Should I upgrade to Windows 7?

Dear Computer Lady,

I have a computer that has Windows Vista on it – I am now treasurer of my scottie club and I am doing more business items etc spreadsheets and so forth.

I do not like Vista and am thinking of changing over to the new Windows 7.

Would this be better for that purpose and is it a hassle to remove the Vista to install the Windows?

If I do, should I let a store do it?

I do not use my computer for games, or let children use it.

Thanks for your help, Pat


Dear Pat,

The answer to your question depends on why you don’t like Vista, and what you hope to accomplish by moving over to Windows 7.

If your computer is running fine, and you don’t like Vista because it is different from your previous version of Windows, there is a pretty good chance that you won’t like Windows 7 any better than Vista. Windows 7 looks almost the same as Vista, and it even has a few changes that make it even more different from previous versions of Windows.

If your computer is having problems like frequent crashes, freezes up or other issues, upgrading to Windows 7 might fix the problems, but if they are hardware based, it won’t fix them at all.

Is it a hassle to remove Vista and Install Windows 7? Not for me, this is something that I do for my customers at least once a week. If you have never done a clean install of Windows, downloaded and installed drivers, and set back up your printers and internet connection, then it will certainly be a challenge for you. Here are some things to consider before you try this yourself.

1. You need to have all your files backed up. The best way to upgrade your operating system, is to erase the hard drive and install Windows 7 on the clean drive. If you don’t, any problems or corrupt files that you have on your drive now will still be there when you are finished.

You can backup your files yourself if you know what you are doing, and know where your important files are located. Sometimes it is tricky to find certain files like your email messages.

2. You will need to know how to install an Operating System. This is not like installing a regular program, you will need to know how to boot to the Windows DVD and you will have to make some important decisions along the way.

3. You will need to know how to find and install drivers for your hardware. This step sometimes involves a bit of research. Drivers will be needed for your motherbaord, video card, sound card, network devices, and any external devices like printers and scanners that are connected to your computer. It is important to know that your old Vista drivers might not work, and you need to find new drivers from the manufacturers website. Some types of hardware like printers might not have drivers for Windows 7 at all, and you would have to replace the device.

I hope this answers your questions about upgrading to Windows 7. It is a good operating system, and I like it, but I do not have any plans to upgrade my older computer to Windows 7, it is working just fine with Vista on it, and if something isn’t broken, I don’t see a need to “fix” it.


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    • alexnetherton
    • August 19, 2010

    I have a computer with Vista, and I love it. I don’t know what the fuss is about. However…

    I have heard that Vista had problems installing on computers that originally had Windows XP on them. I have heard that computers made for Vista (as mine is) work just fine (mine does), but older computers made for XP may not have a strong enough processor, video card, or memory (or something).

    I would suggest that if your computer originally had XP and you upgraded to Vista, Windows 7 won’t help much; they are too much the same, as many people more knowledgeable than I say that 7 is a Vista “service pack”. In this case, you might want to go back to XP, or buy a computer with Windows 7 already on it.

    However, I would say, as does Elizabeth, that if your computer came with Vista, and you are having trouble getting used to it, there is not much to do but start learning Windows Vista. It took me a while; I started out with Win. 95, went to Win. ME (bypassed 98), then XP, and now have a machine with Vista pre-installed, and am quite happy with it. It did, however, take some time to learn.

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