What should I do before I upgrade my system to Windows 7?

To save time and help avoid problems during installation:

Find your product key.

You can find your product key on your computer or on the installation disc holder inside the Windows package—or in a confirmation e‑mail if you purchased and downloaded Windows 7 online. A product key sticker looks similar to this:

PRODUCT KEY: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

Go to the Microsoft website to see examples of product key stickers.

Write down your computer name.

If your computer is currently connected to a network, you might need you computer name after Windows 7 installation is complete. For more information, see Find your computer name.

Back up your files.

You can back up files to an external hard disk, a DVD or CD, or a network folder. We recommend using Windows Easy Transfer to back up your files and settings. For more information, go to the Windows Easy Transfer webpage.

Download and run the free Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.

So you want to upgrade to Windows 7 but you are not sure of what hardware or software pitfalls you may face? It will help find any potential compatibility issues with your computer's hardware, devices, or programs that might affect installing Windows 7. For more information, go to the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor webpage.

Update your antivirus program, run it, and then turn it off.

After you install Windows, remember to turn your antivirus program back on, or install new antivirus software that works with Windows 7.

Connect to the Internet.

Make sure your Internet connection is working so that you can get the latest installation updates, such as security updates and driver updates that can help with installation. If you don't have an Internet connection, you can still install Windows 7.

Learn more about Windows 7 here.