Simple User (non-developer) Windows XP to Windows 7 migration

The Windows 7 installation itself was quite straight forward even on my old PC. For more please see Installing Windows 7 on ASUS M2NPV-VM Motherboard based PC,

Next was the task of choosing the minimal set of software to be installed for a user level Windows 7 setup as against a developer level setup.

BTW my Windows XP was a developer setup as at the time I installed and then used it on this old PC of mine, over maybe five years back, I was teaching programming in a deemed university, and was also into fair bit of tinkering as a developer. For the past two years or more I have become a simple non-developer user who uses the computer mainly to browse the Internet including shopping and some banking work, blog, maintain some home stuff spreadsheets, create some documents, watch video, listen to audio and pick up photos from my phone (a Nokia E-52) as well as backup my phone data. So for the Windows 7 setup I chose a minimal set of software to be installed based on my current usage of my computer.

The software packages installed on top of Windows 7 were as follows:

  1. Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise
  2. Chrome
  3. iTunes
  4. VLC media player
  5. Adobe Reader
  6. Editpad Lite (Free version)
  7. Dropbox
  8. Microsoft Security Essentials [Free Antivirus software from Microsoft; Faced some problems with AVG Anti-Virus Free version which are given in the notes below.]
  9. Nokia Ovi Suite
  10. Moffsoft FreeCalc
  11. APC PowerChute

Total space taken so far

I installed Windows 7 and all the above software on a 40 GB partition (logical drive) which seems to have taken up around 21 GB disk space.

Users created

The first user created as part of Windows 7 install is the administrator user. I created an additional non-administrator user (regular user) which is the user id that I will be using primarily.

Time taken for install

I did the installation piecemeal over a few days (three to four days I think). But I think doing all the above installations at one shot (without facing any problems like the AVG Antivirus software interfering with some Windows 7 functions, which took me some time to figure out and fix) should take around two to three hours, four hours max.


1. AVG Antivirus 2015 Free version – Faced surprising problems with Windows after AVG antivirus was setup as some functions of Windows control panel just froze (would not open) like create accounts, device manager. Unistalled it using some AVG remove tool from AVG site and then control panel started working. Later I installed Microsoft Security Essentials and that has not broken the earlier mentioned control panel functions (at least so far).

2. Hibernate was resulting in auto restart. Using Device Manager, Keyboards & Mice entries, I unchecked the “Allow this device to wake the computer” checkbox in Power Management tab of the Keyboard and mouse. Did the same for NVIDIA nForce Networking Controller in Network Adapters. That solved the problem of auto restart. Also changed default action for power off button to Hibernate (using some Control Panel option/program).

3. Dropbox data migration was complex. Maybe I missed out the simple solution. After installation of Dropbox and signing in with Dropbox id/pwd, it automatically tried to download the data on the net folder down to the new dropbox folder! I tried to change the Dropbox folder location from the default to the location where I had it in XP. It seemed to give some warning about creating a folder named Dropbox, which led me to believe that it would not accept the existing folder as its new location. But, on hindsight, I think I should have tried setting it to the XP folder.

Another issue I faced was that Dropbox installed as admin user was not showing up as regular (non admin user). So I uninstalled Dropbox under admin and reinstalled it as regular user (on W7). [Maybe there was a simpler solution like changing some setting in the Dropbox software installed as administrator, but I also wanted to explore afresh the setting of the Dropbox data folder immediately after installation and so I preferred to reinstall.]

To resolve the data issue, immediately after login to Dropbox, I paused the sync., changed the location of the folder to another drive (G:) where it automatically created the folder Dropbox (I had renamed the old XP dropbox folder to dropbox-old). Then I exited Dropbox. After which I copied over the data from the XP dropbox folder onto this new dropbox folder (around 830 MB of data). Then I restarted Dropbox expecting that it would now find that the data is in sync. and skip any lengthy work. Instead, I found that after downloading the filelist it went through a process of syncing 30,000 odd files! Don’t know what exactly it did – did it compare contents of each file? Why did this syncing get triggered? Maybe the copying of data created new file creation timestamps which triggered off syncing of all the data. While I did not properly note the time taken for this syncing I think it took around half an hour to three quarters of an hour.

4. (Microsoft) Backup on Windows 7 is quite different from that of Windows XP. It requires a drive to be chosen as the backup device as against a file in XP. But at the end of the backup the data is shown as a file entry, and that file entry can be copied like any other file. Automatically some folders are chosen to be backed up which can be overridden (I did override it). It does not seem to show options like full or incremental backup but perhaps they can be accessed via some Advanced menu which I have not spotted yet.

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