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Will Windows 7 overwrite pre-installed operating systems?

    Question

  • So here is my situation. I just purchased some new RAM (8 gb to be exact) completely forgetting that you need to have a 64 bit OS installed to support more than 4 gb. Dont ask how i forgot i just did. Well i have Windows 7 Pro 32 bit currently installed, as you probably could have guessed, on my machine so all i need to know is can i install 64 bit over top of it and it not obliterate everything. I remember when i first put Windows 7 on my machine it stuck my entire Windows XP C: drive into a folder called Windows.old. i didnt realize at the time that you had to format the drive to completely get rid of the old operating system, but this actually proved a really useful upgrade feature. So all i need to know is if i put Windows 7 Pro 64 bit onto the same disk as Windows 7 Pro 32 bit and not format the drive, will it relocate everything to a Windows.old folder? Or optionally i could partition my drive so I could put Windows 7 64 bit on the other partition and still keep my files - would that work? i hope i am being clear.
    Saturday, August 06, 2011 1:48 AM

Answers

  • xp is no longer on my system. i was just saying that when i installed Windows 7 it didnt set it up to dual boot, it just stuck my WinXP C: drive into its own folder. a useful upgrade feature. I just needed to know if Windows 7 would do the same if you are installing it over itself and it seems from what said that it does. anyway ill just partition my drive to be safe.


    Hi,

    Yes the currently installed OS will remain intact, and simply be moved to another Windows.old.xxx folder.

    If my memory serves me right, if an operating system is installed and you install Windows 7 on the same partition, it will move Windows related files to a folder named Windows.old (this will contain folders like Users, Program Files, ProgramData and Windows. The next time you install an OS again, while the Windows.old folder is still present on the system it will create a new folder named Windows.old.000 (or was it Windows.000 ?) install it another time, it'll become 001 and so on. Eventually if you don't remove these folders after you've extracted your files from them (can even use USMT if you wanted to to pull out the entire user profile and settings and migrate it to the new OS if you wanted to!) this collection of Windows.old folders will take up quite alot of disk space.

     

    Kind regards,

    Stephan Schwarz.


    If one of these posts answered your question or issue, please click on "Mark as answer".

    My Blog | Twitter: @Schwarz_Stephan | MCTS, MCITP, MCC.
    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Tuesday, August 09, 2011 7:31 AM
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Tuesday, August 23, 2011 3:01 AM
    Saturday, August 06, 2011 8:27 PM

All replies

  • there is no automated, neat way to do an in-place upgrade across architecture (i.e. 32bit to 64bit).
    windows setup will discover your existing windows installation(s) and ask you what you want to do.

    I'd recommend you install to a clean system (or partition), or at least be prepared to do so.
    having 2 previous installations laying around could get messy...

    more info for you: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Installing-and-reinstalling-Windows-7


    Don

    Saturday, August 06, 2011 7:12 AM
  • xp is no longer on my system. i was just saying that when i installed Windows 7 it didnt set it up to dual boot, it just stuck my WinXP C: drive into its own folder. a useful upgrade feature. I just needed to know if Windows 7 would do the same if you are installing it over itself and it seems from what said that it does. anyway ill just partition my drive to be safe.
    Saturday, August 06, 2011 1:56 PM
  • xp is no longer on my system. i was just saying that when i installed Windows 7 it didnt set it up to dual boot, it just stuck my WinXP C: drive into its own folder. a useful upgrade feature. I just needed to know if Windows 7 would do the same if you are installing it over itself and it seems from what said that it does. anyway ill just partition my drive to be safe.


    Hi,

    Yes the currently installed OS will remain intact, and simply be moved to another Windows.old.xxx folder.

    If my memory serves me right, if an operating system is installed and you install Windows 7 on the same partition, it will move Windows related files to a folder named Windows.old (this will contain folders like Users, Program Files, ProgramData and Windows. The next time you install an OS again, while the Windows.old folder is still present on the system it will create a new folder named Windows.old.000 (or was it Windows.000 ?) install it another time, it'll become 001 and so on. Eventually if you don't remove these folders after you've extracted your files from them (can even use USMT if you wanted to to pull out the entire user profile and settings and migrate it to the new OS if you wanted to!) this collection of Windows.old folders will take up quite alot of disk space.

     

    Kind regards,

    Stephan Schwarz.


    If one of these posts answered your question or issue, please click on "Mark as answer".

    My Blog | Twitter: @Schwarz_Stephan | MCTS, MCITP, MCC.
    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Tuesday, August 09, 2011 7:31 AM
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Tuesday, August 23, 2011 3:01 AM
    Saturday, August 06, 2011 8:27 PM