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*NOOB QUESTION* Will my files be deleted?

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Last response: in Windows 7
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July 21, 2012 7:06:34 AM

Hi i was wondering if my files would be deleted if i installed a new OS on my computer. I just bought windows 7 Home Premium and i am currently running Vista 64. Will installing W7 Format the hard drive to FAT32 or something else? Thanks.

Going to be back on in the morning so responses will be answered in about 10 hours.
a b $ Windows 7
July 21, 2012 7:56:21 AM

As long as you don't reformat or repartition your drive then you should be good, bare in mind you will loose your installed programs if you are going for a new install, but the safest thing to do is backup your important files to an external drive or optical medium.
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a b $ Windows 7
July 21, 2012 8:12:37 AM

You can do three things:

1. You can perform an in-place upgrade from Vista to Windows 7. Windows will attempt to retain as many settings and the like that as it can but a lot can and often does go wrong. I do not recommend doing OS upgrades like this.

2. You can install Windows 7 on top of Windows Vista. The install process will backup most of the non-system files into a set of folders called "Windows.old" which will contain your old user profiles, programs, etc... If the data is on another hard disk it will not be affected. Everything will have to be reinstalled and stuff will have to be moved around but the old data will still be there.

3. You can do a complete and fresh reinstall. This process will completely destroy the existing filesystem and all data on the hard drive will be erased. Before you do this you should backup anything you wish to keep to another device.

#3 is the most preferable but #2 will work in a pinch. I highly advise against using #1
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a b $ Windows 7
July 21, 2012 8:29:15 AM

I would have to agree with Pinhedd your best option for a smooth transition to Windows 7 would be a complete fresh install. The biggest problem is if there are any problems with your Vista install they could migrate to Windows 7. I have seen a lot of people that end of with real problems doing a in-place upgrade and would highly advice against it. Back up any important files and do a complete install. Of course you will have to re-install any of your programs and or games after the install and update Windows and any of your drivers.

It is a little more work but in the long run you will have a much more stable and enjoyable OS. Good luck and post back if you need more help.
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a b $ Windows 7
July 21, 2012 9:12:16 AM

I'd suggest copying your needed files to an external drive and then reinstalling on a freshly formatted HD. A little planning (that is partitioning) this time around easily eliminates this concern. Putting OS on a C:\ partition and your other stuff on other partition(s) means never having to bother with this dilemma again.

Data remains untouched and programs, at worse, need you to just reinstall over the old installation in the same folder to set up registry entries... all customizations will be retained.

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July 31, 2012 4:36:03 AM

Wow thanks for all the questions guess im just going to stick with this for now until something major happens. I cant move all of my files as i animate and program and my External hard drive just keeps clicking when i hook it up. Thanks
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July 31, 2012 4:36:59 AM

Best answer selected by jordan513.
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