Microsoft Vista is an operating system that has quite a bit of faults. From poor RAM allocation to causing hardware failures with certain computers, Vista has had more than it’s fair share of detractors. However, Microsoft responded in kind with Windows 7 – a powerful operating system that has enjoyed favorable accolades from reviewers around the world. Windows 7 was designed with high-end functionality in mind coupled with a user-friendly interface. No matter which operating system you are currently using, it is highly recommended that you upgrade to Windows 7 right away.
While upgrading your operating system may seem difficult, the jump to Windows 7 does not have to be a tough process. It will only require a small chunk of your time, and there are many precautions Microsoft has taken to ensure a quick and easy upgrade for you, the user. There are certain things for you to take into consideration, however, which we will look into here.
The first and most vital step in the process of upgrading to Windows 7 is ensuring that your hardware is compatible with the operating system’s requirements. Microsoft offers a free download of their Windows Upgrade Advisor, which will allow you to see whether or not your computer is compatible with Windows 7 easily and quickly. Chances are, if you are using Windows Vista already, your computer will most likely be compatible with Windows 7 – particularly if the computer has been purchased within the past year. However, that is no reason not to be sure (better safe than sorry), so take the time to head over to the Windows homepage and download the Windows Upgrade Advisor. In addition, you should also download Windows Easy Transfer, which will discuss further in detail when we get to the point where you will need to utilize it.
Now, before you go ahead and purchase Windows 7 discs at your local electronics retailer, it is important to begin backing up your files. Typically, a Windows migration will preserve the majority of your files, if not all of them. In any event, as a general rule it is still important to backup all of your files – even if you are not upgrading to a new operating system. Technical issues can arise with hardware and software which could lead to the loss of gigabytes worth of pictures, documents, and hundreds of dollars (and time!)in software. Take the time to invest in an external hard drive. Of course, it goes without saying that you want to choose an external hard drive that’s capacity will be able to comfortably store all your files. Luckily, most external hard drives run rather cheap. For instance, a 1.7 terabyte hard drive averages around $125. Given that 1.7 terabytes is an amazing wealth of memory, the price is not particularly overwhelming. Note that this step in the process is not entirely necessary, however, it is never a bad idea to set up a security blanket for your files.
Now that you have checked the compatibility of Windows 7 with your system and invested in an external back-up system, it is time to grab hold of the Windows 7 installation discs. If you have not yet purchased them, consider first which version is appropriate for you. Much like Vista, Windows 7 comes in both 32 bit and 64 bit versions – and both of them are included in the Windows 7 software package. The difference lies within the amount of RAM being processed – 64 bit operating systems process more, but require more to run. Not all computers can handle the 64 bit version, but if your system has four gigs or more of RAM, it should handle Windows 7 just fine. The Windows Upgrade Advisor software can assist you in determining whether or not your computer is more tailored to the 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows 7.
So, now the big moment has arrived. It’s time to upgrade your PC to Windows 7. Insert the installation disc, make sure your computer is properly connected to the internet (to automatically install all of the Windows updates) and get ready to go through all of the necessary steps. An important note: make sure to have the provided 25 character long serial number. Your copy of Windows 7 is rendered useless without it. It is recommended that you use the “easy install” option, so that you may transfer all of your files properly. Once this process is done (it can take anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour depending on your hadrware setup), run Windows Easy Transfer to make sure that all of your old files get put in the places where they are expected. Microsoft has done a great job of streamlining this entire process for you, making it easy to upgrade and migrate to Windows 7. In the unfortunate event that anything happens to your files during the upgrade process (an unlikely possibility), Windows Easy Transfer, a free download, will allow you to transfer all of your files from your external hard drive with simple ease. Windows Easy Transfer will then allow you to re-install all of your programs and drives in simple fashion, ensuring that your computer will have everything it had with your prior operating system.
No matter which operating system you are currently using, an upgrade to Windows 7 can be a good idea for many people. Its new features make navigating your PC easier than ever before, and it is yet to have any serious bugs or malfunction-related issues – unlike Vista. While it may seem difficult to upgrade and migrate to Windows 7 at first, you will find that the process has been set up for success by Microsoft. The process is actually very user friendly, and will only take a small amount of time from your day. Using this guide and taking a few simple measures to preserve your files can go a long way to long-term happiness, so give it a shot today!