Windows XP To Windows 7 Upgrade FAQ

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g-unit1111

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As of 8 April 2014, Microsoft has discontinued support for Windows XP. If you are going to upgrade to Windows 7, this is a thread that will be designated to post frequent questions you may have about your upgrade experience. The most common questions will be asked here but if you have anything else that needs to be answered or explained this thread will be left open.

1. Will my existing device(s) work with Windows 7?

Microsoft has created an official Windows 7 compatibility chart that will be available here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/en-us/default.aspx

2. Will my existing laptop, desktop, motherboard or hardware run with Windows 7?

While it's virtually impossible to list all devices and drivers, the Microsoft compatibility chart will answer the most frequently asked about hardware including printers, scanners, controllers, and digital cameras.

The minimum system requirements for Windows 7 are:

32-Bit
1 GHz or faster processor
1GB RAM
16GB Available hard drive space
Direct X 9 compatible GPU

64-bit
1 GHz or faster x64 processor
2GB RAM
16GB Available hard drive space
Direct X 9 compatible GPU

3. What are the differences between versions?

Windows 7 Starter / Home Basic: Performs regular windows tasks, strips administrator and remote access rights and some multimedia functionality.
Windows 7 Home Premium: Entry level version of Windows - full Windows 7 user interface and feature set, allows remote access. However with this version there is a limit of 16GB of RAM on motherboards.
Windows 7 Professional: Everything Home Premium has along with full remote desktop access, the ability to encrypt files and make files available for off line use, and allows Windows XP emulation mode. Lifts 16GB RAM restrictions that Windows 7 Home Premium has.
Windows 7 Ultimate (aka Windows 7 Enterprise): Everything that Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional including foreign language packs, Bitlocker file decryption.

4. I have Windows 7 Home Premium and want to upgrade to Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate. What do I do?

Windows actually has a built-in feature that allows you to upgrade from one version to another without doing a complete reformat of your system. It's called "Windows Anytime Upgrade". Here's how to access that feature:

1. Start menu
2. Control Panel
3. System and Security
4. Windows Anytime Upgrade

If you have additional questions you want answered you may ask them here. However please keep this civil and on topic or it will be locked.
 

BoostSoftware

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Mar 18, 2014
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Gracias, Chicken Bros....I actually needed this just in time information. Got a big project and can't stay in the XP OS to get through this window. (no pun intended) The differences you noted aren't so scary and I'm ready for the change. -Erin
 

xrhstos7003

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Nice thread. But, if you want to keep your programs and not to perform a clean install, you should first install a demo version of windows vista with the upgrade mode and then upgrade to windows 7.
 

tommer1684

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Yeah, U are right.....
 

Moribund

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Feb 27, 2014
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That's a great thread. Sometimes the question is not as much "will it handle it" but rather "is an OS upgrade from XP really worthwhile considering the age of the PC in question?". Once in a while I do come upon customers with old laptops or desktops who have a dysfunctional XP Operating System and want it upgraded to Windows 7. I sometimes do it, even when they have incompatible GPU, explaining to people what to expect beforehand. For example - there are no Graphics drivers that will work with Windows 7 and thus their Windows Aero won't function, graphics quality will be lower, and they won't be able to use the "sleep" function, only the hibernation. Surprisingly some of them are still fine with upgrading. But it's really only a temporary solution. When the laptop they bought is this old, it's usually cheaper in the long run to get a new PC then to continue investing in the old one, and this is as true of hardware as of software (OS upgrades). And it's definitely a total waste of time and money to invest into an upgrade if the specs are at or just above bare minimum required for Windows 7, and even kinda on the borderline of mad - to upgrade hardware (RAM) in order to be able to upgrade to Windows 7 ;-)
 
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