Windows 7 Release: Are You Ready?
October 22nd is fast approaching and many people are preparing to purchase Windows 7. If you want a smooth transition from Windows XP or Windows Vista, then you should seriously consider having a strategy set in place before the upgrade.
Obviously if you have hundreds of machines to upgrade, your strategy will be very complex and go way beyond the scope of this article. But if you only have a machine or two to upgrade, then read on for a simple upgrade path.
First step is to prepare the computer that will receive the upgrade. If you have been using Windows XP or Vista, the installer will offer to save all of your data from the My Documents of Windows XP and the Documents folder of Vista. You can help this process out by defragging your computer ahead of time.
The second step to take is to back up your My Documents or Documents folder for safety. With all of the digital media we store these days, this has the potential to be many gigabytes in size. There are plenty of low cost or free back-up programs available for download. Once you do this the first time it will be a lot easer to get in the habit of backing up these important folders on a regular basis.
The third step I like to take is to gather all of my hardware's drivers in one place. Burn them to a CD or copy them to a flash drive. Most of Windows 7 drivers will be available during the upgrade but it never hurts to be safe. If you own a piece of hardware that is older or unique, you should check the manufacturer's website and look for Windows 7 drivers.
The last step is the easiest one of all. Gather all of the installation media for all programs or games that you plan on re-installing along with any registration or unlock keys. You will need the keys to install the software later.
That's all there is to a simple upgrade path to Windows 7. Starting this process in a prepared and organized manner will ensure a successful upgrade and minimal frustration.