1. Windows 7 Introduction

Windows 7, (formerly codenamed Blackcomb and later Vienna) is the working name for the next major version of Microsoft Windows as the successor to Windows Vista. Microsoft has announced that it is “scoping Windows 7 development to a three-year timeframe”, and that “the specific release date will ultimately be determined by meeting the quality bar.
Windows 7 will ship in both client (32 & 64 bit) versions and it’s available in both 32-bit and 64- bit editions.

2. Editions of Windows 7

Windows 7 Starter (only available on pre-installed OEM Hardware)

Windows 7 Home Basic (only available in emerging markets)

Windows 7 Home Premium

Windows 7 Professional

Windows 7 Enterprise (only on Software Assurance or Volume Licensing channel)

Windows 7 Ultimate

3. Windows 7 System Requirement

System requirements for Windows 7 aren’t any great mystery, but now we’re getting a much better idea of what it’ll say on the retail box.

Microsoft posted relatively modest system requirements (at least for any computer belonging to a Tom’s Hardware reader) when it released the Windows 7 public beta in January and only slightly modified them for the release of yesterday’s Release Candidate.

3.1. System requirements for the Beta

1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor

1 GB of system memory

16 GB of available disk space

Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128 MB memory (to enable the Aero theme)

3.2. System requirements for the official Release Candidate (RC1)

1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

1 GB of RAM (32-bit)/2 GB of RAM (64-bit)

16 GB of available disk space (32-bit)/20 GB (64-bit)

DirectX 9 graphics device with Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 or higher driver

3.3. Windows Vista’s System requirements are

1 GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)

512 MB of RAM (for Home Basic); 1 GB of RAM for all other versions

15 GB of available disk space

Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory (for Home Basic); 128 MB of graphics memory plus WDDM support for all other versions

4. Windows 7 Editions Comparison Chart








& Ultimate

Windows ReadyDrive






Windows ReadyBoost






64-bit processor support






Physical processor support






Processor core support






Number of running applications supported






5. Windows 7 New Features Details

5.1. Improved Taskbar and Full-Screen Previews

The taskbar at the bottom of your screen is what you use to launch programs and switch between them when they’re open. In Windows 7 you can pin any program to the taskbar so it’s always just a click away, and you can rearrange the icons on the taskbar just by clicking and dragging. We’ve made the icons considerably bigger, too, so they’re easier to use. Hover over the icons and you’ll see thumbnails of every file or window that open in that program, and if you hover over the thumbnail, you’ll see a full-screen preview of that window. Move the cursor off the thumbnail and the full-screen preview disappears.

Get the picture: See what’s open with previews and easily control your Windows experience with the new Taskbar.

5.2. Jump Lists

With Windows 7, we focused on keeping the things you use most right in front of you. One example: The new Jump List feature. It’s a handy way to quickly reach the files you’ve been working with. To see the files you’ve used recently, just right click on the icon on your taskbar. So right-clicking on the Word icon will show your most recent Word documents. Plus, if there are other files you want to keep handy, you can just pin them to the Jump List so they’ll always appear. That way, the documents you’re likely to want are just a couple clicks away.

Some programs, such as Windows Media Player, can pre-populate their Jump Lists with common tasks. For example, on the Jump List for Windows Media Player, you’ll see options to Play All Music or resume your last playlist. On the Jump List for Internet Explorer, you’ll see frequently and recently viewed websites. With some programs, you’ll even have quick access to tasks that, in the past, were only available from within the program, such as composing a new e-mail message.

A leap in efficiency: Jump Lists provide quick access to common tasks

5.3. Desktop enhancements

Windows 7 simplifies how you work with the windows on your desktop. You’ll have more intuitive ways to open, close, resize, and arrange them.

With Windows 7, it’s easier to do things you do all of the time. For example, before, when you wanted to compare two open windows, you had to manually resize your open windows to show them side by side. With Snaps, you can simply grab a window and pull it to either side edge of the screen to fill half the screen. Snap windows to both sides, and it’s easier than ever to compare those windows.

Another thing you may want to do is quickly see your gadgets or grab a file from your desktop. To see your desktop just move your mouse to the lower right corner of your desktop. That’ll make all the open Windows transparent—so your desktop is immediately visible. Want to get all but one window out of your way? Grab the top of that window, shake it and all the other open windows will minimize to the taskbar. Shake the window again, and they’ll all come back.

Now you see them…

Now you don’t: See through to the desktop with invisible windows

5.4. Windows Search

Looking for something on your PC? What’s your first instinct? If you use the web a lot, you probably start by looking around for a search box. Now, you can find things on your computer the same way. Introduced with Windows Vista, Windows Search helps you find virtually anything on your PC quickly and easily. Windows 7 also makes search results more relevant and easier to understand.

