If you want to downgrade or upgrade you operating system, there are a few things that can turn the process into a nightmare if you’re not prepared before you start. One easily overlooked item that can go wrong is getting your new OS setup and then realizing you can’t connect to the internet to get some necessary files because you don’t remember your log in information.
This is why one of the first things you want to do before switching your current OS is to write down the passwords for everything you use on your computer. A few important things to record are the log in and passwords for your e-mail, internet service provider, software programs, and website accounts.
Another big pitfall that can occur is forgetting to back up all of your documents and personal files. While many OS upgrades or downgrades have an option to keep your current files intact for the transition, it is recommended to back up any file you don’t want to lose forever.
If you end up forgetting to back up a file that you simply can’t be without, there exist services and software that may be able to recover the lost data for you. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that either of them will work, and the costs for such a service could cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars!
There are three easy ways to choose from for backing up your documents. The first option is to copy all of your documents and files onto a folder on your desktop and then use a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray Writer to burn them to a disc. A second option is to back up your files using a USB memory stick or an external hard drive. A third way is to e-mail your documents to yourself as attachments, although isn’t really an option if you have a lot of video or music files.
Anyone planning on switching their OS should also be aware that they could run into trouble if they don’t have the drivers for all of their computer hardware at hand on a CD/DVD. The most important drivers to have on hand are for the motherboard, video card, and network adapter.
Additional drivers for things like mice, keyboards, monitors, sound cards can be useful, but usually aren’t vital. You will definitely want to write down the name of your hardware just in case any of the driver files become corrupted.
If you don’t have your computer’s drivers saved to a disk already, you can download them directly from your computer and store them using one of the methods mentioned above.
Alternatively, you could Google the name of your device followed by the word “drivers” to find the corresponding hardware support site. Thankfully, most hardware devices these days have support sites that let you download the drivers for free; you just need to know the exact name of the device. If you have these things in order before you change your OS, you’ll be prepared to prevent almost any problems that may arise during the transition.