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Windows 7 is the latest incarnation of the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. It is also the latest darling of the blogosphere and is being widely regarded as the only true successor to Windows XP. While Microsoft did release Vista after Windows XP, it was a disaster and most people, including yours truly, resisted migrating to Vista completely because of various reasons.
It is nice to know that Microsoft has been listening all this while and promises that Windows 7 will be much better than Vista both in terms of resource utilization and general useability. That and the fact that Microsoft has decided to withdraw support for Windows XP, will see a lot of people migrating to Windows XP from Windows 7.
The only problem is that Microsoft has not provided a direct upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 7, so there are only two options for people who want to migrate up from Windows XP.
The first one is to upgrade to Vista and then upgrade to Windows 7 but that’s not really recommended for obvious reasons. The other solution is to do a clean installation of Windows 7 (which would wipe out your Windows XP). This option is the one that Microsoft recommends.
If you have a lot of data in Windows XP, now is the time to make a backup of it while we hand-hold you through the recommended upgrade procedure from Windows XP.
Make sure that you have the Windows 7 installation disk, either the retail version (when it comes out) or a disk burned from the ISOs that Microsoft made available for download.Backing up your data
Insert the disk in the CD/DVD drive and when windows autorun prompts you to run the Windows 7 installer, don’t run it and instead select the option to browse/open the DVD.
In the DVD, under the support folder, there will be a folder named migwiz.
Run the program named, chúng tôi This is the Windows Easy Transfer tool. Microsoft wrote Windows Easy Transfer to help you transfer all your data and settings to a new machine when upgrading to a newer operating system.
As you can see, with this tool, you will be able to migrate all user accounts, email, user data and pretty much everything else from Windows XP to Windows 7.
The only thing that the Easy Transfer tool cannot take care of are the third party programs that you have installed, so you’ll need to reinstall them again. This is a limitation imposed by Microsoft and it is, currently, not possible to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 and while keeping all the third party programs as it is.
The next option is pretty self explanatory and is actually the only option on the screen so select “This is my old computer” and move on.
The easy transfer tool will then scan the various user accounts for all the data that it can migrate.
Now, run the Windows 7 installation program and install Windows 7 normally.
Since Windows XP cannot be upgraded to Windows 7 directly, you’ll have to choose the “Custom Option” to install Windows 7.
Proceed with the installation as you normally would.
The Windows Easy Transfer utility will then start, ask for the password that you’d set earlier and migrate all your XP settings and data to Windows 7.
Sharninder is a programmer, blogger and a geek making a living writing software to change the world. His tech blog, Geeky Ninja, is where he shares his wisdom, for free !
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You're reading How To Upgrade Windows Xp To Windows 7 Without Losing All Your Settings
With the end of Windows XP support from Microsoft imminent, perhaps you’ve finally made the (very wise) decision to stop using the venerable operating system. I commend you. However, if you’re planning to simply install a newer operating system on your existing hardware, you should reconsider.
Sure, there’s a good chance that your existing hardware meets the minimum system requirements for either OS: a 1GHz or faster processor, 1GB of RAM (2GB for 64-bit), 16GB of hard drive space (20GB for 64-bit) and a DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher.
But although Windows 7 or Windows 8 will technically run on a system like this, it will do so in that way that causes you to frequently threaten your PC and spew profanity laced insults at Microsoft. For either of those operating systems to run moderately well, you need at least a dual-core CPU and 4GB of RAM. And Windows itself may only need 20GB of hard drive storage, but it’s easy to fill 500GB or more with applications, photos, videos, and other content.
Installing Windows 7 or 8 on your XP machine won’t be as easy as you think.
If you bought your current PC before 2006, you’re really just out of luck. If it’s a desktop from 2006 or later, there’s a fair chance it has an adequate CPU, and it’s not that difficult to upgrade the RAM, hard drive, and graphics capabilities. However, a lot has changed since then, and it may be difficult (and possibly more expensive) to find the correct type of RAM and/or hard drives and display adapters to fit legacy connectors in your PC.
