While most organizations likely will choose not to use Vista as a middle step when moving from WinXP to Win7, some of Microsoft's Vista-to-Windows-7 migration tools can still be useful for making the move. Regardless of source or destination versions, it's necessary to perform a so-called clean install. At minimum, this three-phase process backs up vital data from the source computer to external storage, installs Windows 7 on the source drive, and then restores the vital data. Obviously, a middle step is eliminated if source hardware is being replaced by a system with Windows 7 already installed. More on that later, including a method of direct data transfer.