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Windows 7: Can I install a new, legal copy of Seven over my 'evaluation' copy...

01 Dec 2010   #1

Win 7 Enterprise 64bit
Can I install a new, legal copy of Seven over my 'evaluation' copy...

....without erasing my other programs/tunes etc?

I probably jumped the gun a bit, thinking the Windows 7 Enterprise OS that was on my new/used computer was "mine to keep". I went ahead an installed several programs including iTunes and about 8,000 songs.

Turns out the seller had only put a 'copy' of his corporate Win7 on (I guess to show me that the computer worked).....and it's going to expire in about 10 more days without the activation code.

Will all my stuff be erased if/when I install a newly purchased copy of ANY version of 7?

Thanks for feedback.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2010   #2


With a fresh format - yes.

Otherwise a non-format install should create a windows.old installation with all data intact - but your apps will not function correctly.

You're better off backing up your data / user folders etc and doing a fresh format installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

Problem is Enterprise has a different distribution and licensing system from the other consumer editions. If you are planning to switch to Ultimate, you can give this in-place upgrade/downgrade method a whirl.

How to upgrade Windows 7 Enterprise to Windows 7 Ultimate

It may work completely or only partially in that some programs may not work after the upgrade/downgrade. If it doesnt, a clean install would be the way out.

For other win7 editions, you'll need to do a clean install that'll wipe out everything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Dec 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 10 Pro x64

Welcome to the forum Michael,

You're best bet is to start backing up what you want so you don't lose it. Here's some info to check out about enterprise,

Windows 7 Enterprise | Trial, Evaluation, Test, Download

And here's a little part of that, that states you need to do a Clean Install Windows 7
Can I install a new, legal copy of Seven over my 'evaluation' copy...-capture.jpg

Edit: I need to type faster

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2010   #5

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

If you buy a MS TechNet subscription, you can get a legal full version of Enterprise with a serial Key.

I have it running for about 3 months now on one of my many systems
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP


Michael - You may be in luck. I'd try Bill2's workaround tutorial as many used it successfully to move from beta to retail Win7 and it worked between all versions there.

If necessary, reinstalling ITunes is no prob. It even intergrates the Music library back in very nicely I have found.

Be sure to back up your Music and all other files externally whether you try the upgrade or clean reinstall.

Bill - The registry changes in the link you posted are the same ones in the popular workaround to change between RC and any retail version. Until now I have not seen it asserted this will work with Enterprise, mainly because of the difference in Licensing.

But if the installer can be tricked into thinking its doing a Repair Install on Enterprise to Ultimate, it should be able to do so to any other version if the same holds true as with the original workaround.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2010   #7

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

Greg, I saw this link a long long time ago and always thought I'll post it here and ask somebody to test, but never got around to it. Glad, theres an opportunity now.

OP, beware! You are being used used as a guinea pig by some incorrigible experimenters here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP


Productive experiments, too. This clean install fanatic got more raves from those given the RC in-place Upgrade workaround than for any other help.

Have friends who still don't want a clean reinstall. Strange magic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2010   #9

Win 7 Enterprise 64bit
Here I go, off to Guinea Pig 101 class. (LOL)

Thanks for all your suggestions, guys. I'm new here....and VERY impressed by the responses! MANY thanks.

It's a pretty clean drive I'm working with since the seller did wipe it well (whip it good!??), all things being equal, and knowing that my old Pentium 3 (the one with all my tunes and pictures on it) is working fine and acting as a "backup", I might just DO the guinea pig thing just to see how the "upgrade" might work. (I'll report, either way.)

Whether it works or not......I now also realize (after reading on your site and others) that I should probably be partitioning this new 300g drive so that the OS is in part of it and other programs or data is kept separate.

A fellow named Mitch Tulloch (MS guru) does a great dissertation on his 'personal' partitioning scheme, involving 2 drives with 2 partitions each. (Best practices for partitioning a hard disk), but it's pretty involved......and he does start to lose me a bit in the details. (Maybe I need another coffee!)

Anybody want to toss in their 2 cents here?......or direct me to other posts where I'm guessing all the 'opinions' have been aired before?

Thanks again, guys, for your VERY friendly welcome.
nubee Mike.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2010   #10


You might consider this: User Profiles - Create and Move During Windows 7 Installation

It shows you how to permanently move User profile folders and ProgramData folder to another disk already during installation process before a single user account is created, using so called Audit Mode and Windows 7 built-in sysprep tool. Thoi way you have on C: only Windows and Program Files folders, everything else is automatically stored on D:.

The procedure is quite easy if you follow the tutorial exactly as it is written.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can I install a new, legal copy of Seven over my 'evaluation' copy...

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