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Published on 09.17.09 by Brent Trahan

Upgrade Windows Vista to Windows 7

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

  1. Insert the Windows 7 upgrade DVD while Windows Vista is running.
  2. 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.
  3. Before you upgrade Windows Vista to Windows 7 I highly recommend checking the computer’s compatibility with Windows 7 online.


  4. Start the upgrade to Windows 7 by clicking Install now.
  5. Choose to go online and get the latest updates for the installation if you have internet access at this time.


  6. Agree to the license terms and then click Next.


  7. Choose the Upgrade option.


  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Select to Use recommended settings.


  11. Set the time zone, daylight saving time, date, time settings, and then click Next.


  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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2 Responses to “Upgrade Windows Vista to Windows 7”

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  1. berthold says:

    well worth upgrading to windows 7!

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