Upgrading the operating system ensures that files and applications are maintained on the computer and do not need to be reinstalled. There are two types of upgrades:
|Intra-edition upgrade||An intra-edition upgrade is when an existing installation of Windows 7 is upgraded to another edition of Windows 7. The general rule is that any edition of Windows 7 can be upgraded to another Windows 7 edition. The exception to this rule is upgrades to Enterprise, as this version is only available to volume licensing customers. Downgrades are not possible and must be done through a new installation.
There are two basic methods for Windows 7 intra-edition upgrades:
|Previous Windows version upgrade||Upgrading from a previous version of Windows to Windows 7 is only available if the installed operating system is Windows Vista SP1 or higher.
Be aware of the following previous version upgrade details:
Regardless of the upgrade type, consider the following:
- The Windows 7 license key is required during the upgrade.
- Cross-architecture upgrades are not supported (for example, upgrading from x86 to x64).
- Use the Upgrade Advisor tool to determine your computer's hardware readiness for Windows 7. The Upgrade Advisor evaluates your computer's hardware and software, and then creates a detailed report explaining which components either meet, exceed, or fall short of Windows 7 requirements. Before using the Upgrade Advisor:
- Ensure that your computer has the latest Windows updates.
- Connect all hardware you plan to use to your computer, such as printers, cameras, and scanners.