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Old 11-07-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
sb101
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Default Vista to Win 7

Hi everyone

I need some advice from the experts here

I have Vista Ultimate (both 32- and 64-bit DVDs) and have never used it, so obviously it hasn't been activated as it's never been installed.

Can anyone tell me the cheapest way to get Windows 7 64-bit? I understand I can install Vista Ultimate and install a version of Windows 7 over the top, but I'd rather do a clean install of Windows 7 if possible - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit would be fine. I have absolutely no interest in Windows 8.

What's the cheapest way for me to do this? Is it possible for me to "trade-in" my Vista disks for an equivalent version of Windows 7?

I remember many years ago reading somewhere that when installing an upgrade Windows only looks for a specific file. Is this still the case?

And finally, would I be able to use one of the OEM Windows 7 versions I've seen on Amazon?

I'm in the UK by the way.

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
postmortemIA
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Cheapest way would be to get Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade.

If you want to do clean install, you can use well-known trick of installing Windows 7 on empty disk, then performing upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 7. Yeah, this method isn't exactly morally right, but it is Microsoft fault of not providing a good way to do clean install for the upgrade.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:35 AM   #3
sb101
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I'm a little confused. How do I install an upgrade version on an empty disc? Surely it will check for an existing version during install, and if this is an empty disc it will fail?
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:57 AM   #4
kleinkinstein
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Ohh yes you can, yes you can clean install Win7 with upgrade media.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
sb101
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Ok thanks everyone.

Since my last post I've downloaded the 90-day trial of Windows 7 Enterprise x64 from Microsoft's website, just to see if Windows 7 would actually work on my system before I buy it. I did a clean install on a spare 250GB Western Digital Caviar 7200RPM drive which I had. I spent all of yesterday evening downloading and installing the updates (over 170 of them)!

It seems to work ok, but it's slower than Vista Ultimate 32-bit which I was using, which puzzles me. All the drivers are up to date and I'm not sure why it's slow. It's not agonisingly slow, but more like sluggish. It takes around 1m50s to boot (Vista takes about 1 minute), and as an example Excel opens in 1 second with Vista, but with Windows 7 it takes 9 seconds.

My PC is a Dell XPS420 with 4GB RAM, Intel Core 2 Quad processor (Q6600 2.4GHz) and Vista is installed on a 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black (7200 RPM).

The Windows Experience Index for Vista is: 5.9, 5.6, 5.9, 5.9, 5.9. With Windows 7 it's 7.1, 5.9, 6.9, 6.9, 5.9 which is better on most things.

Any ideas what the problem might be?

There are no driver or hardware warnings and everything so far is working ok, just sluggishly.

Thanks.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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The difference is clearly in the hard drives. Don't let the fact that they are both 7200RPM drives fool you -- a Caviar Black is in a completely different league than an older generic Caviar. The only way to truly compare them is to install them on the same model hard drive.

Generally, Win7 will provide at least equivalent but usually better performance than Vista SP1. Fact is that Win7 is simply an upgraded Vista SP1 with interface improvements and system tweaks under the hood to reduce memory requirements, increase stability, and to allow it to start and shut down faster. Oh, and with a tamer UAC.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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vista went wrong, much bugs
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:02 PM   #8
sb101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steltek View Post
The difference is clearly in the hard drives. Don't let the fact that they are both 7200RPM drives fool you -- a Caviar Black is in a completely different league than an older generic Caviar. The only way to truly compare them is to install them on the same model hard drive.

Generally, Win7 will provide at least equivalent but usually better performance than Vista SP1. Fact is that Win7 is simply an upgraded Vista SP1 with interface improvements and system tweaks under the hood to reduce memory requirements, increase stability, and to allow it to start and shut down faster. Oh, and with a tamer UAC.
Well this is interesting. I reformatted the Win 7 hard drive and installed Vista Ultimate x64 from scratch onto the same drive as a clean install. Spent all Friday evening and most of Saturday morning/afternoon installing updates and SP1, and Vista beats the pants off Windows 7 for speed. It starts quicker, runs more quickly and smoothly and is snappier too.

Vista x64 though has the annoying habit that when I waken it from sleep, the windows of any open applications have been very slightly changed, so that the edges can be seen - this doesn't happen in Vista Ultimate x86, so that's what I'll stay with as quite frankly I can see no advantage in upgrading.

Thanks all for the advice.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:52 PM   #9
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I preferred Vista to Win7, most due to aesthetic reasons. Performance was close enough between them that I didn't feel it was a good upgrade. In any case, I certainly wouldn't buy Win7 now that Win8's out. It would be obsolete before it was installed. If I didn't like Win8, I'd get away from Windows altogether. Keep Vista until it quits getting security updates, and if MS still didn't do what I wanted, use something else.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:25 PM   #10
sb101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxskllr View Post
I preferred Vista to Win7, most due to aesthetic reasons. Performance was close enough between them that I didn't feel it was a good upgrade. In any case, I certainly wouldn't buy Win7 now that Win8's out. It would be obsolete before it was installed. If I didn't like Win8, I'd get away from Windows altogether. Keep Vista until it quits getting security updates, and if MS still didn't do what I wanted, use something else.
I've had Vista Ultimate x86 on my desktop for over 3 years and absolutely love it. I considered replacing it with Vista Ultimate x64 (I have both DVDs) just to allow me to add more RAM to my system, but then thought why not go for Windows 7 Home Premium x64 which is available for about 40 - my laptop has W7 and it's ok, hence my experimenting over the last couple of days.

I'm not remotely interested in Win8 - my other desktop still runs Win XP Pro and is just fine

So looks like I'll be doing the same as you

I can't really complain I suppose as this pc is the fastest I've ever used, and 4GB RAM will do.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:36 PM   #11
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If Vista works for you why not stick with it? I really didn't think Windows 7 was a huge upgrade, especially if you have a fast computer. Vista was prone to irritate depending on what a person wanted to do with it, but plenty of people got along just fine with it.
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