Looking for a file, e-mail, or application? While you can easily look through folders and menus, there’s an even faster way. Just click on the Start button and you’ll see a search box at the bottom of the Start menu. Just enter a word or few letters in the name or file you want, and you’ll get an organized list of results.

Windows 7 uses libraries to show all content of a particular type in one spot. Say you’ve got photos in several locations on your PC. A lot will be in your Photos folder. But you might have some in documents folders too. Your photos library makes it easy for you to browse and use all your photos, no matter where they are on your PC.

By collecting things into a single view, libraries make it simpler to find what you’re looking for. They’re even more powerful with Windows Search. You can search your Libraries using filters to customize your search. For example, when you’re looking for music you can search by album. Or search for photos by the date they were taken. You can go to your Documents Library, click on authors, and see all the documents on your computer sorted by author name.

Windows Search

5.5. Internet Explorer 8

Available now, Internet Explorer 8 helps you do what you want online, faster. With innovations to the address bar, search, tabs, and the Favorites bar, Internet Explorer 8 brings you more information, with less effort.

5.6. Instant Search

To start, as you type a search request you’ll immediately start seeing relevant suggestions from your chosen search provider, complete with images when available. The twist: search will also use your browsing history to narrow the suggestions. If you see what you’re looking for, you can go right to the list without finishing the request.

Start typing and search results start appearing

5.7. Accelerators

There are online services you use all the time. Like mapping a location. With Accelerators, you can highlight a bit of information on any page, click on the blue Accelerators icon, and choose from a variety of relevant services. So if you highlight a street address and right click, the Live Maps Accelerator will show a map preview right there on the page. In addition to mapping, you’ll find Accelerators for e- mailing, blogging, searching, translating, and sharing information. Popular services including eBay and Facebook offer special Accelerators you can use with their sites.

At your service: Accelerators get what you need, fast

5.8. Web Slices

A Web Slice is something you use when you need to track information on a website, but you don’t want to keep going to the site. Use a web slice for things like auction items, sports scores, entertainment columns, and weather reports. When the content you’re watching changes, you’ll see it right away in the Web Slice in your Favorites Bar.

Always up to date: Get Web Slice information from the Favorites bar

5.9. Better device management

One of the great things about PCs is how they let us use such a wide array of devices. In the past, you had to use several different screens to manage different types of devices. But With Windows 7, you’ll use a single Devices and Printers screen to connect, manage, and use whatever printers, phones, and other devices you have on-hand.

All together now: See all your devices in one spot

A new technology in Windows 7 called Device Stage takes device management a step further. Device Stage helps you interact with any compatible device connected to your computer. From Device Stage you can see device status and run common tasks from a single window. There are even pictures of the

devices which makes it really easy to see what’s there. Device manufacturers can customize Device Stage. For example, if your camera manufacturer offers a custom version of Device Stage, then when you plug your camera into your PC, you could see things like the number of photos on your camera and links to helpful information.

6. Home Group

Today, you may have a network in your home that you use to share an internet connection. But it can be hard to share other things, like files and printers. Do you have one or more computers in your home but only one printer? If you’re like most people, when you need to print a file that’s on your laptop in your bedroom on the printer in your den, you probably e-mail the file from one PC to another or transfer it on a USB drive. And if you need to find a file but don’t know which computer it’s stored on, chances are you’re in for a long night as you traipse from PC to PC and search each one.

Home Group, a new feature in Windows 7, makes connecting the computers in your home a painless process. Home Group is set up automatically when you add the first PC running Windows 7 to your home network. Adding more PCs running Windows 7 to the Home Group is an easy process. You can specify exactly what you want to share from each PC with all the PCs in the Home Group. Then, sharing files across the various PCs in your home—and many other devices—is as easy as if all your data were on a single hard drive. So you can store digital photos on a computer in your den and easily access them from a laptop anywhere in your home. Similarly, once in a Home Group, the printer in your den is shared automatically with all of the PCs in your home.

Decide whether to join an existing network

Easily explore content on other devices on the network

6.1. View Available Network (VAN)

Windows 7 makes viewing and connecting to all of your networks simple and consistent. You’ll always have one-click access to available networks, regardless of whether those networks are based on Wi-Fi, mobile broadband, dial-up, or your corporate VPN.

View Available Network (VAN)

6.2. Power management improvements

We designed Windows 7 to improve battery life by adding power-saving enhancements, such as adaptive display brightness, which dims the display if you haven’t used your PC for a while. Other improvements include using less power to play DVDs (handy on a trip) and using processing power more efficiently.

Bright idea: With a display that dims automatically, you get longer battery life

6.3. Compatibility

We know how important it is for the hardware and software you use today to work with Windows 7. So we’re doing several things to help.

We’re working with our partners to help ensure their products will work with Windows 7. You can expect that most of the products that work with Windows Vista to work with Windows 7.

If you’re buying a new device or application, look for the “Compatible with Windows

7″ logo. These products have passed tests that Microsoft designed to install readily and run reliably with Windows 7.

With Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate, you’ll be able to run many productivity and business programs designed for Windows XP. Some additional software will be necessary and it will be available free-of-charge as a download from Microsoft.

6.4. Reduce interruptions

In previous versions, Windows was often able to tell you when something on your computer needed attention. Unfortunately, it often did so by interrupting you with pop-ups or other messages. These were helpful if the problem required immediate attention. However, they were less helpful if the problem was not urgent and you didn’t want to take care of it at the time.

Rather than popping up with a message in the lower right of your screen, if Windows 7 needs your attention, you’ll see an Action Center icon and can find out more by clicking it. If you don’t have time to look at the alert immediately, Action Center will keep the information waiting for you to address later.

Action Center will keep the information waiting for you to address later

Windows 7 helps you solve more problems, and it helps you solve them on your own schedule. The Action Center is a new, integrated Control Panel experience that gives you a central place to go for tasks and notifications associated with keeping your computer running smoothly. It makes it easier for you to fix problems yourself by providing a new streamlined experience for addressing notifications and managing computer issues.

Simplifying maintenance, quieting the system: Action Center consolidates notifications

6.5. Easier TV, movies, and video

With a streamlined user interface and support for new content types and digital TV, Windows Media Center in certain editions of Windows 7 makes watching TV, movies, and other video content on your PC easier than ever. With a simple USB TV Tuner you can record and watch shows on your schedule. Windows Media Center has been updated to manage a single TV guide containing both standard and digital high definition TV shows.

Quickly browse recorded TV shows

You’ll be able to find your favorite shows super-fast with new features such as turbo scroll. Just hold down the right-arrow key and you’ll zip through content listings.

6.6. TV, music, pictures, and video: when and where you want them

Streaming media in your home

One of the great things about PCs is how they help you put your pictures, videos, recorded TV, and music in one place. Once everything is in that spot, it’s natural to want to enjoy it on other PCs and devices in your home. Windows 7 helps you do it. It’d be great to just “send” music from your PC to the place where you want to see or hear it. And you can. It’s called streaming, and Windows 7 makes it easy to use your PC to stream music, videos, or photos to your home audio-video system and other networked media devices. New media streaming features make your PC a great hub for audio, video, recorded TV, and photos throughout your home. So, when you set up a home group or media streaming from Windows Media Player, you can enjoy your music, pictures, and videos easily on other computers running Windows 7 and other devices in your home.

Share your media without losing control

6.7. Play to

Here’s another way to enjoy the music on your PC—send it to another device. Let’s say you’re sitting on your couch, using your laptop to read e-mail or surf the web. You’d like to listen to some music, but you don’t want to hear it coming out of your laptop’s speakers—and you don’t want to get up and go find your portable media device. With Windows 7, you don’t have to. Just open Windows Media Player, right-click on what you’d like to hear, select Play To, and you’ll see a list of devices and PCs on which you can play your music, like your network-connected stereo or Xbox 360. In most cases, if your media receiver doesn’t support the file format for your media, Windows 7 automatically converts that content into a format that your media receiver can play. Windows Media Player even offers controls to manage that device, such as play, stop, and skip tracks so your PC becomes your remote control.

Play media on your home audio system

6.8. Remote Media Streaming

Once you’ve got your pictures, music, videos, and recorded TV content on your home PC, it’d be nice to take it with you, say on a family vacation. But you may not have time to download what you want onto your laptop or other media player. But, if your home PC and your laptop use Windows 7, then you can use the entertainment on your home PC from pretty much wherever you can connect to the Internet. You can use Windows Media Player on your laptop to listen to music, and view pictures, videos, or recorded TV, in the media libraries on your home PC. No need to take all your photos with you: so when you’re at the family reunion, you can tap into your home PC and share photos with the whole gang.

Play media on your home audio system

6.9. Keep your life in-sync with Windows Live

If you are using Windows 7, you’ll want to get Windows Live Essentials. It’s free! Windows Live Essentials provides some features that were previously included in Windows Vista and other Windows operating systems, like programs to:

Manage your multiple e-mail accounts in one place

Make the most of your digital photos

Chat instantly with IM

Keep your family safer online

And Windows Live Essentials seamlessly connects what you do on your PC with the online services you use every day, like Windows Live Hotmail, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and others. One easy download gives you Windows Live Photo Gallery, Mail, Messenger, Movie Maker, and more. With these great applications you can get even more out of Windows 7.

Windows Live Photo Gallery

6.10. Windows Touch

While great for a lot of tasks, using a keyboard and mouse is not always the easiest way to do things. With Windows 7, if you’ve got a touch-screen monitor, you can just touch your computer screen for a more direct and natural way to work. Use your fingers to scroll, resize windows, play media, and pan and zoom.

