You have a computer with Windows XP installed. You want to install Windows 7. However if you directly install Windows 7, all the data you have collected over the years will get wiped out.

This is because when you install Windows 7, it will overwrite the disc and wipe off whatever data has been stored. The question then becomes: how do you prevent this? Here’s where Windows Easy Transfer steps in to help you out. Windows Easy Transfer is an utility available in only the Windows 7 operating system that helps people migrate data. . So, to use this method, you will have to first insert the Windows 7 CD in the computer. You must not allow it to auto-run, as it may start installing Windows 7.

Open Windows Explorer. Go to My Computer and click explore after right-clicking on the DVD drive (that has the Windows 7 CD). You will find migsetup.exe (which is the Windows Easy Transfer application) in the migwiz directory. Open it by double clicking on it. The opening screen will tell you what Windows Easy Transfer will do for you. Read it carefully. Then click Next. You will be taken to a screen offering multiple methods of transferring data. Select ‘An external hard disk or USB flash drive’. In the next screen, select ‘this is my old computer’ option. Now, Windows Easy Transfer will scan your computer for files that can be transferred.

Once it finishes scanning, it will display the user profiles. Select the user profile you want to transfer. It is better to select the ‘customise’ option and choose the settings and files you want to transfer. The next screen will ask you for a password. If you are not going to upgrade the system immediately, you can give a password. You also have the option of leaving it blank. Once you click save, you will be asked to select the destination. You have to select the external hard disk or pen drive to which you want the data to be stored and click the ‘save’ button. Once the transfer is complete, remove the external hard drive. You can either restart the computer to get the auto-run option or right-click the DVD drive and select ‘setup.exe’ that will initiate the process of installing Windows 7. In the first screen, click on ‘Install Now’.

First, you will given an option to install the latest updates. Though this is optional, it is better to install them as they may include important security updates.   Once you accept the Windows licence terms, the next screen will display two options. Chose the second one that says ‘custom (advanced)’.

Partition

You will have to select the partition for installing Windows 7. You will have to make sure that you select the partition where the old operating system (XP) was installed. Once you click Next and Ok, the installation process will begin. Once the process is completed, log in to Windows 7 and insert the external hard drive. You will now find the Windows Easy Transfer program under All Programs - Accessories - System Tools.

Click Next in the opening screen. You will have to select the external hard disk in the options given. Next, click on ‘this is my new computer’ option. In the next screen, click the ‘Yes’ option when it asks if ‘Windows Easy Transfer already saved your files from old computer to an external hard disk or USB flash drive’. Browse to the location in the external hard drive where you have stored your transferred files and double click. The next screen will display whatever you have transferred to the external hard disk. Select whatever you want in the new computer and click on ‘Transfer’.

After the transfer is complete, it is better you get rid of the windows.old directory. This will delete the old Windows files and release disk space by using the disk cleanup option. You have now got your old files and settings in the spanking new Windows 7.

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