Windows 7 Installation advise


It looks like I have to move away from my good old Windows XP…

Questions regarding 32 vs. 64 bit, optimisation aso. have been answered with a search, but I still have some open questions.

I haven’t been installing an OS for a long time, so here are my questions.

  1. Networking and network cards have still to be disabled?
  2. Antivirus? Install or not on a DAW in 2011?
  3. How do I athorise Windows 7 without network?
  4. When expanding/uprading (RAM, HD,…) do I have really to re-authorise Windows 7?
  5. Even if I have a valid XP license, do I have to buy a full license to do a clean install?
  6. When buying a full license, I have to decide at purchase if 32 or 64 bit. If I buy 32 bit version and I run ito trouble I have to buy a new 64 bit license?

I haven’t decided yet what HW I will get, it will be something like an i7 CPU with 12 GB RAM, an Asus board with a x58 chipset, a 128 GB SSD disk for OS and C6, Raid0 disks for audio.

Thanks for your help.


I can answer some of those questions:

  1. Nope, and I didn’t disable them on XP either.
  2. Anitvirus will always slow down a DAW. You can install it, as long as you can disable it when working.
  3. Phone. It is automated, so it just means reading out and writing down a few numbers.
  4. It depends. You won’t know until you try.
  5. Don’t know.
  6. Forget 32bit. Go for Windows 7 Pro 64bit.


If you purchase a full retail version you will receive both 32 and 64 bit install disks. OEM is one or the other.

I would do some research if you go the OEM route. It seems Microsoft is trying to make it more difficult with Windows 7 as far as re-installing on different hardware, etc. Also no official Microsoft support.

As far as I know you need a full version to do a clean install. “Upgrade” versions need to be installed on top of a factory installed OS.

Home Premium should be just fine unless you plan on using more than 16GB RAM.

Hi, Folks!

On the Microsoft Windows website, you’ll find a “Windows Upgrade Advisor” tool that will assess whether your PC can support Windows 7, what upgrades (drivers, etc.) are needed to make sure it functions properly, and also denotes what items on your PC are incompatible (usually due to obsolescence).

You can save the report for reference, and use it to execute necessary upgrades, if they’re needed.

Here’s the link:

Hope this helps!

You can do a virgin install from the upgrade disks. Search for Ed Bot’s article for one example. It works. It basically involves doing a double install, but not activating after the first one. With Win 7, it doesn’t take very long for the two.

Windows uses weighted criteria to determine whether a change or bunch of changes is another system, or just a minor upgrade or maintenance. I have sometimes changed several components without any issues.

In any case, they will not hassle you if you ring for an authorisation. Let’s face it, if you were using a pirate copy, you would not be likely to ring them. The only time they actually queried me was when I was getting a second copy of Office activated when they already had it recorded as activated, but since it was within the full licence conditions of allowing a copy on the laptop of the primary desktop user, they had no objection there either.

Note that the full licence allows you to legally transfer it to a new machine, whereas the OEM version is only for the machine on which it was originally installed. If you built your own machines, they effectievly become like Anderson’s axe - had two heads and three handles replaced! It is still the same machine, your honour!

As for Anti-virus, I run dual boot Win 7, without hidden partitions, so that running AV (like MSE) or backup from the general boot partition will handle the DAW partitions as well. I only run the firewall and defender from the DAW partition directly, and use IE to access known websites only, like for drivers from MS or RME and updates for software.

Win 7 does not need the DAW optimisations that XP did. Win7 does a lot of optimisations itself, and is much less likely to disrupt realtime streaming. If you had only SSDs, while Win 7 would still have the defrag and ReadyBoost services, they would never be invoked.

We have Win 7 Ultimate and SSDs on all systems. I have disabled Superfetch, Defrag and HomeGroup services on all, and virtual memory on the DAWs as they have plenty of memory. The DAW partitions don’t run Aero either.

I have 64kB sectors on all systems as even with HDDs, they gave 30+% improvements in real transfer times.