The Start menu, Windows Taskbar, and Windows Explorer are touch-friendly, with larger icons that are easier to select with your finger. Browsing the web with Internet Explorer 8 is easier too—just use your finger to scroll down a Web page or browse your favorite links. You can even use your finger to arrange the pictures in a photo album.

Windows 7 also introduces support for new multi-touch technology, so you can control what happens on the screen with more than one finger. For example, you can zoom in on an image by moving two fingers closer together, like you’re pinching something, or zoom out by moving two fingers apart. You can rotate an image on the screen by rotating one finger around another, and can right-click by holding one finger on your target and tapping the screen with a second finger.

Resize a window by touching its corners

7. Windows 7 Enterprise Edition Features

1. Direct Access

Give mobile users seamless access to corporate networks without a need to VPN.

2. Branch Cache

Decrease time branch office users spend waiting to download files across the network.

3. Enterprise Search Scopes

Find information on network locations including SharePoint sites with a simple user interface.

4. BitLocker & BitLocker to Go

Help protect data on PCs and removable drives, with manageability to enforce encryption and backup of recovery keys.

5. App Locker

Specify what software is allowed to run on user’s PCs through centrally managed, but flexible, Group Policies.

6. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Optimizations

Improved user experience for VDI with multimon and microphone support. Plus the ability to reuse virtual machine (VHD) images to boot a physical PC.

7. Multi Lingual User Interface

Create a single operating system (OS) image for deployment to users worldwide.

Other Windows 7 Enterprise benefits include subsystem for UNIX-based applications (SUA), license rights to run up to four additional copies of Windows in virtual machines, and license rights for network booting of Windows.

In addition to these Enterprise Edition features and benefits, Windows 7 will provide numerous enhancements in areas such as user interface, search, deployment, and management capabilities that will appear in other editions as well. Learn more about other Windows 7 editions.

8. Windows 7 Best Feature – Problem Steps Recorder (PSR)

Problem Steps Recorder can be used to automatically capture the steps performed by a user on a computer, including a text description of where they clicked and a picture of the screen during each click. This capture is then automatically saved to a file that can be used by a support professional to help the user troubleshoot the issue or understand what steps were taken by the user.
I especially like the detailed metadata that is textually recorded by Problem Steps Recorder. For example:
1. User left click on “Items View (list)” in “Libraries”
2. User keyboard input in “Libraries” [… Alt]
3. User left click on “Tools (menu item)” in “Libraries”
4. User left click on “Folder Options… (menu item)”
5. User left click on “View (page tab)” in “Folder Options”
6. User left click on “Hide empty drives in the Computer folder (check box)” in “Folder Options”
7. User left click on “Hide empty drives in the Computer folder (check box)” in “Folder Options”
8. User left click on “Hide extensions for known file types (check box)” in “Folder Options”
9. User left click on “OK (push button)” in “Folder Options”
Problem Steps Recorder will create a ZIP file containing a compiled MHTML file. It will display the screenshots as SEPARATE images, and NOT as a video. This file is actually an XML page documenting each step of the user’s actions complete with a screenshot with the item highlighted. You can view the report as is by using Internet Explorer, or as a slideshow. If you need to, you can even dig into the raw XML to expose greater detail like the X&Y coordinates of the mouse.
To run Problem Steps Recorder (or PSR for short) please type psr in the Start button’s search area:

You can also open Control Panel and type in problem in the search box, and then click on the “Record steps to reproduce a problem” link:

By default, PSR will record only 25 screenshots, but this can be changed to any number. Click on the small down-arrow next to the help icon, and then select Settings:

To start the captures simply press on the “Start Record” button:

During the recording, when adding a comment, click on the “Add Comment” button:

To stop the recording click on the “Stop Record” button:

You will be prompted to save the resulting ZIP file:

After saving the file, if you send it by e-mail or any other method to the support professional, after double-clicking on the ZIP file (or extracting it by using another method), they will be able to view the attached file:

When opening the file, you’ll see something similar to this output.

9. Windows 7 Installation Step by Step

Microsoft recently announced the public release of its new operating system Windows 7 beta version. This is available for download both for x86 (32-bit) and X64 (64-bit) hardware.

If you have already installed Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 from scratch then this shouldn’t look too different for you.

Boot with the installation media and once past through the initial splash screen, select the Language and regional settings including keyboard layout and click Next.

Click Install Now button

Accept the License terms and click next

Select Custom (advanced) option to perform a fresh installation

Select the disk and partition it if necessary and click next

This should start copying the files, expand it and perform feature and update installation and reboot your PC.

After reboot the installation continues the configurations and reboot again for first login.

