The last comment you made "being your only computer and you needed to be working as soon as it's updated".
The first thing that i would suggest to you before you begin the Upgrade, is that you go to the Toshiba Site and check for Windows 7 Drivers and Updated Programs.
It's kind of strange that you bought the Laptop last year and it didn't come with Win 7 already, i would not pass by the opportunity to check the website.
We don't have detail information from your post about the Hardware and Software you have on your Laptop right now. I have to tell you in advance that while is easier to Upgrade, some programs can cause problems. Most programs that work with Vista work with Win 7, but that is not what i am refering to, is the entries made to the Register in Vista that could cause error with the Upgrades.
I would conclude that you purchase a retail Upgrade disk for Win 7.
I would prefer that you do a clean install, and that way, there would nothing on your drive that would allow Win 7 to be install clean, hense giving you a better experience because Windows would not have to deal with transfering so many settings. Because of your statement, i would recommend that you do the following :
Make sure you Backup all your Data to an External Drive or CD's or DVD's - Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos.
Also, if you have any specific purchased Programs, eg. Photoshop or any other - That you make sure you have the License Numbers before you do the Upgrade - If you are planning to use them with Win 7.
It's very important that you don't have any Antivirus Software running while you do the Upgrade, preferably, you should Un-install the Antivirus from your Laptop as Antivirus Software hook on to the Master File Table, also Callled MFT, and the Windows Boot Process.
Because of this, Antivirus Software can see changes to both of these files and create a problem while you are Upgrading.
If you feel confortable, download Revo Uninstaller from Cnet/Downloads - Install it on you Laptop and use it to Uninstall the Antivirus.
When you Launch Revo Uninstaller, the first window you see, is everything that you have isntalled on your Laptop. From this list, you can pick any program that you have never use and Uninstall them if you don't need them.
While using Revo, a program like an Antivirus would prompt you that you need to reboot the Laptop in order to finish the Uninstall. Just say no to the prompt and let Revo continue looking for entries on the Register that pertain to the program being Uninsall.
Revo will present the entries in Black Bold - Read the instructions and it tells you to only select those in Bold, you can safely select all presented to you and click delete. Revo will Proceed to find Folders, select all of them and delete them as well. You may get a message that some folders will only be deleted after a reboot.
Now you can reboot your Laptop, and you just got rid of the Antivirus that could cause an Upgrade to fail or any other junk that you have on your hard drive.
Now - The second thing I would recommend is that you don't have any application loading at Startup.
You can launch Revo Again, and the top row of icons will show you one named - Tools, click on that, a vertical row of icons will open up. One named - Autorun Manager.
Click on Autorun Manager and it will show you all the applications that you having running at Windows Startup.
Just Uncheck everyone, you don't have to save anything, as Unchecking with Revo, will immediately turn them off from the Register and from launching when you start Windows.
Now you can reboot your Laptop one more time, and those programs would not be an issue.
I guess since you will be doing an Upgrade, then insert your Retail Win 7 Upgrade DVD into your DVD Player and beging your Upgrade Installation.
I am not suggesting that the upgrade will not finish properly without doing the above, i am just trying to make sure that no program for some reason interrupts the Upgrade process.
After one year of use, you may or may have not install a lot of programs, we don't know that, but starting with a Clean installation is good, since it returns your machines as brand new. Which is the reason why i said to check for Windows 7 Drivers and Software at the Toshiba Website, So that if you select a Clean Install, you can then update the drivers for your hardware in your Laptop.
I hope that everything goes well, and have fun as Win 7 is very nice to use.
Note: This post was edited by its original author to add some line breaks in the post on 10/07/2011 at 1:19 PM PT