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how much is 40gb in MB for Win7 installation

January 27, 2010 at 18:11:52
Specs: Windows Vista Home Basic

I'm trying to run Vista and Windows 7 on my computer..I want to partition my hard drive so I can do a dual boot..What I need to know is, I heard W7 would run smooth on 40gb..My hard drives main drive, (C:) drive has 217.83gb..how much should I shrink that in mb's..and I format the new volume before putting in Windows right?? I'm new to this as you can tell, but I'm trying to learn all I can..Hope the questions not too stupid..and my computer is everything in product box except I have 3GB RAM and a 250gb (?) hard drive

edited by moderator: Post moved from Windows Vista Forum


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#1
January 27, 2010 at 23:49:33

The hard drive manufacturer always uses the decimal way of expressing the size of a drive.
e.g. 1kb = 1,000 bytes, 1 mb = 1,000,000 bytes, 1gb = 1,000,000,000 bytes

Your computer bios and Windows (or any operating system) always uses the binary way of expressing the size of a drive.
e.g. 1kb = 1,024 bytes, 1mb = 1,024kb = 1,048,576 bytes,
1gb = 1,024mb = 1,073,741,824 bytes
1 tb = 1,024gb = 1,099, 511,627,776 bytes

Whichever way the size of the hard drive is expressed, the total number of bytes is the same, or extremely close to the same.

~250gb drive manufacturer's size X 1,000,000,000 bytes per decimal gb divided by 1,073,741,824 bytes per binary gb = ~232.83gb binary size. That's the "raw" size, the size the mboard's bios sees, and Windows Setup or Disk Management sees when the drive has no data on it - Windows uses up a small percentage of that when the drive is software partitioned and formatted that can't be used for the user's data, so, e.g. for a drive with only one partition (NOT recommended if you have only one hard drive), the total size of the partition seen once the drive is formatted in Windows in My Computer or Computer or Windows Explorer is a bit smaller.
......

The ram size is always expressed the binary way.
e.g. 3gb = 3,096mb


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#2
January 28, 2010 at 06:49:42

The size of your partition will depend upon what is on your computer now and what you plan on using windows 7 for. If you plan on using both about equally, and you have a lot of free space, you might need about half for each, BUT you would probably have trouble doing this since your data is not stacked all to the beginning of the drive. Windows puts certain files in 'optimum' locations on the disk such as near the outer edge of one of the drives physical disks. If this were a desktop, I would recommend spending for a second hard drive and installing windows 7 onto the separate drive as a dual boot. Your BIOS might let you install as a bootable external hard drive, but that might not be convenient for you.
As with any partitioning on an active drive, BACK UP everything first. To prepare you drive for repartitioning, you will need to turn off system restore (that is a non-movable file that you will find will be in the way), do disk clean up, and defragment. Then use an aftermarket partitioning tool to move the files forward and shrink the partition, and recreate the new partition. AND make sure you choose 'custom' when you install windows 7 to choose the location and select the boot options. You should turn on system restore after partitioning and probably before installing windows 7. You should have access to your files across the partitions, but you will not have your programs 'installed' in windows 7 even if you can 'see' them.

My preference: Don't sit on the fence, just convert to Windows 7 and move forward, don't look back!


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#3
January 28, 2010 at 23:00:09

Fingers,

Wow, this one's the most drastic of replies I've gotten..I like it though..See I won W7 in a New Year's Giveaway and since I'm new to this I want to get Everybody,s view on what it is I need to do so I can make sure I don't mess everything up..I've backed up my files, photo's, cleaned my disk, defragged..All I have to do is the partitioning part, and Installing Windows of course..I'm having trouble with the partitioning part now..I'm about ready to pull my hair out!!


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#4
January 29, 2010 at 12:08:59

If you plan on using Vista and Windows 7 about equally, then Fingers idea of "If you plan on using both about equally, and you have a lot of free space, you might need about half for each," is fine,

However.....

- This is a very minor consideration...