Windows will take you through the initial setup of your PC, starting with setting up a user and the name of the PC. Once entered, click next

Set the password for the user and click next

Enter the product key. At the time of Download, Microsoft would have provided you with a product key for evaluation valid until the 1st July 2009. Enter the key and click next

Setup Windows Updates as per your requirement (default to install recommended and important updates is recommended)

Set the date and time for your PC and the Day light savings for your country (if any) and click next

Setup your Network type. This should try and connect to your Network

Windows will then setup a password for your home group (similar to the Workgroup in Windows XP and earlier). You can choose to skip this step if you want to configure it later.

This should finalize the settings and launch you straight into your desktop.

There you go your new Windows 7 Beta up and running. First outlook looks to be good for a Beta version of a Microsoft Operating System.

10. Up gradation of Windows XP to Windows 7

You need to perform clean installation of Windows 7 by formatting your Windows XP or install on different hard drive partition keeping XP and Windows 7 in dual boot mode. Well don’t get disappointed you can do this, first perform Widows XP to Vista upgrade then Windows Vista to Windows 7 upgrade. Does this seems lengthy process?? if yes then here is one more way to upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7. Continue reading step by step guide to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Before proceeding for guide make arrangement for either external hard disk or USB flash drive or you can use another computer of your network.

10.1. Windows 7 Upgrade Path

Windows Vista Home Premium Edition => Windows 7 Home Premium Edition

Windows Vista Business Edition => Windows 7 Professional Edition

Windows Vista Ultimate Edition => Windows 7 Ultimate Edition

10.2. How to Upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7

1. Download Windows 7 RC 32-bit or 64-bit

2. Burn Windows 7 RC ISO on DVD or mount ISO as drive using ISO mounting tool

3. Use Windows Explorer and Browse to the DVD drive on your computer and click migsetup.exe in the Support\Migwiz directory.

4. The Windows Easy Transfer window opens.

5. Click next and Select an external hard disk or USB flash drive.

6. Click this is my old computer. Windows Easy Transfer scans the computer.

7. Once Scanning is completed customize your profile and share items to add and remove folders and files you want to include.

8. Click next and enter password

9. Click on Save and locate USB drive or Network location for saving Windows Easy Transfer files.

10. Start Windows 7 Setup by browsing to the root folder of the DVD in Windows Explorer, and then double clicking setup.exe.

11. Click Custom to perform an upgrade to your existing Windows installation.

(When you perform a custom installation of Windows 7, files that were used in the earlier version of Windows are stored in a Windows. old folder. This folder can be removed once instillation is complete to recover space)

12. Select partition of Windows XP and click on Next and proceed without further interaction.

13. Once your Windows 7 Installation is complete. Boot into your Windows 7.

14. Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and then click Windows Easy Transfer.

15. The Windows Easy Transfer window opens.

16. Click an external hard disk or USB flash drive.

17. Click this is my new computer.

18. Click Yes, open the file. Browse to the location where the Easy Transfer file was saved. Click the file name, and then click Open

19. Click Transfer to transfer all files and settings. You can also determine which files should be migrated by selecting only the user profiles you want to transfer, or by clicking Customize.

20. Click Close after Windows Easy Transfer has completed moving your files. That’s it we have successfully upgraded Windows XP to Windows 7

Note: – 1. Above guide will only help you in keeping Windows XP Profiles and Settings however you will need to reinstall all your programs in Windows 7

2. You can clean up all files of previous Windows installations using Disk cleanup

11.Up gradation of Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate

Important things to remember when doing an in-place upgrade:
You need to be running Windows Vista with Service Pack 1. According to the information on the Microsoft Website I referenced, if you don’t have Service Pack 1 installed you will not be able to perform the in upgrade to Windows 7.
In-place upgrades are the preferred installations when you want to preserve your settings and other data, currently installed programs, etc.
In-place upgrades will work when you’re upgrading from “like” installations such as from a 32- bit version of Windows Vista to a 32-bit version of Windows 7, or from 64-bit version to 64-bit version.
In-place upgrades need to be from the same Windows language. You can perform an in-place upgrade from Windows Vista (English) to Windows 7 (English); if you were running a localized version of Windows Vista for another language and attempted to install Windows 7 (English) the installation routine would fail.
Notes:- In most cases, when an in-place upgrade is halted because one of the conditions above is not met, the installation routine will generally offer you the ability to do a custom installation which could be a clean install or if the disk space is available on another volume, a dual / multi- boot configuration.
Once you have verified that your operating system can handle the in-place upgrade you can boot into that operating system and get started.
For this walk through we are going to upgrade our Windows Vista Ultimate Edition service pack
1 to Windows 7 Ultimate beta build 7000.
Note: – The system in use has been configured with a user account that does not have a password set for it. Because of this, some of the steps in the walk through will not require a log on for that reason when it otherwise should.
Once the guest OS is up and running we would insert the Windows 7 DVD to start the installation
Depending on how the autorun parameters are set up on your system you may see the AutoPlay dialog box come up or the installation routine may just begin.
Additionally, depending on how your User Account Control (UAC) settings are configured for the system, you may be presented with a prompt to allow setup.exe to run.
In that situation you would select the ALLOW action which would kick off the installation routine as shown below.

