Last updated on November 7th 2014
Today (Oct. 28th 2014) I was able to easily install Windows 7 (fresh install) on my quite old PC, on one of my logical hard drives. I used a removable USB DVD drive to boot & install Windows 7. While I did not note how much time the fresh install took, I think it was less than or around an hour. I was quite surprised and very pleased by the no-hassle installation of Windows 7 on my old PC.
I had thought that booting via a USB DVD drive was not possible on my ASUS M2NPV-VM motherboard based PC. I was wrong. Pressing F8 while booting showed up the boot menu including a DVD drive connected via USB, which showed up as a CDROM drive. Perhaps one may be able to boot via USB memkey (flash drive) too using the F8 key.
Some more info. is available here: http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?board_id=1&model=m2a-vm&id=20080504225134421&page=1&slanguage=en-us
I did not have to update the motherboard BIOS. Though I may have done so around two or three years ago – I am not sure.
The various folders related to the Windows 7 OS (PerfLogs, Program Files, Program Data, Users and Windows) take up around 8 GB on the installed drive.
I chose x86 installation (and not x64).
So now I have a regular XP OS, an alternative XP OS and a Windows 7 OS installed on my PC, and can choose to boot from any one of them.
In the near future, I plan to upgrade my regular XP OS to Windows 7, and then, perhaps some time later, phase out the alternative XP OS. [I know that I should NOT be on Windows XP given the huge amount of security vulnerabilities that it has, and that Microsoft has stopped support for it now. Well, I do most of my work (which is not-for-profit), including Internet based work, from a non-admin account, and use two-step authentication for sensitive work, and so I thought I was reasonably protected. Further, I had thought that upgrading to Windows 7 would have needed me to upgrade my PC making it a bigger affair especially in terms of time spent, and so I kept on postponing it. Glad to see that at least x86 version of Windows 7 installation is a very smooth affair on my over five year old ASUS motherboard (integrated graphics) based PC setup.]
P.S. on Nov. 7th 2014: My old PC RAM (2 Kingston 1 GB DDR2 667 MHz sticks in use from 2008) seems to be creating some issues. The computer reset, out of the blue, three times over the past few weeks, and then the Motherboard got into a loop of giving a long beep followed by two short beeps (without going further to boot up the machine). This is not connected to Windows 7 as the problem occurred with both Windows XP and Windows 7. Solution has been to open the box, clean up stuff, remove the RAM sticks, do some casual cleaning (not with alcohol as I don’t have it with me yet) and put it back in. Plan to get some alcohol and clean up the gold contacts of the RAM sticks. Even with that if problems persist then I guess it may be time for me to upgrade the over five year old ASUS M2NPV-VM Motherboard + RAM combo to something fairly current.