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Upgrade from Vista to Windows 7

If you’re currently running Vista, it’s incredibly simple to upgrade your PC to Windows 7 – in fact, your files and settings won’t even be touched in the process

By , 22 Oct 2009 at 10:19

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The best way to move to Windows 7 is always a clean install, as it ensures everything is precisely how Microsoft designed it to be from the start.

However, that can be a real pain if you already have a Vista PC set up to your liking. Thankfully, Windows 7 can be upgraded very easily from Vista, but only when you match the version of Windows 7 you buy to your version of Vista.

It isn’t hard to figure out which version you should buy: Vista Home Premium upgrades to Windows 7 Home Premium, for example, and you need to install 32-bit (as opposed to 64-bit) Windows 7 over 32-bit Vista. If you want to check for certain which version is right, use Microsoft’s Upgrade Advisor tool, which scans your current PC and gives you the upgrade information you’ll need.

In theory, the upgrade process should leave your existing files completely as they are, but there’s always the slim chance of something going awry.

If there are any files you can’t afford to lose, just copy them onto an external hard disk or USB stick – or, if you have many, run a full backup. Once you’re confident you have everything you need safe and sound, you can begin the upgrade process.

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User comments

Upgrade Vs clean Install

Is there any long term advantages with the upgrade method?

I opted for the fresh install on a new partition, keeping Vista as dual boot set up.

However W7 does not have 'windows mail or Calender'.
If I opted for the upgrade from Vista would I still have Vista's calender/ mail programs?

I tried Windows live, it OK, but I have set up shortcut's from Vista's partition onto W7 desktop so I can still use the calender/ mail in W7.
I there a better way of doing this?

By Tibbs on 28 Oct 2009

Smooth as a baby's bottom

I recently upgraded a customer from Vista Home Premium 32-bit to Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. It was the first time I'd used the Easy Transfer Wizard. What a joy to use! It was utterly seamless and saved me hours of work, and the customer even more money.

By AndyChips on 26 Nov 2009

32-64 bit easy transfer?

Re: Andy chips' comment.

Did you get any issues using easy transfer from 32 bit machine to 64 bit machine?
I know easy transfer wont go the other way (64 to 32 bit) as I tried it on a customer machine (x64 Win 7 home premium to x86 win 7 pro) and it failed saying you cannot do that. I assumed it would be the same both ways.


By EITeng on 29 Jan 2010

Dual Boot

I assume that if I choose Clean Install so that I can Dual Boot I will need to re-install all the Apps that I already have installed under Vista ?

By BingleyBoy on 8 Feb 2010

One way to approach this would be to use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone, capture your machine, install VMware Workstation, on the machine you are going to upgrade test the captured machine, if all well back up that captured machine, do a clean install of Win7 then reinstall VMware Workstation, configure VMware Workstation to use captured VM, if all gone well you will have your old machine running in a virtual machine on top of your shiny new Win7 OS a side benefit no dual booting required.
I would install the 64b windows in effect you will then be able to upgrade your PC's ram the the maximum your motherboard would accept.

Note:- you will need to Buy a license for VMware Workstation, and depending on the ram installed, you may need to upgrade this.


By Chrisfjr1300 on 14 Mar 2011


i am a complete novice. i have vista on my pc it has AMD dual core 2.2GHZ 2GB RAM 32 bit I want to upgrade to Win7 please explain "clean instal" V upgrade. Does clean install mean i have to uninstall vista? also is there any advantage in instaling 64 bit Finally would i be better starting with a new tower? Many thanks. P.S. it is hard keeping up with the grand kids

By morant02 on 5 Mar 2014

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