Assuming that your processor is good, you’re still probably looking at spending a couple hundred to upgrade the other components of your PC, plus the cost of the new Windows operating system. In the end, you will have a PC that works, but on a motherboard and power supply that are years old and could die at any moment, and your resulting PC will still be lacking modern technologies like 802.11n (or 802.11ac) wireless networking, gigabit ethernet and USB 3.0. In other words, you will have spent a few hundred dollars to be frustrated and disappointed.
The better solution is to buy a new PC. You can buy a brand new Windows 8 desktop with 4GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, gigabit ethernet, 802.11n wireless, and USB 3.0 ports from chúng tôi for just over $300. If you absolutely must have Windows 7, there are brand new desktop PCs loaded with that OS and all of the power you need available right now from chúng tôi in the $400 range.
The bottom line is simple: if your PC is more than a couple years old you will have to invest in more than just a new operating system in order to make it reasonably functional. You will be much happier with whichever version of Windows you choose if you just buy a new PC with the operating system pre-loaded.
If you really want to just use the hardware you have without upgrading anything, there’s always Linux.
Switching an old email account may look like a daunting task as you might worry about losing previous email messages, contacts, and other data in the process.
If you have two email accounts from the same email service, you can just add the other account to the same profile and switch whenever you want. However, if you want to switch across different platforms; say Gmail and Outlook, it takes a little longer before you can migrate to the new account.
To safely switch email accounts, you basically do two things; import data from the old account and then set up a forwarding mechanism to receive all the upcoming email messages in the new account.
To move emails and contacts from your old Gmail account to the new one, you must first enable POP access on the old one. Then, you can start importing all emails and contacts into the new account. Finally, you can set up automatic forwarding to receive every mail from the old account to the new one.
First, sign in to your old Gmail account.
Note: Alternatively, you can also set up IMAP and use it to switch to another Outlook account. On the same Forwarding section, you can find the necessary configuration instructions next to the IMAP access field.
Log in to your new Gmail account and open its settings, like in the above steps.
Log in to the old account when prompted and allow the necessary permissions.
Note: The import process can take some time depending on the number of emails and contacts you have on the old account.
If you don’t want to delete the old email account, but still keep receiving every new mail from it on the new account, you can set up mail forwarding.
Login to the old Gmail account from whose emails you want to forward.
Go to the Gmail settings.
Note: You can even create a filter that forwards a particular type of email you receive on the old account.
Once you have configured all the necessary settings to use the new Gmail account, consider updating all the accounts which are previously linked to the old email address.
On the other hand, notify other people about your new email address so that they send emails to your new account. Since it isn’t convenient to notify each person manually, you can set up an auto-reply in Gmail. By doing so, they can reach out to you on your new Gmail account.
Log in to your old Gmail account.
Go to the Gmail settings.
Write a message to automatically reply and notify the senders about your new email address. Configure other options according to your preferences.
Switching from Outlook to Gmail is even easier. You can just add the Gmail account in the Outlook desktop app. This way, you don’t need to log in to Gmail and can access all your Gmail messages from within the Outlook app.
To add Gmail account, you can just follow Step 2. But, if you are switching from one Outlook email to another, you need to go through all the steps below.
Launch the Outlook desktop app.
Then, select the Advanced tab.
Once you have exported the PST file, you now need to import it to the new Outlook account to access all the old Outlook data such as messages, drafts, and more. You can also use the PST to migrate Outlook to a new PC.
Launch the Outlook app.
Select the File menu at the top.
Enter the password you set up for the data file.
Now, that you have access to the old emails and other data, set up a forward mechanism to receive all future emails on the old account.
Open the Outlook app.
Similar to Gmail’s vacation feature, you can send automatic replies to notify people who send messages to the old email address.
Additionally, adjust the date and time range you want to send the replies.
