Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:56 PM
Allan above is right - upgrading from XP to Win 7 does a hard drive format. The update is well worth doing as Win 7 is a better operating system but you do need to back up all your data before you start. The method you use depends on how much data you have on your 'C' drive. But you need to back up all your data :- work files, graphics, photos, music, video, whatever.
Perhaps, as a guide, up to 20 Gb is about 4 DVDs ( approx 4.5 Gb each ). Beyond that, you could try borrowing a USB hard drive off a friend - or even buying one. These are fairly readily available from 250 Gb up to 1 Tb. Just drag and drop the folders you want to backup to the USB drive in Windows Explorer. Using 'The Cloud' is a good idea, but remember you are limited by whatever the upload rate is from your ISP. If you have a considerable amount of data it could take a long time to get it into the cloud !
The quickest way to back up your data is to use a second hard drive, but if you are still running XP you probably only have IDE conectors on your mother board, and IDE hard drives are becoming hard to find. If your mobo has SATA connectors, then you don't have a problem with sourcing a second hard drive.
Backing up your data from time to time is good practice anyway - it cost a friend of mine £ 400 GB to recover her data from a dead hard drive - and that buys an awful lot of back up ! I'd be inclined to go the SSD USB connected route myself.
You will still have to reinstall your applications, drivers etc., but that's the easy bit. If you don't back up your own work somewhere, it will be gone.