Upgrading from XP to Windows 7


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I am upgrading my computer which is running a 32 bit XP Home SP3 operating system to Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit (OEM). The store where I bought this OEM copy indicated my hardware (Intel Core i7, 920 @ 2.67 GHz, 2.99 GB Ram) was capable of running a 64 bit operating system. When I put the disk in and try to start SETUP.EXE, I get the error message "Setup.exe is not a valid Win32 application". Do I need to create a Win 7 64 bit boot disk to start my computer with, then wipe the hard drive in order to use my Win 7 installation disk?
 

TrainableMan

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First you will need to back up all your data and settings. The best way to do that is to download and install Windows Easy Transfer on your XP machine and then run it to back up all your data to an external hard drive/flash drive.

Next, there is no actual upgrade from XP to W7, nor from 32-bit to 64-bit; there is a licensing "upgrade" but the computer requires a custom install. You need to boot your computer to the DVD; you cannot be running WinXP and click Setup because the DVD must be in control.

A custom install means after the OS finishes installing, you will have to reinstall all your programs (Microsoft Office, CCleaner, games, etc). At that point you run Windows Easy Transfer again, this time to restore your data/settings to the W7 setup (No need to install Windows Easy Transfer on W7, it is part of the OS install).

NOTE: Does a custom install require a HD format? No, but I personally recommend it. If you do not format away XP then the old OS will be left on the drive in the WINDOWS.OLD folder, unusable and wasting space.
 
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I know I need to reinstall programs and I am prepared to do that. I have already backed up all my documents, pictures, etc, so that I can recover them. If I understand you right, I do need a Win 7 boot CD in order to force my computer to boot from the CD, correct? The other issue that concerns me is my OEM copy of Win 7 says on the package that I have to install the OS using the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK). Will this be a problem for me if I don't have this?
 

TrainableMan

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Windows 7 installation DVDs are bootable. In my experience, even the OEM DVDs I've seen are bootable. So if your DVD is not bootable, then I would guess it is a good possibility it is related to the need for the OPK. An OPK is generally used by corporations to do identical installations on numerous computers, but it is not something I have experience using.

It is possible your BIOS simply does not try to access the DVD first in its' boot order. If the hard drive is accessed first then that controls boot, not the DVD. So I would check your BIOS and make sure the OEM DVD is the first thing accessed. If the DVD is first and it definitely is not bootable then I would seek advice from the store that sold you the DVD.

Another option would be to download a matching version (is your key for Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate?) of W7-SP1(U) and burn that to a DVD using software that understands about ISO images, like IMGBurn. W7-SP1, if burned properly, is bootable. Then you format the drive and install from the W7-SP1 DVD you burned but use the product key that came with your OEM DVD.
 

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