XP to Windows 7 Upgrade
The Microsoft page for a clean install of Windows 7 over an existing XP setup is here:http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/wind ... -windows-7
The meat of the thing is under the Step 3 tab on that page. An alternate rendition of those instruction would be:http://www.winsupersite.com/article/win ... media.aspx
That version even talks a bit about the Family Pack and the double-install you mentioned.
Don't forget to do full system images and backups if at all possible before doing this. That way you can recover if things go bad. Also, to avoid all of this dance if you ever have to wipe your installation and start over, get a full system image done on your system as soon as it's set up and store that image someplace safe.
As far as OS reactivation prompts, I can't answer (since I'm not running an OEM version). In my case, I've only seen one once when I changed motherboards. Simply running the Activate Windows tool fixed it. I also had Office 2007 (but Windows 7 didn't care about it) hit me with a re-activation request when I added memory. Again, no problem.
Also, you might have to do some finagling if you're moving from x86 to x64 versions of OSes. Read here:http://www.winsupersite.com/article/win ... ows-7.aspx
And, as far as pricing, Amazon is selling what *appears* to be the retail (i.e., non-OEM) upgrade version for $106:http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Windows ... 025&sr=1-2
I can't guarantee that it's retail instead of OEM, though.
The "retail" AKA "I am a mug" licence is off-limits due to the stupid cost with no benefit.
Upgrades are never a great idea if you actually have to install another OS then actually upgrade. I did hear some rumours some time ago about being able to do a "clean-install upgrade" but I never found out if it became reality.
The "family-pack" is certainly cheaper if you need 3 licences, the obvious points of interest are that you really want the 64-bit version, that means that all 3 machines need to be 64-bit capable, but additionally it should make it easier (in theory) to install 2 machines now, then when you come to "upgrade" one of those machines you can use the 3rd licence to do it, then use one of the original licences again later.
One of the main problems with the shitty licencing bullcrap that MS force upon the people who give them cash is that if you install the OS, then activate it, then you find out that your brand new mobo/HDD is faulty and it trashes the OS they might not like you re-activating the same code again in a short time space - I have run into this problem before and ended up having to put a non-legal OS on the customers machine (with their blessing) because of this - so be wary.
As far as the actual triggers of re-activation, its pretty weird and random. Although as a general rule your motherboard (almost) always counts, and if your machine is made by a big OEM your HDD can also count, CPU, RAM, PSU, Keyboard, Mouse and other external devices no, everything else is random but rare, so basically its the motherboard in most home builds that counts, but even then if its say 6-months after you first activated your copy of W7, and you install the same licence on a new PC it might activate staright away with no questions even though it is still activated and working on the old PC - this is of course dangerous if you have Automatic Updates turned on, and you might find that your licence gets red-flagged and deactivated.
There is one further option if you are concerned, get your licence and dont activate it, use a naughty method until you replace your PC then simply re-install using your legitimate code take an image of the drive once you are happy and everything will work just fine.
Finally, there is a little trick when installing W7, choose to create a partition, it will then tell you that it will create a 100MB partition for some reason that I dont care about, and then will make the "main" partition after that. What you do is then delete the "main" partition, and extend the 100MB partition to your desired size, simply finish the install as you would do otherwise.
Hi, the copies of Windows 7 FP that I have have both 32 and 64bit disks in them.XP and Windows 7 Compatibility
It IS an upgrade licence BUT easy enough to get round. you mentioned you have XP installs so just install XP minimally, like to the first full boot, don't worry about drivers or anything else at all, on the machine (or leave the original install, especially if working)
Boot off the Windows 7 DVD and during the "Upgrade" process you can tell it you want to re-partition/format the HDD so your old Windows is blow away anyway.
You can't directly upgrade a x86 OS to x64 anyway. I've done several like this with no problem at all. In fact one of them was an XP install from another machine, just transferred the HDD (which wouldn't then even boot due to HW changes) put in the upgrade DVD and away it went!
I also managed to "upgrade" (with bit registry hacking) a dodgy copy of Windows 7 Ultimate x64 with W7 HP FP x64 and it wouldn't activate itself. I had to call up the phone number and ended up speaking to someone (nice man in India I think!) and confirmed was Family pack and no this was only the 3rd use of it and was given activation code and all been working fine for months since.
... be aware that the Pro version has XP compatibility more while the lesser versions are crippled and don't have it.
Hi, almost all applications (especially MS ones) will install just fine on all versions of Windows 7. They all have "compatability" settings to try to fool the program it's on an older version of Windows for older / troublesome apps. I think in some case 32 bit will have less trouble than 64bit.
The "XP Mode" is aimed at legacy or cutome business applications that are [badly] programed in such a way as they will only work under Windows XP, and will not work with the "normal" compatability settings.
What the XP mode gives you (I think) is a well integrated virtual machine. Effectively a virtual machine is run and runs the application and is then presented in a normal window.
You can achieve a similar effect with MS Virtual PC, (thats free - and is what's used by XP Mode!) if you have a copy of XP you can install on it.
I've have Windows 7 x64 and had no problems with pretty much anything installing on to it.
For other people the only thing I've had to resort to a virtual machine for was an old Sage package that would only almost run under Windows. Just created a virtual PC with minimal XP install and Sage in the startup group and created a shortcut to the VM on the desktop so it's pretty much one click to open it
What he means by that is that Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise come with a virtual machine for XP. IOTW, you can fire up a virtual PC of XP from within Windows 7 and run any particular piece of software that won't run under Windows 7 but did under XP (I've never run into anything like that). Here's the link:http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/wind ... ws-xp-mode
Does that mean that my MS Word 2007 won't install on my Home version of Win 7?
No. Word 2007 will install just fine under Windows 7.