Upgrading to Windows 7 from Vista is a cinch: all you have to do is insert a disk and follow the on-screen steps. The new operating system simply replaces the old in the background, without any lost data. However, those with Windows XP aren’t so lucky. For such users, a direct upgrade to Windows 7 isn’t an option during the installation process, so most (but not all) documents will be lost when Windows 7 writes on top of XP.
Thankfully, Windows 7 saves some XP files in a new folder it will call Windows.old. To get started, back up your hard drive completely by using Acronis True Image (a one-time-use free trial will be sufficient for your task; www.acronis.com). Then, follow the steps below.