What is the best way to migrate from Windows XP 32-bit to Windows 7 64-bit?

Norman August 25, 2011
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I’d like to know the best procedure for backing up everything on my Windows XP 32-bit machine to Norton Ghost (or something else) to an external back-up drive, and then transferring everything to my new 64-bit Windows 7. Is this even possible with Windows 7’s built in emulation — or am I just asking for trouble? Are there any migration guides that anyone would recommend? Thanks!

  1. Jeffery Fabish
    August 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I think you partly answered your own question. Yes, backup your data with your backup utility (if that's Norton Ghost, fine) or directly to an external hard drive (preferable). Norton Ghost runs natively on Windows 7 so there is no need for emulation.

    You can't directly upgrade so I'm afraid you will need to install Windows 7 on top of XP.

  2. Bruce Epper
    August 25, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Your subject makes it sound like you are upgrading your OS on a single machine from XP to 7, but your more detailed description makes it sound like you have a new Win7 machine and you want to transfer from your old machine to the new one.

    If you are working on the single machine upgrade scenario, you need to follow the steps detailed by ha14 above, but reverse steps 3 and 4.  You need to have all of your applications installed in order to be able to have them properly applied during the second half of the Easy Transfer process.

    If you are working with and old XP machine and a new Win7 box, you just need to install all of your applications and then use the Easy Transfer utility to pull everything else over to the new machine.  A backup of the XP box is not mandatory for this one, but it is still a good idea.

    If you have apps that will not run properly under 7, you can use Paragon's Go Virtual program to create a virtual disk of the old system that can be imported into VirtualBox, VMWare, or MSVPC.  If you have the Professional, Business or Ultimate version of Win7, you can set it up using the same built-in VMM that powers XP Mode, otherwise you will need to install VMWare Player (free), VMWare Workstation (paid), or VirtualBox (free) on your Win 7 system.

  3. Anonymous
    August 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Paragon System Upgrade Utilities 2010 Suite