install questions


N

none

Planning to buy Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack
(3-User)
Need to be sure W7 can be installed to the drive of my choice (it CANNOT go
on C:); is it possible to install to the drive of my choice? If so, is the
user prompted at setup to choose a drive or are Houdini tricks involved?
 
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S

Stan Brown

Planning to buy Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack
(3-User)
Need to be sure W7 can be installed to the drive of my choice (it CANNOT go
on C:); is it possible to install to the drive of my choice? If so, is the
user prompted at setup to choose a drive or are Houdini tricks involved?
You can install Win 7 on a drive that isn't C:, and have a dual-boot
menu. But when Win 7 boots, it will assign the letter C: to the
drive that it booted from. I don't know of any way to change that.

You can change how Windows refers to the other drive letters, if you
want consistency between the two boots except for C:. Start » Run »
diskmgmt in Windows XP, or Start » disk manage in Win 7. Either way,
you get the disk management console. Right-click on a partition and
select Change drive letter and paths.
 
R

R. C. White

?Hi, None.

Win7 can be installed to any volume you choose when you run Setup. That is,
any primary partition or logical drive in an extended partition on any hard
disk drive in your computer - so long as it has enough free space, of
course. A "volume" is often referred to as a "partition", but more often as
a "drive". But it does not mean the whole physical drive, but only a
portion of the physical disk. So "Drive C:" does not always mean the first
HDD in your computer, or the first partition on any HDD.

But there are significant differences between (a) booting from the Win7 DVD
to run Setup, and (b) booting into an existing Windows desktop and then
inserting the Win7 DVD and running Setup from that desktop.

(A) If you boot from the Win7 DVD, then Setup has no idea what letters
may have already been assigned, so it will assign the letter C: to whichever
volume you tell it to install Win7 on - even if that's the 3rd partition on
your second HDD. From then on, that volume will be Drive C: to that Win7
installation. You can use Disk Management to change any of the other drive
letters, but the only way to change Drive C: is to run Setup again - that
is, to re-install Win7.

(B) If you already have Windows installed (Win2K, WinXP, Vista or a
previous Win7 installation), you can boot into that installation and run
Disk Management to assign drive letters to suit your own preference - except
the Boot and System volumes, of course. For example, you could assign that
3rd partition on your second HDD the letter "W". Then insert the Win7 DVD
and use AutoPlay or Windows Explorer or Run or even the Command Prompt
window to run Setup.exe from that disk. Tell it to install the new Win7
onto that Drive W: - and it will. From then on, when you boot into this new
Win7 installation, your Boot Volume will be Drive W:, your Win7 operating
system files will be in W:\Windows, and the default location for your new
applications will be W:\Program Files. In a dual-boot environment, each
Windows installation can assign "Drive C:" - and any other "drive" letter -
independently of any other installation. So "Drive C:" can mean the first
partition on the first HDD to WinXP, while Win7 sees "Drive C:" on your
second HDD.

No Houdini tricks required. Just an understanding of how Setup.exe works.
And breaking the Drive C: mindset. ;^}

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-9/30/10)
Windows Live Mail Version 2011 (Build 15.4.3502.0922) in Win7 Ultimate x64
SP1 RC


"none" wrote in message
Planning to buy Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack
(3-User)
Need to be sure W7 can be installed to the drive of my choice (it CANNOT go
on C:); is it possible to install to the drive of my choice? If so, is the
user prompted at setup to choose a drive or are Houdini tricks involved?
 
R

R. C. White

?Hi, Stan.
But when Win 7 boots, it will assign the letter C: to the drive that it
booted from. I don't know of any way to change that.
Not quite true. Win7 Setup assigns the letter C: during installation IF we
BOOT from the DVD. Once assigned, it can't be changed except by running
Setup again - that is, by re-installing Win7.

See my Reply to "none". In a dual-boot situation, we can boot into the
prior Windows, use Disk Management to assign the letters we want (except for
that other Windows' System and Boot volumes), and then insert the Win7 DVD
and run Setup to install Win7 to the volume of our choice (W: in my
example). Thereafter, Win7 will use that drive letter (W:) for its Boot
Volume.

I've been dual-booting for a dozen years, since Win95/NT4, using multiple
HDDs. There have been changes - some significant - in the way Setup assigns
letters during installation of successive Windows versions. I've been
running Win7 since the October 2008 beta version and its behavior has been
as I described in that Reply. Once the letter C: has been assigned by
Setup, or another letter (W: or whatever) has been "inherited" and accepted
by Setup during installation, it does not change on reboot into that same
installation. Of course, if you install Win7 on W: and then reboot into
WinXP, you will see the letters that were assigned by WinXP, not the ones
assigned by Win7. When in WinXP, you can use Disk Management to change W:
to F:, but only in WinXP. When you reboot into Win7, it will still be seen
as W: and cannot be changed. (In addition to this Win7 X64 on C:, I
currently have Vista x64 on K: and WinXP Pro SP3 on P:, with K: reserved for
Win7 x86, which I've not bothered to install. Each of them sees its own
assigned letter as its Boot Volume.)

Many users think that the first partition on the first HDD is always Drive
C:, but that is NOT necessarily true. If you boot from the DVD and tell
Setup to install Win7 on the 2nd partition on the 3rd HDD, THAT partition
will become Drive C: to THAT Win7 installation, no matter what any other
installed OS might call that partition. "Drive" letters actually refer to
volumes, not HDDs; they are assigned by the OS, not by the BIOS, and each
set of letter assignments is local to only that particular Windows
installation. Users may be confused if Drive C: is on the 3rd HDD, but
Windows does not care and will not be confused. That is what I meant when I
told "none" to "break the Drive C: mindset".

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-9/30/10)
Windows Live Mail Version 2011 (Build 15.4.3502.0922) in Win7 Ultimate x64
SP1 RC


"Stan Brown" wrote in message

Planning to buy Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack
(3-User)
Need to be sure W7 can be installed to the drive of my choice (it CANNOT
go
on C:); is it possible to install to the drive of my choice? If so, is the
user prompted at setup to choose a drive or are Houdini tricks involved?
You can install Win 7 on a drive that isn't C:, and have a dual-boot
menu. But when Win 7 boots, it will assign the letter C: to the
drive that it booted from. I don't know of any way to change that.

You can change how Windows refers to the other drive letters, if you
want consistency between the two boots except for C:. Start » Run »
diskmgmt in Windows XP, or Start » disk manage in Win 7. Either way,
you get the disk management console. Right-click on a partition and
select Change drive letter and paths.
 
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R

R. C. White

?OOOPS!

Slight correction, not important but might be confusing:
...currently have Vista x64 on K: and WinXP Pro SP3 on P:, with K:
reserved...
Vista is on L:, not K:.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-9/30/10)
Windows Live Mail Version 2011 (Build 15.4.3502.0922) in Win7 Ultimate x64
SP1 RC

<SNIP>
 
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