After much fooling around, I have determined that the hard drive on my Inspiron 1545 vista 64 machine is toast. Ordered a new hard drive thru dell, and it will be here soon. But I am pretty much tired of the sick joke called Vista. So I want to upgrade to windows 7 home premium. I have the original dell system disks to reinstall the entire OS (vista). But am a little confused about the path. After installing the new blank hard drive, should I install the vista OS, and then upgrade to windows 7, or should I just go out and buy a windows 7 disk, and install it onto the clean new hard drive? Was wondering about all those 64 bit system drivers that I might need from the original OS disks?
Any suggestions about how to do the upgrade?
Also, windows 7 upgrade disk will be cheaper than a stand alone windows 7 disk, but to use it, I probably need vista already installed on the hard drive, yes/no. The OS disks I have now do not have a stand alone vista disk, just the 4 "generic" disks dell originally shipped to do the full system install.
The upgrade version requires Windows be installed on the hard drive first. -- you will need to install Vista on the system (note: it need not be fully configured - you can do a quick, basic installation WITHOUT installing all the drivers, and the install 7). The installer checks for an existing copy of Windows on the system but won't use any of its drivers to do its job.
Yeah, that is what I was thinking. Thanks. I keep hearing it is better to do a "clean" install though. Don't know how to do a clean install without the standalone OEM vista disk, which dell does not give you anymore.
Once Vista is loaded - you CAN do a clean install once the 7 installer has verified its presence.
Well, if anyone else has this problem, here is what I did to fix it:
1) inspiron 1545 would hand during boot up, would not allow restore function, would not allow reinstall from dell supplied disks, would not even allow repair from a separate windows vista 64 boot disk I downloaded on the internet.
1a) bought a cheap external drive box for SATA drive, and was able to get many of my files off of the bad hard drive onto a new computer
2) bought western digital hard drive from dell
3) was able to now boot up from dell supplied disks, and reloaded the OS onto the new blank hard drive. Good to go now.
the only thing I would do differently in the future would be to instead use a 256 or 512 gb solid state drive (after the prices drop from the stratosphere). I would make sure I get one with a "trim" function!
As you surf around, you will probably notice that IE8 64 bit requires 64 bit versions of java and adobe flash. The Java one is still in beta, (called "square") but seems to work and was a safe download for inspiron 1545 with windows 7 home premium.