Windows 7 checklist - a guide to installing Microsoft's new OS

Are you ready for Windows 7? Click here for a checklist of five things you need to do before installing the shiny new Windows 7 disc on your PC.

Are you ready for Windows 7? Here's a checklist of five things you need to do before installing the shiny new Windows 7 disc on your PC.

Here are my tips on upgrading.

1. Check your desktop PC spec. Vista-ready machines should be fine, but if you are running Windows XP, you may have compatibility issues. Before you do anything, though, backup your system drive (normally c:) onto a USB hard disk drive. If thiogs go badly wrong, you can restore your old operating system from this backup.

2. Windows 7 will support a lot of stuff out of the box, when it is first installed, but after installation, you may find some things stop working.

3. If things are not quite right make sure you have the latest ATI or Nvidia graphcs card drivers  from their respective web sites. Similarily, Creative Labs and most PC card manufacturers will have download sites. You should search for Windows 7 drivers.

4. Now check your PC peripherals. The keyboard, mouse and monitor should work fine, but again it is worth checking if the manufacturer has updated river software for Windows 7. You will also need to ensure that you have the latest device drivers for you printer and scanner and whatever else plugs into your PC..

5. Finally, older applications and PC games may be unable to run on Windows 7. Unlike with Vista, it is possible to run older software. Check out XP Mode, which uses a Virtual PC-to run XP on top of Windows 7.

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