Saturday, October 31, 2009


Dear viewers of the blog,

As promised on my post of October 26, I'm going to report to you how I managed to do my conversion to Windows 7 from Windows Vista on the first of my two computers.

For this first conversion, (which I expected with reason, to be the most troublesome), I decided to do it in my laptop computer.The reason for this choice was rational: taking into consideration that a few hours are needed to do the conversion, I had a little more flexibility, could move around and take the computer with me from my office to downstairs etc.etc.

I ran into some frustrating moments, but it was all my fault, not being patient enough and trying to do things too fast...

I learned a lesson, therefore when I do the other conversion in my PC things will be a lot easier and faster.

Let's now look at what I did and what I recommend you all should do when you decide to convert to Windows 7:

I am addressing those of you who have Windows Vista in your computers. For those who still have Windows XP, the procedures are different and more complex, therefore I will address this matter on Part II, which I intend to post later this week.

Before you attempt to start your conversion, you must run the Microsoft short program "Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Report". You can download it from Microsoft at the following address:

(Copy and paste the above to your browser).

Once you run the program in your computer, it will generate a report which will verify compatability of your hardware and software installed in your computer. The good news is that if you have windows Vista running well in your computer, odds are that most of what you have is compatible.

However, there are some programs that may not be compatible, for which you will have to download new drivers available on the Web, or in some cases, you'll have to uninstall some programs which will interfere with the conversion operation. These programs can then be re-installed after the conversion.

In my case, as an example, the report advised that I had to uninstall the "ATI Catalyst Install Manager", "Catalyst Control Center", "Best Buy Digital Music Store" and "My HP Games". It also showed a complete list of all the programs installed in my computer that were compatible with the conversion and those that would need new drivers once the conversion was completed.

Believe me my friends, you must follow strictly what the report tells you, or you risk nor being able to do the conversion right and create annoying problems difficult to solve, other than starting from scratch all over again.

I was in a hurry to do the conversion, followed the report directions, uninstalled the programs indicated, but missed one, (Catalyst Control Center), because I got confused,when I had already uninstalled the ATI Catalyst Install Manager.

This was a costly mistake, because after the conversion was finished, nothing worked right and I kept receiving strange messages like "Windows cannot verify compatability etc. etc.

To make a long story short, I had to return my computer to new factory installed software,(Windows Vista), using the recovery disks I had prepared when I started the computer for the first time after I had purchased it. In doing so I wiped out all the software installed in the past 5 months. ( I had all the software disks so I did not lose the programs, but had to re-install all of them after the conversion which took the better part of 5 hours!)

I am telling you this long story because I want you to make sure not to do the same mistake. (If I had uninstalled that program as directed, all the software in the computer would have been transferred during the conversion without any problems!).

Any way, on my second attempt all went well. Here is how it was done:

Make sure you are connected to the Internet and start your computer to Windows Vista, as you do normally. Once it is running, insert the Windows 7 Upgrade DVD in the optical drive; set up will launch automatically.

In case it does not start automatically, click the "Start" button on your keyboard, click "Computer" or "My Computer", open the Windows 7 installation disk on your DVD drive and double click "setup.exe".

The installation wizard opens and early on will ask whether you want to check for compatability online; (this would bring you to the Web page for the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, but since you already have done this thanks to my advice), ignore this. It will also ask you to check for updates on line; click "yes"; after a few seconds the updates if any are done; at this point go ahead and click "Install now" and follow the instructions.

In the next step you'll have to agree to the "End-User Licensing Agreement" after which the Wizard gives you two choices: "Upgrade" or "Custom" (clean) install. Since you are upgrading from Windows Vista, the choice is obvious, you should select "Upgrade".

If you have more than one partition on your hard drive, the Wizard may ask you which partition you want to use. Select of course the partition where windows Vista is installed, (in most cases C:/ drive).

You may now get a warning that you are going to lose your existing version of Windows Vista and tell you that the files will be moved to a new folder called C:/Windows.old.

After that the installation box comes up and shows you a list of automated tasks that will follow such as "copying Windows files, expanding files", etc. etc.

At this time you will have nothing more to do but wait; and depending on how fast and how much memory you have in your computer, it may take two to three hours for the conversion to take place. Go have dinner, read a book, whatever and check the computer after a while.

When it is all done you'll see a window in the Wizard asking for the "Product Key" and whether you want the program to be activated on line. (The Product Key is shown on the left side of the plastic box where the conversion disk is enclosed and is composed of 5 groups of 5 letter/number combinations).

I entered the Product Key and checked the box for activation on line. After that click next. Another page opens, (titled "Help Protect Your Computer and Improve Windows Automatically"). 3 options are available, the best is in my opinion "Install Important Updates Only"; I selected that one, but it is up to you.

After this the Wizard has completed its function, your computer will reboot and Hurray!!! will return with the full new version of Windows 7.

It is time now to re-install the programs that you had to uninstall before the conversion, (if any), and download drivers for certain programs, (if needed). I assume that by now you are a little tired, so you can do it in good time the next day...

For today this will be all, I am going a little long on this post, but I hope all this stuff will be of help to you all.

On my next post I will talk about the good things I found on this new version of Windows as well as the few I did not like, but let me tell you, I like this new version a LOT.

Have fun and let me know if you enjoyed the above.

George Freire

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