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Windows 7: Can an XP User Account be copied into Windows 7 Pro?

20 Dec 2012   #1

Win 7 Home Premium
Can an XP User Account be copied into Windows 7 Pro?

I’ve tried to search this but have had no luck. My wife’s computer has XP Pro 64-bit installed and she wants to try (again) to upgrade to Windows 7.

I have 2 hard drives for her computer, the one with the XP OS is installed and the other with Windows 7 is waiting to be installed. I only planned on installing one HD at a time, but if I can install both and copy her user files and emails from one HD to the other, that would be an option too. Eventually I want to have just the Windows 7 HD installed and archive the XP HD in the safe.

Several months ago she wanted to try Windows 7 but I anticipated that she may want to switch back to XP if she didn’t like the new system. I bought a new HD and installed it in her computer, then installed Windows 7 Pro on it. The new system works fine and was updated to a current state as of several months ago. I realize there will be lots of Windows 7 updates to install, and I’m willing to spend the time necessary to do that.

However, I’m looking for a short cut for installing all of her personal settings and Outlook email files from XP to Windows 7. I’m thinking that I could copy her entire User file from the XP system and after Win 7 is finally updated and current, paste that User account into Windows 7. MS Office 2003 is already installed on the new HD.

I realize it won’t be a 100% “one for one” swap and that I may have to tweak several settings from her XP User account, but is using the XP User account even feasible? If I can’t paste her XP User account, can I copy her XP Outlook PST file onto a flash drive and then paste that PST file into Windows 7? I don’t see why that wouldn’t work, but there are a lot of issues that I’m not aware of.

Does anyone have any better suggestions on how to import her personal settings and emails into Windows 7 on the new HD?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. I didn't realize this was my first post. I've been lurking and reading for quite a while. I live in the Largo, Florida area and have been very active in computers for several years, but just recently upgraded to Windows 7 on my personal computers. I'm getting more comfortable with Windows 7 each day, but now that I've broken the ice with this first post, I hope to become fairly active. I hope that I can eventually contribute to the forum. I'm glad to be here!



My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Dec 2012   #2

Windows 8 Core X64

I don't think it's a good idea to copy the user profile folder over, but hey, try it. If it doesn't work then try Windows Easy Transfer, from the XP system to the Windows 7 system.

It's not perfect but may do most of what you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2012   #3

Win 7 Home Premium

Thanks Ztruker!

I'll report back with what worked.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Dec 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


Unplug the XP HD during Windows 7 install.

After install drag the content of XP Documents folders into the respective corresponding Windows 7 User folders.

I would not import User Appdata folders as they are a corruption path into a Clean Install partially defeating its purpose of starting fresh.

Study the steps to get a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which are the same for retail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I also concur that it's best to just copy over user documents. I wouldn't bother with other user data specific to programs and the system configuration. Even though Microsoft provides a utility, it's not fool proof. I've seen postings from people where it didn't go as expected and caused some corruption. But if you're intent on using it, make sure you do a system back up before hand, in case you need to recover from it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)

Let me preface this by saying I have never done it. I went from XP (and loved it) to Windows 7. There should be no problem at all with copying the documents, pictures and other folders from XP to the appropriate folders in 7. I would not try the app data folder though. And as Greg said, copying app data can cause some serious problems.If you use Windows Live Mail, it will be difficult to transfer emails but it can be done. I'm sure if you posted in the Browsers and Mail forum the answer would be quickly given. If you use Microsoft Office Outlook, there should be no problems with email. I would not try to transfer settings as 7 has many more options than XP and is easier to manipulate. Coming from XP to 7 has it's learning curve as I'm sure you know. But, once the transition is made, you will appreciate the ease and simplicity of 7 over XP. That is my .02 cents worth.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can an XP User Account be copied into Windows 7 Pro?

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