Backup restore from Vista to Win 7?

Before I install a clean version of Win 7 over my current Vista config, I of course wanted to do a backup of all my files, music, savegames, etc…

Vista has that handy self-advertised ‘Backup and Restore’ wizard right sitting there in the Start menu, so i figure that is the easiest bet to manually going through my C:/ drive and pecking out the pertinent stuff.

Using an external 250gb drive, I clicked through the menus, and Vista created a backup file titled “Windows Backup 10-22-09” which is divided into a bunch of numbered files that don’t have ANY descriptors for what is actually saved.

So now I have a dilemma, not knowing what actually made it safe onto the external drive(despite 150gb of data transferred), how can I know for sure that my itunes library, savegames, and etc… actually made the transition. When I do wipe my main HDD and install a clean Win 7, will I even be able to restore this Vista backup properly??

I have half a mind to just delete the entire backup and spend whatever time it will take manually sifting my HDD for all the stuff I need to keep rather than trust this Auto-backup wizard. I am just so lost and afraid. Help!

Win7 has a great feature that’s oddly undocumented and rarely discussed. You can install it on any existing partition, and just have it move any existing Windows OS to windows.old, program files.old, and documents and settings.old.

You get a fresh OS install, but all your old files are still there. Win - win.

So wait, when I install Win 7, can I have it create a Win.old partition on my external drive and have it transfer to my internal once I get the clean install all sorted out?

I’d rather not dive into the dark world of partitioning a single internal drive since I am clueless on that sort of thing, and the idea of cutting my HDD vault space into weird segregated quadrants frightens me.

It will move windows to windows.old on the partition it currently exists on.