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Windows 7 Upgrade Could Take Over 20 Hours

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 9 comments
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The upgrade to Windows 7 could take all day and night, literally.

While we're not going to dispute that a clean install is the way to run Windows 7, there are going to be many users who will choose the literal upgrade path from Windows Vista and perform an in-place upgrade.

The reasons to do an in-place upgrade are numerous. First of all, the core software changes to go from Vista to 7 aren't as drastic as previous generations of Windows. Secondly, the convenience afforded by the in-place upgrade allows users to retain nearly all software and settings without the need to restore any previously backed up data.

Another possible advantage to doing an in-place upgrade is time – it's supposed to be faster than starting fresh and reloading all your old programs. But in some cases, the upgrade could be the more time-consuming route.

Microsoft's Chris Hernandez of the Windows Deployment team detailed Windows 7 upgrade performance as compared to Vista SP1's upgrade behavior. Hernandez found that Windows 7's upgrade speed was faster than Windows Vista. Interestingly, the time it took for Windows 7 to upgrade from Windows Vista SP1 outpaced that of a Vista SP1 to Vista SP1 upgrade procedure.

At its very worst the upgrade from Windows Vista to 7 was found to take a whopping 20 hours. At that rate, a user would likely have less downtime if he or she just did a clean install and restored/reinstalled programs.

Most users will average upgrade times lasting just a few hours, but those with slower systems or exceptional amounts of data will have to set aside a good portion of the day just for the automated process. All clean install systems upgraded in around 40 minutes or less.

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  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 15 September 2009 15:48
  • 2 Hide
    tinnerdxp , 15 September 2009 16:25
    I still don't understand why microsoft is pursuing this stupid way how the software is installed and ran. Come on - look at linux... home folder contains ALL the settings for all the software installed... /etc contains the system and computer configuration... copying 2 folders makes a perfect backup... try that with windows... it's just stupid.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , 15 September 2009 17:59
    What worse, is all the *nix elitists bashing systems they don't understand. Windows is the way it is for a reason. It may not be the best reason, but it is what is is. Windows will never, and can never, be linux.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 15 September 2009 20:11
    Windows keeps me employed and fuel in the EVO's tank, linux does not, only gives me a little play time on new distro's.

    If windows worked like linux, most users would be self suffucient and fix most problems themselves and build their own PC's....

    The reason they run windows is because they are not interested in the technical side of the pc, just what they have to do on them, Internet,you-tube,work documents, e-mail, i-pod filling and the likes, and a few play some games as well, there are those that use it for a little video and photo editing/manipulation...

    I would hate windows to be like linux and i do really like linux and love windows as well!!!

    As for upgrades to Win 7, i would always recommend new install for my customers unless they really really did not want to re-load software and settings again....which generally means the software they were running was pirated and they dont have the installation files in my experience!!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 15 September 2009 20:28
    Well, piracy is not always the issue relating to reluctancy about reinstalling software. I work for a IT company, and due to the nature of our work (computers have to hold heavy work loads, lots of programs installed an loads of testing) we have to reinstall the whole thing very often (say 3 times per year). Hence, within one year and half we have run out of available activations for our MS software. At the point we cannot event activate it through phone, MS tells theres nothing else they can do. At that point, our brand-new-super-legal software becomes useless, and we are commited to find our way.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 15 September 2009 21:30
    That is strange, before becoming self-employed, I worked for a large Software and Hardware supplier to the retail, leisure and hospitality business here in the UK and never came across the re-activation problem you have just described and yes, we re-installed MS products far more than the average user, on new product testing machines as often as monthly, but we used volume licensing as well as images to re-install...

    I suggest that if you are re-installing windows and software on your work pc's that often, build an image with relevant software installed and activate the image, then use that image for re-install.....

    Would save a heck of a lot of hassels, you can create images for specific installs and load the necessary one.. just silly to be fresh installing constantly like that!!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 17 September 2009 15:02
    I am currently running Windows 7 Enterprise that i recieved through my college course. I upgraded from Windows Vista Business which i also recieved from my course. EVERYTHING WENT FINE! I have been running 7 for about a month now with no problems and the upgrade took a maximum of 3 hours.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 16 October 2009 01:12
    To Anonymous 15/09/2009 14:28: Get a product such as Macrium reflect (there's even a free version). You can take a snapshot of a Windows install in 10-20 minutes. At any time later you can return your PC exactly to that point. That way you won't go through all your activations.
  • 0 Hide
    slrman , 16 October 2009 01:50
    Hmmm, I did the $29 upgrade from OSX 10.5.8 (Leopard) to 10.6 (Snow Leopard) in about 30 minutes. As has been the case from the first Macs, it didn't erase everything on the hard drive and carried over all of my preferences in the OS and all applications. No muss, no fuss. A few days later, I did the free upgrade to 10.6.1 in about 15 minutes including the download time.

    It seems that Microsoft has tried to copy everything they could from Apple, but hasn't been able to match this. Had Apple, sneaky people that they are, hired all the good programmers and left poor MS with only the culls?