Recently, many systems that shipped with Windows Vista were eligible to take advantage of a special offer to upgrade free to Windows 7. Unfortunately, that offer has come and gone.
However, upgrading is still relatively straightforward when performed through in-place upgrades; this will leave all settings and programs intact during the transition. Before beginning, however, it is wise to back up your data first.
Table of Contents
1. Download the Windows 7 Media Creation Tool
Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool makes upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 simple and free; simply visit their store and use this easy program. With it you can either create an ISO file for download or use USB devices for installation of software directly on the PC. However, for in-place upgrades it is advised that all files and programs be backed up prior to proceeding; additionally you should make sure your computer meets system requirements for Windows 7.
Step one is downloading and running Microsoft’s Windows 7 Media Creation Tool as administrator, after which it will display license terms and notices, which must be accepted before selecting either “Upgrade this PC” or “Create installation media.”
Once you click ‘Upgrade this PC,’ the program will begin downloading updates and checking your computer for issues. This may take some time; once complete, it will copy temporary files before installing Windows 7 permanently onto your machine – all before rebooting itself for you to enjoy Windows 7!
Recall that Windows Vista lost mainstream support in 2012. Although you can still purchase licenses for it, upgrading to Windows 7 would provide better security features and will prevent hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities that could compromise your computer. In addition, signing up for Windows Insider Preview program provides access to preview versions of future operating system releases; and this service is free!
2. Create a bootable USB
Before upgrading, it is recommended that you back up all of your files on the computer. As this process will erase your existing operating system and any programs or hardware not compatible with Windows 7 may become inoperable; additionally, check compatibility of software installed prior to beginning.
Step one is downloading and running Microsoft’s free Windows 7 Media Creation Tool on your PC, followed by entering in your product key (found inside your operating system’s disk holder) as Step two. If using biometric security on your computer, make sure that a password has been written down prior to upgrading; otherwise you will have to reset it afterward.
Once you have both an ISO file and product key for Windows 7, WinUSB Maker makes it easy to create a bootable USB. Simply open up the program, select your Windows 7 ISO file, click “Make USB Bootable,” and overwrite any data on your USB drive – this process should complete automatically.
Before initiating this upgrade process, make sure your USB flash drive has sufficient storage space to accommodate for the installation of a new operating system. Also ensure it is plugged into the computer before beginning any program; once this step has completed, upgrade can commence.
Once your USB drive has been formatted and your Windows installation begins, boot off it using its bootloader and follow its on-screen instructions to install Windows. Enter your product key before continuing the process – once complete, your computer will be ready to be used!
3. Run the Media Creation Tool
The Windows 10 Media Creation Tool is a free utility from Microsoft that can help users to easily create DVD or USB installation drives for the latest version of Windows 10. Available online and compatible with computers that have at least 8GB free space available, the program scans your computer for updates and recommends installing them before continuing, as well as offer upgrade options if available – an essential step when trying to ensure you’re receiving the most up-to-date version.
Before beginning, a screen will display license terms and applicable notices, so clicking ‘Accept’ can start the download. When it completes, you have two options for creating installation media: create installation media manually or using existing DVD or ISO files; this may take some time depending on your computer and Internet speed.
Once the installation process begins, it will copy files and install updates, a process which can take a few hours to complete. For best results during this time period, keep your computer powered up and connected to the Internet.
Once your upgrade has completed, your computer will reboot and show the Windows logo – so now it’s time to enjoy its many features without fearing losing data or settings! If you have any inquiries about upgrading, feel free to reach out – our staff would love to assist in making sure you make the most of your system and we look forward to hearing from you!
4. Enter your product key
Microsoft may no longer offer free upgrades for Vista users, but you can still take an in-place upgrade path to Windows 7. This involves installing and activating the new OS over your existing one – this can take time but may be worthwhile if you plan to keep using your older computer for longer; although some files and settings may not transfer over.
To perform an in-place upgrade, you will require a 25-character Windows product key which you can find either inside the box, on DVD sleeve or email purchase confirmation. Additionally, an active internet connection and backup of data should also be available; you may use free software tools to recover this product key from your registry and also ensure compatibility of hardware and installed programs with new OS version.
Once you enter your product key, Windows 7 setup will commence the conversion of your computer over to its new operating system and will install all required updates as quickly as possible. Please ensure you have an adequate Internet connection and backups of any important data before beginning. Initially it will copy files before restoring them back from backups before installing its new OS and implementing all updates available – not to mention keeping you informed with security patches!
After upgrading to Windows 7, you can take advantage of any software included with or purchased separately, sign up for Microsoft’s Insider program, test new versions before their official releases and continue receiving updates for Windows 7 until 2022 – however Microsoft may soon stop supporting Vista altogether!
5. Click Next
Switching from Windows Vista to Windows 7 can be a straightforward and easy process if your PC is compatible; typically this should take only a few hours. Before beginning the upgrade process, however, it’s advisable to create backup copies of all your files – this way should anything go amiss during your upgrade, your data should remain protected.
Before beginning, you’ll require a copy of Windows 7 on a DVD disc or flash drive. While installing it through any method is possible, using physical disc will allow for easier reinstallation if something goes wrong with your OS installation.
Once you have the disk, run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to determine whether your computer is compatible with Windows 7. Once this step has been completed, proceed with actual installation of Windows 7.
Setup will carry out several tasks during installation, such as searching for compatible hardware, copying files, saving settings and programs, installing updates and rebooting to load its new version of Windows. This process may last anywhere between five minutes to an hour depending on your computer configuration; once complete, Setup will reboot with its newly loaded operating system.
Microsoft may no longer offer free upgrades of older versions of its Windows OS, but an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 remains available. Furthermore, members of its Insider program can gain access to it for free upon enrolling.