There are few things in life more difficult than upgrading your computer by yourself. For the novice computer user, the process of upgrading to Windows 7 can be a time consuming and frustrating ordeal. Windows 7 will make your computing applications faster and simpler to use; however, you should consider the following three step approach to a trouble free upgrade to Windows 7.
First and most importantly, you will need to back up all of your data on your computer system. I have heard horror stories of people who lost years of work because they did not make a backup of their data prior to upgrading. Their screams of anguish are certainly a testament to the importance of backing up your data. Imagine if you lost a year’s worth of writings or all of your original artwork because you did not make a backup. Just because you have heard Windows 7 is a better operating system doesn’t mean that it can’t destroy your data during a failed upgrade. At a minimum you should take the time to back up your most important programs and data using the backup software that came with your computer.
Second, you should determine if your computer meets the minimum system requirements to run Windows 7. (please refer to the manual that came with your computer to determine your computer’s configuration) Although Microsoft states that you will only need 1 gigabyte of memory, a 1 Ghz microprocessor and a DirectX 9 graphics card to run Windows 7, your investment in this configuration will certainly leave you wishing you never upgraded at all as your system performs at a snail’s pace! Based on my own experience, I would recommend that you should have at least 4 gigabytes of memory, a 2 Ghz microprocessor, and a graphics accelerator card before you even think of upgrading to Windows 7. Your hard drive should at a minimum be able to hold at least 16 Gigabytes of data since Windows 7 will eventually eat up over 1 Gigabyte of space on your hard drive. For the computer novice who is unsure of what exactly all this terminology means, I would suggest that you refer to the manual that came with computer and consult with a local computer store before you consider upgrading.
Third, it is time to do some spring cleaning on your hard drive; delete unwanted programs and run the system utility programs that came with your computer. This can be compared to giving your car a tune up. Your computer will run better and you will have less problems when you upgrade to Windows 7. Check your computer’s hard drive for programs that you no longer use and delete them. Next, you should run a utility program that came with your computer called ‘defrag’. Your computer’s hard drive does not store the data in the most efficient manner. Imagine trying to find a book in a library that had all of the books beginning with ‘A’ placed where you would find books beginning with ‘M’. ‘Defrag’ will rearrange your computer’s hard drive so that the computer will have an easier time in finding the data.
Finally the moment you have been waiting for has arrived; installing Windows 7! If you have followed the three step approach I have mentioned, you will have no problems in entering the world of Windows 7. All that is left to do is insert the Windows 7 DVD in your computer and follow the on screen instructions to complete the installation of your new operating system. You will find that the new features of Windows 7, such as multitasking your applications, easy internet access and the speed in getting your work done will be a great benefit to you computing experience.