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And afterward, Microsoft will forgive you your trespasses. You'll want them all handy in a place outside the computer you're upgrading.
It will tell you if you need to update your drivers or apps to make them work in 7. Make a copy of your hard drive, just in case things go horribly wrong.
Many of you did not upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista, but are planning to upgrade to Windows 7. As a punishment, you can't upgrade directly from XP to 7; you have to do what's called a clean install, which means you have to jump through some hoops to keep your old data and programs. Make sure you have all the CDs or if you downloaded programs, back up any install files you have on an external drive.
Not to worry, a couple ways to deal with the pain of installing Windows 7 on your XP machine. Also don't forget to gather all the license keys either off product boxes or from e-mails.
The last thing before we get to the actual Windows 7 disc is to download and run the Windows Easy Transfer Wizard.
This will allow you to back up all your files and settings to an external hard drive. Launch the wizard and make sure your external drive is plugged in.