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Installing Windows 7 (part 2) - Performing an Upgrade to Windows 7, Troubleshooting Installation Problems & Migrating Files and Settings

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2. Performing an Upgrade to Windows 7

This section describes how to perform an upgrade to Windows 7 from Windows Vista. Similar to a clean install, you can run the installation from the installation DVD or over a network. The only difference in the installation procedure is your starting point: from your optical drive or from a network share. For the steps in the following sections, it is assumed that you are using the Windows 7 DVD to install the Windows 7 operating system.

The three main steps in the Windows 7 upgrade process are very similar to the process for a clean install. The three steps of upgrading to Windows 7 are:

  1. Collecting information

  2. Installing Windows

  3. Setting up Windows

In Exercise 2, you will go through the process of installing Windows 7 by upgrading Windows Vista.

Exercise 2: Upgrading Windows Vista to Windows

  1. Insert the Windows 7 DVD.

  2. If Autorun does not start, navigate to the DVD drive and click setup.exe. Once the setup starts (via either setup.exe or Autorun), click Install Windows 7.

  3. You are prompted to update your current operating system. If you choose not to update, the installation might fail. You can also choose to send information to Microsoft during this process.

  4. The Microsoft Windows 7 license terms appear. The installation will not allow you to click Next until you have accepted the license terms.

  5. You are prompted to select the type of installation you want to perform. Choose the Upgrade link.

  6. You will see a compatibility report that will alert you of any applications or drivers that are not supported in Windows 7. Click Next.

    The following steps will take place in the Installing Windows section of the upgrade.

  7. During the Installing Windows phase, all the files required by the Setup program will be copied to the hard drive. The computer automatically reboots during the installation process. This process takes several minutes and proceeds automatically without user intervention. The following steps appear on the screen along with a completion percentage for each:

    • Copying Windows files

    • Gathering files, settings, and programs

    • Expanding Windows files

    • Installing features and updates

    • Transferring files, settings, and programs

    Once your computer finishes copying files and reboots, you will be in the Setup Windows phase of the installation. The following steps are involved with completing an upgrade.

  8. You'll be asked for your Windows product key. Type in your 25-digit product key and click Next.

  9. Settings related to Windows Update and security appear. You can use the recommended settings, install important updates for Windows only, or have the computer ask you later.

  10. On the next screen, set up your local time and date and choose whether you want daylight savings time. Click Next.

  11. The installation completes.

3. Troubleshooting Installation Problems

The Windows 7 installation process is designed to be as simple as possible. The chances for installation errors are greatly minimized through the use of wizards and the step-by-step process. However, it is possible that errors may occur.

3.1. Identifying Common Installation Problems

As most of you are aware, installations seldom go off without a hitch. You might encounter some of the following installation errors:

Media Errors Media errors are caused by defective or damaged DVDs. To check the disc, put it into another computer and see if you can read it. Also check your disc for scratches or dirt—it may just need to be cleaned.

Insufficient Disk Space Windows 7 needs at least 16 GB of free space for the installation program to run properly. If the Setup program cannot verify that this space exists, the program will not let you continue.

Not Enough Memory Make sure your computer has the minimum amount of memory required by Windows 7 (1 GB). Having insufficient memory may cause the installation to fail or blue-screen errors to occur after installation.

Not Enough Processing Power Make sure your computer has the minimum processing power required by Windows 7 (1 GHz). Having insufficient processing power may cause the installation to fail or blue-screen errors to occur after installation.

Hardware That Is Not on the HCL If your hardware is not listed on the HCL, Windows 7 may not recognize the hardware or the device may not work properly.

Hardware with No Driver Support Windows 7 will not recognize hardware without driver support.

Hardware That Is Not Configured Properly If your hardware is Plug and Play compatible, Windows 7 should configure it automatically. If your hardware is not Plug and Play compatible, you will need to manually configure the hardware per the manufacturer's instructions.

Incorrect Product Key Without a valid product key, the installation will not go past the Product Key screen. Make sure you have not typed in an incorrect key (check your Windows 7 installation folder or your computer case for this key).

Failure to Access TCP/IP Network Resources If you install Windows 7 with typical settings, the computer is configured as a DHCP client. If there is no DHCP server to provide IP configuration information, the client will still generate an auto-configured IP address but be unable to access network resources through TCP/IP if the other network clients are using DHCP addresses.

Installing Nonsupported Hard Drives If your computer is using a hard disk that does not have a driver included on the Windows 7 media, you will receive an error message stating that the hard drive cannot be found. You should verify that the hard drive is properly connected and functional. You will need to obtain a disk driver for Windows 7 from the manufacturer and then specify the driver location by selecting the Load Driver option during partition selection.

3.2. Troubleshooting with Installation Log Files

When you install Windows 7, the Setup program creates several log files. You can view these logs to check for any problems during the installation process. Two log files are particularly useful for troubleshooting:

  • The action log includes all of the actions that were performed during the setup process and a description of each action. These actions are listed in chronological order. The action log is stored as \Windows\setupact.log.

