Step 4Backing Up
Keep these items in mind when backing up your system.
Backup the Old Before Installing the New
Whether you're upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 or installing Windows 7 on a system that's currently running Windows XP, back up your system before making the change. Because you want to back up the latest user files and settings, make sure you perform backups immediately before upgrading to Windows 7.
Backing Up Windows Vista
You can use Windows Vista's Backup and Restore Center to make two backups: a system image (if your version of Windows includes this option) and a file backup. You can also use Windows Easy Transfer to back up settings on an external hard disk or network share.
Backing Up Windows XP
With Windows XP, you can use Windows 7's Windows Easy Transfer to back up files and settings. You can run Windows Easy Transfer (migsetup.exe) from the Windows 7 DVD. This detailed guide shows you how. You can learn more about Windows Easy Transfer on the Microsoft website.