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Friday, November 6, 2009

UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 7 FOR THOSE WHO STILL HAVE WINDOWS XP (PART II)

Last week I told you how I did the conversion, (upgrade), to Windows 7 from Windows Vista. I also told you that making the conversion from Windows XP is a completely different situation, in as much as the conversion must be a "clean install" rather then an "upgrade".

The "upgrade" is relatively easy because your settings, your applications, your data and your files all travel from Windows Vista to windows 7 and there is very little work to be done after the installation is completed.

Unfortunately you Windows XP users are not that lucky; after the "clean install", you must reset your users and network, (if applicable), reinstall all your drivers, programs, data and files from scratch. Don't let this discourage you, because if you prepare your work with a little patience, you'll end up with a computer that is much cleaner, because all the garbage that was accumulated by Windows XP during the years of use of your computer will be gone for good!

One possible problem that you'll have to face is the possible incompatibility of certain application drivers that worked with W XP but will not work with W 7 such as drivers for your display, audio system, network adapters, wireless keyboard and mouse, etc. You can check the drivers you have by going to "device manager" in your computer. (click "start", right click "my computer", select "properties", click the "hardware" tab and finally click "device manager" button. once you are there, it will display a complete list of all devices installed in your computer as well as the drivers for each one of them.

To find out if you have such problems, you'll have to run the Microsoft short program I referred to last week, Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor , by going to the following Web address:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/get/upgrade-advisor.aspx

(click the above or copy and paste on your browser).

As i explained last week, once you run this program in your computer, it will generate a report which will verify compatibility of your hardware, software, drivers etc. that are now installed in your computer and tell you what you have to do before trying to do the clean install of W 7.

In order to find the right drivers that will run in W 7, you must download them from Windows 7 Compatibility Center at the following Web address:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatability/windows-7/en-us/default.aspx

(click the above or copy and paste on your browser).

Needless to say that now you will have to back up to an external drive all your data, files and any other information you want to transfer to the Window 7 environment. Programs will have to be reinstalled again and I assume you have the original disks for the same such as Window Works, Word etc. etc.

If you don't have the disks, the other solution will be to create an image back up of your hard drive. This is the most dependable way to transfer your old set up without having to install the programs with original disks, especially if you don't have them or don't know where you put them. Such an operation will restore all you have on your hard drive. You will need of course an external drive to copy the image to and a program that will do it.

Please read my post of September 5, 2009:

" BACK UP AND RECOVERY OF YOUR COMPUTER HARD DRIVE IS NOW EASY TO PERFORM"

This post explains how to do it using a very popular program called ACRONIS, (this program is not free, it costs $39.00, but it is well worth having because it will keep an image of your hard drive that can be updated as many times as you command it to do).

There are other free programs that will do it, but most of them are not as complete and easy to operate as ACRONIS,. A good one recommended by PC World is Macrium Reflect Free that can be downloaded at:

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp

Keep in mind that it takes several hours to copy an image of your hard drive to an external hard drive, especially if your hard drive has been accumulating all kinds of stuff along the years... a good way of doing it is starting the operation at night before you go to bed. The following morning it will be done...

Once you have done all this preparation work, you are now ready to run the clean installation. follow the steps I described last week, but when you get to the point in the wizard that asks you if you want to do an "Upgrade" or a "Custom" (clean installation), you'll have to select "Custom".

From that point on just follow the instructions, (see my post of last week), and after a couple of hours Windows 7 will be installed in your computer. After this, you will have to either transfer the hard drive image you have copied to your external hard drive, (if you decided to go this route), or to reinstall all your programs using the original disks and then copying the data files and installing new drives if required.

My friends, this may seem too complicated and scary for some of you, but really, if you have a little "hands on" experience with your computer it won't be so bad after all. In any case, this will be a good practice session for you to get really well acquainted in computer operation.

Have fun!!!

(Your comments will be very much appreciated)

George Freire




2 comments:

Luis Nabais said...

My Dear George:
That´s me again, Luis Nabais from Portugal.
Two questions, plase:
1-I have Windows XP Prof (you think I should upgrade it do W 7 ?
2-Someone told me that there´s a Virus protection from Windows (tried to see, but, for the moment, they say, not available to Portugal yet).
Do you think that it is reliable?
For now I have KMcafee...but expensive!Should I change it to that windows tool?
Best regards
Luis Nabais

My mail :nabais.luis@gmail.com

George Freire said...

Dear Luis, (this e-mail will be also posted on the blog)

I was away for the week-end, and only got your e-mails this morning.

Let me answer your questions one by one:

Your first question about upgrading to Windows 7 from Windows XP; you of course have read my post of Friday November 6 concerning the subject. Keep in mind that in order to keep all your data files and programs, without having to re-install everything, you must either use ACRONIS, (costs $39.00 US), which is excellent, or the free program Macrium Reflect Free to copy an exact image of your hard drive to an external drive.

The other option, (if you have all the disks for the programs installed in toyour computer), is to back up all your data files, install Windows 7, which will wipe out everything in your hard drive, and then re-install the programs and copy all your data files back in the hard drive.

I am sorry to say that these are the only options you have available. (Of course you can also upgrade your Windows XP to Windows Vista which will keep all programs and files intact and then upgrade again from Windos Vista to Windows 7). This can be expensive because the Vista upgrade sells for about $110.00 US...

Your second question concerning your virus protection programs: Go to my blog and read the post of September 27 about the Avira AntiVir Personal Free Antivirus Program. You can get it at:

http://www.free-av.com/en/products/1/avira_antivir_personal__free_antivirus.html

This is a free program that is excellent. They also have "Premium" and "Security" versions of the program, which if you want them, you'll have to pay for it, however, the free version really has most of the features that everyday computer user needs.

Your third question concerning the problems with your Lynksys router:

Do you have your two computers connected by wire to the router or is your network wireless? When you say that your main computer "tends to delay entering Net" do you mean it takes a long time to connect to the Internet? You may have to redo your settings between computer and router. I suggest you call Cisco free support line, (I don't have a # for Portugal, but in Spain the # is 900-997-154, (you can check other #'s by Googling "Cisco support phone numbers in europe"). It would be difficult for me to explain what you have to do, not being side by side looking at your computer.

I hope all of the above will be of help.

Um abra├žo,

George Freire