"BUT you would probably have trouble doing this since your data is not stacked all to the beginning of the drive. "

I've been running operating systems on multiple partitioned drives for many years.
- the operating systems in each partition favours loading data nearer to the beginning of the partition they're on, closer to the outside of the drive, in any case.
- there's at most only a few milliseconds difference data access time regarding where the partition is on the drive.Where the operating system is on the drive does not matter otherwise, at least it doesn't for 2000 and up - it will work fine.

- Can you see a second partition in Disk Management in Vista?

If your hard drive still has it's original brand name software installation, you probably have two partitions on the hard drive at present, not one - the second one is much smaller and hidden by the brand name builder from you seeing it in Windows. If it does have that, you'll see that second partition in Windows Setup when you run it from the DVD, AND you MAY see that in Disk Management in Windows now, in Vista - it would be an unknown partition type, or similar. Some such second partitions are Recovery partitions - they have data on them necessary to re-load your original software, if you need to, usually by using a single Recovery disk . In the past that's usually what they were for. These days the second partition may be used for something else, in which case, if you don't use the features the partition supports, you can delete the partition and it's data contents.

- it's a very good idea to have at least one partition other than the one(s) Windows has (have) been installed on as a place you can store data you do not want to lose if you ever need to re-load Windows from scratch, or backup the data you don't want to lose to somewhere else in case the hard drive fails, but people these days frequently do not bother with backing up anything.
Personally I would shrink the Vista partition and make at least a small partition to store data of that kind on a brand name system, or on any system that has only one hard drive.

If you install Windows 7 too on the single drive, I recommend the drive has at least one such partition.

When you install an operating system, 2000 and up, it chooses the full un-allocated size available by default, if that's available, but you can choose to make a Windows partition smaller than the full un-allocated size available.You can partition the remaining un-allocated space later, in Disk Management, after Setup has finished, at any time.

You could install Windows 7 on an external drive, but I don't recommend that. It would always have to be connected if you were dual booting, and it is quite likely it may not work properly unless it is plugged into a USB port physically built into the computer. Laptops have a limited number of USB ports in any case, and the external drive is likely to not work properly connected to a USB port in an external hub.


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#5
January 29, 2010 at 17:00:26

tubesandwires,

I have 3 different areas on my hard disk..my C: drive has 159.67gb free, then I have a Recovery partition which says is my E: drive which has 7.07gb free, then I have the third partition which doesn't have a letter and it has 55mb which says its an EISA configuration..all say healthy..both E and C drive are NTSF with C being the OS..
I'm about ready to give up and just keep Vista and hold on to my W7 key..I'd really like to try this but don't want to mess everything up..I've backed up my photos and stuff but..any more suggestions?? and Thanks..


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#6
January 29, 2010 at 22:20:11

Okay, so you have 3 partitions now.
"(C:) drive has 217.83gb" total and "159.67gb free" NTFS
"E: drive which has .......total and " 7.07gb free" NTFS
"..third partition which doesn't have a letter and it has 55mb which says its an EISA configuration" - total size?

Some brand name system drive's second partition is visible in Windows; some brand names hide it from the user.

As I recall a friend of mine who has a HP laptop, about 5 years old, has a EISA small second partition, ~100mb - it's used for some music related feature? There's info about how to use it in her Owner's or User's manual, or on similar that came with the computer.

If I were you I would leave the second and third partition as is.

If you've used computers previously, what is your tendacy regarding how fast you would fill up a 2xx gb drive with data?

If you would fill it up fairly quickly, then don't install Windows 7.
Or - get yourself a 500gb or larger laptop drive, install it in an external enclosure (as little as $30 or so; I recommend Vantec) temporarily, use free software to copy the contents of your 250 gb drive to the 500gb drive, install the 500gb drive in the laptop, then have both Vista and Windows 7 on that, the 250 gb drive in the external enclosure for an external drive (or sell it).

If you only would slowly fill it up, then 1xxgb would be enough for each operating system.
- use Vista to shrink the C partition to about half it's present total size. That makes about half of that un-allocated.
- optionally, shrink it a bit more than half, so you can make a small third partition in C's former space later, in Disk Management.
- run the Widows Setup from the DVD, install it on the un-allocated space.
Or - optionally, make a partition in Windows 7 a bit smaller than half the space that was on C - the remaining unallocated space in what was the C partition you can partition and format in Disk Mangement later.

