How to Upgrade Your Computer from Windows Vista to Windows 7

By Andy Rathbone

If you’re ready to take the leap from Windows Vista to Windows 7 on your computer, the process is fairly simple. When you upgrade your computer from Windows Vista to Windows 7, first make sure you have a Vista service pack and use Windows 7’s Upgrade Advisor, which tells you what software or gadgets won’t run after you install Windows 7. Windows Vista usually fares the Upgrade Advisor’s exam pretty well.

When the About Windows box appears, the words Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2 should be listed on the box’s second line.

Keep downloading all the updates marked “Important” until Microsoft slips you a copy of Service Pack 1.


In Microsoft’s traditional sleight of hand, your click fetches a more complicated Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor page.


When asked whether you want to Run or Save the file, Choose Save. This step saves the file on your Desktop or in your Downloads folder.

Click through the approval screen, if you see one.


When the program finishes installing, click the Close button.


If not on the Start menu’s first page, it’s in the All Programs area. If asked, click Yes to allow the program to make changes to your computer.


The program begins examining your computer, its software, and all the parts you’ve plugged into your computer. After a bit of brow furrowing, the program

displays its findings.


You can print the report and take it with you to the store while you shop for updated parts and software.

You may also need to click one of Vista’s permission screens before Windows 7 begins examining your computer.

Windows 7 begins installing temporary files.


This step tells Windows 7 to visit Microsoft’s Web site and download the latest updates — drivers, patches, and assorted fixes for your particular computer — that help make your installation run as smoothly as possible. (Your computer must remain connected to the Internet for the downloads, of course.)


Okay, you don’t actually have to scour it. Skimming works, too.


Choosing Upgrade preserves your Windows Vista computer’s old files, settings, and programs.

The upgrade, a process that could take several hours, begins.


The product key usually lives on a little sticker affixed to the CD’s packaging.


This selection allows Windows to visit the Internet to update itself with security patches, warn you of suspicious Web sites, check for troubleshooting information, and send technical information to Microsoft to fine-tune Windows’ performance.


Windows 7 usually guesses these correctly.


Windows 7 gives you options: Home, Work, or Public. After rummaging around inside your computer for a few more minutes, Windows 7 appears on the screen, leaving you at the logon screen.

This step downloads any security patches and updated drivers issued by Microsoft.

Category: Advisor

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