Windows 7 forum


How do I move from WinXP Professional to Win 7 Professional?

by Thomboy65 / February 3, 2013 10:01 AM PST

I have checked my DELL Latitude 6500 laptop running WinXP Pro using the Windows 7 upgrade advisor tool, and everythihng is a go. I also know that I need to do a good backup of my critical files and the pictures I want to keep.

I have had many people tell me that before I make such a change in operating systems, do a backup first, because Windows 7 requires a clean startup, because there is no upgrade from XP to Win7.

Is there an easy way to keep these work related files, and .jpg pictures using a simpler backup process than the software backup program called Acronis?

I have also read that there is a program that will run at the same time as Windows 7, like a separate operating system called XP Mode. As I understand it, XP mode runs in a separate window on the Windows 7 desktop, much like a program, except it's a fully functional version of Windows XP. In Windows XP Mode, I think you can also access your computer's CD/DVD drive, install programs, save files, and perform other tasks as if you were using a computer running Windows XP.

I have a question:

I am not sure Acronis can be installed on this DELL Out-of-Warranty Win XP laptop, if I am currently using it for my desktop with Win 7 Ultimate. Once the critical files and .jpg photos are saved on an external hard drive, can I bring them back onto the laptop on the same harddrive with the new operating system Win 7 files, or do I need to partition the laptop harddrive, or does it matter if I use them with Win XP Mode?

Maybe my questions are more complicated than I think?

Thanks for any help you can send my way, or if you can point me to any locations that will answer my questions.


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All Answers

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The best option is to partition if you have the space
by wpgwpg / February 3, 2013 10:17 AM PST

You definitely want to make a full system backup before making these changes. A lot of folks like Acronis, but I had some really bad experiences with the 2010 version. I've been using Norton Ghost for the last 9 years without the first problem. Another one I've had good experience with in the last year is Easeus Todo Backup Free, which you can download from . After making the backup, the best option in my opinion is to partition your hard drive and installing the Windows 7 upgrade in the new partition. This will give you dual boot of both XP and Windows 7 without destroying anything on the XP partition, and both partitions can access the same data.

Good luck.

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Space may be the partition main problem
by Thomboy65 / February 4, 2013 12:39 AM PST

You hit the nail on the head!

I too had problems with Acronis 2010, but thought it was just me or my external hard drive.

I bought one of the Seagate Go Flex Wi-Fi external hard drives w 2 TB, but have not yet installed it.
Maybe I can use the Go Flex unit to store the WinXP files and photos, and access them when needed?

BUT, this unit belongs to a buddy who lives 1,700 miles away, and I agreed to try to do the work for him. Notice the word "try?"

I thought about a "big thumb drive" to hold his old work files, and photos (he owns a body shop that builds street rods) and he does have the Office Suite 2007. Then, when he needs the old work files (with billing information + progress of cars he builds) he can plug in the thumb drive, and use the Win7 XP Mode to read the files?

What do you think about the thumb drive idea to hold all his XP files and photos?


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External hard drives are much more reliable than thumb drive
by wpgwpg / February 4, 2013 5:20 AM PST

If you're talking about long term storage of files and photos, I'd want to use an external hard drive. My experience with thumb drives has been very good, but they do go bad sometimes, especially after a lot of read/write cycles. If you're talking about shipping data from one place to another, thumb drives are great for portability. If you're talking about maintaining a data base for a friend 1700 miles away, I'd give thought to setting up a password protected web site. Most ISPs will allow you to set one up if the amount of data is under their limit (was 10 GB for mine last time I looked).

Good luck.

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P/W Protected website
by Thomboy65 / February 4, 2013 12:26 PM PST

Having invested some long hours in this whole process, I sometimes ask myself why I always seem to agree to help a friend, and then it turns into a much longer and more complicated project than I wanted?

The Ex Hard Drive is by far the best solution, and today, I called my friend, and asked him to send his external hard drive to me, so I can save the work files and photos before I install Win 7 Pro on a clean hard drive.

I intend to take your advice and download the Easeus Todo Backup Free rather than to use a current version of Acronis. Taking a giant leap of faith now, I assume that my friend can easily use Easeus Todo Backup to bring the saved files and photos back for use with Win XP Mode in Win 7 Pro -- anytime he wants that? I only ask, because I have no experience with Easeus Todo Backup, and my friend is not very computer savvy.

Here are my plans:
1) Backup his files and photos on HIS external hard drive using Easeus Todo Backup Free
2) Format the laptop hard drive to allow a clean install of Win 7 Pro
3) Install Windows 7 Professional
4) Reinstall Office 2007 so he can read his MS Word files
5) Bring back onto the laptop hard drive (into a small partition) the saved files and photos for use and viewing with Win XP Mode part of Win 7 Pro
6) Install his printer, using its model number, plus a few basics like Adobe, and Photo Shop
7) See if I can view in Win XP Mode the saved work files and photos from the small partition; if so, then I have made it happen at long last.
Cool Ship the laptop, external hard drive, and the Win 7 Pro disk back to him
9) Be happy to be done

Thanks for all your help and advice, as it reinforced the best ways to make all this happen, rather than to take a short cut and wish I hadn't


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I hear you!
by wpgwpg / February 5, 2013 12:45 AM PST
In reply to: P/W Protected website

When friends and neighbors learn you can do these things, they often call with something that sounds like some simple and easy, but turns out to be a hassle. I keep telling myself that I'm going to tell folks in advance that just checking for viruses can take several hours, but I don't ever seem to remember to do that.
FWIW I don't think the free version of the Easeus backup program is supposed to be used for business. One alternative might be to copy them to an empty folder and make a big ZIP file which Windows can do.

