• Hey there, Guest! Share your idea for a new trophy in the forums and win bragging rights and a $100 Amazon gift card! Check out the New Community Trophy Contest here!
  • Pardon our dust as we work on some regularly scheduled forum maintenance. You may notice some missing features during this time. Thank you for your patience!

Installing Windows 7 OS on old Hard Drive


Oct 17, 2011
As the title says, I'm going to be installing Windows 7 for a new build but I'm using my old HD from my current system. Should I backup my files, etc. and format BEFORE I install it in the new build? Or will I be able to use the Windows 7 CD to install even if Windows XP is on the hard drive?

The reason I ask this is I'm afraid I'll be booted into XP then flooded with error messages about new hardware etc.

Also, I'm going to use a Windows 7 Home Premium OEM disc.

Regardless, you should protect your data before you try anything.

Use windows easy transfer to export your files and settings to an external device. They will be easily restored to windows 7.
Apps will need to be reinstalled. Also, check on e-mail programs and files which will be different.

OEM means a clean install, and I think you will get the option to delete and reformat before you do.
You might consider a upgrade disk instead since you have a previous xp license. upgrade is considered as retail, and you get both a 32 and 64 bit dvd. It is priced similarly. There is a family 3 pack that is a real bargain if you will be upgrading two or more pc's.


Sep 13, 2008
Back up what you need off the hard drive, then delete the partition with the tools on the Win 7 install disc for a clean install. You don't want to dual boot XP and Win 7 do you? I might also mention going into system bios and setting your DVD drive as the first boot drive that you are installing Win 7 from if it is not already that way.

+1 ^

Why not take the time to install w7 on a new ssd? You can use as little as 40gb, but 60-80gb is better. It will transform your pc.
After windows install, you can reattach your old hard drive. Your old files will still be there. You may have to reinstall some of your apps.