Switchover to Windows 7 a Big Pain
Move from XP may require external hard drive, patience
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 23, 2009 9:56 AM CDT
In this photo provided by Microsoft, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, right, and Windows president Steven Sinofsky announce the anticipated release of Windows 7 to PC makers July 22, 2009 in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Microsoft, Erik S. Lesser)
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(Newser) – The latest Windows incarnation beats Vista and XP, but don’t expect a smooth transition: upgrading from XP to Windows 7 is an ordeal, writes Walt Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal. “In fact, the process will be so painful that, for many XP users, the easiest solution may be to buy a new PC preloaded with Windows 7,” Mossberg notes.

Installing the new operating system means wiping your hard disk, deleting everything except personal data files—and to keep those, you’ll likely need an external hard drive and face a “long, multi-step process.” Then you’ll need to reinstall your programs. Meanwhile, XP drivers won’t work on 7. Microsoft does offer some options to ease the process, however, and it should be smooth sailing for Vista users.