You would choose “Install now” to continue which allows setup to begin copying the needed temporary files to the system. During this process what is displayed on the screen will change a couple of times.
Once the file copy is completed you’ll be prompted as to whether or not you’d like to go online to get any needed updates that would be required for the installation.

Note: – While this is an optional activity it is highly recommended.
For obvious reasons, an active internet connection will be needed throughout certain parts of the upgrade installation in order for it to be successful.
For our walk through we will choose the option to get the updates.
Once the option to get the updates is selected, setup searches for any applicable installation updates and then downloads them for use during the remainder of the installation routine.
The next page of setup is the license terms page where you would agree to the terms of the software as outlined by choosing the “I accept the license terms” check box and select NEXT.

Note: – You must agree to the license terms, otherwise the setup routine is forced to abort. To Upgrade or to not upgrade
The next screen asks you which type of installation that you want. You have the option here to choose Upgrade which would perform an in-place upgrade of the operating system or a Custom (advanced) installation which would allow you to choose other options with respect to the installation.
For the most part, choosing anything other than Upgrade is going to force the installation routine to install Windows cleanly to another volume in which case you would need to reinstall all of your applications and settings.
For the purposes of this walk through we are going to choose the Upgrade option.
Once you choose which type of installation that you want the compatibility report that ran on the system earlier will be displayed as shown below (it will also be available on the desktop to review after the upgrade completes).
You can review the information and choose next to continue forward.

The next part of the process occurs without a lot of intervention.
The Upgrading Windows screen appears which shows you the active part of the process in bold from a list of steps that are in progress. You’ll notice there and in the Gathering files, settings and programs sections that there is some addition detail about where you are in the process shown near the bottom of the activity window (in the case of the second image below that would be Gather systems files and settings (3522 of 11548 gathered)).

The next segment of the installation is where setup expands the installation files and setup continues.
Part of the way through this part of the process the setup routine will reboot the computer. Note: – When the system restarts you want to make sure you are not doing anything with the keyboard if your system is set to check the DVD drive for a boot device; otherwise you’ll hit a key and then begin booting from the DVD which starts the setup process all over from the beginning.
If you should accidentally do this you can fix it by power cycling the system and letting the routine restart from where it left off which it will do if you do not hit the keys on the keyboard on the next cycle.
After the first reboot
Once this reboot cycle gets past the “Press any key” screen you’ll notice the first Windows 7 splash screens. The first will be black and show the “Windows Flag Logo” and the screen will indicate “Starting Windows”
The very next screen to appear would be a Upgrading Windows splash screen as the installation routine goes back to where it left off, expanding additional files, rebooting the system again (at least one additional time); it will also install additional features and an updates that had been downloaded as parts of earlier processes.
After this step an additional reboot occurs and the setup routine completes the in-place upgrade by migrating saved files settings and programs and reboots the system one final time.

On the last restart the setup routine gets your system ready for first use and brings you in to the product key screen where you would enter in you 25 characters key.
You can clear the check box if you do not want to automatically activate Windows the next time you are online but if you take this action you will be prompted over the next 30 days to do so.
For the purposes of this walkthrough we are going to enter a key and leave that check box set. After the key is entered the next stage is to allow you to set up how the system should be set to use Windows Update and how to perform other default actions and behavior for your system.
These are options as to whether to defer any configuration at the time or to make the decision to install important updates only (which are just the security updates and other important ones for the Windows operating system as designated on the Windows Update site).
What is generally recommended is to select the Use recommend settings option which will configure the system to leverage Windows Update to automatically download and install updates as well as to configure the default browsing behavior of the system to be more controlled and secured so as to allow for a safe browsing experience. Additionally this option automatically has the operating system check online for solutions to encountered problems.
For the purposes of this walkthrough we are going to use the recommended settings option.

The next screen you’ll arrive at is the Review your time and date settings page where you would check to make sure the system’s time and time zone are correct. You would press NEXT to continue past this point.
After you make any needed changes to the time or the time zone you’ll have to choose how your network behaves by default by choosing from one of the three network settings as presented on the Select your computer’s current location page.
For our walkthrough we are going to choose Home network.

Note: – If you choose Home you may see the configuration being made and part of this configuration setup prepares your system to participate in a Home Group.
Once the network location has been set the option to join the Home Group will be present; you do not need to do this if you do not wish to configure the network for this type of use or to join an existing Home Group and the option to choose SKIP is presented. From there the finalizing steps are completed and the desktop is shown.

The system is completely upgraded to Windows 7 and all of your configuration settings and applications are ready to be used.

12. Dual Booting Windows Vista with Windows 7 Ultimate

Important things to note when attempting a multi-boot / dual-boot configuration:

You need a hard disk in the system that has a separate partition for each operating system that you want to install.

