Windows 7 – Upgrade or Not

The much awaited Windows 7 launch date (Oct 22) is rapidly approaching.  There’s been a fair amount of hype about this new Operating System from Microsoft (well deserved, in my opinion) so now we have to start looking at our options.  Simply put, we have three basic options.  One, buy a new computer with this new OS installed.  Two, upgrade an existing computer.  Three, do nothing.  All are viable options, but if you are one of those anxious to get your hands on this new OS the third options is not so much of an option at all.  And buying a new computer with this new OS may also be a fairly expensive option, so Let’s look at the Upgrade choice.  That being the primary topic, the big question now is not whether end users should adopt the system, but whether they should upgrade. When I speak of upgrade, what I’m really talking about is to install over the existing system as opposed to perform clean install.  I’ve done both and the outcome from either choice yields very different experiences.

An upgrade tends to be a more desirable choice, in many viewpoints, because this option may mean that you are able to preserve existing files, setting, applications and profile data (desktop, favorites, etc.).  This would tend to be the simplest option and yield the fewest hassle.  I mean, really, who wants to go through the hassles of installing all the applications, setting up printers, copying profile information and all that goes with getting a new system up and running with the apps and tools that we are accustom to using.  But, this option may not even be available to you, depending upon your circumstances.  Only those on Windows Vista will have a true upgrade option.  If you are still running Windows XP you will have to do a clean install.  O.K., now for the bad news (like that was the good).  Even if you are running Windows Vista you way want to rethink the upgrade option.  An upgrade may end up taking hours (and I’m talking about the better part of a day) and the end results may be a seriously “hobbled” computer.  You may find that the system performs poorly and many of the programs that you had hoped to not have to reinstall may required reinstallation after all. 

On a notebook computer that was running Windows XP (requiring a clean install) took about 20 minutes to install the new OS.  That time did not include the backup of the existing data in a format that would be readily available when I wanted to move it back into this newly installed, excellently performing, system.  I’ve got to tell you that this was a pleasant surprise because installing Windows XP would normally take around an hour.  In this case, I never even had to pull down any updated drives because Windows 7 recognized everything on the computer and configured everything accordingly.

Once the installation was complete, things were smooth… no crashes, hangs or slowdowns.  I got online, got updates and installed the necessary software, and it was ready for work.  The applications ran smoothly, start-up and shutdown times were quicker and the apps even ran faster.  All in all, it was a great experience and the end results were better than expected.  So, given the choice, go clean install.  You won’t migrate bad things into a good OS. 

Are you ready for Windows 7?  I have to admit, it took all my willpower to refrain from saying “Are you ready for some football? 

Have a great day,


Posted in: Windows 7

Leave a Comment (0) ↓