Installing without DVD drive?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Installation' started by andyb623, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. andyb623

    andyb623 New Member

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    Hey everyone,
    I have a Dell Dimension 3000 (running XP) that I want to wipe the hard drive and install Windows 7. The problem is, the computer doesn't have a DVD drive. I can get Windows 7 Professional from my school for only $42, but it's the dvd hard copy version. So is there anyway I can install it onto my computer, or will I have to pay the $150, or however much, to download it online?
    Thanks
     
  2. gavin19

    gavin19 New Member

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    You just need a usb drive big enough to hold the contents of the DVD and access to a DVD drive. Also your bios has to allow booting from USB which not all do. Check out here to see how to proceed further.
     
  3. andyb623

    andyb623 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply.
    A couple questions though: Can I put all of my files and the contents of the DVD onto an external hard drive, or do they need to be separate? What is bios? Will running that disk partition program on the computer with the DVD drive affect the computer, will it be fine, or would I have to delete the program after? I have a drive scrubber, should I run that on the computer I'm upgrading to delete all the files/programs (I don't think I need anything, I'll just put all my pictures and music onto the external HD) or will it all be deleted anyway with the clean install?
    Thanks a lot.
     
  4. gavin19

    gavin19 New Member

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    You don't need to use diskpart, you can use any free partitioning software like EASEUS, and just make a FAT32 partition and mark it as active. You could do this to your external hard drive but of course formatting the drive will cause you to lose it's contents. Ideally you should borrow a 4GB USB drive and use that. Or..

    Before you do anything, and while your current OS is still working, you could use EASEUS to make a partition on the external drive and move your pictures etc to that, so they would be unaffected by the formatting process. Say for example your external drive was 500GB and you had 100GB to backup. Then you could use EASEUS to make a 5GB FAT32 active partition for W7 marked as active, and then make a 495GB NTFS partition to which you could save all your important data. All you would have to do is then boot from the external drive, install W7 and then copy your saved pics etc back over again. This all depends on the size of the external drive and how much data you need to back up though.

    Bios information for Dell is here.
     
  5. andyb623

    andyb623 New Member

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    I think there is something else I could do.. I'm also upgrading my laptop to W7 (which does have a DVD drive), so I think I will upgrade that first, then move all my files from my desktop to the laptop.
    The partition and BIOS things are still a bit confusing to me, but I'll read into it more tomorrow because I really have to start working on an essay that's due tonight at midnight, haha.
    Thanks for all the help.
     
  6. gavin19

    gavin19 New Member

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    Yeah I take it for granted that people already have this knowledge sometimes! Well that's good you have a laptop to work with, it will solve a lot of problems and save the whole partitioning thing. You do still need to determine whether or not you can boot from USB but you should be able to get the information you need from that link i posted before.

    Good luck with the essay :)
     
  7. andyb623

    andyb623 New Member

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    Alright, now my friend just told me about this Digital River thing. So if I download W7 from here, will I need to do a clean install, because on the website it says, "There is no difference between the Windows 7 software you will install from the online store versus in retail stores. However, if you need to perform a custom (clean) install on your PC, we recommend you purchase the back-up DVD."

    Also, does anybody know if I can buy 2 copies from Digital River, or can you only get one?

    When I ran the Upgrade Advisor I got these two issues (there were actually 6, but these are the system issues): "Your current graphics adapter won't support the Windows Aero user interface. And, "your PC requires 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit W7 for optimal performance.(Apparently I only have 512 MB)
    Will these be problems?

    Thanks for the good luck, but I decided not to do the essay, haha. They combine two essays and two midterms, so I'll just have this essay be the dropped one.
     
  8. andyb623

    andyb623 New Member

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    Just bumping this up.
     

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