Upgrade Hp dv7-2185 from Vista to Windows 7

I have a HP Pavilion dv7-2185dx Laptop. I bought it right when Windows 7 came out. I had the option to upgrade to Windows 7 for free. I never did the free upgrade. The system is a work horse and I want to up upgrade it to windows 7. I have a full stand alone copy of windows 7 I can install on it. I was wondering what the best path would be to accomplish the final goal of the laptop with Windows 7 working with all the current drivers. I could order the orginal install disks (Vista then purchase the upgrade) or would it be better to just to a clean install on the system with my Windows 7? Which ever path, how would I get all the drivers needed for the system if I use Windows 7 install disk? I know it does have some ability to plug and play. Thank you. Oh yes it is a quad core with 6 gig of ram and 500 gig hard drive. Its processors are Intel Core Q900 2.0 ghz.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
would it be better to just to a clean install on the system with my Windows 7?  <-- Yes! absolutely. Why? Any system can benefit from a clean install to rid old issues. So when upgrading, this is the best choice.

Check the HP Support site for your model and make sure (first) you can get Audio, Video, Chipset, BIOS, Power, NIC and Wireless drivers. Once you have these downloaded, back up your data, format and install Windows.
Thomas StrussCommented:
Hi there.  Ya, upgrading is not the way to go.  A clean install is much better because none of the crud from Vista is carried over.  And ya, you will need to download drivers.  Here are some steps to help you in the upgrade.

1) Backup your current hard drive configuration using Acronis or Ease Todo US backup, or whatever, if you have such a program.  This is in case things don't work out with the Windows 7 install; although, they should.  This can be considered an important optional step.

2) Download all the basic drivers you will need from here: drivers

3) Get all your keys for programs like Office if you don't have them using something like this: key-finder.  Save these for when you do the reinstall.  Download the programs if you don't have the install disk and put them on your external drive.

4) Save your personal favorites in Chrome, IE, or Firefox.  Firefox makes it easy if you install FEBE; just install it and backup your profile. After you install Windows 7,  install Firefox on your new Windows 7 PC and then put FEBE back on it.  Make a new Firefox profile by running this from the run box: "firefox.exe –no-remote -P "  Create a new profile.  Reinstall the FEBE backup you saved.   Chrome has a way to backup bookmarks that you can google.  

5) Make sure you backup these basic folders AT LEAST: desktop, downloads, documents, my music, my pictures, my favorites.  These are all in C:\users\(your user name).  Back them up to your external hard drive.  Back up any other important files.

That should be enough to cover the basics.  Let me know if you have any questions.

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I absolutely agree with with what thinkpad's said about doing a clean installation. That is always the best way to go. Drivers are usually no big problem. Just download them directly from the HP site. If there is a chipset driver, install that first, reboot, then install the rest of the drivers.
rangersal1Author Commented:
This was an excellent solution. You summarized the information and put it into steps for me. Thank you for everyone's input. Again this is an excellent example of answering a question. Pretty simple instructions.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
A clean install is always the recommended path. Upgrades work and you keep all of your installed applications, you also keep all of the crud that you've accumulated over the years.  While you're at it before you do the upgrade/clean install get the windows 7 service pack 1 unless your install media already has it.. Something to consider is that you're going to need over 100 updates so you might as well use wsusoffline (http://wsusoffline.net) and get the updates and put them onto a usb drive
Download Windows 7 Service Pack 1
windows6.1-KB976932-X64.exe       903.2 MB
windows6.1-KB976932-X86.exe        537.8 MB

Note: I've seen an upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 take 18+ hours, were a clean install takes less than 1/2 hour

HP Drivers Downlload Site
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