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Windows 7 Upgrade Could Take Over 20 Hours

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 59 comments

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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  • 32 Hide
    08nwsula , September 14, 2009 11:05 PM
    20 hours? were they using a floppy?
  • 28 Hide
    apache_lives , September 14, 2009 11:05 PM
    any "upgrade" is an ugly messy way to get windows installed - dump that *** and format the dam thing and get a decent fresh install onto that system
Other Comments
  • 32 Hide
    08nwsula , September 14, 2009 11:05 PM
    20 hours? were they using a floppy?
  • 28 Hide
    apache_lives , September 14, 2009 11:05 PM
    any "upgrade" is an ugly messy way to get windows installed - dump that *** and format the dam thing and get a decent fresh install onto that system
  • 1 Hide
    Robert17 , September 14, 2009 11:13 PM
    Certainly 20 hours would be a max? That is, if there are many, many programs, games, files, folders, drivers, registry entries, right? I'm using RC7 now and can only determine that Adobe and RC7 don't get along. The beta's of AV software work ok, other than the expiration dates. DirectX 11 not recognized by many graphics cards, so Dumbdown seems to be the way to go. 20 hours, huh. I've done clean installs, including several programs, games, etc, in no more than 6-7 worst case scenario, never upgraded, so it makes me wonder what MS did to arrive at the scary 20 hour number.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , September 14, 2009 11:19 PM
    fresh install is the way to go.
  • 1 Hide
    CoryInJapan , September 14, 2009 11:24 PM
    I agree.upgrade should never be in consideration with installing a new Op system.Best performance is always from a fresh clean install over upgrade.

    Sure upgrade install.
    Upgrade with all the viruses/spyware/malware/trojan w/e that's on your old system your virus program didn't detect.
  • -7 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , September 14, 2009 11:38 PM
    Will do fresh install on new TB-size hard drive.
  • 4 Hide
    cybrcatter , September 14, 2009 11:40 PM
    Quote:
    Most users will average upgrade times lasting just a few hours

    So you used statistical outliers to make an intriguing headline for an article of little to no relevance for any of the readers of this website?
    Thank you for wasting my time.
  • -2 Hide
    zoobiewa , September 14, 2009 11:51 PM
    Wow... only 20 hours to get a system back to the way it was before? That's amazing. I know that it takes me weeks and I often can NEVER get things back to how I wanted them before. Just getting things like photoshop macros and other programmed settings working again means I have to relearn and redo things that I figured out years ago. I am totally trapped in my OS! Augh!
  • -3 Hide
    Burodsx , September 15, 2009 12:02 AM
    cybrcatter: The article might be useful to users that don't have the experience or knowledge of doing fresh installs and updating all the drivers. By no means is that a difficult task, but there are plenty who would rather take the 'easy way out' so to speak.
  • -2 Hide
    kato128 , September 15, 2009 12:09 AM
    zoobiewaWow... only 20 hours to get a system back to the way it was before? That's amazing. I know that it takes me weeks and I often can NEVER get things back to how I wanted them before. Just getting things like photoshop macros and other programmed settings working again means I have to relearn and redo things that I figured out years ago. I am totally trapped in my OS! Augh!


    Think of it as retraining. MS is increasing your value to your employer.
  • 1 Hide
    cybrcatter , September 15, 2009 12:37 AM
    Burodsxcybrcatter: The article might be useful to users that don't have the experience or knowledge of doing fresh installs and updating all the drivers. By no means is that a difficult task, but there are plenty who would rather take the 'easy way out' so to speak.


    I said nothing about fresh installs. I referencing the information about UPGRADES, specifically "Most users will average upgrade times lasting just a few hours"
    Meaning that, of the set of users who wish to take the UPGRADE rout, MOST of them will have acceptable install times.

    It's like creating a headline along the lines of 'Residents in southern California can experience more than 2 strokes per year!".
    It is not an invalid statement-there is in fact a very small percentage of that population that do, but its abusing statistical outliers to make an otherwise nonexistent newsworthy story.
  • 1 Hide
    amabhy , September 15, 2009 12:37 AM
    At least its better than something that never installs

    *cough* snow job *cough*
  • 1 Hide
    xaira , September 15, 2009 1:11 AM
    lol ^ +1, paying for a service pack, what idiots
  • 2 Hide
    cletus_slackjawd , September 15, 2009 1:34 AM
    I've recently been having troubles with my main PC (vista) with BF2 crashing to desktop and on another computer running XP having blue screens. Well I've formatted and clean installed several times on both. the XP machine ended up having a faulty stick of RAM and the other one was a combo problem with punkbuster and sound driver issue. My point was going to be: I'm a very seasoned pro in the clean install routine but the funny thing is there is always something that goes slightly wrong, something reported by windows (different each time) that something my not have installed correctly, or the anti-virus program (symantec end-point protection) is not correctly reporting status to windows security center etc. I've found lots of inconsistancies with driver updates (which ones are the actual latest ones from manufactures website vs Windows Update) and which order to install, re-read fine print, uninstall, re-install, reboot, run setup to complete. ARGH!! It's not as easy as it's been made out, you really have to take it slow and research before you plunge in and take your time, sometimes the installation instructions don't jive to what you see on screen, sometimes you have to think it through and figure it out yourself.
  • 0 Hide
    cletus_slackjawd , September 15, 2009 1:39 AM
    Example: Realtek HD Audio Codec, released a new Windows certified driver. Then about 4 days later they release a new one. To install it, you run the setup, then you have to reboot. Windows picks up a new driver and says it installed. But it's actually not fully installed, you have to run the setup program a 2nd time before it completes the install and then reboot. It says this in the readme file but I suspect alot of people like me would just assume it was fully installed and drive on only to have problems later.
  • -1 Hide
    anamaniac , September 15, 2009 2:08 AM
    Tkes like what, half an hour for a fresh install and a half hour to backup all your goodies?

    I backed up 200 gigs of goodies and did a fresh install in a few hours, most of the time was just transfering data to old slow drives. =D
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 15, 2009 2:12 AM
    I wonder how many have tried to upgrade from Vista to 7
    I did an upgrade to Win 7 on my machine and it took about 3 hours. A full install of Vista took about an hour(not including installing drivers) so I think the 20 hours is an extreme case not the norm.
  • 2 Hide
    rcpratt , September 15, 2009 2:39 AM
    Slow systems will install slow. More news at 11.
  • -1 Hide
    rexter , September 15, 2009 3:06 AM
    I did try the upgrade before during Windows 7 RC test and it didn't take that long. It actually takes me less time to install the Vista to 7 upgrade than to clean install an XP plus updates.

    Upgrading from Vista is a better option for me because all the drivers are installed. Clean install is better but not faster.
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