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May 7, 2009

Preparing for Windows 7 with the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

When a new version of Windows is released, people either upgrade their existing PC or purchase a new PC with the latest version of Windows already pre-installed. For the people who want to upgrade their existing PC, they are often faced with the question of whether their PC can run the new Windows version or not. As we announced last week, Microsoft plans to offer a tool that can be used to determine if a PC is able to run Windows 7– Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.

A beta of Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor is now available to help people analyze their PC in preparation for a Windows 7 upgrade. Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor is a free tool that people can download as of today to help them determine if their PC is able to upgrade to and run Windows 7. The beta can be downloaded here (English only at this time).

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor examines a PC’s processor, memory, storage, and graphics capabilities, identifies known compatibility issues with installed software and devices and finally provides guidance on how to resolve those issues if possible. Please also note: as previously stated on the E7 blog, Windows XP users are required to do a clean install of the Windows 7 RC as well as the final product. Only PCs with Windows Vista can be upgraded to Windows 7.

After running Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor myself, the initial results of my scan can be seen in the below screenshot.

Initial Results of Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Scan

The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor measures a PC’s ability to upgrade to Windows 7 based on the following final system requirements for Windows 7:

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1GB RAM (32-bit) / 2GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX® 9 graphics processor with WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) 1.0 or higher driver

In this screenshot, you can see how my PC has passed all the Windows 7 system requirements.

Results of scan based off Windows 7 System Requirements

Before you run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Beta , be sure that you plug in any USB devices or other devices such as printers, external hard drives, or scanners that are regularly used with the PC you are evaluating. The screenshot below shows all the devices attached to my PC when I did the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor scan.

Scan results of connected devices

The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor is easy enough for any PC user to use in evaluating the ability of a PC to install and run Windows 7.