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Before upgrading to any new O/S (Operating System), it’s essential that you verify that all your third party applications (such as iTunes, Adobe Photoshop, and even graphics drivers such as ATI’s Catalyst Control Center) are compatible with your new operating system. In this case, we wanted to make sure our Windows Vista system was ready to upgrade to Windows 7 (we had received a free upgrade offer to Windows 7 when we purchased our Windows Vista PC). Our Windows 7 upgrade has arrived, and we’re ready to upgrade.
Windows 7 Upgrade Checklist
The quickest way to determine if your PC is ready to upgrade to Windows 7 is to download, install, and run Microsoft’s Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. You can use this to determine not only if your system is ready, in terms of horsepower, to run Windows 7 (although if you’re running Windows Vista, it no doubt is, as Windows 7 is much more efficient), but the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will also scan your system for third party application compatibility. In other words, you’ll learn that you’ll probably need to uninstall Apple’s iTunes prior to upgrading (you can reinstall it when you’re done).
Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
When you run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor (you can download it using the link above), you’ll see three sections after the Advisor runs its scan of your PC:
- System – the system section lists system compatibility notices. Ie. – is your system powerful enough to run Windows 7, and does it have the necessary hardware and drivers to support a Windows 7 installation. You’ll also see links to various Windows 7 install options.
- Devices – in the devices section, you’ll see a list of attached hardware controllers and drivers – from printers to USB devices, sound and graphics cards, and more – basically the software used to power your hardware, along with notices of Windows 7 compatibility.
- Programs – in this section the Upgrade Advisor tells you which software applications on your PC are compatible with Windows 7, and which ones need to be uninstalled (in most cases you can reinstall them again after you upgrade) prior to upgrading. In our experience, the Advisor doesn’t catch all the software you have installed – but only those that met Windows compatibility requirements when you installed them initially.
Check with your PC Manufacturer
Prior to installing Windows 7, check with your manufacturer as to what you might need to do prior to upgrading. This is especially the case if you recently purchased your PC and qualified for a free Windows 7 upgrade. In most cases, they will provide detailed instructions with the upgrade, explaining what needs to be uninstalled and done prior to upgrading.
Windows 7 Easy Transfer
For those of you that have an older version of Windows on one PC, and wish to transfer files to another PC running Windows 7, the Windows 7 Easy Transfer utility is for you. Use Windows Easy Transfer to copy your files, photos, music, e-mail, settings, and more from a computer running Windows Vista to a computer running Windows 7. You can transfer data using an Easy Transfer Cable, removable media, or across a network. Note that the Easy Transfer utility comes with Windows 7, so you won’t need to use it on a PC that already has Windows 7 installed (ie. you can run it natively for a Windows 7 <-> Windows 7 transfer).