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How to upgrade computer OS to Windows 7

If our function elements 10 reasons you should read upgrade to Windows 7, you know that the latest version of Microsoft Windows operating system (OS), a number of useful advantages, including new desktop features, improved home networking support, better overall performance and more with it brings.

This will function, we consider the practical question of how to update w5ahlen which version, how to ensure that your PC for Windows 7 is ready for what you install must do prior to and how to changeover as smooth and painless as possible; it. are two possibilities, 7 to make Windows think you can buy a new PC with the operating system preinstalled or buy a copy of the software on their own and install it on an actual computer itself (although PCs with built-in front view, still on sale, and many offer a free upgrade to Windows 7).

When former route take not need to install at all care for. If our function classified 10 reasons that you are upgrading should read 7 on Windows, you know that the latest version of Microsoft Windows operating system (OS), a series useful advantages, including new desktop features, improved home networking support, better overall performance and more to bring.

From these functions, we will consider the practical question of how to upgrade, to w5ahlen which version, how to ensure that your PC for Windows 7 is ready for what you install must do prior to and how you as smooth and painless as possible to make change over it are two possibilities, 7 to make Windows think you can buy a new PC with the operating system preinstalled or buy A copy of the software on their own and install it on an actual computer itself (although PCs with pre-created views, even on sale, and many offer a free upgrade to Windows 7). If you take the former route, you do not provide for the installation at all.

Clean machine
The next step is to decide which method you are going to use to install of the new operating system. The most obvious (and easy) route for Vista owner is an upgrade installation (also known as a ‘in place’-installation) of Windows 7 on the top of your existing software perform.

This is to replace Vista with Windows 7, but leave your personal files, settings, applications and the like intact so that you can choose just to the top from where you left off after the changeover.

For at least that is the idea. Most upgrade installations will work well, but we strongly recommend that you have a full backup of everything on your PC, perform before you begin, just in case.

You also need to ensure that your copy of Vista Service Pack 2 or later has been updated. This is the case, probably if you have turned on automatic updates but to check, go to start, right click on computer and select Properties.

See where Windows Edition it means in the window that appears you should “Service Pack 2′ do see.” If not, download and install Service Pack 2 itself.

Another way of upgrading to Windows 7 would be to perform a clean installation; This includes your PC hard drive wipe clean all traces of Vista and all your files, settings and programs before delete a completely new installation of Windows 7.

The advantage here is that you give a clean slate, your PC that factory-fresh feeling and may be a significant performance increase purchase.

Of course everything back before you start more importantly in this case since everything from your E-mail and address book contacts with your digital photos, music and Internet favorites are fully and irrevocably deleted during the upgrade process.

After the clean installation is complete, you all must restore the backups and install any programs you need.

Windows XP users will be able to perform a clean installation — the upgrade install option is available only for Vista. You can not upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit and install vice versa. Again, a clean install is the only way forward.

A final preparation tip is to ensure that you have to pass the username and password of your wireless network when it is used. Some routers view this information on your Setup pages, so check the router manual, to find out as this access. If you have misplaced the password, all is not lost – you can create a new wireless network in Windows 7 with a fresh user name and password.

Take a look at our online videos for more advice on your XP PC to Windows 7 upgrade and update your Vista PC to Windows 7.

Boot camp

There is another option, and this is to install Windows 7 in a dual-boot configuration. This can be done on Windows XP and Vista PCs and allows you to install the new operating system with your existing operating system – the idea, it is this allow you will select the version of Windows that you require each time the computer starts.

Set up a dual-boot configuration, you must first partition your hard drive. This divides the main disk in two virtual ‘ drives: contains your current installation of Windows and a more empty Windows 7 can be installed. A Windows XP drive partition need additional software, and it is a bit more complicated.

Vista users have it a bit easier; You have a very simple partitioning tools available in the form of disk management applet.

If you wish to exercise this option, see to explain our article such as dual boot XP or Vista PC to Windows 7 as well as running.

Take the plunge
Whether you’re going to perform a Clean or Upgrade install of Windows 7 – and even if you’re going to install it on a new partition for dual-boot purposes – we cannot stress enough the need to back up all your personal files and folders before you go any further.

If at all possible, use a disk image backup application, such as Acronis True Image Home 10 to make a spare copy of your entire hard drive as it currently stands before proceeding.

Once you’re sure that you’re covered for any eventuality it’s time to install the OS. Depending on your method of choice, however, there might be just one final tweak that needs to be made before you dive in.

