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Installing Vista without formatting drive

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  • User profile image

    I have 2 NTFS partitions. I plan to do a clean install of Vista side by side with my xp installation.

    However the drive i plan to install to (D: )  already has quite a few files on it. Is it possible to install vista on that drive without formatting it so that I dont lose all the files on that drive?

    I read somewhere that this is indeed possible in Vista if your partiton is already NTFS formatted. Is this true?

  • User profile image


    In fact by default Windows Vista won't recommend formatting the drive. Assuming both Windows installations are on different partitions (or physical drives) running two copies of Windows shouldn't cause any problems.

    Just make sure you direct Vista to the correct drive during installation.

  • User profile image

    where do i check the option to *not* format the drive, during the installation process.

    This is what i did -

    1. Clicked on 'Clean Install'
    2. Selected the partition
    3. Clicked on 'Next' since no other option
    4. It started copying the files!
    Thankfully I could still cancel the installation.

    But where should i tell it not to format the partition.

  • User profile image

    Note that the support page from MS says that a clean install *will* wipe out the entire contents of the drive-

  • User profile image

    It won't format the partition by itself.

    Provided you have 10+ GB free space on the drive it will just install Vista there and leave whatever was there before alone.

  • User profile image

    is there any page that verifies this info.
    Sorry but i am a little scared. The very thought of losing all data is pretty scary plus it just says everywhere to create a new partition from the free space or else the partition will be wiped clean.

  • User profile image

    geeky123 wrote:
    The very thought of losing all data is pretty scary...


    If you're not doing any backups at all then you should always be on edge, not just because of a Vista install. There's nothing stopping your HD from going kaput at any time.

  • User profile image

    i can verify that vista will not automatically reformat a partition. 

    when i installed vista, i did it to my boot drive (which was running xp) and chose not to do an upgrade.  when the install was done, it moved documents&settings, windows, and program files to "windows.old", and left everyother folder alone.

  • User profile image

     Just to let everyone know I did go ahead with the install and all my files are still intact Smiley

    Thanks everyone.

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