Upgrading Older Versions of Windows to Windows 7

Although doing a new installation of Windows 7 is almost always the best plan, you might prefer to perform an in-place upgrade on your computer. Before you attempt any in-place upgrade to Windows 7, perform the following tasks:

• Ensure that a valid, working backup exists of all important data and other files stored on your computer.

• Ensure that your hardware meets the requirements.

• Run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to verify that your hardware and software environment is ready for an upgrade. Take special note of any software issues, such as drivers needing updates for Windows 7. Be sure to print a copy of the Upgrade Advisor’s final report so you’ll have it handy after the Windows 7 upgrade installation has completed.

Windows 7 supports only a few in-place upgrade paths, and only for Vista (32-bit to 32-bit only, and 64-bit to 64-bit only):
• Windows Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium
• Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional
• Windows Vista Ultimate (or Enterprise) to Windows 7 Ultimate (or Enterprise)

Other versions of Windows don’t support in-place upgrades, so you’ll have to do clean installs for all the following items:
• Windows XP (all versions)—An upgrade license from XP to Windows 7 will be available from Microsoft, but requires users to perform a clean install (information is not yet available on source and target mappings for Windows XP and Windows 7, nor about pricing).
• Windows 2000—Requires a clean install for any installation of Windows 7.
• Windows 95/98/Me—Requires a clean install for any installation of Windows 7.

The process to perform an in-place upgrade from an already installed instance of Windows Vista is as follows:

1. Insert the Windows 7 DVD into your computer’s DVD-ROM drive. It should AutoPlay and present the Install Windows dialog box. If not, locate the setup.exe program in the Sources folder on the DVD and double-click it.

2. To download, install, and use the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, as detailed previously, click the Check Compatibility Online link. Otherwise, to begin an in-place upgrade to Windows 7, click the Install Now link.

3. In the Get Important Updates for Installation dialog box, decide whether to download updates to the Windows 7 install files. Typically, for computers with an active Internet connection, you’re better off getting the updates. Make your selection by clicking it.

4. In the Please Read the License Terms dialog box, ensure that you read and understand the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA). When you’re ready, select the I Accept the License Terms option, and click Next to continue.

5. In the Type Your Product Key for Activation dialog box, you are asked to enter your Windows 7 product key. Enter the key and ensure that the Automatically Activate Windows When I’m Online option is checked, to enable Windows Product Activation. After entering the product key, click Next to continue.

6. In the Which Type of Installation Do You Want? dialog box, select Upgrade because here you’re performing an in-place upgrade of Windows Vista.

7. In the Compatibility Report dialog box, note what items Windows 7 Setup flags as needing attention after the installation is complete. When you’re ready to proceed, click Next.

8. The Upgrading Windows dialog box appears and gives you an updated status of the upgrade process.

9. You are next asked to select the regional options for the Windows 7 installation. Make your selections and click Next to continue.

10. After some time, your computer restarts and the newly installed Windows 7 loads. Windows 7 resumes the installation process. Windows typically restarts once more before it finally completes the installation process.

11. In the Help Protect Your Computer and Improve Windows Automatically dialog box, you are asked how to configure the base security for Windows 7. In most cases, you should select Use Recommended Settings. Make your selection by clicking it.

12. In the Review Your Time and Date Setting dialog box, select your time zone, daylight savings option, and current date. Click Finish to complete the upgrade.

13. After a few more minutes, you are finally presented with your brand new Windows 7 login screen. You’ve completed the upgrade to Windows 7.

Source of Information : QUE Microsoft Windows in Depth

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