You can always change your mind later.

Vista was the first Microsoft operting system that has the ability to re-size partitions without losing the data on them - Windows 7 can do that too.

Note that you may run into a limit of 4 primary partitions per hard drive. Older operating systems have that limit - I don't know if Vista and Windows 7 do. If that's the case, a primary partition can have more than one logical partition, or just don't make the small partition within the former space of C.

By the way, I found Vista's Windows partition sees itself as being installed on C, no matter which partition you install it on, or whether there's another operating system on the drive or on the computer. The same probably applies to Windows.
7.
When you're dual booting, Vista sees it's Windows partition as C, Windows 7's Windows partition as another drive letter, and probably visa versa.
.
If that's all too complicated for you, save your Windows 7 DVD for another computer.


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#7
January 29, 2010 at 22:21:59

You could do something like this:
C: Vista and programs
E: recovery partition
?: Windows 7 and programs
?: photos, files, etc. (for both)
You are allowed up to 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions and one extended partition which can contain multiple logical partitions. You could go with something like 80Gig for Vista and programs and about the same for Windows 7 and what ever is left for your files (maybe 80Gig?)

I would lean towards just going full in with windows 7 and just convert (assuming you run compatibility and everything is up to speed). I installed Windows 7 on a new built desktop (prior one was XP) and it runs great. I also upgraded my daughter's laptop that was Vista to Windows 7 after she tried it on my desktop and that went well and she is enjoying it (though she had to update printer drivers after she went back to school) and she has not looked back (and she definitely would have complained if not satisfied)
You would need the recovery partition if you stay with Vista, or the dual boot, since you probably do not have a full version disk for Vista, BUT you will not need it if you go with '7' since you will have the disk.


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#8
February 3, 2010 at 07:08:02

Thanks you two for your help,

Sorry for the absence, I've been sickly for about a week but on the mend (-:

If I go with just windows 7 and don't look back will I just put the cd in and let it go?, Or do I have to do something to Vista first..Most the stuff I have on Vista I've backed up..Which are mostly just photos..The more I think about it the more I might just go ahead with windows 7..Which this Vista is not compatible with Windows 7 cause its basic home and I have W7 Pro which won't coincide..Any suggestions?


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#9
February 3, 2010 at 09:51:07

"I'm new to this I want to get Everybody,s view on what it is I need to do so I can make sure I don't mess everything up.."

If you manage not to mess everything up you'll make history - we've all done that at some point!


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#10
February 4, 2010 at 05:55:22

If you have both 32bit or both 64bit windows programs, you can just upgrade, just put the disk in and follow instructions. If you have say the basic Vista in 32bit but purchased pro in 64bit, or if you want to completely start clean (almost always a good idea), make sure that in your BIOS settings, your DVD drive is set first in boot order (at least before your hard drive), put in the Windows 7 dvd, and restart the computer. It will boot from the DVD and allow you to format the hard drive (this will delete everything) and allow you to start clean (like a new computer in many respects) and follow install.

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#11
February 4, 2010 at 13:46:51

If you want to be able to re-load the original Vista software installation, at no or little cost to you, e.g. if nothing else but for the future when you may sell it to someone else....

- if the computer came with a Recovery DVD or Recovery disks that can be used to reload a NEW or wiped hard drive, go ahead and delete ALL the partitions on the hard drive when you boot from the Windows 7 DVD - the smaller partitions and their data are useless to you. I advise you to make at least two partitions, rather than the default of one - specify a size smaller than the default for the partition Windows prompts you to make - the Windows C partition - you can software partition and format the remaining un-allocated space in Disk Management at any time later, after Setup has finished.

- if the computer DID NOT come with a Recovery DVD or Recovery disks that can be used to reload a NEW or wiped hard drive - it may have come with one disk that must be used along with the data contents of one or both of the smaller partitions - then there is probably already a program installed in your Programs list in Vista with which you can make (burn) a Recovery DVD or Recovery disks that can be used to reload a NEW or wiped hard drive. Make the disk or disks BEFORE you boot with the Windows 7 DVD and delete all the existing partitions.
Use a DVD-R or CD-R disk(s) for greatest chance that any drive can read it.
......
In any case....

I advise you delete ALL the existing partitions when you boot with the Windows 7 DVD, and make at least two partitions, rather than the default of one - specify a size smaller than the default for the partition Windows prompts you to make - the Windows C partition - you can software partition and format the remaining un-allocated space in Disk Management at any time later, after Setup has finished.
.....

If you are using only a wireless network connection to the internet / a router, see Wireless network connections.
at the end of this page.
......

You will need to install the Windows 7 drivers for your system after Setup has finished that Windows has not automatically found . They are probably all, or almost all, available on the brand name system maker's web site in the downloads for your model. If they don't list software for Windows 7 for something, usually software for Vista works fine.

Install the main chipset drivers first!
If they're not on the brand name system's web site, get them from the maker of the main chipset maker's web site.
......

I advise you to ....Don't load add-on anti-malware software intially - it may intefere with the proper installation of some of the software, and you may get no messages that the software was not properly installed. It's perfectly safe to access the brand name system's web site, the Microsoft site, and many other major sites without having any anti-malware software installed. Just don't randomly search on the internet and click on the "hits" for other than major sites until after the anti-malware software has been installed.

If you have, or when you have, installed add-on anti-malware software....
and
Why not install them initially?

Many anti-malware programs have at least one "resident" module (some have more than one, e.g. Norton/Symantec products) - a part of the software that runs all the time the computer is running - that scans the computer in the background automatically, at random times. The resident modules of those have been well known to intefere with the proper installation of some software, and you may get no messages that the software was not properly installed.
It is recommended that you DO NOT have have resident modules for anti-malware running when you install software yourself, or especially when any major software is installed by you or automatically, even if it's Windows software - e.g. DISABLE them from running when you install the SP1 or SP2 updates for Vista, or un-install the anti-malware programs that have resident modules (e.g. you MUST un-install Norton/Symantec products if you don't want to have problems installing SP3 updates in XP). (Microsoft Updates other than certain major ones usually install fine with the resident module(s) still enabled.)
If you have two or more add-on anti-malware programs installed that have resident modules, the resident modules are likely to clash with each other - not always, but the possibilty is very much there. It's recommended you DISABLE the resident modules from running in all but one of them. You can still run full scans at any time, or switch which one has the resident module(s) for it enabled.
......

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.
.....

If Windows 7 did not auto identify your network adapter, it will not have been able to Activate Windows in the final stages of Setup, and you will have no access to the internet until the network adapter drivers have been installed. (You have the option of phoning Microsoft to Activate Windows when Activation over the internet fails.)
If you have disks that came with the computer, one may have the network adapter software installation on it. Look at your disks that may have come with the computer BEFORE you use the Windows DVD, if you want to find that out BEFORE you install Windows 7.
Or - you could go to the brand name system maker's web site and look in the downloads for your model, and get the network adapter software for Windows 7, or Vista, in Vista BEFORE you install Windows from the Windows 7 DVD, and copy that to a flash drive or a CD. You could copy all the software for Windows 7, or Vista, to the flash drive or CD at the same time if you like.
....

If you have no network adapter software installed by Windows during Setup, and you have nothing you can install on hand, you must get at least the network adapter software on another computer, copy it to a flash drive or CD, then install the drivers on your computer.
......

When the network adpter drivers have been installed, you can then Activate Windows over the internet, and download other software necessary for the system components, etc. .
..........

Wireless network connections.

Whether or not Windows auto installs the network adapter software, after the sftware has been installed....
If you're using a wireless connection only, because of wireless security requirements you should adhere to, you will have to take some additional steps to set up the wireless adapter to connect to your router, THEN you can connect to the internet.
You may need to access the configuration settings of the router in order to find what settings you need to make the same for the wireless network adapter - e.g. at least the encryption type and password or key string for it, if security has been enabled.
NOTE that you CAN NOT access the router wirelessly, only, unless the settings on both ends of the wireless connection are right. In that case you must connect a network cable between the wired network adapter on the computer and a wired port on the router.
If you don't have network cable (the router always comes with one) , borrow or buy one, or, a poor second choice, copy down the settings in the router's configuration settings BEFORE you remove Vista, OR there is probably away of determining and saving to a notepad text file the existing settings for your wireless adapter in Windows, which would be compatible with your router's settings already, when you still have your Vista installation intact, save that to a flash drive, however, I don't know how to do that myself.


