Clean or Custom install?

1. Is there a difference between a clean and custom installation?

When considering a OS change from Vista 32 to Win 7/64 bit, which process should I be using? Or are the words clean/custom install more or less semantics and mean the same thing?

2. I have been looking at purchasing Win 7 Pro 64 bit online. But I see that there are like 3 different versions, w/3 different prices.

A. The Full version has both 32/64 bit OS for $270.00.

B. The Win 7 Pro SP1 64 bit OEM version is $135.00.

C. The upgrade version I believe also has both 32/64 bit OS at $148.00.

Doesn't make much sense to include two programs if you only need/want the 64 bit OS. If you are trying to upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit, why would one want a 32 bit OS and pay extra $$$ for it? Doesn't make sense?


Below is a review by a purchaser of Win 7 Upgrade. I commented within the review in blue.

"Windows Vista(tm) Home Premium cannot be upgraded to Windows 7 Professional.

You can choose to install a new copy of Windows 7 Professional instead, but this is different from an upgrade, and does not keep your files, settings, and programs. You'll need to reinstall any programs using the original installation discs or files. To save your files before installing Windows, back them up to an external location such as a CD, DVD, or external hard drive. To install a new copy of Windows 7 Professional, click the Back button in the upper left-hand corner, and select "Custom (advanced)".

Simply said you cannot upgrade Home Premium, keeping your programs and files, you must start over similar to a clean install.. To install Windows 7 on top of Home Premium while maintaing all of your files, programs, settings etc., you must purchase the Ultimate Upgrade for $19 more.

Vista32 to Win7: I presume here this reviewer was referring to a 32 bit OS upgrade.

This will allow people who are not "computer friendly" upgrade without the hassle of backing up files, re-installing programs etc. especially if you don't know where the original program CD(s) are...


Vista32 to Win7: I am not that "computer friendly", but trying to comprehend the right Win 7 Pro 64 bit OS to buy, install, and transfer data on my machine.

Upgrade advisor says I need to do a "custom install" to go from 32 bit to 64 bit. Whereas someone else insisted I need to do a "clean install". So that's one question here, which one?

The Upgrade Advisor also says I can install Premium or Ultimate, but doesn't list the Pro version. So not to sure what's up here? I presume if I do a clean or custom install I can use any version of Win 7, is this correct?

I also need to change my HDD, and transfer my old data to a new HDD. Best, simplest, least expensive way to do this?

I could use an external HDD enclosure, put the new HDD in the enclosure, and use "Windows Easy Transfer" to transfer my data to the new HDD, and replace the old HDD with the new HDD?

"Windows Easy Transfer" transfers data [pics, documents, etc.], but not programs. So not sure when my programs get installed, before or after installing the new OS? Seems if you install the new OS it would wipe out the old programs with the new OS programs, or am I missing something here?

I saved some documents on my [C:] drive, to a CD. I tried burning some files that would not fit completly on one empty CD. So not sure what do here. I presume if there was not enough room on the CD, you could just pop another empty CD back in the CD tray to burn the rest of whatever remanined in the file? But that's why I'm here asking questions?

Thinking about getting an empty external HDD, but that's another expense I'm not sure I really need. [$60-$80]. As I presume I can just transfer any data and programs onto the new HDD when I get it. Or maybe a USB flash drive? So need some direction on the simplest route to take on doing all of the above.

Any responses or help appreciated. Thanks, Vista to Win 7.


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To answer your opening question - a "clean" install and a "custom" install are not mutually exclusive - they define different aspects of the installation process. A clean install (as opposed to an upgrade install) involves reformatting the drive and installing a fresh version of the system without importing any of the files from an earlier system. This is the preferred method and is recommenned as it excludes importing any junk and possible problems from the earlier installation.

A custom install may apply to either clean or upgrade install and enables the user to select various options (such as where to install the system). The opposite of a custom install is just to accept the defaults.

You may purchase either a "full" install version which is designed to be installed on an empty drive with no previous version of Windows installed. The upgrade version is less expensive and is intended to be installed on a drive which already has a version of Windows installed. For may years users have been aware of a simple technique for using the cheaper upgrade disk to run a full clean install. There are simple guides for doing this all over the net - just google something like windows full install using upgrade. This process will save you money and is recommended.

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