We're going to take a look at this process over the coming pages.
Prepare to back up Backing up data is never fun, so it's one of those tasks that most computer users tend to avoid.
Unlike an in-place upgrade, going down this route will mean that any software that is already in place will not be retained, so each program will have to be reinstalled afterwards.
While a migration is the only real option available to users of Windows XP, it may also appeal to anyone upgrading from Vista.
This is because it results in a cleaner system that's not bogged down with remnants of the previous operating system.
Windows Easy Transfer also comes in handy if you're making the move from a 32-to a 64-bit OS, because this also requires a clean install.
When the wizard has done its work, the folders and settings will have been saved in a '.mig' file in your chosen location.
It's a compressed file, so space requirements can be dramatically reduced.
In the majority of cases, opting to back up files to an external hard drive will be the easiest option, but the ability to back up to another computer over an existing network may also be useful.With this step of the migration process complete, spend a little time ensuring that the discs and set-up files for applications that will be installed post-installation are available along with any necessary serial numbers.It is also worth individually backing up settings for any third-party programs that cannot be included in the migration wizard's backup – such as browser configuration and plug-ins, FTP client settings, feed readers and anything else that would be time-consuming to reinstate manually.After you've indicated that you're currently working with your old computer, the wizard will perform a scan for items that can be transferred and should be backed up.The results screen will show a list of user accounts that have been detected complete with the amount of data each contains.The Windows Easy Transfer wizard can be found on the Windows 7 installation DVD.It simplifies the process of backing up documents and settings, which can then be restored once a clean installation has been performed.Depending on whether Windows XP or Vista is the base operating system, the upgrade process will be vastly different.Only Vista users will be able to perform a standard upgrade installation.Having made the required selections, click 'Save' followed by 'Next'.Backup protection As a security measure, Windows Easy Transfer allows data to be password-protected, but this is optional.