How to Upgrade to Windows 7 from Windows XP

This article covers step-by-step instructions on how to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 using the Windows 7 original installation disc.

First, let’s look at the things that will be required to complete upgradation and to keep your data intact.

  • External Hard Disk – Before you install Windows 7 you need to move your files off your computer. Save your files on an external hard disk and move them back on to your PC once Windows 7 is installed.
  • Windows 7 original installation disc and set up files of the program you want to use – To install Windows 7, you will require the original installation disc. Also, after Windows 7 is installed you will need to manually reinstall the programs that you were using with Windows XP.

So, before you begin with the Windows 7 installation, make sure that you have the installation disc or setup files for all programs you need on your computer. For the programs that you downloaded from the Internet, copy their setup files on your external hard disk.

Now, let’s get started with Windows 7 installation. For convenience, we have divided the tutorial in 5 steps. Make sure that you print this document before you start with Windows 7 installation.

Step 1 – Ensure your computer’s hardware, devices, and programs are compatible with Windows 7

To ensure that you do not face compatibility issues while installing Windows 7, you can download, install, and run a free utility from Microsoft, called Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. Download Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Microsoft download website.

Basically, this utility makes sure that your computer is set for Windows 7 installation. In case any issue is found, the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor gives recommendations on what you should do to improve your computer’s compatibility with Windows 7.

Step 2 – Move your files and settings to an external hard disk

You can move your files and settings manually or use the free utility called Windows Easy Transfer for this purpose. Windows Easy Transfer helps you to transfer your files and settings back to your computer after you have successfully installed Windows 7. Also, remember to move the setup files of programs that you have downloaded from the Internet.

You can download Windows Easy Transfer from the Microsoft website.

Step 3 – Install Windows 7

Before you start Windows 7 installation, connect your computer to the Internet and turn off your antivirus program. Being connected to Internet allows you to get installation updates during the installation process. Remember to turn your protective software on after the Windows 7 installation is complete.

To install Windows 7, perform the following steps:

  1. With your computer on and Windows XP running, insert the original Windows 7 installation disc. The setup will start automatically.
    Note: If for some reason setup doesn’t start, click Start, click My Computer, open the Windows 7 installation disc on your CD/DVD drive, locate, and double-click setup.exe.
  2. Next, click Install Now.
  3. Now, on the Get important updates for installation page download the latest updates.
  4. On the Please read the license terms page, click I accept the license terms and click Next.
  5. Next, select Custom installation option on the Which type of installation do you want? page.
  6. Select the drive that contains Windows XP(usually, it is C: drive) and click Next.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the installation process.

Step 4 – Move back your files and settings

After you have installed Windows 7, move your files and settings back to your computer. If you used Windows Easy Transfer to transfer your data on an external hard disk, attach the external hard disk to your computer and move back your data to the computer.

Step 5 – Reinstall your programs and update your device drivers

Reinstall your programs from their installation disc or from their setup.exe files. Next, to update your drivers, click Start, click All Programs, and then click Windows Update.

In case Windows Update doesn’t have the driver you require, you can either visit the driver manufacturer’s website and download the latest driver or use a reliable third-party driver scanner tool, such as Driver Finder, to automatically have your drivers updated.