Vista boot problem/Upgrade to Windows 7

I am running a Gateway FX6000 (don't laugh please). Worked great out of the box running Vista. Have had it for 2.5 years. After year one Vista would tend to hang on startup after the Bios would load. The only thing that fixes this is turning off the PC and unplugging (sometimes 3 times in a row). The PC will eventually start and be useable but what a pain. I have reviewed many threads on many site regarding this problem and can not seem to get it resolved. It could be most anything based on the different threads I have read regarding the same problem. Since the system worked fine out of the box I am assuming there is either a virus or malware that Kapersky is not picking up or some other corrupt driver/program causing an issue. I thought this might be a fine time to upgrade to Windows 7. Windows 7 will not install because of the hang up. I want to try to do a clean install but do not want to loose pics, music, etc (wife would kill me if I lost 6 years of family pics). I don't think the backup utility or Windows easy transfer will accomplish this. I was thinking about making a mirror image on an external HD and importing the few select files I want to the new OS after the fact. Is this possible?
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  1. why not just copy the pictures-music etc to the external drive if you can manage to boot it in safe mode--i see so many people that store all their important photos on one pc only to lose them or have to pay loads to have them recovered--if they are really important back them up to 2 seperate places--flash drives and external drives are really cheap nowadays

    if you make an image or clone it will have the same problems your original does unless its a hardware problem so you will have the same issues unless your image is browsable without booting from it
  2. I have backed everything to an external HD. I also stripped a ton of files off the PC. I think the HP software for the printer and the software for the graphics card were causing a ton of problems. That being said I am going to put the remaining files on my netbook and go with a clean install. Thanks for your input.
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