Upgrading a PC to Windows 7

We realize that upgrading to a newer version of Windows can sometimes be a challenge, depending on what operating system you are currently running, your familiarity with PCs in general, and your current system configuration. With that in mind, we have designed Windows 7 for a smooth upgrade from Windows Vista and have improved several tools that can aid you in the upgrade process.

Because Windows 7 is built on the same architectural platform as Windows Vista, the transition to Windows 7 should be fairly smooth whether you’re using a 32-bit or 64-bit system, although you will need to ensure that your PC has the latest service pack first.* If your upgrade gets blocked due to incompatible or missing drivers, you may be able to load a new or updated driver from the Compatibility Center and continue with the upgrade.

*Note: Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released in April 2008. Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) was released in May 2009. While you can upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 with SP1, Microsoft recommends that you install both Service Packs before upgrading.

Migrating from Windows XP
Windows 7 is best experienced on a new PC with the latest hardware, but if your computer meets the minimum specifications, you can install Windows 7 on a PC running Windows XP. Windows 7 must be “custom” installed (also known as a “clean” installation) over Windows XP. Before beginning the installation, you’ll need to copy your fi les and settings to an external drive. After Windows 7 has been installed you will need to re-install all of your programs using the original installation media and then copy over the files and settings you backed up to your external drive. Because Windows 7 requires a custom installation, we strongly recommend that you get help with this process from your local computer service provider.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
In general, if your PC can run Windows Vista, it can run Windows 7. But if you’re not running Windows Vista, or are just not sure if your system is ready to run Windows 7, there’s an easy way to check. Just use the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. You’ll get a report telling you if your PC can run Windows 7 and if there are any known compatibility issues with your programs or hardware, like printers or scanners. If there’s a fix, you’ll get suggestions for next steps. For example, it will let you know if you need an updated driver for your printer and show you where to get it.

Note: To learn more about the Windows Upgrade Advisor, visit http://windows.microsoft.com/upgradeadvisor

Windows Compatibility Center
You may want to know if your devices and software will work with your computer, and that you have all the latest updates so your stuff works the way it’s supposed to. First introduced with Windows Vista, the Windows Compatibility Center is a single location where you can quickly and easily verify that your existing devices and applications will work—and double-check to make sure that your new purchases work too. The Compatibility Center is updated frequently so you can find the most current software and drivers to make things run perfectly. You can even share feedback with Microsoft to help improve the Compatibility Center or get help from the Windows community.

Note: To learn more about the Windows Compatibility Center, visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility.

Windows Easy Transfer
Windows Easy Transfer helps you move files, folders, program settings, and system settings from your old PC to your new one. With the newest version of Windows Easy Transfer, you can leave the transfer unattended. If Windows encounters a file or setting that it can’t transfer, it will complete the rest of the migration and then show you any items that failed to transfer and give you the option to try again.

Windows Easy Transfer also works well if you’re adding a second PC. With the new Windows Easy Transfer file explorer, you can see files on other PCs and choose the ones you want to copy to your new PC. If you’re not sure what you want to transfer, you can use the new Selective Restore feature to save all the files and settings on your old PC to removable media. You can then choose the files and settings you want to transfer. Everything else remains safely stored in your Windows Easy Transfer archive, in case you want to access it later.

You’ll need the same version of Windows Easy Transfer on all PCs to transfer files, folders, program settings, and system settings. For PCs running Windows 7, Windows Easy Transfer automatically copies the latest version of Windows Easy Transfer to other PCs running Windows 7 after you’ve connected them. If you’re running Windows Vista or Windows XP, however, you will need to manually install the Windows 7 version of Windows Easy Transfer on your PC from the installation media in Windows 7 before you can begin transferring data.

Source of Information : Windows 7 Product Guide


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