Windows 7 offers a wide range of improvements in usability and performance. From simplifying everyday tasks to adding new power-saving features, there is something to be found in Windows 7 for every user.
You may be able to run Windows 7 on your current PC, depending on your hardware and what system you’re running now. Here is an important checklist to go through before you purchase a Windows 7 upgrade for your department.
- Run Microsoft’s compatibility checker. Download and run this simple software tool to determine if there will be any conflicts. Click here to download this now. This tool will also determine if you meet the minimum system requirements. (Click here to view these requirements.)
- Check with your software vendors for compatibility. Some applications may not run under Windows 7, particularly utilities and specialized software tools. Only your software vendor will know.
- Back up your files. Before starting any major upgrade you should always back up your files.
Two Upgrade Paths
There are two upgrade paths for Windows 7, depending on which operating system you computer is currently running. It is important to know the differences.
Windows Vista SP1: In-Place Upgrade
If your system is running Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 or later, you can perform an in-place upgrade. This will leave all your files and programs untouched during the upgrade process. (In some cases new versions of some programs may need to be reinstalled. The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will produce a report during the upgrade process.)
Windows XP: Custom (Advanced) Installation
For systems with Windows XP, or Windows Vista that has not been upgraded to SP1 or later, you will need to perform a custom installation. You will need to save all your files, documents, pictures, video, music, etc., before performing this type of upgrade, as they will all be erased. You will also need to reinstall all your applications, so please be sure you have all your program discs before starting.
Additional Custom (Advanced) Installation Scenarios
You will also need to perform a custom installation, requiring the backing up of all data and reinstallation of all applications, if you are doing one of the following:
- You are migrating from a 32-bit version of Windows Vista to a 64-bit version of Windows 7, or a 64-bit version of Windows Vista to a 32-bit version of Windows 7.
- If you are moving from Windows Vista in one language to Windows 7 in a different language.
- If you are moving from a higher edition to a lower edition (e.g. going from Windows Vista Enterprise to Windows 7 Professional).
32-bit and 64-bit Versions Available
It is important to install the correct version of Windows 7 on your system. Click here for instructions on determining which version of Windows you are currently running.
If your system is currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, but your processor can support the 64-bit version of Windows 7, and you opt to migrate to this version of Windows 7, please note that you will need to perform a custom (advanced) installation. Please consult with your hardware vendor to make this determination.
Please consult with your IT support if you are not able to determine which version of Windows 7 your system can support
Windows 7 Enterprise vs. Professional
Windows 7 Enterprise offers the most complete set of features available, including important data file protection. For a list of features offered in Enterprise that are not available in Professional, click here.
These additional features may create a level of complexity that some clients are uncomfortable with, as well as creating a larger installation footprint. For these clients we also offer Windows 7 Professional as a download option.
Windows XP Mode and Downgrade Rights
Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8th, 2014. There will be no further security updates or technical support. Visit Microsoft for more information.
Some clients may have applications that work only in Windows XP. It is recommended that they speak with their software vendor to determine if an upgrade is available. If not, it is possible the application may run under Windows XP Mode, an additional download that allows you run older Windows XP business software right on your Windows 7 desktop.
Windows XP Mode is a free download. Click here to start.
For users who require the full version of Windows XP, you may request a downgrade.