Yesterday we talked about Type 2 hypervisors and why you might want to actually use them. I told you then that the main reason you use a type 2 hypervisor is to ease the transitionary pain of moving from one operating system to another. No sooner did I print those words that one of my co-workers and friends Harold Wong puts up this blog post talking about his experience helping some friends transition operating systems from XP to Windows 7. Harold makes it all the way to paragraph 3 before introducing XP mode and a tool that we will discuss in detail a little later this week called Disk2VHD. Go and read the post. It is well written and will give you some insights into how you might approach an upgrade to Windows 7
I will give you my big three things to know before you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7
1. Windows 7 is a much better operating system than you think it is.
Let me dispel any fear you may have about the Windows 7 operating system. This baby is a thing of beauty! Like any baby you will find that when you first get it you spend a fair amount of time just admiring its simple genius. When you actually start using it it gets even better. Most of what you have now will likely run just fine in Windows 7. It can’t do absolutely everything (read: run ancient apps) but there’s always XPMode for that.
2. Back Up everything!
I wish I had a dollar for every time I have said that. If you back up your stuff you wont lose your stuff. If you don’t back it up and something goes terribly wrong then to compound your problems all your stuff is gone. Backup- Backup – Backup
3. Have an App Migration Strategy!
While Windows 7 has a built in set of tools to help you migrate files and settings it does NOT have a tool that will help you transfer your applications themselves. That means you either have to have the install disks or you will need to make some other arrangement to get your applications ported to Windows 7. Making a personal snapshot of your Windows XP machine with DIsk2VHD makes great sense.