We explain how to install Windows 7 on a laptop or PC running Windows XP.
Can you install Windows 7 on your XP PC or laptop?
First, download and run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to check if your current system can successfully run Windows 7. Most XP PCs will run Windows 7, but the Upgrade Advisor will run Windows 7. level will tell you for sure. It’s always worth adding more memory, regardless.
Buy Windows 7 for your XP PC or laptop
If you can run Windows 7, you need to purchase the software. Since XP to Windows 7 (or Windows 8) isn’t a one-step upgrade, you’ll need to do a fresh install, so you’ll need a full copy of Windows 7. Shopping online, you can pick up a boxed DVD version of Windows 7 Home Premium for around £50. This is an OEM or ‘original equipment manufacturer’ version. Alternatively, you can download Windows 7 from several vendors.
Either way, make sure you have the 32-bit version, unless your PC is a 64-bit system not available for XP PCs. Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will tell you this. (You can also see if you want to install Windows 8. For more, see How to upgrade to Windows 8.1)
Before you install Windows 7 on your XP PC or laptop
Before installing Windows 7 on an XP system, you need to back up all your data and all your programs. Windows 7 will in effect erase and reinstall your system, so everything on it will be lost unless you save. Fortunately, Microsoft offers the Windows Easy Transfer program for Windows XP to help.
Backing up files and data is relatively simple, but keep in mind that you will need installation files and codes for all the software programs you want. You’ll also want to update and run your antivirus before disabling it.
Install Windows 7 on an XP PC or laptop
Now, with your computer on and running Windows XP, insert the disc into your computer. Setup will start automatically. Otherwise, click Start, click My Computer, open the Windows 7 installation disc on your DVD drive, and then double-click setup.exe.
If you downloaded Windows 7 instead of buying a DVD, browse to the installation file you downloaded, then double-click it (usually identified as an Application file in the Type column).
If you created a bootable Windows 7 installation USB drive, insert it into your computer. Setup will start automatically. Otherwise, click the Start button, click Computer, double-click the drive, and then double-click setup.exe.
On the Install Windows page, click Install Now. On the Get critical installation updates page, get the latest updates to help ensure a successful installation and help protect your computer from security threats. Now click I accept the license terms, and then click Next.
What kind of settings do you want now? , click Customize. Select the partition that contains Windows XP (this is usually your computer’s C: drive), and then click Next.
In the Windows.old dialog box, click ok. Follow the instructions to complete the Windows 7 installation, including naming your computer and setting up the initial user account. You can use the same names you used in Windows XP or choose new ones.
Now you will need to copy back all the files you backed up and reinstall all your XP software packages.
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