Learn how to upgrade Windows Vista to Windows 7.
Windows 7’s Hardware Requirements
Here are the minimum hardware requirements of a computer that Windows 7 can be installed on.
Note: If your computer is running Windows Vista, it should be fully compatible with Windows 7 according to Microsoft.
If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here’s what it takes:
- 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
- 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Additional requirements to use certain features:
- Internet access (fees may apply)
- Depending on resolution, video playback may require additional memory and advanced graphics hardware
- For some Windows Media Center functionality a TV tuner and additional hardware may be required
- Windows Touch and Tablet PCs require specific hardware
- HomeGroup requires a network and PCs running Windows 7
- DVD/CD authoring requires a compatible optical drive
- BitLocker requires Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2
- BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive
- Windows XP Mode requires an additional 1 GB of RAM, an additional 15 GB of available hard disk space, and a processor capable of hardware virtualization with Intel VT or AMD-V turned on
- Music and sound require audio output
Product functionality and graphics may vary based on your system configuration. Some features may require advanced or additional hardware.
Upgrade Windows Vista to Windows 7
- Insert the Windows 7 upgrade DVD while Windows Vista is running.
- Windows Vista will ask if it should allow the Windows 7 installation program to run. Choose to allow the Windows 7 installation program to run.
- Before you upgrade Windows Vista to Windows 7 I highly recommend checking the computer’s compatibility with Windows 7 online.
- Start the upgrade to Windows 7 by clicking Install now.
- Choose to go online and get the latest updates for the installation if you have internet access at this time.
- Agree to the license terms and then click Next.
- Choose the Upgrade option.
- Sit back and watch the upgrade. This might take several hours to complete.
Note: During the upgrade the computer will restart several times. If it asks you to press any key to boot from the Windows 7 DVD after it restarts during the upgrade, don’t. Just let it do its thing.
- Type the product key that is included with the Windows 7 upgrade DVD, uncheck Automatically activate Windows when I’m online, and then click Next.
Note: I highly recommend not letting Windows 7 automatically activate itself. I like to use it for a few days and make sure everything works like it should. Once you activate Windows 7 the product key is “married” to the computer and can’t be activated on any other computer.
You don’t have to enter a product key at this time. Simply leave the product key field blank and click Next. You can legally use Windows 7 for 30 days (or 150 if you know a trick) before having to enter a product key and activate Windows 7.
- Select to Use recommended settings.
- Set the time zone, daylight saving time, date, time settings, and then click Next.
- Select the type of network this computer is connected to.
Note: If the computer has wireless capabilities and it’s in range of a wireless network, you’ll be asked if you would like to join one. It’s a good idea to join the wireless network now.
- Give Windows 7 a few minutes to finalize a few settings and it will be ready to go!
Still need help? Ask your computer question now.