Setting up and maintaining your home PC network is easier than ever before with Windows 7–but that’s not saying much. Many networking issues still aren’t easily fixed from Windows 7’s control panels. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of common networking problems and their quick fixes.Reset Your IP Address Flush Your DNS Cache
Whenever you type a URL into a Web browser, your PC asks your domain name service server (DNS server) to translate that URL into an IP address, and caches that information. That cache can occasionally become outdated or corrupt, which can cause Internet connection problems. To clear your DNS cache, open the Command Prompt with Run as Administrator, type ipconfig /flushdns, and press Enter.
Restarting a Windows 7 system will also flush its DNS cache, but if any applications (malware, perhaps) are altering the cache, flushing manually could help.Reset Your Broadband Modem and Router
Your broadband modem’s connection to the Internet will occasionally become unreliable, and restarting it can fix that. The same trick also occasionally works for the connection between a router and a broadband modem.Configure Wireless Security
The vast majority of wireless broadband routers available today ship with their wireless security features disabled. This makes it easy for novice users to set up a wireless network in their homes or offices, but it also leaves your network vulnerable to prying eyes.
Assuming your router/gateway’s IP address is 192.168.1.1 and you’re connected to the network, open a Web browser on a system that is phsyically wired to your network and type 192.168.1.1 into the address field. You’ll then be prompted to enter the necessary credentials to access your router’s configuration menus (consult the manual for your router’s default username and password if you didn’t set them yourself. And if you didn’t set them yourself, change them right away to prevent unwanted tampering).Open and Forward Ports
Some applications require that certain network ports be opened and forwarded to the correct PC for some of their functions to operate across the Web. Game servers are a great example: If the correct network ports aren’t opened and requests on those ports aren’t forwarded to the correct PC, inbound traffic on them will never make it through your firewall.
As always, though the exact process necessary to forward ports will vary, the steps required to access the pertinent options within any router will be similar. Check out our guide to port forwarding for more information.
Connect your PC to the network, open a Web browser and type your router’s IP address (usually 192.168.1.1; check your manual to be sure) into the address field. Log in with your name and password, then find the NAT (Network Address Translation), Firewall, or Port Forwarding menu.
You’ll need to create a ruleset that tells your router which protocol to use (UDP, TCP, or both), defines the port range you want to forward, and specify to which IP address the traffic on those ports should be forwarded to. For example, if the machine running the application you are troubleshooting has an IP address of 192.168.1.115, put that string into the IP address field. Save the settings to enable the rule, then reboot the router to finish the job.Put a System in a DMZ
Sometimes port forwarding isn’t enough and you’ll have to give a system unfettered access to the Internet. In those cases, the machine can be placed in a network DMZ, or demilitarized zone. Putting a system in a DMZ means all of its ports will be accessible from the Internet; such a situation is very dangerous, so don’t take that step unless it is absolutely necessary.
Let’s assume that your router IP address is indeed 192.168.1.1 and that you’re connected to the network. Open a Web browser and type 192.168.1.1 into the address field. Log in to your router and find the NAT (Network Address Translation), Firewall, or DMZ menu (the DMZ options will be under a menu with one of those names).
When you’re on the DMZ configuration menu, you’ll need to enable the DMZ and specify the IP address of the system you’d like to place in the DMZ. Enter the IP address, save the settings, and reboot the router; that system should now be in the DMZ.
Like any other peripheral in a Windows PC, the network controller requires drivers to operate. Those drivers tell the operating system how to use a device and occasionally need to be updated to resolve issues or add new features and capabilities.Disable or Add Exclusions to Windows Firewall
Windows 7’s built-in firewall constantly asks you to allow or deny an application’s access to your network. If you’ve mistakenly blocked an application and want to unblock it (or the other way around) you’ll have to manually change some settings in the Windows Firewall control panel.Scan Your Network for Attached Devices
With so many connected devices now on the market, there may come a time when you want to scan your entire network to see exactly what devices have obtained IP addresses and are consuming resources. Your router may be able to check the status of connected clients, or you could use a third-party application that will more comprehensively scan an entire range of IP addresses to find and obtain information on the connected devices.Diagnose Internet Connection Issues
Finally, one problem that may be beyond your immediate network: Is your Internet connection unstable–and you can’t figure out why? A couple of utilities built into Windows 7 may help. Ping and tracert (traceroute) can help you find out if your Internet issues are with your home network or with your ISP–or somewhere in between.
