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Step-By-Step: How To "Upgrade" from Windows XP to Windows 7

You've likely heard that you can't straight upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. You can upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7, but not from XP to 7. Some folks who apparently have a pile of operating systems discs have proposed that one could upgrade from XP to Vista, then from Vista to Windows 7, but I think that's insane. Most PC experts will recommend you start fresh and "pave" your machine anyway. I think this is a hassle, but in the case of XP to 7, it's necessary.I was asked to "upgrade" a relative's machine from Windows XP to Windows 7, so I figured this was a good time to write-up the experience in case it helps others.This is a screenshot heavy post, so bear with me, this is a tale best told with pictures.Disclaimer: I do work for Microsoft, but I don't work with the Win7 team so this is just one dude's opinion. If this walkthrough paralyzes your hamster or causes you any emotional distress, we never spoke and I don't kn…