My Windows Vista to Windows 7 Upgrade Experience

I had purchased the upgrade version of Windows 7 Home Premium back in June when it was offered for $49.99; however, the delivery did not occur until the much anticipated October 22nd release date. Sure enough, I had an email in my Window’s Live account, on that date, informing me that I could download my copy of Windows 7.


I opted to download the 32 bit version in an ISO format. The download file was approximately 2.5 GB’s that I burned to a DVD. The first thing I did, prior to making this install, was to make sure that all of my “important” files were properly backed up. Once I had an updated backup, my Product key in hand and the install DVD created, I was ready to rock and roll.  I turned off or exited everything in the Windows system tray to prevent anything from possibly running in the background that could disrupt or interfere with the install routine.

Now, what I was about to do, goes against everything that a good tech will tell you when it comes to an operating system upgrade. I opted to perform a direct upgrade from Vista to Windows 7, instead of a clean install.


Now, this is a big deal on my PC, due to the fact that I am a customization, configuration and organization geek freak. I initiated the install process, by launching the Setup file on the DVD, at 11:15 PM.  By 11:30 PM, Windows 7 was already begging for an online update to continue the installation. I downloaded the update; however, the install would not proceed and reached a point that it was going to reboot; or I thought it was. I know patience is required during an OS install, so I waited (hard drive light “on” at full throttle), and I waited AND Nothing! I force the reboot and had to start back over from scratch. Whatever file that was downloaded, during the update, was the medicine that the Windows 7 install needed. By this time, it is 11:40 PM and I am finally in the actual Windows 7 install mode.

To make a long, long story short; between 11:40 PM to 1:45 AM (over 2 hours), the Windows 7 install ran full throttle and meticulously setup my PC for the Windows 7 environment. The only intervention on my part during this process was entering the product key at the end of the install routine (nearly 2.5 hours later).  Whatever you do, make sure you have that product key.

In the end, Windows 7 was completely setup on my PC and guess what?  Everything was there and it worked.  No device errors, software all accounted for and working, etc…  Was one of the easiest upgrades from one OS version to another that I have ever experienced; however, it was the longest (over 2.5 hours).

If you are planning to do a direct upgrade make sure you are prepared and have a lot of patience; especially if you are new to this.

Just when you think the upgrade (install) process is hanging, just wait and watch the hard drive indicator light and the onscreen prompts.  It will happen, but it is like birthing a baby… If you don’t have this kind of patience, and your PC is a mess anyway, then do like any good tech would do; perform a clean installation.

Reflected are some Windows 7 Resources that may be helpful to you if you are considering the upgrade:

Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7

Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7

Windows 7 Home Page

Step-by-Step: Windows 7 Upgrade and Migration


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15 thoughts on “My Windows Vista to Windows 7 Upgrade Experience

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  1. Hey Rick,

    Job well done!

    Instead of an upgrade though, I did a clean install which took less than 30 mins. Fastest install ever!!

    One benefit of a clean install is, all those programs that never get used are toast and that’s a bonus.



    1. Bill,

      I really was going to go the clean install route; BUT, I said what the heck, it may make for a good story. Would I do this again, now that I know it is time consuming? Well, now knowing that the transition from Vista to 7 on my PC resulted in no issues or problems and everything (and I mean everything) transferred over with not one problem, I would probably do this again.



  2. Congrats on the upgrade to seven! Like Bill, I also did a clean install. I wasn’t suffering from a lack of stories at the time! lol.

    I’m still running the RC (since May). Which means when the time is up, I have to do another clean install. I do wish I could keep things the same (just change a key for instance). Oh well, the price you pay!!

    On that note, I love Win7. I went with the 64bit version and haven’t had any problems.


  3. G,

    I had to do my best to keep things the same is why I went with the upgrade… Even though it ran for a couple of hours, I’m a very happy camper. I’m trying to see if during the install there any leftover files (debris), but I’m see nothing… Thanks for your input on this.



  4. Great article Rick. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    For those who will perform a “clean install” (such as those who will skip Vista, and go from XP to Win 7 [you cannot upgrade directly from XP]), Windows Easy Transfer makes it a breeze to “migrate” your user settings and your installed programs to the new Win 7 environment. (And it’s much faster.)
    You can do a machine to machine transfer, or use a USB storage device as a ‘middleman’.

    Microsoft really has a nice operating system here. Enjoy it, Rick, and keep us posted on your Win 7 experiences!


  5. i also upgraded from vista ultimate to windows 7 ultimate and i found its has features of vista and astability of xp and another deference in my boot time is boot very fast even than xp and i am happy to know that there is no comp ability issue all my software and hardware works last i only want to say i love windows 7………………………………….


  6. I am looking for some input/advice. I have a Toshiba Qosmio from 2 years ago, and it has Vista on it. the past few months it has not worked right, I took it to a personal computer repair guy (Not geek Squad) He make it all better, but I think he just put a bandaid on it. It freezes up about every 20 minutes and control alt delete doesnt even work. I am cuirous if all these issues are relating back to Vista… I am thinking of upgrading to Windows 7. My question is would it act as restore to the computer, meaning it wipes everything out? So I can start on a clean slate? Thanks for your input.


    1. Akc0228,

      Difficult to give an honest assessment of your PC problem without actually seeing it or more details; BUT, in answer to your question about whether it would act as a restore(?). There are (2)-two routes to go. One, you install Windows 7 as an upgrade and keep all of your setting, software, etc… The Second route, is to do a “clean install” that wipes out everything and installs Windows 7. The problem you are currently experiencing could be anything from malware (like a virus), power management (like hibernation, standyby), file corruption, hardware issue (like memory, video, etc…). Hope I have been somewhat helpful…



  7. @Akc0228,

    I agree with Rick re: hardware problem.

    Sounds to me as if you have a high heat related issue – overheated CPU, Video card, etc.

    You should ensure all fans are working properly, all components are dust free, vents are not clogged, etc.

    As well, you should run any one of the free Hard Drive, and memory testing applications.



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