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On a previous question I posted, I asked for help on fixing my Windows Vista box because it keeps going to a blue screen. No one seems to have the answer, so now I want to install Windows 7.

Can I install Windows 7 without having to reformat my hard drive and having to lose all my files?

I've already confirmed the hardware is working because I installed Ubuntu 9.10 on my external hard drive and it runs on my system fine. I tested the memory using Vista's memory test and Ubuntu's memory test.

Here's the previous post: Windows Vista BSOD on my desktop

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If the Vista system is not functional and you say you have Ubuntu available, you can boot Ubuntu, mount the Vista partitions and back up your files. Then, you can just reformat the drive. If you have enough space on your portable HDD I think this is the cleanest solution.

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According to Microsoft, you should be able to upgrade Vista to Windows 7 and keep your files.

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With keeping your files and software on an upgrade is possible, you may still be inheriting the issues that caused your Vista installation to blue screen.

If you still have the intallation disks for your software, I would take a live CD boot into that, copy off your personal files and then install everything from scratch. You might have better luck with that.

Good luck and hope this helps some.

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You have an external hard drive. Excellent! Now is the perfect time to start doing backups. Then nuke your Vista partition and install whatever you like.

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You can upgrade to 7, but like earlier replies suggest:

  1. Backup all your files to the external drive. It's much better to install 7 on a fresh partition than to carry over past issues.
  2. Even more important: your blue screen may be caused by a hardware issue (memory/card not seated properly, BIOS malfunction etc.) in which case upgrading to 7 will just be a waste of time. What is the root cause of your BSOD? Can you post the strings you see?
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  • alot of documentation is in the link i provided – cesar Apr 3 '10 at 20:25

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