If the single disk does not have multiple partitions already configured you may need to reformat and / or repartition your hard disk.

Alternatively, you could install an additional hard drive in the system

The partition should format with the NTFS file system.

To avoid major configuration problems, especially between older boot managers and newer boot managers, you should always install operating systems from oldest release to newest.

Note:- When you install multiple operating systems to a single system in a multi-boot configuration you should do so in the order of their release. Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 released in that order so if you’re trying to install one or more on a system you should do them in that order.

You do not need to install them all; you could choose Windows 2000, Windows Vista and Windows 7 or Windows 2000 and Windows Vista and so on but best practices dictate that you should do them in order of their release.
We are going to launch setup from within the running Vista operating system; we could have just as easily booted from the DVD at startup and kicked off the installation routine following most of the upcoming steps.
Once the Windows 7 media is in the DVD drive autorun should execute on its own. It may not based on your default settings in which case you’d have to launch the installation routine manually.
Setup will begin copying some of the needed temporary files and then present you with the “Get important updates for installation” options.

You can choose one option or the other; unless you have some specific reason to do otherwise, it is almost always the best bet to go ahead and get the latest updates for installation (as recommended by the setup wizard).

Note: – For obvious reasons, if you’re not connected to the internet you’d want to choose not to get the updates at the time of install. If you choose the “Go online” option and your connection is not present setup will force you off of that option.

It will allow setup to continue without updating.
If you do not want to take part in the Windows improvement program you’ll need to clear the “I want to help make Windows installation better” check box as it is selected by default.
We are going to choose the “Get important updates for installation” option for our walk through. Setup will search online for installation updates (if any) and will reboot the system when this part of the installation is complete.

Note: – If this system should restart at this point or a little later on in the installation routine you’ll want to make sure you are not doing anything with the keyboard if your system is set to check the DVD drive for a boot device; otherwise you’ll hit a key and then begin booting from the DVD which starts the setup process all over.

After the reboot

Once the system gets back up from rebooting you’ll reach the “Please read the license terms” screen; you’ll need to accept the license terms to proceed to the next phase.
The following screen is where you have the option to perform your installation type as shown below.

You would select Custom (advanced) to perform a clean installation or to set up the system in a dual or multi-boot configurations. As we are going ahead with a dual boot installation this is the option we would select.
When the routine continues from here you’ll be presented the “Where do you want to install
Windows” options which will show you the available partitions where Windows can be installed.

Note:- If you are expecting to see another partition and it is not available you can try refreshing the screen but it is more likely that setup needs to load a driver for that device and it is not present.

To load a driver for a missing controller or other device you would choose the Load Driver option shown at the bottom left of the window.
In order for us to successfully install Windows 7 alongside the existing Windows Vista installation we are going to need to choose the other available partition (in this case E:\ on Disk 0 Partition 2)
Note: – If there was not enough space to create partition 2 on Disk 0 the only way we would be able to install Windows 7 in a dual boot configuration would be to have access to another physical disk – you cannot install two versions of Windows to the same partition by design.
Once the setup routine continues forward from here it will copy the Windows files and then begin expanding them. At some point in the “Expanding files” sequence the routine will stop and the system will reboot before continuing.
During this reboot cycle you’ll notice the first Windows 7 splash screens – one is shown below.

Once setup comes back online it will finish expanding all of the files (and it’ll reboot again) and install all of the files needed before it formally restarts one final time for the final configuration (post setup) of the Windows 7 operating system.

What you should also notice during this startup sequence (and all others that follow) is that you are now presented with the Windows Boot Manager at start up as shown above which allows you the option to choose which operating system you want to boot the system into.
When you installed Windows 7 in multi-boot fashion it became the default operating system in the Windows Boot Manager. Setup designates one operating system (the last to be installed) the default to start after a 30 second delay. This is a configurable setting that you can make adjustments to if you wish.
You’ll need to allow the counter to run down or hit enter to choose Windows 7 to complete the post installation final steps.

Post Installation Steps

Now that Windows 7 is running you can begin the final stage of setting up the system – the post installation details. On the first screen you are prompted to choose a country or region setting, the time and currency settings and the keyboard layout you’ll be using.

On the next screen you’ll type in a user name to use on the system and that entry will give you a computer name suggestion based on what you entered. You can choose to keep that computer name or change it and choose NEXT.
The next screen is “Set a password for your user account” where you enter your password information and a hint in case you need it to help you remember what your password was.

The step of entering in a product key and for activation of the operating system is going to be dependent on which type of installation media that you have. We are using standard media that requires this for the install and this would be the screen where you’d provide this information.
You can just choose NEXT and bypass entering a key – you’ll be able to run the operating system for 30 days. At the end of that time you will be required to enter a key and activate the product.
After the key is entered and you choose NEXT you’ll land on the “Help protect your computer and improve Windows automatically” page which is where you’ll initially configure the Windows Update settings. If you feel like you need additional information on what to do there is a link presented on that screen that allows you to review some more details on this.

