Reader Chet Norris wrote to ask the about upgrading to Windows 7, in addition to the first question which was answered in a different article:
Weird problem..I’m running vista home premium (32 bit) on my HP LAPTOP and I just noticed the icon for my wireless program is missing from the task bar.
Usually it sits next to the HP power plan icon but now it’s gone. I’ve gone to "network and sharing" in control panel and played around for 30 minutes and can’t find a mention of the icon.
I was able to click on it and know the signal strength etc and if I was connected thru it or the dsl modem.
Regarding upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7, Windows 7 is reported to be a significant change in stability, speed and usability.
Windows 7 has been reported to be a lot faster that Vista, although slower than Windows Xp.
The usabilty issues are more in the nature of security functions that work without the constant interruptions of Vista, or even the repeated demands for confirmation that you really wanted to do a task.
Most of the changes in Windows 7 versus Windows Vista are "under the hood." That is, internal to Windows 7 as opposed to actual changes to the user interface.
There are some changes, but a Windows Vista useer should easily shift to Windows 7.
As far as the actual upgrade process, Windows Vista can be upgraded in place to Windows 7, but only certain versions of Vista to the corresponding version of Windows 7. Any "genuine" license of Windows Vista is eligible to upgrade to any version of Windows 7. Similarly, Windows XP licenses are eligible to upgrade to any version of Windows 7.
However, the only "upgrade in place" options, which take a working Windows installation and convert it to a new Windows 7 installation, are:
- Windows Vista Home Premium to Win 7 Home Premium
- Windows Vista Business to Win 7 Professional
- Windows Vista Professional to Win 7 Ultimate
Any other version upgrade option requires a fresh install from the upgrade DVD. The fresh install is the only option for Windows XP
If you have an empty primary partition on the hard drive that has C: on it, which is not likely unless you have deliberately created multiple partitions, you can install Windows 7 into the new partition — and be able to dual-boot Windows XP and Windows 7.
However, if you don’t, or if you wipe out your Windows XP or Windows 7 partition to do a clean installation, there’s one trick to getting your Windows 7 OS installed.
You will need to install it twice.
What? Why? It’s because Windows 7 uses the product code to verify that you have a legitimate license to the earlier version, while earlier Windows upgrades looked for the original OS CD for the qualifying prior version.
What’s the trick? Since you won’t have the OS on the disk after you wipe it, so it won’t be there when Windows 7 wants to validate, you install the upgrade without inputting the Product Key (which is an upgrade key, and would not validate without the prior version in place). Then, at the end of the installation, do NOT active Windows 7.
Reboot, and install the Windows 7 Upgrade DVD while the unregistered Windows 7 is running. Now, perform a Windows 7 upgrade over the Windows 7 installation you just did. You can put in the product code if you wish, but I understand that you now have 30 days to put in the product code and activate your Windows 7.
Don’t forget to back up your computer before the upgrade, just in case anything happens. It’s also a good reason so you can restore those particular files that you forgot about <grin>.
I recommend using Acronis True Image to make an image backup to an external hard drive. Acronis True Image will allow you to restore the entire image, or individual files and folders, from the backup image. Version 10 is supposed to provide better support for Windows 7, although I’m not sure what that is — I imagine has something to do with the new Libraries concept in Windows 7.