IT tutorials
 
Windows
 

Windows 7 : Hardware and Software Compatibility (part 1) - The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor - Using the Upgrade Advisor

- How To Install Windows Server 2012 On VirtualBox
- How To Bypass Torrent Connection Blocking By Your ISP
- How To Install Actual Facebook App On Kindle Fire
2/17/2014 8:24:44 PM

1. Hidden Perils of the Windows 7 Upgrade

With all the new features and functionality provided by Windows 7, you might be tempted to buy a retail version of the operating system and install it over your existing copy of Windows Vista or, in the case of Windows XP, perform a migration-type upgrade.

  • Your old PC may not be up to the challenge of running Windows 7. You may need substantial investments in additional RAM, a more capable video card, a larger hard drive, or all of the above to get adequate performance from Windows 7.

  • Some of your hardware, such as printers and networking adapters, may not work at all after you install Windows 7—unless you update the drivers they need to versions that are Windows 7–compatible.

  • Even if you find that one or more of your drivers need to be updated, the vendor of your hardware may not make a Windows 7–compatible version available for months, years, or ever. (It's happened before with previous versions of Windows.)

  • Some of the software that's installed and running just fine in Windows XP may not work properly once you've performed the upgrade.

  • Finally, some software or hardware may never work in Windows 7. Companies do go out of business, after all. Others simply stop supporting older models to entice you to upgrade to a new machine.

Avoid Installing Windows 7 over Windows Vista

We recommend that you get Windows 7 preinstalled with your next new PC. This is the best way to acquire Windows 7. Another reasonable option, assuming you know what you're doing and have recent hardware, is to purchase a retail version of Windows 7 and then perform a clean install of the OS on your existing PC. We don't recommend that you install Windows 7 over Windows Vista.

Here's why. Installing Windows 7 on top of Windows Vista may cause incompatibility problems that you might not be able to fix easily. When you buy a new PC with Windows 7 preinstalled, it's almost certain that the components in the PC will have been selected for their compatibility and will have the latest driver software. PC makers also support their products with Web sites that provide the latest known drivers. These sites aren't usually as up-to-date as they should be, but they will at least work.

In general, you shouldn't consider installing Windows 7 on a PC that previously ran Windows XP or Vista unless the following conditions are true:

  • You need a feature of Windows 7 that you can't add to XP. (Much less likely with Vista.)

  • You need an application that requires Windows 7.

  • You can't afford even the least expensive new PC that comes with Windows 7 preinstalled.

Even if one of the preceding conditions is true, you may be better off backing up all of your old data to a CD/DVD or removable hard disk, formatting the old PC's hard drive, and doing a clean install of Windows 7. This avoids the possibility that some components of the old OS will hang around to cause conflicts. If you've never backed up and formatted a hard drive, however, don't try to learn how on any PC that's important to you.


2. The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

To help you determine whether your current PC has the performance characteristics and hardware and software compatibility needed to avoid issues before upgrading or migrating to Windows 7, Microsoft provides a handy tool called the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.

The Upgrade Advisor performs an analysis of your PC and is partly designed as a marketing tool, as it will recommend which version of Windows 7 is right for your system. (Curiously, it almost always recommends one of the more expensive, premium versions.) The Upgrade Advisor also provides real-world benefit outside of Microsoft's needs: it will tell you which hardware devices and software applications need updates before they can work with Windows 7; and because the back end of the Upgrade Advisor application runs on Microsoft's servers, it always provides up-to-date information.

NOTE

While the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor is primarily designed to help users of previous Windows versions discover whether their PC can be upgraded successfully to Windows 7, it also has a secret second use: it can be run on Windows 7 and used to determine whether your PC is able to run a more capable (and more expensive) version of Windows 7.

1. Using the Upgrade Advisor

The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor is a simple wizard-like application, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor can be used to determine whether your PC has what it takes to compute in the 21st century.

The Upgrade Advisor is designed to test two different kinds of hardware compatibility:

  • Whether your hardware is fast enough and modern enough to run Windows 7 satisfactorily

  • Whether your device drivers are compatible with Windows 7

The Upgrade Advisor's initial screen suggests that you should plug in any devices you may want to use with Windows 7. It's easy to forget some, but this is absolutely the right time to have them checked out, so here's a short list to jog your memory about the various devices you want to ensure are plugged into your PC and powered on before you start the Upgrade Advisor's system scan:

  • Printers and scanners (make sure they're powered on not just plugged in)

  • External hard disk drives, backup devices, and USB drives of all kinds

  • An extra USB hub that you seldom use—plug it in anyway to check it

  • Spare USB keyboards and mice that you may have forgotten

  • An iPod, Zune, or other MP3 player, even if you seldom synchronize it to your PC

  • Headphones and other audio devices (they may require audio drivers that won't be tested unless the devices are jacked in to an audio port).

When you've checked for all of the preceding and you are satisfied that you've plugged in and turned on everything you might want to test, click the Start check button in the Upgrade Advisor to continue. Depending on the speed of your system, the scan (see Figure 2) can take anywhere from a minute or two to several minutes.

Figure 2. Hold your breath, as the moment of truth awaits.

 
Others
 
- Windows 8 : Using the Control Panel Items (part 16) - Windows Update
- Windows 8 : Using the Control Panel Items (part 15) - Windows Mobile Device Center
- Windows 8 : Using the Control Panel Items (part 14) - User Accounts - Configuring an Account, Recovering Lost Passwords, Creating a User Account Password Reset Disk
- Windows 8 : Using the Control Panel Items (part 13) - User Accounts - Adding a Local User Account
- Windows 8 : Using the Control Panel Items (part 12) - Sync Center
- Windows 8 : Using the Control Panel Items (part 11) - Speech Recognition
- Windows 8 : Using the Control Panel Items (part 10) - Programs and Features, Recovery, Region and Language
- Windows 8 : Using the Control Panel Items (part 9) - Power Options
- Windows 8 : Using the Control Panel Items (part 8) - Fonts,Indexing Options
- Windows 8 : Using the Control Panel Items (part 7) - Device Stage, Display
 
25 Inspiring Game of Thrones Quotes
 
Top 10
 
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 2) - Wireframes,Legends
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 1) - Swimlanes
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Formatting and sizing lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Adding shapes to lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Sizing containers
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 3) - The Other Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 2) - The Data Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 1) - The Format Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Form Properties and Why Should You Use Them - Working with the Properties Window
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Using the Organization Chart Wizard with new data
programming4us programming4us
 
Popular tags
 
Video Tutorail Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Biztalk Exchange Server Microsoft LynC Server Microsoft Dynamic Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Indesign Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe After Effects Adobe Photoshop Adobe Fireworks Adobe Flash Catalyst Corel Painter X CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 QuarkXPress 8 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 BlackBerry Android Ipad Iphone iOS