The next screen is the “Review your time and date settings” page which allows you to change the time zone settings. You are also able to change the time and date as well (in case the information pulled from the system has not populated correctly).
Additionally, the “Automatically adjust clock for Daylight Saving Time” checkbox is selected by default so if you’re in an area where it is not observed you’ll need to clear the option. (This can be done after installation is complete as well).
On the next screen you are presented with the “Select your computer’s current location” page where you choose to identify the network settings as Home, Work, or Public which will automatically configure network resource settings, firewall settings, network discovery and other parameters based on the profile you choose.

Note: – If you choose Home you’ll see the configuration being made and it will be displayed as shown in image 20 below.

Part of this configuration setup prepares your system to participate in a Home Group (and I’ve written another more detailed article on this topic) if post setup properly detects the network details it need to in order to kick this off.
Once the network location has been set to HOME the option to join the Home Group will be present; you do not need to do this if you do not wish to configure the network for this type of use or to join an existing Home Group and the option to choose SKIP is presented (and we’ll use that for the walkthrough).
After you make that selection Windows 7 will finalize your settings and the operating system will show the user desktop and you will be good to go with the Windows 7 installation completed and the system ready for regular use.

13. Windows 7 Backup & Restore

In Window 7 (beta), the Backup Status and Configuration tool is replaced by a tool called “Backup and Restore”. You can access it by going to the Control Panel and typing backup in the search box. One of the results will lead you to it.

You can also type Backup on the Start Menu search box, and again, one of the results will lead you to it.

You can also run the following command from the Run or search box option:


(If you really must know, you can also use %systemroot%system32control.exe /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestoreCenter to do the same thing…)
The Backup and Restore tool will open.

Press “Set up backup” if you wish to backup something.
Windows Backup will start, and the first thing you need to configure is your target media on which you want to place the backup. You can only select local hard disks or writable media. If you select writable disks as your backup media, make sure that they are writeable, which means that you can add, delete, or change content on them. If you decide to use this method and have a lot of files to back up, be sure you have enough discs to finish the job. The Backup and Restore tool tells you how much space you need each time you perform a backup and recommends the type of media to use. That is also true for external hard disks. Select your backup media and press next.

Note: – Be sure to check disk and storage considerations when using Windows 7 Backup and Restore for more information.

When you insert a new hard drive (such as an external USB drive) and Windows 7 recognizes it, it will prompt you if you wish to use it as the target for your backups. This can be changed later, but if you do select it, the Backup Files will begin.

Next, select what you want to back up. You can let Windows choose what is backed up or you can select the individual folders and drives that you want to back up.

If you let Windows choose what is backed up, the following are included in your backup:
Data files that are saved in libraries, on the desktop, and in default Windows folders including Pictures (Digital photographs, clipart, drawings, and other image files)
Documents (Word processor files, spreadsheets, presentations, and other document files) Music (Music, play lists, CD tracks, and other audio files)
Video (Videos and movies)
E-mail (E-mail messages and contact lists that are stored on your computer
Compressed files (such as zip, rar, and cab) and Additional files.

Note: – Only local files in libraries are included in the backup. If you have files in a library that are saved on a network drive or on the Internet, they will not be included in the backup.

Another interesting note: If the destination drive is formatted using the NTFS file system and has enough disk space, a system image of your programs, Windows, and all drivers and registry settings will automatically be included in the backup. This image can be used to restore the contents of your computer if your hard drive or computer stops working.

If you choose to manually select the individual folders, libraries, and drives that you want to back up, all local files in the selected folders, libraries, and drives will be backed up. However, Windows Backup won’t back up the following items:
Files in known system folders (folders that contain files that Windows needs to run) – these are backed up only when you create a system image – read my “Working with System Image Backups in Windows 7”article for more information (insert link to existing article).
Known program files (files that define themselves as part of a program in the registry when the program is installed).
Files stored on hard disks that are formatted using the FAT file system. Files that are in the Recycle Bin.
Temporary files on drives that are smaller than 1 GB.
So, I selected to manually choose individual folders, libraries, and drives that I want to back up, and after pressing Next I was prompted with this screen. Behold! It seems that the Microsoft designers that worked on Windows Backup really “listened to the public” after all, and it now seems that one CAN individually select folders they wish to backup. I remind you, this was not possible in Vista…

If you expand your user name you will be able to select the types of files you wish to include in this backup.

When satisfied, press next.

In the next window you can change the backup’s schedule. By default it will take place each Sunday at 7:00 PM. Press Change Schedule and make whatever change you need.

Review your settings, and if done, press on the “Save settings and run backup” button.

After the backup job is finished, or at any other time in the future, you can press on the “Restore my files” button.