It is no secret that Windows XP way outlasted its intended timeframe, with much of the credit going to the massive failure that was Windows Vista.
When Windows 7 finally arrived, many users hesitantly started to make the move away from the aging XP, but many more still have yet to make such a move.
If you’ve considered Windows 7, what’s holding you back? For many users, it is the inability to directly upgrade their programs and current configuration information to the newest version of Windows.
That’s where Zinstall Xp7 comes in, a handy migration tool meant for allowing you to keep on using your XP programs and settings.
While it is meant for migration to Windows 7, from the sounds of it, the program will also support the migration to Windows 8 (once it actually is out, not the Consumer Preview).
So what exactly is Zinstall, beyond migration? Think of it as cross between Windows XP compatibility mode and a full settings migration tool.
Basically it moves over your old applications and parts of the configuration files, making it so there is nothing you have to reinstall.
Many of the programs that aren’t really Windows 7-friendly will be able to run from XP7, which is a lot like a virtual machine and Windows XP mode, though it is much more integrated to the Windows 7 side than that solution.
One big advantage to this solution versus using XP MODE is that you don’t need to have hardware virtualization in Zinstall, which is required in XP MODE.
The only downside is that you do need a fair amount of space, and the process of migration does take quite a while. Still, it is just a 250MB EXE file, plus your existing files, and is honestly worth the little bit of time and space needed to get it up and running.
Once you are done activating the software, you specify your migration scenario, such as migrating from an older machine to a new one or simply upgrading the OS on the same machine. If you want to truly upgrade the experience, you will write over XP, and it will place all old files into Windows.old, though the migration tool will make sure everything works seamlessly inside of Windows 7.
If you are migrating to a new PC, you will need to hook up your old HDD, and it will retrieve all the information and put it into the proper place for use in Windows 7.
That’s really it, that simple. From there you will find that you can start up Windows 7 and click on the Zinstall application, and you’ll have Windows XP inside with all your past files, applications and configuration settings.
Here’s a Zinstall promo video from YouTube.
Honestly, Zinstall is great because it’s more than just a migration tool. Is it the only option you have? Technically, no.
You could simply re-install your favorite programs directly into Windows 7 and slowly backup favorite files onto an external drive to bring over to the new OS.
You also could upgrade from XP to Vista, and then from Vista to 7. Keep in mind that a lot can go wrong with that many steps though. This is one of the least buggiest, easy ways to get the job done.
This tool could be even more useful once Windows 8 comes out, providing it has full-support.
You can buy Zinstall HDD which will only transfer your system from one hard drive to another here
You can buy Zinstall XP7 which will only transfer your system from Windows XP to Windows 7.
Need to migrate a lot of computers? You might want to try the Zinstall Migration Suite.
The Zinstall Migration Suite allows you to perform a complete and efficient corporate-wide migration of end-user workstations to new hardware and/or to new OS.
Using the Suite, IT staff can save 2-4 hours per each user migrated, which quickly translates in significant cost savings. In addition, using the Suite minimizes user frustration and rejection risk, and eliminates the “migration shock”.
If you are in the process of migrating hundreds (or thousands) of XP computers and would like to get a competitive enterprise migration quote, email ZinstallMigrationsuite(at)Nnigma(dot)com and someone will get back to you within 2 hours.