Viliv X70 – OS Clean Start?

image I just posted about my upgrade of the OS on my Viliv X70 from XP Home to XP Tablet PC 2005 Edition. The upgrade was successful, and I deliberately avoided a clean install to preserve Viliv software and drivers. Yet, I can’t wait until I can do a clean install of Windows 7. What’s wrong with me? Well, we don’t have enough time for that. But I will explain why I want to do a clean Windows 7 install.

Back to the Future

Vista has its issues. But Vista’s tablet support is superior to XP’s. From my other tablets, I’m used to the Vista tablet experience. It’s hard to go back to a tablet experience that isn’t as good.

Clean vs. Upgrade Install

The conventional wisdom is that clean installs generally have better results than an upgrade install. However, Vista Performance Shootout: Upgrade Vs. Clean Installation teaches that not all upgrade installers are equal. The article shows that Vista’s upgrade installer does a an excellent job of a clean installation where it counts (hardware support) while still keeping the advantages of an upgrade installation (you don’t have to reinstall and reconfigure your applications). Perhaps Windows 7’s upgrade installer will be at least as good.

Windows 7 Upgrade Option Requires Patience promises a performance between a Windows 7 upgrade install (from Vista) and a clean install. I’m curious if that comparison will bear out the conventional wisdom.

It may be a moot point for me since I have XP instead of Vista. My understanding is that while Microsoft will offer XP owners a discounted price, typical of an upgrade vs a full version, XP users still will have to do a clean install of Windows 7.

It really may not matter to me. I have a strong preference for a clean install if for no other reason than it removes the debris from my prior mucking around. Additionally, the file system on my X70 is FAT32. I prefer NTFS. That will require a reformat anyway.

Remaining Concerns

Viliv X70 – No Online Drivers or Software reported that Viliv’s online downloads include only drivers and software for the S5, not the X70. But presumably this will change in a week or two (or three or four).

And I may not have to wait. Viliv X70 – Windows 7 on the X70 – Tutorial is an amazing tutorial on upgrading the X70 to Windows 7 RC.

But do I really want to go with Windows 7 RC when the OS already is released to manufacturing and available through MSDN? MSDN may be an option for me since the department in which I teach does have a MSDN Academic Alliance subscription. If not, then the choice is Windows 7 RC, or waiting until Windows 7 is released to the masses on October 22.

Update: It appears I can have my cake and eat it too: Install Windows 7 RC now and upgrade install later to Windows 7 RTM when it becomes available to me. See this blog entry from 4 months ago (!) and similar advice in How to Upgrade the Windows 7 RC to RTM (Final Release) from a few days ago. Note: Either way you will need a valid key for the final release.

Stay tuned.