I am on an HP Pavillion Media Center m8200m PC. The computer came with Vista on it and did not come with any Vista operating system installation discs when I bought it. I did make a set of two system recovery discs from this original Vista operating system, About 3 months ago, I decided to put on an evaluation copy of Windows 7 (Build 7100). In order to do this, I had to remove Vista completely from my computer and then install the the Windows 7 evaluation download from Microsoft. It has worked fine since, but will expire shortly. I now want to put on a permanent installation of Windows 7, but am unsure how to do this. Can someone please explain the procedure to me. I have read that I cannot upgrade to anything directly from the Windows 7 evaluation copy. Do I need to recover the computer and install Vista from the recovery discs (providing I can reinstall Vista from these recovery discs), then upgrade to a permanent version of Windows 7 (from a less expensive Windows 7 upgrade). Or, will I have to buy a full version of Windows 7 and start from scratch? Also, is there a way to retain all my data on this computer during this new installation of Windows 7, or will I lose averything including programs, data, etc. and have to reinstall it once I have the new permanent operating system on the computer?
I'm usually pretty good with this stuff, but can't seem to get a straight answer. I want to do this as soon as possible, so would greatly appreciate a straight, clear explanation of what to do. I would truly appreciate it.