Those opting for an Upgrade install won’t need to read this part, since the installation can be performed by simply inserting the Windows 7 DVD into the CD/DVD drive while Vista is running, and following the on-screen prompts.

Take a look at our full step-by-step video guide to the Upgrade install process.

If you’re opting for a Clean installation of Windows 7 or dual-boot setup, however, you’ll need to restart your computer from the Windows 7 DVD rather than the hard disk. Unfortunately not all computers are set up to do this, though it’s easy to set right.

If you do not see a message saying ‘press any key to boot from CD or DVD’ when you restart your PC with the Windows 7 disc in your CD/DVD drive, restart the PC again and this time tap the F2 or Delete key on the initial Bios screen to enter the Bios setup utility.

This is a basic menu that is navigated using the arrow keys and the Enter button, rather than the mouse. Look for a section called ‘Boot’ or ‘Advanced’, then head to the sub-section called ‘Boot Device Priority’, ‘Boot Order’, or something similar. Set the CD/DVD drive so that it is the first boot device in the list (there should be an explanation of which keys to press in order to achieve this), then exit the Bios, saving the new settings.

Now restart once more with the Windows 7 DVD in the drive and this time you should see the ‘press any key…’ message. Hit a key and Windows 7 will start loading the files required for your installation.

And if you’re dual booting, make absolutely certain you select the correct partition when prompted, otherwise you could end up deleting the very Widows Vista or XP installation you’ve been trying to protect.

Easy as pie
If you’ve done your preparation right, installing Windows 7 is a remarkably painless process – you just need to make a couple of simple but crucial choices during the initial stages and then sit back and let the installation wizard do its thing.

Bear in mind that an Upgrade install can sometimes take several hours to complete. A Clean install is usually a lot quicker – as little as 20 minutes – but in either case the best advice is to leave your PC well alone until the installation has finished. The PC will restart itself several times during installation. This is perfectly normal.

Once Windows 7 is up and running, upgrade installers should find all their user accounts, personal files and applications are right where they were in Vista.

Those who came via the Clean install route, however, will need to set up new user accounts and use their backup files to move documents back to the PC, as well as re-installing any applications from disc.

With all your post-upgrade jobs finished, it’s time to start making the most of those all the new benefits that Windows 7 has to offer, so head to Computeractive TV for our series of first-look videos, and watch out for the Computeractive Ultimate Guide to Windows 7, which features 100 pages of plain English expert advice on all aspects of the new operating system – out on 26 November.

Windows 7 improvements
Windows 7 provides a number of advantages over previous generations of the operating system. It’s not a radical overhaul by any means and if you’re coming at it via Vista, then much of the look and feel will be familiar to you. Subtle tweaks in the way the desktop works are the most noticeable new features.

The Taskbar that runs along the bottom of your screen, for instance, has been improved so it’s now much easier to access your favourite programs and see which ones you have running.

Other features, such as Jump Lists, Aero Shake, Peek and Snap, make it easier to stay organised and navigate your PC, while simpler networking features, better support for external devices and an overhauled Media Center are also key additions.

For a full exploration of what’s new and whether it’s worth upgrading, have a look back at our feature explaining why you should upgrade to Windows 7.

And for more on how to use the new features and make the most of what the new operating system has to offer see our special series of video workshops on Windows 7.

Which version is right for me?

There are a number of different editions of Windows 7 available. The three most important are Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional (£ 190) and Windows 7 ultimate (£ 200).

The Professional Edition, costing about £ 190, contains a few extra features that largely back up to the business users, such as the ability to avoid that some offices might still be running on a network and the integrated Windows XP emulation to compatibility issues with older programs target.

The £ 200 Ultimate Edition includes all features of the other versions plus a few extras, the own including additional privacy and ability between the languages is to change. However, it is the Home Premium Edition, which is probably best suited for home users. Home Premium includes all new easy networking features and Media Center.

If you have specific requirements, it is almost certain to the version opt for. It is worth shopping around for Home Premium – substantial discounts are until end 2009 and should certainly not more than £ 80 numbers. We have it online for £ 50 – check box price comparison sites and large retailers such as Amazon, PC world, Tesco found.

There are also a few other versions of the operating system. This Windows 7 Starter Edition is most interesting, as there is a combined back version of the software that is suitable for low power computers such as Netbooks. At the time of writing, it seems unlikely that acquired the Starter Edition on CD; Instead, it will come pre-installed on appropriate computers.

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