  • The error log includes any errors that occurred during the installation. For each error, there is a description and an indication of the severity of the error. This error tog is stored as \Wirtdows\setuperr.log.

In Exercise 3, you will view the Windows 7 Setup logs to determine whether there were any problems with your Windows 7 installation.

Exercise 3: Troubleshooting Failed Installations with Setup Logs

  1. Select Start => Computer.

  2. Double-click Local Disk (C:).

  3. Double-click Windows.

  4. In the Windows folder, double-click the setupact.log file to view your action log in Notepad. When you are finished viewing this file, close Notepad.

  5. Double-click the setuperr.log file to view your error file in Notepad. If no errors occurred during installation, this file will be empty. When you are finished viewing this file, close Notepad.

  6. Close the directory window.

4. Migrating Files and Settings

Rather than perform an in-place upgrade, you can choose to migrate your files and settings from an existing installation. In this case, you can use the User State Migration Tool (USMT) or the Windows Easy Transfer utility.

4.1. User State Migration Tool

You can download a utility called the User State Migration Tool (USMT) that is used by administrators to migrate large numbers of users over automated deployments. The USMT for Windows 7 is now part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK). The USMT is similar to Windows Easy Transfer with the following differences:

  • The USMT is more configurable and can use XML files to specify which files and settings are transferred.

  • The USMT is scriptable and uses command-line utilities to save and restore user files and settings.

The USMT consists of two executable files: ScanState.exe and LoadState.exe. In addition, there are three premade migration rule information files: Migapp.xml, Migsys.xml, and Miguser.xml. Finally, you can create a Config.xml file that specifies what should and should not be migrated. The purpose of these files is as follows:

  • ScanState.exe collects user data and settings information based on the configuration of the Migapp.xml, Migsys.xml, and Miguser.xml files and stores it as an image file.

  • LoadState.exe then deposits the information that is collected to a computer running a fresh copy of Windows 7.

The following information is migrated:

  • From each user:

    • Documents

    • Video

    • Music

    • Pictures

    • Desktop files

    • Start menu

    • Quick Launch toolbar

    • Internet Explorer Favorites

  • From the All Users profile:

    • Shared Documents

    • Shared Video

    • Shared Music

    • Shared Desktop files

    • Shared Pictures

    • Shared Start menu

    • Shared Internet Explorer Favorites

    • Files with certain filename extensions, including .doc, .dot, . rtf, .txt, .wps, .wri, .xls, .csv, .wks, .ppt, .pps, .pot, ,pst, and more

    • Access control lists (ACLs)

USMT will not migrate hardware settings, drivers, passwords, application binaries, synchronization files, DLL files, or other executables.

4.2. Using the USMT

The USMT is downloadable software from Microsoft's website. In its simplest for m, you use the USMT in the following manner:

  1. Run ScanState. exe on the source computer. ScanState. exe will copy the user state data to an intermediate store. The intermediate store (for example, a CD-RW) must be large enough to accommodate the data that will be transferred. Scanstate.exe would commonly be executed as a shortcut sent to users that they would deploy in the evening or through a scheduled script.

  2. Install a fresh copy of Windows 7 on the target computer.

  3. Run LoadState.exe on the target computer. LoadState.exe will access the intermediate store to restore the user settings.

When you use the USMT, you can create a script that can be run manually or can be used as an automated process at a scheduled time. Table 1 defines the options for the Scanstate.exe and Loadstate.exe commands.

Table 1. Options for Scanstate.exe and Loadstate.exe
/configSpecifies the Config.xml file that should be used
/encryptEncrypts the store (Scanstate. exe only)
/decryptDecrypts the store (Loadstate. exe only)
/nocompressDisables data compression
/genconfigGenerates a Config.xml file but does not create a store
/targetxpOptimizes ScanState for use with Windows XP
/allMigrates all users
/ueUser exclude: excludes the specified user
/uiUser include: includes the specified user
/uelExcludes user based on last login time
/v verboselevelUsed to identify what verbosity level will be associated with the log file on a scale of 0-13, with 0 being the least verbose

4.3. Windows Easy Transfer

Windows 7 ships with a utility called Windows Easy Transfer that is used to transfer files and settings from one computer to another. You can transfer some or all of the following files and settings from a computer running Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista:

  • User accounts

  • Folders and files

  • Program settings

  • Internet settings

  • Favorites

  • Email messages, contacts, and settings

You can transfer the migrated files and settings using the following methods:

  • Easy Transfer Cable, which is a USB cable that connects to the source and destination computers

  • CD or DVD

  • Removable media, such as a USB flash drive or a removable hard drive

  • Network share

  • Direct network connection

You can pass word-protect the migrated files and settings if you use CDs, DVDs, removable media, or a network share.

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