Performing a continuous ping on a known good website (we like to use chúng tôi will allow you to constantly monitor a connection and see if packets are being lost or the connection is dropping. Open a Command Prompt window (Start, All Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt), type ping chúng tôi –t, and press Enter. Your system will then start continually pinging the Google website. If the connection is stable and reliable, you shouldn’t see any errors, just replies from the IP address with ping times and other data. If, however, if the connection between your PC and Google is broken for whatever reason, ping will report that there was no response from the server.
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Albeit it has undergone a visual makeover with the launch of Windows 8 and some improvements with the release of Windows 8.1, the AutoPlay feature has basically remained the same, popping out a notification whenever you insert a CD or DVD, or even a USB stick. If you were wondering how to access its settings in order to turn it off or to further tweak it, here’s our step-by-step guide for that. Again, I repeat, this type of guides are for those who’re new to Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 and need some help with tasks that might seem quite simple for those already acquainted with the new version.How to enable AutoPlay in Windows 10
So, let’s have a look at the steps that you need to take to get to the AutoPlay feature and how to understand its settings once you’re there.
1. Open up the Charms Bar by swiping to the top right corner (by moving your mouse or swiping your finger) or by pressing the Windows logo + W key. Type there ‘PC Settings‘.
On Windows 10 you need to do the following steps: Hit the Windows Logo on your keyboard to open the Start Menu and you can type Settings in the search box
2. From there, go to ‘PC and Devices‘ sub-menu.
On Windows 10, after you hit the Settings button, a new window will open and from there simply go to Devices
3. From the ‘PC and Devices’ menu, choose ‘AutoPlay‘.
For Windows 10 users, the AutoPlay tab can be found if you scroll down a bit in the list, basically nothing has changed.
4. Here, you can tweak the settings as you please. If would like AutoPlay to stop notifiying you, you can easily turn it off. Next, you will have a list with all the external drives that you have connect. As you will see in my case, I have there a removable drive, memory card, a music player, my smartphone and my digital camera. According to the type of the device, you can enable various actions to take place. For example, for a USB drive, you can choose from the following:
In Windows 10 you can follow the same steps as shown above in the picture
open folder to view files
configure this drive for backup
take no action
ask me every time
For a memory card:
play video files (with the video media player that you have installed)
import photos and videos
take no action
ask me every time
play music files
sync digital media files to this device
open device to view files
import photos and videos
take no action
ask me every time
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Related: How to prevent changes to the Start menu on Windows 11.
Windows 11 has a lot in common with Windows 10 and may not seem like a major update for people who really dig down deep into the operating system. But for casual and everyday users Windows 11 is quite a big upgrade from Windows 10, especially from an appearance and features perspective. A lot has changed cosmetically on Windows 11 especially the taskbar and system tray options.
Interestingly, the options on this menu can be customised which also thankfully includes a new VPN pin! There are quite a lot of other useful options that can be added or removed from this list as well, so what you use is entirely up to you. If you want you can add everything to the list, though that will probably make it a little crowded.
How do you change the options found on the Quick Settings menu on Windows 11? Customise Windows 11 Quick Settings Choices.
Changing the Windows 11 Quick Settings options is one of the quickest and easiest changes you can make to the operating system. Which is fitting because they are supposed to be quick!
You can change these options as many times as you like and in time there are bound to be more added.
Anyway, that wraps up this guide, thanks for stopping by. If you want to check out any more Windows 11 guides, you’ll find all of our Windows 11 stuff here.
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