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FAQ - Common Windows 7 Installation Questions & Answers
What Features are Included in Each Version of Windows 7?
|Features / Availability||Starter||Home Basic||Home Premium||Professional||Enterprise||Ultimate|
|OEM licensing||Emerging markets||Retail and OEM licensing||Volume licensing||Retail and OEM licensing|
|64-bit and 32-bit versions||32-bit only||Both||Both||Both||Both|
|Maximum physical memory (64-bit mode)||8 GB||16 GB||192 GB||192 GB|
|Home Group (create and join)||Join only||Join only||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fast user switching||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Desktop Wallpaper Changeable||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Desktop Window Manager||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Mobility Center||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Premium Games Included||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Media Center||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Media Player Remote Media Experience||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Encrypting File System||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Location Aware Printing||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Remote Desktop Host||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Server domain||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Windows XP Mode||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|BitLocker Drive Encryption||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|BranchCache Distributed Cache||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Subsystem for Unix-based Applications||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Multilingual User Interface Pack||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Virtual Hard Disk Booting||No||No||No||No||Yes|
What Upgrade Options are Available for Windows 7?
The upgrade options that are available to you depend on version of Windows or other operating system that is currently running on your PC.
If you are running Windows XP you can buy an upgrade version of Windows 7 but you will need to perform a custom installation, which does not preserve your files, settings, or programs. For more information, see Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 . ( http://windows.microsoft.com/upgrade-windows-xp )
If you are running Windows Vista , in some cases you can upgrade directly to Windows 7 and in other cases you will need to perform a custom installation. The following table shows which editions of Windows Vista can be upgraded to Windows 7.
Windows Vista Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows Vista Home Premium
Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows Vista Business
Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows Vista Ultimate
Windows 7 Ultimate
You can't upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit, a clean install is required. If you have questions about upgrading 32-bit to 64-bit or vice versa please see this FAQ: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/32-bit-and-64-bit-Windows-frequently-asked-questions
If you have general questions about reinstalling Windows please see this site:
Can My Computer Run Windows 7?
The basic system requirements are listed below. Some features have additional requirements.
1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Run Windows Upgrade Advisor to see if there are any known issues that might affect the installation and whether you should install the 32 or 64 bit version of Windows 7.
How many Computers Can You Install One Windows 7 License On?
If you purchase one (1) Windows 7 edition, you may install and activate it on just one (1) computer. If you are so inclined, consider Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack (3-User) for installation on up to three (3) computers in your household.
Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack for 3 Users Questions
1. What is the Windows 7 Family Pack?
The Windows 7 Family Pack is a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium that you can install on up to three PCs in your home. It includes both 32-bit and 64-bit installation discs.
2. Where do I get the Windows 7 Family Pack and how much does it cost??
The Windows 7 Family Pack is available from October 22nd until supplies last in the US and other select markets. The estimated retail price in the US is $149.99. Actual price may vary.
To purchase the Windows 7 Family Pack now, or to see a list of participating retailers, go to:
3. How many computers can I activate Windows 7 on with this license?
You can activate Windows 7 Home Premium on up to three PC’s in a household (single residential address) with the Family Pack.
4. How many product keys do I get with the Family Pack license?
You will receive only one product key that will activate up to three PC’s running Windows 7 Home Premium.
5. Is the Family Pack license for an “Upgrade Version” or a “Full Install Version” of Windows 7?
The Family Pack is an upgrade version only. This means that you need to be running Windows XP or Windows Vista on the PCs that you want to install it on.
6. Where can I get more information about the Windows 7 Family Pack?
For more information please see the Windows 7 Family Pack webpage:
Installing - What does "upgrade" mean?
Upgrade means you can install Windows 7 by simply inserting the Windows 7 upgrade software into your PC's DVD drive and follow the instructions on your screen. While you're not required to backup and reinstall your files, or reinstall your programs, it's a very good idea to back up your files and settings before you start any software upgrade. Get more information about software upgrades and best practices .
Installing - What does "Custom (Clean)" Mean?
A custom (clean) installation erases the contents of your PC's hard drive. Your files, settings, and programs will not be transferred to Windows 7. That means that to install Windows 7, you'll need to:
Backup all the files and settings you want to keep
Install Windows 7
Reinstall all your files
Reinstall all the programs you want to use.
These four steps take time, some technical skill and Windows Easy Transfer can help. However, If you're not comfortable with this process, please consider having the installation done by a local service provider.
How do I do a Custom (Clean) Installation?
A custom (clean) installation completely erases the contents of your PC's hard drive. Your files, settings, and programs will not be transferred to Windows 7.
Here's what you need to do:
Run Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to make sure your PC can run Windows 7. to see if there are any known issues that might affect the installation and whether you should install the 32- or 64-bit version of Windows 7.
Back up your files To avoid losing anything, you'll need to save copies of all the files, photos, and other information you want to keep on an external hard drive. Windows Easy Transfer is a free tool you can use to copy your information (but not programs) off your PC and then put them back after you install Windows 7.Note: Windows Easy Transfer does not support moving from a 64-bit version of Windows to a 32-bit version of Windows.
Locate the original installation disks for the programs currently on your computer.
Insert the Windows 7 DVD and follow the instructions for a custom installation by selecting the Custom (advanced ) installation option.