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#12
February 4, 2010 at 18:33:46

tubesandwires,

Thanks so much for the info..It's more than likely what I'll end up doing..I believe I have all the disks it takes to 'reinstall' Vista..one thing I didn't understand..

"I advise you to make at least two partitions, rather than the default of one - specify a size smaller than the default for the partition Windows prompts you to make - the Windows C partition - you can software partition and format the remaining un-allocated space in Disk Management at any time later, after Setup has finished"

ok, Windows will be my main drive which will be C.I will shirk C drive down lower than the default.and use the un-allocated space later, after I install 7? I hope that's it..I started replying after you replied then my Brother and his wife showed up..I'm gonna start doing the Vista part now, make sure I have everything backed up then..Thanks again tandw for your help..


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#13
February 5, 2010 at 10:00:05

I assume you started already, but if you have not, you may want to 'do your homework' and not only gather all of your install disks, but download any driver you MIGHT need as well as newer versions of utility programs you use and load them onto a USB flash drive and be ready.

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#14
February 5, 2010 at 23:09:26

Fingers,

I haven't done the 'deed' yet, very close but like you said, "I need to do my homework" first before I do anything..I'm leaning heavy towards doing something like tubesandwires suggested..I still have to download some drivers, make sure I have all I need and everything backed up before I do anything..Thanks again for your help..


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#15
February 6, 2010 at 08:40:07

"ok, Windows will be my main drive which will be C.I will shirk C drive down lower than the default.and use the un-allocated space later, after I install 7?"

Yes.
" You can software partition and format the remaining un-allocated space in Disk Management at any time later, after Setup has finished"

You can do that right away after Setup has finished, or at any time you choose.

If you want more than two partitions on the hard drive, you can do similar in Disk Management - specify a size smaller than the default for the partition for the remaining un-allocated space, Format it, then select the then smaller remaining un-allocated space, Format it too, etc.

You have a Microsoft limit of 4 Primary partitions on one hard drive, but one or more of the Primary partitions can have more than one Logical partition within it.
.....

I assume this is the same as in Vista.

Click on Control Panel.

If you don't see Administrative Tools, click on Classic View on the left.
(To switch back to Category view, click on Control Panel Home on the left - why didn't they just call that selection Category View ??)

Administrative Tools - Computer Management - Disk Management

RIGHT click on the un-allocated space
- choose New Simple Volume
- change the default size to smaller if you want to (1,024mb per gb) It will be a bit smaller than that after it has been software partitioned and formatted, in Windows.
- you can choose any drive letter that is available - or you can leave it as the default
(It can be changed at any time changed later, for any drive letter but C, but you might have to change or temporarily re-assign drive letters for other partitions or CD or DVD drives to make the drive letter you want to use available.)
- choose NTFS or whatever
(If the partition is 32gb or smaller you can also choose FAT32. If the partition is 2gb or smaller you can also choose FAT. It's recommended you use FAT32 for partitions 4gb or smaller on a hard drive.)
I recommend you do NOT select Perform a Quick format, because a Full Format automatically finds any existing bad sectors that may not have been detected previously.
You can type something in the Volume label box or leave it blank. You can assign or change or delete a volume label at any time in My Computer or Windows Explorer.
.......

In Win 2000 and up, software partitioning (e.g. to the NTFS way) is done on the fly along with Formatting. In previous Microsoft operating systems, you software partitioned the un-allocated space to NTFS or FAT32 or FAT (e.g. by using Fdisk) , then when that was finished, you Formatted the resulting software partitioned space, in two separate steps.

People often think they're just Formatting an un-allocated space in 2000 and up, but they're actually software partitioning and formatting in one step.



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