Appendix A. Upgrading to Windows 7

In This Appendix

  • Preparing for Windows 7

  • Upgrading Windows Vista to Windows 7

  • Installing Windows 7 over Windows XP

New computers today come with Windows 7 preinstalled — it's practically unavoidable. If you're reading this chapter, then your computer is probably still running Windows XP or Windows Vista. If it's running Windows 98 or Windows Me, don't bother trying to install Windows 7. You need a more modern PC.

Windows Vista owners have it easy: Upgrading to Windows 7 is a snap. Just insert the DVD, and Windows 7 replaces Windows Vista, leaving all your files and programs intact.

Windows XP owners must sail through more treacherous seas: Windows 7 won't upgrade your PC, forcing you through a multistep process I describe here.


Moving to Windows 7 from either Windows Vista or XP is a one-way street. Once you've switched, you can't return to your old version of Windows. Don't follow these instructions unless you're sure you're ready for Windows 7.

Preparing for Windows 7

Windows 7 usually runs well on computers purchased within the past three or four years. Before upgrading, make sure that you've run through the following checklist:

  • Computer power: Make sure that your computer is strong enough to run Windows 7. I cover Windows 7's requirements in Chapter 1.

  • Compatibility: Before upgrading or installing, insert the Windows 7 DVD and choose Check Compatibility Online. When Windows 7 takes you to Microsoft's Web site, download and run Microsoft's Windows ...

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