Windows 7 does not provide an easy upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows. So if you are running Windows XP and want to move to Windows 7 you have to get your hands dirty with a few extra work. The steps involved are these: First copy your Windows XP files and settings to a removable media, such as an external hard drive Next, you will install Windows 7 and then migrate your files back from the removable media onto your computer. When you are finished, you must install your software programs again, but your files and settings will remain intact from Windows XP.
Here are steps in detail:
Copy files using Windows Easy Transfer
1. Insert the Windows 7 DVD while running Windows XP. If the Windows 7 installation window opens automatically, close it.
2. Open Windows Explorer and browse to the DVD drive on your computer and click migsetup.exe in the Support\Migwiz directory.
3. The Windows Easy Transfer window opens. Click Next.
4. Select An external hard disk or USB flash drive.
5. Click “This is my old computer”. Windows Easy Transfer scans the computer.
6. You can also determine which files should be migrated by selecting only the user profiles you want to transfer, or by clicking Customize.
7. Enter a password to protect your Easy Transfer file, or leave the box blank, and then click Save.
8. Browse to the external location on the removable media where you want to save your Easy Transfer file, and then click Save.
Use the Windows 7 DVD to upgrade
9. Start Windows 7 Setup by browsing to the root folder of the DVD in Windows Explorer, and then double clicking setup.exe.
10. Accept the license terms and click Next.
11. Click Custom to perform an upgrade to your existing Windows installation.
Note: 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.
The folders that are stored in the Windows.old folder contain some files that you used in the earlier version of Windows. The type of files that are stored depends on your computer. We recommend that you always back up any important files before you install a new operating system.
12. Select the partition where you would like to install Windows. To move your existing Windows installation into a Windows.old folder and replace the operating system with Windows 7, select the partition where your current Windows installation is located.
13. Proceed with the installation as usual.
Copy files to the destination computer
14. Insert the removable media where you have copied Windows XP settings.
15. Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Windows Easy Transfer.
16. The Windows Easy Transfer window opens. Click Next.
17. Click An external hard disk or USB flash drive.
18. Click This is my new computer.
19. Click Yes, browse to the location where the Easy Transfer file was saved and open it.
20. 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.
Post Installation Cleanup
1. To reclaim the disk space, you can delete the Windows.old directory using the Disk Cleanup system tool by following these steps: Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.
2. Click Clean up system files. Previous installations of Windows are scanned.
3. Select Previous Windows installations and any other categories of files you want to delete.
4. Click OK and then click Delete Files.