Installing a SSD and Win 7 on an older laptop
March 8, 2011 2:04 PM   Subscribe

Reality check on upgrading my trusty Dell Latitude D820 (Win XP, 2GB) by adding a Crucial 128 GB SSD and upgrading to Win 7.

I've read Windows 7 installs without drama on a D820. Here's what I think is the drill: Pull off data. Wipe current hard drive. Replace with SSD. Install but not register copy of Win XP. Install and register my upgrade version of Win 7 HP/32. Install programs. Copy data over. Profit.

Am I forgetting anything?
posted by mojohand to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
How attached to this laptop are you? It's kind of old to be worth sinking that kind of money into....

But, yeah. That sequence looks like it should work, as long as you actually own a Win7 license. An OEM HP disc might not work in an older machine -- the days of being able to slip a HP-Branded Windows Disc in, and getting a working/usable Windows installation without a license key are long gone.

Unless you have some other way of copying your files over, I'd recommend also picking up a USB->SATA cable.
posted by schmod at 2:22 PM on March 8, 2011

Are you installing the XP version on the new SSD - and then win7 afterwards - so you can dual boot from one or the other? 'Cause you can't 'upgrade' from xp to Win7 (but you may already know this). There's no upgrade path in 7 from XP, only from Vista.

Fyi! Yes, really.
posted by bitterkitten at 2:30 PM on March 8, 2011

I wouldn't wipe the current hard drive until I was sure I'd got everything from it. Take it out and hang onto it. You can always pop it back in later if you are sure you won't need it any more (else put a nail through it!). A D820 will run nicely enough with an SSD and Win7 (but only the x86 flavour). If you can get an extra 2GB RAM, then so much the better.
posted by nicktf at 2:38 PM on March 8, 2011

Yeah, don't wipe the data for a while (if you need to at all). I'd pick up an enclosure for the HD and use it as external drive for now. ANd more ram would help out a lot (it's cheap now a days, check out
posted by pyro979 at 2:44 PM on March 8, 2011

The XP install is because I have a (legitimate) 'upgrade' version of Win 7 that wants to see a prior copy of Windows before installing, even tho with XP, as bitterkitten notes, it doesn't really upgrade it.

Thanks all. The old HD will remain unmolested.
posted by mojohand at 2:49 PM on March 8, 2011

Also remember (assuming your machine would accept it) - more than 4gb of ram will not be "seen" by 32-bit o.s. ; )
posted by bitterkitten at 3:55 PM on March 8, 2011

Don't install XP. Install Windows 7 fresh, don't activate, then go back and install Windows 7 on top of itself and then activate. Google around and you'll find this not only common, but an approved method for getting the upgrade edition installed when you lose your previous OS disk. I've done it myself several times.
posted by chairface at 10:04 PM on March 8, 2011

I run W7 on a D620 and a regular SATA drive with no problems. My best advice is to upgrade to 4gb of RAM and also make certain that you've updated your bios to the latest.
posted by starscream at 10:13 PM on March 8, 2011

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