expensive and the company who supply it want a ridiculous amount of money for a 8.1 version, but the one we had ran on Vista & 7

Its just doing (lots) updates at the moment, but its like a new computer now, very quick, which is all I wanted it to be
 

caLLous

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Yeah I found out a little while ago that there's well over a gigabyte of updates to install if you go from an original (pre SP1) disc.
 

Edmond

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Yeah I found out a little while ago that there's well over a gigabyte of updates to install if you go from an original (pre SP1) disc.
Yep, its about 850mb, its been doing it since 5.30 and its on 134 of 187....Joy
 

Syri

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His old laptop had vista so the recovery thing would install vista.
He is now putting Win7 on so my guess is he doesn't need any of the crap in the recovery partition
Yes, but if the win7 version is an upgrade version, it will only install if it finds an older version of windows present when you boot the installation disc. If you wipe that off after that, it doesn't matter, it still knows it was there. If you install an upgrade version to a blank drive though, say if the hdd fails or you decide to upgrade to an ssd, then the upgrade version will refuse to install, as there is no qualifying operating system present. that is why I said to get the vista recovery backed up if possible.
 

Edmond

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Yes, but if the win7 version is an upgrade version, it will only install if it finds an older version of windows present when you boot the installation disc. If you wipe that off after that, it doesn't matter, it still knows it was there. If you install an upgrade version to a blank drive though, say if the hdd fails or you decide to upgrade to an ssd, then the upgrade version will refuse to install, as there is no qualifying operating system present. that is why I said to get the vista recovery backed up if possible.
No its not an upgrade version, it a full version I got when I built my (this one i'm on now) current PC
 

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