Question about moving to Vista 64

anthrex

[H]ard|Gawd
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So I've had these copies of Vista Business and Ultimate sitting next to my desk ever since those free Microsoft deals started shipping. I'm looking to finally transition over to vista so I can put all of my memory into use. Currently I keep my windows on one partition and my data on another, which has allowed me to format my computer and keep my data without having to backup all my files (don't have an external to do that). My question is will I have to format the entire drive if I make the switch over to Vista? I don't want to lose my data and I don't want to back it up as its just too time consuming.
 

Volcanon

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Mar 27, 2007
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Probably not, but Vista does take a lot of space so make sure your windows partition is 20 gigs or better.
 

DeaconFrost

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You'll probably want a lot more than 20 GB of space for Vista. My suggestion would be to get a second drive and move your data over to that. Then you have a separate physical drive for your data.

To answer your question, it depends on how you created the second partition. If you made them both primary, stand alone partitions, you should be fine, but then you'll have your system drive as D or E, instead of C. If you didn't partition the drives using two primary partitions, you should move the data off the entire drive and start clean. Vista will be able to be installed and run for a long time without any need to reinstall, so I'd take the time and do it right the first time. If you don't want a second drive in the system, get a cheap external to use as backup.
 

anthrex

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my current partitions are set at 100gb for c (windows partition) and 468 for D (data). I'm not sure what you meant by primary, I just partitioned my drive when I initially set up windows.

If I go the extra hdd route I'll have to wait to and gather some extra cash as buying a new monitor and phone has set me back some. I know ideally I'd do this, but I'm poor haha.
 

DeaconFrost

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The first partition will always be created as a primary partition. It sounds like you set up the second partition during the Windows install (not the best way of doing it), so you may be left with an extended partition. I'd check the Disk Management snap-in for details on your current partitions. For future reference, always create your system volume during the OS install, and then do the rest of the partitions and drives once the OS is installed, when you have more control over them.
 

Joe Average

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Vista only creates Primary partitions (up to the first three) when using the partitioning ability during the setup. One of the not so great things about it, I'd say. I only have one Primary partition in a system, regardless of how many physical hard drives are present; the rest are always Extended partitions with Logical drives to keep the drive numbering/ordering in sequence.

Just put in the Vista DVD, do the installation with one caveat:

I'd uncheck the box about activating when online as this would give you the 30 day grace period to find out if Vista is going to be something you actually want to keep using and your hardware is going to be ok with it because of driver support, etc.

In fact, I'd even go so far as to say uncheck the box and don't even put in the key at that point - no sense risking a premature activation (ok kids, get your heads outta the gutter). There's no reason to put the key in during the setup at all, and that guarantees you the 30 day grace period as it would stop working past that. When it asks for the key, uncheck that activation online box, click Next - answer No to the popup asking if you want to enter the key then and there, and on the next screen choose the actual edition you're installing (the one tied to the key) and proceed.

When it gets to the partitioning section, highlight the current system partition you're using, delete it (make SURE it's highlighted, hate to see you delete the wrong one), create a new partition where the old one was (this is better than just formatting the current one as it refreshes the partition table with Vista's slightly altered data structure), and then finally make sure the "new" partition is highlighted and click Next. Vista will quick format that "new" partition then begin the long file copy/extraction process.

Grab a soda or something, take a break, come back in 20 mins or so and you're all set.
 

CrimsonKnight13

Lord Stabington of [H]ard|Fortress
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I only have one Primary partition in a system, regardless of how many physical hard drives are present; the rest are always Extended partitions with Logical drives to keep the drive numbering/ordering in sequence.

I never thought about this but since I've seen the driver numbering issues during certain installations, I'll do it for now on. Thanks, Joe Average. :)
 

Catweazle

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Jan 20, 2004
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my current partitions are set at 100gb for c (windows partition) and 468 for D (data).

That'll be fine, for the time being anyway. Here's the best way to proceed:

  • Start by cleaning up your XP install, to reduce the amount of clutter you have there and reduce the amount of partition storage space used.
  • When you install Vista, choose the 'Custom' install option and select the drive where XP is installed. That'll 'quarantine' all traces of the previous install in a 'windows.old' folder.
  • Get the new Vista install set up, configured and operating as you want it to. Anything you've overlooked from the previous install can be recovered from that 'windows.old' folder. (There will inevitably be bits and pieces you've overlooked and later find you want, especially stuff hidden in the jumble of 'Documents and Settings'.)
  • Use the tip I provided in this post to 'Take ownership' of the entire contents of the secondary partition, so you ensure permissions access to all files created under the previous XP install.
  • When you're done, run 'Disk Cleanup' and select the option to remove old Windows installations. That'll get rid of the quarantined old install, and free up that drive space for your new one.


That's a 'safe' procedure, which generates the same end result as formatting and installing clean does.

If you find later on that 100Gb is too restrictive for you then you can add a second drive to the rig, transfer your all or some of your data to it, and then use a partition management tool to extend the system partition and make it bigger.
 
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