imma buy the windows 7 upgrade disc off of microsoft.com because of the student special.
My question is that Will the upgrade disc have the same thing as the retail? For example, if i install it to my pc, and in the future i want to install it to a different pc, can i (Implying i uninstall it off of my first pc)? Of course, one computer at a time.
Also, from the microsoft site, if I buy windows 7 software, i have the choice to download it. When i download the .iso file, do i just download it and when it completes it'll be in my downloads directory and I just use a cd/dvd burner software to burn it on to my dvd??
Yes, you can install Windows upgrade on a "clean" drive by choosing the "Custom" install option.
Word of warning: If you install the upgrade version, it'll look for an installed version of Windows on the drive. If you don't have one, like during a clean install, you COULD have problems. Sometimes it won't install, sometimes it won't activate, sometimes all is well. If it won't activate, you call Microsoft help, numbers and methods provided during activation. Automated call, you speak to no one. Tell them 1 machine, and they'll give you a code to activate. (very simplified instuctions)
Yes, burn the *.iso to a DVD, as it's something like 2GB. I have mine on a USB drive. (whole different post)
Long term use, you may NOT be able to take it with you! 1 License = 1 PC.
I wouldn't worry about it, Arts. Do a clean install with the Custom option like foscooter mentioned above, and leave the activation key blank and uncheck "activate online." Click next, run the install as normal, and then as soon as you boot into windows for the first time, launch setup from the DVD inside Windows, and choose "upgrade" instead of custom. From there, just follow the steps like you normally would, activate when it says to, and you won't have any problems.
I wipe my system drive and do a clean install every 6 months to keep things running smoothly, and I've done this 4 or 5 times since 7 came out, and have never had a problem. The only other advice I have is to go ahead and put the contents of your install dvd onto a bootable USB key (search "make USB key bootable" if you don't know how to do that. It's not complicated, and there are tutorials here and over on MaximumPC.com that are simple to follow) and run your install from that. That way, you'll always have your files handy, and it cuts the install time in half as the read speed over USB is a hell of a lot faster than that of the average DVD drive.
I should add that OEM versions are tied to the motherboard. You can't install on another computer. You also can only reinstall so many times which is why I recommend making an IMAGE backup (i.e. Acronis True Image, or even Windows 7 Image) to an external hard drive.
RESTORING an Image of Windows (that was Activated at the time) does not require you to use one of your Activations (three for OEM?). Reinstalling from scratch does.
Always keep that first backup in case your system gets corrupted, but make another image periodically that is up to date. So keep Backup #1, then one or two more which you replace.
Very few computers have FULL versions of Windows. Pre-built systems don't as it adds to the price. And I don't really see the advantage of spending at least TWICE the money for the option to install Windows on a different system later on (wouldn't I want to keep Windows still on an OLD system, and wouldn't I want a newer version for the new one?)
Uhh. Thanks for the advice, but my question is: Will I be able to use this upgrade disc even after I switch to a different computer. Of course, after i uninstalled it from my previous pc.
Yeah, sorry I thought I mentioned I've had three motherboards since I first purchased my retail upgrade copy. I upgraded once from LGA775 to 1155, and then had to replace that board with a new one, because it had a bad SATA port. Installing that same copy was easy for all three, well, not the broken one, but I digress. Retail copies aren't locked the way OEM versions are, but even that's not an issue these days, as a call to Microsoft can fix that. They used to be tougher about enforcing their OEM policies, but eventually common sense won out and they realized keeping a tech savvy customer happy was smarter than pissing them off, as a person that is capable of swapping out a motherboard can probably figure out how to get a pirated copy over the intertubes.