Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Upgrading to Windows 7 - The Easiest Way

You have thinking of it for quite long time but you didn't dare to do it. You always wanted to try something new but until now you didn't have enough information about how to make it possible. You are already too familiar with your Windows Vista or your even older Windows XP and this Windows 7 sounds tempting, isn't it?
Now you are ready to start this upgrade!
But before you will take any step just make sure your machine is meeting the minimal requirements for Windows 7 to be installed. So you have to
have a processor at at least 1 GHz frequency (it doesn't matter it's on 32-bits or on 64-bits), at least 1 Gb RAM, minimum 16 Gb free room on the hard drive, a video card at minimum 128 Mb memory (for the Aero interface) and able to run DirectX 9 and - finally! - a DVD drive (for the installation disk).

If everything is fine and works great, let's proceed:

1. run Windows Upgrade Advisor to see if your PC or notebook/laptop is capable to have Windows 7 installed and to run it.
The WUA (Windows Upgrade Advisor) is a free tool that will show you - step-by-step and point-by-point - the "good"s and the "bad"s of your system.
A link to a FREE DOWNLOAD of the tool is provided here:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=1b544e90-7659-4bd9-9e51-2497c146af15&displaylang=en
Just take note that the WUA is not a perfect software and it might indicate "minuses" for some of your existing hardware; in reality, if you will dare to install Windows 7 you will be surprised to discover that the indicated components (like a graphic card or a fax-modem) are actually running perfectly under Windows 7.

2. let your files and folders transferred to an external storage (like a network hard drive or a USB stick). For this operation you will use Windows Easy Transfer downloadable here:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows7/products/features/windows-easy-transfer
The software (WET) will scan your computer and it will indicate you how many Gb of information need to be deposited on another storage device.

3. the upgrade itself starts by entering in BIOS (usually by pressing the <DEL> key - or <F8> key on other machines - immediately after the boot sequence) and by specifying the boot device order (in Advanced BIOS Features just enable the CD/DVD-ROM as the "First Boot Device" and let the HDD to become "Second Boot Device").

4. once the installation/upgrading procedure will start from the disk, the main window (the blue one that has the Windows 7 logo on it) will ask you to set up
- the desired language your Windows 7 will be installed into;
- the time and the currency format;
- and the keyboard input method.
Choose the most convenient for you because once these settings will be chosen there's no way back during the installation/upgrading steps.

5. after the STEP 4 is completed will follow a hard drive FORMATTING.
BE CAREFUL!!! This cannot be undone and you will lose all your files and all your previous settings!
If you are not sure about upgrading on the same hard drive of your computer you can hold the installation at this point and you can attach to your PC/laptop an EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE where you can let Windows deposits the needed files. If the attached hard drive is brand new then you don't have to format it.
Or, in case of doubt, you can click on CANCEL button and you can revert on your already installed operating system (XP or Vista).

6. during the installation [which takes about 15-20 minutes] read carefully the messages that will appear on your display.At this stage Windows 7 will deposit on your hard drive all required drivers.
SPECIAL NOTICE: some peripherals were reported as NOT WORKING with the drivers that came along with Windows 7. So it is a wise move to get the dedicated drivers for your components and peripherals [sound and video devices, printer, scanner etc.] straight from the manufacturer's web page - in the SUPPORT AND DOWNLOADS section.

7. once the new operating system is up and running [Windows 7] you can transfer your applications using EASY TRANSFER from the older hard drive [if any...] and to import your BOOKMARKS in Internet Explorer or any other Internet browser that you might use [I am thinking of Firefox - same popular as the Internet Explorer].

8. after everything was done and your success is obvious you can try the WINDOWS EXPERIENCE INDEX to double-check that everything is OK. You can also use the same application to test your machine parameters.

Your computer is using now Windows 7 which is different in many ways than any other Microsoft operating system. Smoother and much faster - this product will make your "computing life" more enjoyable.

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