Windows 7 clean and upgrade install times

Microsoft’s goal was to make an in-place upgrade from Vista SP1 to Windows 7 at least 5% faster than an in-place upgrade from Vista SP1 to a new copy of Vista SP1. A clean install is the only upgrade path between XP to Windows 7.

The Windows deployment team, published Windws 7 upgrade results using in-place upgrade times.

Lab environment… 

  • Machines in three different configurations – labeled low, mid-range and high-end – with three simulated users: a medium user (70GB of data and 20 applications), a heavy user and a super user (650GB of data and 40 applications). The profiles differed in the amount of data and the number of applications that were on the PC before the upgrade to Windows 7.
  • Windows 7 upgrade performance was tracked using Vista as the baseline comparison.

Test results…

  • In every situation, a Windows 7 upgrade was more than 5% faster than one using Vista.
  • Of the 16 scenarios – 3 each for medium and heavy profiles, 2 for the super profile, with tests run for both the 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 – 4 clocked in at less than 2 hours, and 8 in under 3 hours.
  • Fastest upgrade time – medium user profile upgrading to Windows 7 64-bit on a high-end PC, at under 84 minutes.
  • Slowest 32-bit upgrade, was a super user on a medium machine (testing profile on a low-end system was not carrid out) took 20 hours and 15 minutes.
  • “Medium” users, (70GB of data and 20 applications), will spend between 1 hour and 40 minutes and 2 hours 50 minutes doing a 32-bit upgrade. (The more powerful the PC, the faster the upgrade, according to Microsoft.)
  • Heavy users, (125GB of data and 40 applications), will spend between 2 hours and 40 minutes and 5 hours and 43 minutes to do the same upgrade.
  • A clean 32-bit upgrade (no data or applications were retained) took between 27 and 39 minutes
  • A clean 64-bit upgrade took between 30 and 47 minutes.

Note: these marks, do not account for the time spent restoring previously-backed up data and various settings, and re-installing applications.

For clean upgrades, users – those beginning with either Windows XP or Vista – can use the Windows Easy Transfer utility that comes on the Windows 7 DVD to help them back up and restore settings and data.

For IT professionals who have multiple PCs to migrate, check out the User State Migration Tool for Windows 7 and new features like hard-link migration and migration from windows.old.

PC configurations and user profiles that Microsoft tested, and the time trial results, can be found on Hernandez’s blog…


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