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10-18-2009 12:40 PM
Sorry if this is a redundant question, but I seem to be seeing mixed opinions on this forum about this. I want to upgrade to Windows 7 from Vista, but do not want to lose all of my pre-installed HP utility software (Diagnostics tools, Total Care, etc.). I am gathering if I do a clean install, I will lose them. But another post suggests that I only lose them with a reformat and clean install. So is a clean install NOT necessarily a reformat?
Can an HP official please shed some light on this for me?
10-19-2009 09:12 AM
A reformat and a clean (actually custom) install are absolutely NOT the same thing. Doing a reformat is not even the default action for a custom/clean install. By default a custom/clean install just takes the old Windows, Program Files, and User files and moves them to a backup folder called Windows.old. They stay there until you choose to delete that folder. You actually have to go out of your way to choose a reformat. Unless there is drive issue that you are trying to get resolve with a reformat or you need to repartition the drive, reformatting brings nothing to the table (hence, the fact it is not the default for a custom/clean install). In terms of end result, both a simple custom/clean install and a custom/clean install with a reformat achieve exactly the same result - the old version of Windows is completely removed and a clean copy of WiIndows 7 is installed. The difference is one moves everything (in a non-functional state) to Windows.old and leaves SWSETUP intact on the drive, and the other wipes the drive clean.
The simple answer then is if your machine has a SWSETUP folder and you do a reformat then you lose the ability to reinstall the existing HP apps, except for those that show up as downloadable upgrades from HP. Of course, you can copy SWSETUP and the Recovery Manager app to another drive and then do a reformat and paste them back after the fact, but what is the point? BTW, if your machine does not use Recovery Manager and SWSETUP then none of this would apply - it is advice specifically for people using machines with a SWSETUP folder. A couple other things to keep in mind are that some HP Vista apps such as their annoying console and HP update do not work under Windows 7 in any case, and (at least for my machine) an array of updated Windows apps are already available on HPs web site.
Personally, I don't see anything for HP to officially respond to here (not that they would in a the forums anyway). If the question is how a custom/clean install works that is something to direct to Microsoft since it is their OS and their installer. I can assure you though, I am really giving you the correct answer on that one. If you boot to the DVD and choose custom install, the default action is NOT a reformat - you need to choose that as an option and it will then even ask if you really want to do it.
10-20-2009 03:19 AM
Thanks very much Stephen. Your detailed posting answers most of my questions also.
One further thing. There have been many conflicting reports about whether a clean install is essential for Win7. Some earlier reports said there would be no upgrade route, only a full install.
However when I ordered my copy of Win7 I was offered both a full version and an upgrade version.
10-20-2009 10:50 AM
I have a desktop and I am not finding SWsetup... so I am guessing that info will not apply to me. The main bit of software I have, and like, is called "Hardware Diagnostics Tools" found in a "PC Help & Tools" program folder. That is the one I wish to keep. Please clarify with me that if I do a clean install of the new Win7 OS, I will still be able to re-installl this particular program. If so, what will be the process to do so?
ALSO, and more importantly, I am using "Windows backup utility" within my version of Vista to regularly back up my computer documents. If I upgrade my OS to Win7 will this whole backup still be valid... in the event of a need for a reformat, will I be able to restore all of my documents via Windows Restore? I guess the question is whether or not the backup/restore utility within Windows Vista is compatible with Windows 7.