Good luck.

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Ain't it the truth?
by Thomboy65 / February 5, 2013 1:23 PM PST
In reply to: I hear you!

Do I hear you too! Once the word is out that some neighbor can fix computers, all bets are on as to how many suggest paying for the help?

My friend who owns this laptop merely copied all his photos, and important work files, and pasted them into his external hard drive.

Today, because I am kind hearted, I walked him through, step by step, finding the software at HP for installing his printer on his daughters Windows 7 Home Edition, and it took 50 minutes. Rather than saying, "please find the appropriate set of instructions for your printer model," I had to actually do each step myself, then tell him exactly what each screen looked like and which items to check, and which boxes to click.

Now, I know why some techs who to telephone support seem so curt and distant.

I think you are telling me to copy all the important files and photos into one new folder, titled, something like, "Important Files and Photos," and then compress the new, large folder into a ZIP file using windows, and then save it to the external hard drive for use later when Win 7 Pro is the operating system on the laptop.



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Re: copy
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 5, 2013 4:33 PM PST
In reply to: Ain't it the truth?

Maybe he's telling you that, but it can be done simpler:
Copy all the important files and photos into one new folder, titled, something like, "Important Files and Photos," and then on the external hard drive for use later when Win 7 Pro is the operating system on the laptop.

or even:
Copy all the important files and photos to appropiate folders on the external hard drive for use later when Win 7 Pro is the operating system on the laptop.

No need for a zip file. No need to have all in one folder. External disks support multiple folders and many files in that folder, just as an internal disk.


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The reason to Zip it is:
by wpgwpg / February 6, 2013 9:40 AM PST
In reply to: Re: copy

I recommended Zipping the files because (1) it's easier to handle one zipped file, if you're going to be moving it around, and (2) it compresses the files and saves space. Is it absolutely necessary? No, but does it make sense? By all means.

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by Thomboy65 / February 6, 2013 1:28 PM PST

I can see the advantage now.


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Missed this
by Thomboy65 / February 6, 2013 10:00 PM PST
In reply to: Re: copy

Missed your information about zipping, and folders.

Thanks for adding some new info about zipping versus plain copying.


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If you copy the stuff to a folder, it's easy
by wpgwpg / February 6, 2013 9:37 AM PST
In reply to: Ain't it the truth?

If you copy the stuff to a folder, it's easy. You just right-click the folder, point to Send to-> Compressed Zip folder. That's pretty easy in my book.

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Copy to a folder
by Thomboy65 / February 6, 2013 1:25 PM PST

Yes, that is quite easy, and it is a go.

Thanks, Thomboy

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Acronis is imaging software.
by orlbuckeye / February 5, 2013 8:36 PM PST

The difference between imagining and backup software is that imaging takes a picture of your whole system and compresses it onto a few DVD's. Then you restore it completely. Backup software backs up the data files (docs, pics, video files etc.) and can be copied separately.

XP mode is basically a virtual machine that you download from Microsoft and install and it will run XP programs such as 16 bit applications. They can even run seemlessly (meaning you can create shortcut on desktop and it appearing to be running in windows 7 but it's really running in XP. There is no cost for XP in XP mode unlike the Hyper-V in Windows 8 where you are required to have a licensed version of XP.

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Imaging Versus Backups
by Thomboy65 / February 6, 2013 2:58 AM PST

Many thanks for your information about XP Mode, and Acronis being imaging software.

All I basically want to do is back up my friend's critical work files and progress pictures of work he is doing for clients, and because I am going to do a clean install of Win 7 Pro, just saving the files and pics to an external hard drive should work fine. I will reinstall the Office 2007, after Win 7, and he should be able to read all of his "word" files and bring them back onto his laptop for use as needed Confused

I thought that XP Mode was part of the Win 7 Pro software package. Are you sure XP Mode is not one of the options in the software package for Win 7 Pro?


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XP Mode is in 7 Pro HOWEVER!!!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 6, 2013 3:08 AM PST
In reply to: Imaging Versus Backups

Due to folks, companies and more showing how 16 bit support left some security holes open, that support is almost entirely removed. If you must have 16 bit app support you can install DOS in some VM.

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You are still riding shotgun?
by Thomboy65 / February 6, 2013 9:20 AM PST

Thanks, Bob, I miss seeing your replies to our questions, and back and forth dialogue. To be honest, once one moves to Win 7, why go back to XP or 16 bit systems like XP?

Best to upgrade to Win 7, forget about XP, and move one!

Thanks, Thomboy

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DVDs for backup????????
by wpgwpg / February 6, 2013 9:42 AM PST

Why use DVDs for backup when external hard drives are so much faster, easier, reliable, and don't require intervention to put new discs in?

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DVDs versus Ex Hard Drives
by Thomboy65 / February 6, 2013 1:26 PM PST

I think we all agree that the best method for backups is an external hard drive.

Thanks, Thomboy

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