Reinstall your programs and your backed-up files and settings. If you used Windows Easy Transfer , launch Windows Easy Transfer in Windows 7 (in the Start menu, click All Programs>Accessories>System Tools ) and follow the instructions.Note: If you're moving files that you backed up with the Windows XP backup software, you'll need to download a free tool to restore the files to your Windows 7 PC. Here are more technical details about the installation process.
Can I do an Upgrade Install on a Clean/Empty Hard Disk
In order to install the upgrade version of Windows 7, you must have a qualifying Windows operating system installed and activated. You cannot install an upgrade version of Windows 7 on a blank hard drive. The installation procedure does not ask you to insert a Windows disc in the drive for verification, the actual qualifying operating system must be installed.
If you do not have a qualifying Windows operating system installed with a genuine license activated, then you cannot use the upgrade version of Windows 7 - you would need a "full version" Windows 7 license.
1. A qualifying Windows operating system must be installed.
2. The qualifying Windows operating system must have a genuine license (product key) and it must be activated.
3. To upgrade, boot to the qualifying Windows desktop, insert the Windows 7 Upgrade disc in the DVD drive.
4. When the setup menu appears, select Custom (advanced) to initiate a clean install procedure, or Upgrade if you are doing an in place upgrade.
Can I Upgrade from Windows 7 Release Candidate to the Final Retail Version?
Sorry, you can't upgrade from the Windows 7 RC to the retail version. In order to install the upgrade version of Windows 7, you must have a qualifying Windows operating system installed and activated . You cannot install an upgrade version of Windows 7 on a blank hard drive. The installation procedure does not ask you to insert a Windows disc in the drive for verification, the actual qualifying operating system must be installed. If you do not have a qualifying Windows operating system installed with a genuine license activated , then you cannot use the upgrade version of Windows 7 - you would need a "full version" Windows 7 license.
Please note: All users of the Windows 7 Release Candidate (including Windows Vista users who have upgraded to the Release Candidate) must do a clean installation of Windows 7 RTM. Please keep this is mind as you consider downloading the Release Candidate as opposed to waiting for the general availability release.
I've heard if you buy Vista you get a copy of Windows 7 free
The Windows 7 Upgrade Option is available through participating PC manufacturers on selected PCs and through Microsoft on qualifying purchases of the Windows Vista packaged product. The Windows 7 Upgrade Option applies to Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate editions. Your Windows 7 upgrade will be to the comparable version: so you'll get either Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional (the upgrade to Windows Vista Business), or Windows 7 Ultimate, respectively. The Windows 7 Upgrade Option program runs from June 26, 2009 through January 31, 2010. Individual manufacturers may choose to offer the option for a shorter period on their PCs. Offer details, prices, and upgrade delivery methods will vary. For details for new PC purchases, please check the manufacturer's web site. For purchases of retail packaged software, please go to the Windows 7 Upgrade Option fulfillment site for retail packaged software .
If you qualify and need help getting your free copy of Windows 7 click here:
What is Windows Anytime Upgrade?
With Windows Anytime Upgrade, you can upgrade to a more advanced edition of Windows 7—say from Home Premium to Ultimate—in as little as 10 minutes. That way, you get to take advantage of extra features while keeping your current programs, files, and settings intact. Upgrading doesn't mean installing new software. In Windows 7, the software you need comes preinstalled. All you have to do is purchase an upgrade key from Microsoft or another authorized retailer to unlock those shiny new features.
If I Upgrade a Computer to Windows 7 can I Install my Previous Version of Windows on Another Computer?
Sorry no, both licenses will be tied to the Windows 7 computer, you can't use the license of your previous operation system on a different computer if it's currently being used to upgrade another computer to Windows 7.
If I buy Windows 7 Upgrade and my Hard Drive Crashes how do I Reinstall Windows 7?
You will have to first reinstall XP/Vista, then upgrade to Windows 7.
If you do not have the XP/Vista Recovery disks:
Contact your Computer Manufacturer and ask them to send you a set of Recovery disks.
Create A System Image In Windows 7
After you install and activate Windows 7 you can create a system image as a back up in case you ever need to reinstall it on your current computer. That will save you the trouble of having to reinstall everything that's currently installed, and it takes much less time to do.
1. Click the Start Menu and type "Back Up" then click on Back up your Files.
2. In the Control Panel window that appears, Click the blue Create a system image link.
3. The Create a system image window should pop-up. Select which hard disk, DVD, or network location you are going to save your system image to. Click Next to continue.
4. On the next page check both your System and System Reserved drives. Once you have selected the drives Click Next to continue.
Note: You can select as many drives as you want (if available), but the more you choose to include means the larger the image size will be.
5. The next window is just a review, make sure everything is correct then Click Start backup to start the process. This can take 10 minutes or more so patience is required.
6. After the backup completes, you’ll be prompted with the option to create a system repair disc. This is a good idea just in case your system has any problems in the future. Click Yes.
7. Choose which Disc Recording drive you’ll be using to burn the disc. Insert a blank CD or DVD to the physical drive and then Click Create disc.
What is Windows XP Mode ?
Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 makes it easy to install and run many Windows XP productivity applications directly from your Windows 7-based PC. It utilizes virtualization technology, such as Windows Virtual PC, to provide a virtual Windows XP environment for Windows 7. Windows XP Mode is available for download on computers running Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate.
Reverting Windows 7 back to previous Windows system
If you want to uninstall Windows 7 and return to your previous operating system please follow the link below for help: