How Long Windows 7 Upgrades Will Take For Any User

If you're a casual Windows Vista user with just a few documents tidily stashed away, upgrading to Windows 7 should take less than an hour. More likely, though, is a three-hour upgrade for heavy users with lots of stashed stuff.

Chris Hernandez at the TechNet blogs ran three types of computers—low-end, mid-range and high-end—through a Windows 7 upgrade with four different configurations each, reflecting the file and application loads of a "clean user" all the way through "super user". A clean user profile on high-end hardware was able to upgrade in about 35 minutes, while a super user on mid-range gear would need about 20 hours to upgrade.

Actual users' experiences will vary, of course, but it's worth checking out your upgrade time estimates to have enough time set aside for an upgrade, or at least consider a clean install. In one Lifehacker editor's experience, a very clean and tidy laptop took about an hour to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7, while a laptop with "an obscene amount of stuff installed" took a good eight hours or so to run through—though both upgraded successfully.

Note also that the timed results were within 5% of the upgrade times for Vista SP1, so it's not exactly breaking news that Microsoft upgrades can take quite some time. But we're guessing quite a few more systems might see Windows 7 discs slipped inside than Vista, so hopefully more users will be prepared.

Windows 7 Upgrade Performance [Chris Hernandez's Blog via Ars Technica]


    Id advise against any upgrade whatsoever. Clean install, all the way. Your computer will love you for it :)

      I'd second that vote for a clean install!

      a major OS upgrade is often the best time for a new harddrive: just set your old drive as slave, plug in a new master and reformat the old drive later once you've got it all working seamlessly. of course, that isn't quite as straight forward with a notebook, but these days a $90 external HDD will eclipse the size of most notebook drives anyway -- plenty of room to copy your whole C drive to before a clean install.

      I'm wondering why they eschewed XP completely (stated reasons aside) -- given that current figures place Vista usage at roughly 3% (of computer users on the internet), upgrading from Vista to Win7 is pretty irrelevant:
      first we have XP -- makes up the overwhelming segment of those making this move;
      second -- early adopters will have already gone through several beta/RC versions of Win7 by now and won't have any need or desire to reinstall Vista ever again prior to installing Win7;
      lastly, there are people who bought a new PC in the last year or so and were forced to take Vista up their IEEE1394 port, a large number of which would be newbs -- afraid of upgrading their apps let alone their OS.
      did I forget anyone? perhaps the techies who nothing better to do than reinstall multiple computers just for the sake of testing how fast it all goes...

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