This past weekend, I upgraded from Vista to Windows 7. the purpose of this post is to give others thinking about going down the same past an idea of what the upgrade pocess is like.

To begin, here are my suggestions:

  1. Backup your data. We all should be doing this anyway.
  2. Find the “Product Key” on the sleeve which holds the upgrade CD. You be asked for it at the end of the process.
  3. Find your documentation related to your anti-virus program. If you have an account with Norton, McAfee, etc., be sure you know your login and password.
  4. Reserve half a day for the process. Go ahead and block out an afternoon when you can be without the use of your computer. Gather some other work you can be doing that which does not require a great deal of concentration. So, it you have a backlog of magazines, TV programs you had recorded, stuff to sort through and organize, etc., that would be a good opportunity to knock off several birds with one stone.
  5. Be sure you know how to remove a program by going to your Control Panels and choosing “Add/Remove Programs.”
  6. If you are a little nervous about the process, invite a good friend over who is fairly tech savvy and feed him or her a good meal.

Here is my experience with the upgrade process:

  1. The printed directions which came with my upgrade were very minimal–front of back and one half-page. They basically directed me as to which of the two CD-ROMS to insert first and told me to follow the directions on screen.
  2. The software first scanned my computer to be sure my system met the requirements necessary to run Windows 7.
  3. Next, there were certain items that the software told me would need to be removed. The software automatically handled the removal of those programs for me. Don’t worry–Office was not one of the things it needed to remove. I was a little concerned, because my anti-virus program was among those that needed to be removed.
  4. There were times when I thought the computer had locked up. The percentage of progress wasn’t changing, but just when I was about to give up hope, the numbers would change.
  5. The computer will need to re-start a few times. Each time, you start from the beginning of the CD-ROM again, yet each time, it moves through the steps in the CD-ROM faster.
  6. For some reason, there was one program that was not identified as needeing to be removed, yet later in the installation, I received an error message that it would have to be removed manually before installation could proceed. I had to go to Control Panels and manually remove this program. After that, the upgrade disks was satisfied.
  7. Towards the end of the process, I was asked for the “Product Key.” This number was on the sleeve that contained the upgrade CD.
  8. The software reinstalled the compatible versions of the software that it had removed except for the anti-virus program.
  9. When the installation finished and I was finally back up and running, there was one little alert i the lower right corner that wold be very easy to miss. When I clicked on the alert, I was told that an anti-virus program was not installed. What was extremely helpful was that I was shown a screen with icons of all of the major anti-virus manufacturers. There were even free options included in the list. When I clicked on the McAfee icon (which is the program I had been using), I was taken to the proper screen to download the antivirus program.
  10. The options I was given at that point were to download a 90-day trial or purchase the program. Since a subscription had come with the computer I had purchased a couple of months earlier, I was not real crazy about buying it again. The same screen gave me the option to log into my account. Since I had my user name and password handy, I was able to log in. I saw information for my current subscription and was able to download and install the program with no problems. I assume that this was all for no charge. I guess I will know for sure when my next credit card statement comes! Most importantly, I had my anti-virus program back.

I hope reading the details of what I experienced will help some other who are looking at installing this upgrade.