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Why We are Upgrading to Windows 7 Instead of Clean Installing

October 24, 2009

We are upgrading all of our home PCs to Windows 7 Professional (not Home Premium because we also run Small Business Server 2008). We are doing in-place upgrades rather than clean installs because unless there is a problem, a clean install is just too big a hassle.

The in place upgrade requires several hours (and minimal attention during that time). In contrast, a clean install would require time consuming manual reinstallations of 10-20 applications per PC (more for my own personal PC). Those would take several hours sitting in front of each PC after the install.

I fully expect that were I to do do, I would probably get some marginal advantage in terms of speed or reliability. However, given that (if the in place upgrade is similar to Vista) the in place upgrade basically installs Windows 7 and then ports over the installed applications, I suspect those marginal advantages are not that great.

When I have some significant problem, I may end up doing a clean install of Windows 7, but I see no reason not to postpone that day—maybe until we replace the PC in question. Until that day, I’m betting that my in place upgrade serves me well—and if it doesn’t, what have I lost?


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