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From the author of Step 2—Running the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

Step 2—Running the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

Although Microsoft offers upgrade pricing from Windows XP to Windows 7, you will not be able to upgrade your Windows XP installation to Windows 7. You will need to perform a clean install. To make sure you know what software and hardware will need to be updated before making the move to Windows 7, use the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. You can run it on systems that currently use Windows XP SP2 or SP3 or Windows Vista.

This program is a small download—less than 7MB. However, if your system does not have Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installed, you will be prompted to install it first.

Before you download and install the advisor, make sure all of the external devices you use with your PC have been plugged in and powered up, such as printers, scanners, multifunction devices, mice, network adapters, external hard disks, and so on. During the system analysis, the upgrade advisor will check all detected hardware to see if driver updates or hardware replacements are necessary.

If you want to use the advisor on more than one computer, click Save when prompted. You can copy the program (Windows7UpgradeAdvisor.msi) to a flash drive or network share for use on other PCs. After you install the program, it checks for updates, then prompts you to click Start Check.

After the program runs, it displays a three-part report (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 My system's hardware is ready for Windows 7, but I'll need to perform a custom ("clean") install of Windows 7 and reinstall my programs because I'm using Windows XP.

The System Requirements section indicates the preparations you need to upgrade to Windows 7 and whether your system passed the requirements. Click See All System Requirements for details (see Figure 3).

Figure 3 This system's CPU performance, RAM (memory) size, available hard disk space, and graphics card (Windows Aero) all meet or exceed the requirements for Windows 7.

The Devices section lists any devices that are not compatible with Windows 7 or would require driver updates. Click Show All Devices for details (see Figure 4).

Figure 4 This system's hardware is ready for Windows 7.

The Programs section lists any programs that are not compatible, must be reinstalled, or will run with minor issues (note that if you are moving from Windows XP to Windows 7, all programs must be reinstalled).

Figure 5 Some of this system's software will have minor issues with Windows 7.

To save the report, click the Save Report button. The report is saved as a Web Archive (.mht) file that you can view with Internet Explorer.

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