Windows 7 Upgrading from WinXP


Senior Member
Feb 7, 2009
I would be curious to get some reactions to those who have upgraded a WinXp system to Windows 7. I have installed the beta on a separate paration but when the final is released I would like to upgrade my existing winXP system. Just wanted to know how this would work out. Thanks.
There is no direct upgrade for anything older than Vista SP1, as far as I have heard.
You'll have to do a fresh install if you have XP.
You CAN upgrade XP to W7 but you have to go "Via VISTA", and then only to the W7 X-32 version.

1) XP HOME ===>W7. Upgrade first to VISTA X-32 HOME PREMIUM or X-32 ULTIMATE. DO NOT ACTIVATE / ENTER A SERIAL NUMBER. After you've done your upgrade you've got 30 Days to complete the upgrade to W7.

Do the VISTA updates from Windows update and then simply run the Upgrade to W7 from the VISTA system you've just created.

2) XP PRO ===>W7 can only be done via upgrade to VISTA X-32 ULTIMATE. As before DO NOT ENTER A SERIAL NUMBER and complete the upgrade within 30 days. as above -- install the VISTA updates via Windows update before upgrading to W7.

You can borrow a copy of VISTA to do the upgrade or use a copy you've already installed on another machine -- upgrade doesn't check to see if the Windows VISTA system being upgraded to W7 has been activated or not. (Seems a little loophole here in the Licensing system which may get plugged later - however currently you can take advantage of it).

Note -- when you first do the VISTA upgrade before going to W7 you might see a couple of messages listing totally incompatable programs --uninstall these first from the XP system and then continue the upgrade.

IN ANY CASE BEFORE STARTING BACKUP YOUR XP SYSTEM FIRST. Use some imaging software like GHOST or Acronis True Image.

Some people prefer a W7 Clean install -- however I found that some driver issues I had simply went away when I did an upgrade rather than a clean install -- go with whatever works for you.

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Thanks, this is a good "workaround", but considering the number of XP users who will be upgrading to win7 don't you think Microsoft will come up with a more "convenient" way to do it? :confused:
Hi there -- maybe but I think Microsoft's first priority is to get Windows 7 out of the door.

There could just be too much work at this stage in developing an XP==>W7 direct route -- don't forget Windows XP is already way beyond its original shelf life and is almost 8 years old now.

The fact it works, doesn't consume humoungous resources, and people on the whole like it still doesn't alter the fact that Microsoft intended around 80% of Windows users to be on VISTA by now.

To do some major re-engineering of XP==>W7 upgrades I think would be "more effort" than Microsoft thinks it's worthwhile to do.

I almost suspect that using a VISTA system for upgrades also has its merits as you only need 1 Copy of VISTA to do the upgrade -- no matter how many W7 Licenses you get. This could be of interest to corporates who've largely skipped VISTA altogether and possibly make deployment of a large number of W7 installations fairly easy.

Make a single decent working W7 image via VISTA upgrade and then propagate / deploy to all the machines you've got a license for. Corporate PC's usually have identical or 99% similar hardware.

Unlike home users corporate users have fairly straight forward apps -- but often older stuff like special Data base / ERP/CRM /E-Commerce software. This is unlikely to be available straight away in W7 but may well work in an XP==>VISTA==>W7 upgrade.

It actually doesn't take too long to do it either -- maybe an extra 90 mins or so and the VISTA step will tell you with around 99% accuracy what XP applications won't and what will run on W7.

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That's all fine and dandy for the big corporate users, but what about us home users who have no access to Vista Ultimate? I know no one who using it, so in order to do this XP-Vista-7 upgrade I'd have to buy a copy of Vista and a copy of Win7.

Don't think I'll be doing this. Even though it'll be a pain I think I go with the fresh install, unless Microsoft gives out a free copy of Vista with Win7 ??
Hi there -- I think you'll probably have to go the "Clean install" route. However you might be able to borrow a copy of VISTA from someone / friend, IT dept at work, etc etc. - this will work fine as you don't have to activate it.

A lot of home users will have at least one machine where VISTA was pre-installed. You could take an image of this and load it on to another computer using ACRONIS Universal restore (part of True Image). Another source is EBAY or a torrent (but we don't discuss those here).

Remember you don't have to ACTIVATE the VISTA installation.

For what its worth going from XP > Vista > Windows 7 seems like a whole lot more trouble and problematic than doing a clean install of Windows 7. Fresh installs can be a pain but it will run so much smoother than doing 2 upgrades.
Hi guys

-- I DID add the Caveat that where you have old XP programs and no Install package then an upgrade is the only option -- for example say you did an install via the Internet (rather like Adobe does for some products --- no download to disk to be installed later) and the company no longer exists then an upgrade is the only possible way .

Sometimes as well the installer checks the OS even though the actual application will work. So if the installer reports "Invalid or Unsupported OS" and the product won't install then also in this case only an Upgrade will work.

I agree that WHEN POSSIBLE a clean install is to be preferred but please understand that this is not always possible.

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