How to Upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7 (Video Demonstration)

Discussion in 'Blogs' started by Mike, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
    Staff Member Premium Supporter

    Jul 22, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Proof of concept demonstration: Some have stated it is not possible to upgrade from XP to Windows 7. Here is the one way to do it.

    Hello again, and welcome to another tutorial from This tutorial is a little special; it's a little different from most. What we plan on doing is proving a proof of concept to update and upgrade Windows XP Professional to Windows 7. How this is done is quite complex, but it is in fact possible. Many review sites and different people out there have said that it is not possible to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, however we will use a method to show you how it is done and how it can be done. It will take time, but it is possible.

    Once the setup [of Windows XP] is done, we will begin the steps that need to be taken to show you how to upgrade your Windows XP Professional computer to Windows 7 Profesisonal.

    We have currently installed Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 with an official CD from Microsoft Corporation. We are running on a virtual machine, again, with 2GB of RAM, on a 20GB hard drive. We are using a Core i7 Processor at 3.33ghz.

    Now, as far as upgrading to Windows 7 is concerned: there is a way to do it. It just takes several steps.

    The first step, is to understand that we are on Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3, and we are unlicensed in this case. We do not advocate software piracy by any means. I'm not really sure if this violates the license agreement with Microsoft, but whether or not you have an activated version of Windows XP or not, you can go ahead and upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista Business edition, which is equivalent to Windows XP Professional, and Windows 7 Professional.

    That is what we are intending to do right now.

    As you can see, the upgrade from Windows XP Professional to Windows Vista Business is not too difficult. We have Service Pack 2 already. And we'll be doing an upgrade. There will be a compatibility check: no issues. There is a warning for Windows Messenger, but it won't prevent us from upgrading. Before you know it, we'll have Windows Vista installed, and then we'll be back again.

    Well, we've successfully upgraded to Windows Vista, but what we found was that we didn't have enough hard drive space to initiate an upgrade to Windows 7 Professional, after upgrading to Windows Vista. We started off with a 20GB hard drive, and fortunately, we had the luxury to expand to a 30GB hard drive, which didn't take much time. So if you plan on doing this, you should at least have a 30GB hard drive at minimum so that you have enough space to upgrade to Windows 7.

    As a matter of fact, we started with a 20GB, and I think a 25GB would probably work when upgrading to Windows 7. As you can see, we are still unlicensed here; we have 30 days to activate, and we had a few days to activate under Windows XP Professional. We just so happen to have the Windows 7 installation media on hand, and what we will do is launch that. We will begin the process of installing Windows 7.

    So remember, when upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista, to Windows 7, you must have at least 15GB of free space available on your hard drive. There are some compatibility issues, but they are mostly related to our network adapter here. Windows does need to be restarted first, before we can perform the upgrade. We'll do that now. (The reason for the required restart was the expansion of the hard drive from 20GB to 30GB to accommodate enough free space for a Windows 7 Professional upgrade from Windows Vista).

    And here we are again. Now this computer could be filled with software. It could have Microsoft Office on it; it could have all sorts of different software on it, but we still are able to manage to upgrade from Windows XP, and that's what the important part is. As long as we have 15GB of free space on hand, we can upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista to Windows 7. At the end of the day, what we really need is a Windows 7 license key that is genuine and valid.

    As far as having genuine license keys for the other software: you are not permitted to use Windows XP or Windows Vista under the End User License Agreement (EULA), but no one ever said about upgrading with that. So we do not really know, legally, whether this is a legitimate way of upgrading from Windows XP without product keys for all three operating systems. It can be done, though, as you are seeing right now. And before you know it, we'll have Windows 7 up and running.

    "Whether by design or by flaw, you can initiate a Windows XP, to Windows Vista, to Windows 7 upgrade without product keys."

    Well we're here running Windows 7, without any flaws, having upgraded from Windows XP, to Windows Vista, to Windows 7. So yes, in fact, it is possible, although difficult and time consuming: it is very possible to upgrade to Windows 7 from Windows XP. It requires no license keys, technically, and it can be done. All you have to have is enough hard disk space on your computer. And you need to meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 7.

    So there you go: It all works, and it works pretty good. Everything is running smooth. And we've pretty much got it working. You'll probably have a bunch of device driver conflicts and all sorts of issues, if you do have an old XP machine, but those are things that can be dealt with. I would certainly recommend a clean install, but if this is your only option it is available to you. You can upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7: regardless of what anyone says.

    Important Highlights:

    • Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 without licensing for XP, Vista, and 7, may violate the Microsoft End User License Agreement for their software, but no one really knows at this time.
    • Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 creates a large OS foot print due to the various OSes that have been installed. By the time you get to Windows Vista, you will need, at minmum, 15GB of free space to continue the upgrade to Windows 7.
    • A proper backup and clean install is always recommended over an upgrade installation, especially when so many changes have taken place since the official release of Windows XP.
    • The official Microsoft website explains how to conduct an "upgrade" from Windows XP. This involves a user file migration of all files off the host computer, a "clean", or "custom" install of Windows 7, and the deletion of all files and folders from the computer:
    • TechNet: Windows 7 Upgrade and Migration Guide

Share This Page