In 2009, Microsoft released the Windows 7 operating system. Windows 7 features a redesigned user interface and new file-sorting options to help users keep their data organized. Microsoft has made Windows 7 available in two versions: a full installation disc for any user with a compatible computer, and a less expensive upgrade disc for users of Windows Vista. You can use a Windows 7 upgrade disc on your Windows Vista computer to install a new version of Windows without losing your data or installed software.
Place the Windows 7 upgrade disc in your computer's optical drive after loading Windows Vista. If an "AutoPlay" window appears, click "Run Setup.exe." The window should display the message "Published by Microsoft Corporation."
Click the "Install Now" button. Windows copies files from the disc to a temporary folder on the hard drive before starting the Windows 7 installation program.
Click "Go online to get the latest updates for installation" if your computer has an active Internet connection. This causes the installation program to download all available updates from the Internet before proceeding. To decline downloading updates, click "Do not get the latest updates for installation."
Click the "x86" version of Windows 7 to upgrade a 32-bit edition of Windows Vista, or click "x64" to upgrade a 64-bit edition. If you are unsure of which version to select, you are most likely running a 32-bit edition of Windows Vista. Click "Next."
Read the Windows 7 license agreement, and then indicate that you agree to the terms by clicking "I accept the license terms" and "Next."
Click the "Upgrade" button. The Windows 7 upgrade process begins. The installation program may require up to 30 minutes to copy and install all data. Do not be alarmed if the computer restarts during the installation. Windows 7 loads automatically after finishing the upgrade.
Click "Use Recommended Settings" to have Windows 7 download all important updates and automatically configure Internet Explorer for maximum safety.
Click your time zone and select the current date. Click "Next."
Select the type of network that your computer is connected to using the "Home Network," "Work Network" and "Public Network" buttons. The Windows 7 desktop appears, and the computer is ready to use.
- The Ultimate edition of Windows 7 allows upgrades from all editions of Windows Vista. However, home-oriented and business-oriented editions of Windows 7 can only be used to upgrade similar editions of Windows Vista. Microsoft's website lists all editions of Windows Vista and their corresponding Windows 7 editions.