A few tips for upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8
Less than a month, namely, April 8, Microsoft will end support for Windows XP. Thus, from this day forward, the company will no longer provide any kind of support for its 13 year old operating system. Moreover, the OS will become more vulnerable to attacks and malware, as new drivers for your devices and software will not support Windows XP as such. This means that it’s time to upgrade to a more modern operating system like Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Here are a few tips that you should not overlook before you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8 or Windows 7.
Because Windows 7 and Windows 8 are more powerful than Windows XP, both operating systems designed to run on modern hardware, so you should think about compatibility.
If you want to migrate from Windows XP, the first thing you need to do is make sure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements of the OS that you want to go. In addition, you must ensure that your programs and devices will work in the new system. This process will be easier if you install and run the «upgrade Advisor for Windows 7 or the upgrade Assistant to Windows 8.1» – software that will help you verify whether your computer is ready to a new version of the operating system.
System requirements Windows 8.1
Minimum system requirements
1 GHz or faster
1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
I recommend having 4 GB of RAM
Graphics processor (GPU)
Device with support for Microsoft DirectX 9 with WDDM driver
16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
Minimum 1024×768 to access Windows Store and 1366×768 to use the Snap functions
I’m sure you will not be happy if after updating you will learn that the driver of the network card, sound card, or USB-bus is not supported in the new OS. Therefore it is very important to pre-test and the availability of compatible drivers. To download the very latest drivers, it is best to visit the website of the manufacturer of your PC. In addition, you can open «device Manager» to search for the latest drivers on the Internet for each component and device connected to your computer.
Older programs and alternatives
In case you use a number of old programs, be sure to verify that they will work in Windows 7 or Windows 8. It is likely that some of your programs will not work because it was designed for Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 even existed. If this program is of great importance to you, you will be able to continue to use it with Windows XP mode for Windows 7 (Professional, ultimate, Enterprise), which can be downloaded for free. Windows XP mode, essentially a virtual machine that allows you to run older programs. However, this mode is not available in Windows 8, so in this case, check if the developer of the new version of the software that you need.
On April 8 Microsoft will end support for Office 2003, but there are alternatives. You can begin to use such cloud services like Office Online or Google Docs – free alternative to desktop Office. Of course, they offer slightly less features, but this is more than enough for most users. You can also choose Office 365 home, which gives access to all office products (can be installed on up to 5 PCs) for 249.99 per month.
Be sure to make a backup of all your data, including documents, photos, music and videos. Also don’t forget to make a backup copy of the folder C:Documents and Settings that contains files from all users. But be aware that Windows 7 and Windows 8 have a different folder structure, so you will have to restore the data manually. If you want to simplify the process, you can use «Windows easy transfer» to move files into the new system.
Do not forget about OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive). For those who don’t know, is a cloud-based solution from Microsoft for storing data. For each account, Microsoft offers 7 GB of free space with the possibility of extensions (paid and free) as needed. This «cloud» you can use to backup all files before upgrading to a new version of the operating system. Just launch your browser, log in to OneDrive, click on the «Upload» button and send all your data to the cloud. Then, after the update, you can install the OneDrive app for Windows 7, or just open the OneDrive folder in Windows 8.1 to get access to the files.
Although Windows XP supports upgrading to Windows 7, it would be better if you make a clean install with formatting the hard drive. However, in both cases, you will need the installation files on a USB or DVD media.
Unlike Windows 7, the upgrade process from Windows XP to Windows 8 is not supported. In this case, the only option is clean install.
But if you bought a new computer with Windows 7/8, Microsoft invites you to use PCmover Express, which allows you to easily migrate data from your old PC (Windows XP) to the new one.