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Windows 7: Upgrade From Vista hangs on copying temporary files

21 Nov 2011   #1

Vista home premium 32 bit
Upgrade From Vista hangs on copying temporary files

I'm trying to upgrade from Vista Home Premium to 7 Home Premium (both 32 bit) using factory media (the fancy hologram DVDs directly from MS). When I start the installation process, the first thing it says is "Setup is copying temporary files". Then it just hangs there. I have let it go for as long as 8 hours, but nothing changes. I have seen others with this problem, but they all either get an error message, or it hangs at a certain percentage. I do not get any progress indicator at all. I tried some others' suggestions like uninstalling Apple and Adobe apps (I installed just about everything actually), defrag, disk cleanup etc). Do I just need to wait longer? This is crazy...

Also, on a more procedural note, I have a concern about the process. The internal dvd on this laptop no longer works (long story for a different thread), so I'm using an external DVD drive. The laptop can NOT be made to use this external drive as a bootable device (no option in the bios for this). Any concerns there? I'm expecting some reboots during the install process...will setup need to boot from that DVD to continue, or by that point will it all be on the hard drive (assuming it ever finishes "copying temporary files")?

Thanks in advance..


My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 10 Pro X64

Why not install Windows 7 from a USB flash drive? See this post by gregrocker: how to install window 7 if dvd rom not working

Also, rather than doing an upgrade, I recommend doing a clean install, which means you need to backup all your data then format the drive during the installation process.

See this tutorial by Shawn: Clean Install Windows 7

If you are not willing to do a Clean Install then run chkdsk from Safe Mode as follows:
If you can't boot normally, see if you can boot to Safe Mode and run chkdsk from there:
  • Boot to Safe Mode by pressing the F8 key when the computer first starts booting, as soon as you see the manufacturers logo. Continue to press it every second or so until you get the Windows Advanced Options menu.
  • Select Safe Mode using the arrow key on your keyboard and press Enter.
  • Login as Administrator (no password unless you added one. If so, enter that password).
  • Open My Computer.
  • Right click on drive: and select Properties (drive: is your boot drive, usually C:)
  • Click on the Tools tab then the Check now button.
  • Check the Automatically fix File System errors box.

Alternatively, you can click on Start then Run, type chkdsk c: /r and press Enter.

For your boot drive (usually C:), you will get a window that says the check could not be performed ....
Do you want to schedule this disk check to run the next time you restart the computer?
Click on Yes.

Shutdown and reboot. Chkdsk will start. It can take an hour or more to run depending on the size of your hard drive.

Be patient and let it complete undisturbed.
You could also try removing one of the memory modules (probably 2GB) leaving just the single 2GB and try the install again. Sometimes that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #3

Vista home premium 32 bit

I was going to try the flash drive route, but suddenly my flash drive wouldn't show up in any of my computers (great timing). I guess I'll need to buy a new one .

I'm planning on doing a clean install actually. I believe at some point it's supposed to prompt be for upgrade vs custom install, but I haven't gotten there yet. I will try these suggestions when I get home this evening and post the results. Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Nov 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP


You can also run the installer from Vista using your external HD, to overwrite Vista partition. This will place the entire Vista installation into a folder called Windows.old in the root of C drive which you can delete when you have everything you need from it.

It's not correct that the DVD needs to boot at restarts. A booted install is slightly better but not required if you have an OS to run the installer from, however it's best to have a bootable Repair CD or DVD for repairs to access System Recovery Options if needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #5

Vista home premium 32 bit

Following a suggestion from another forum, I uninstalled my virus software, and the installation worked. Well, it got past the point I was stuck on anyway. I'm currently up to "expanding windows files"

On a side note, I was expecting to be able to fully format and start from scratch, which would have been ideal due to the ridiculous number of quirks and issues on this machine. However, it appears to have just renamed windows to .old and put 7 in its place. Is this really equivalent to a full wipeout? If not is there any way to truly wipe and install using upgrade media?

Thanks again.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP


You said you uninstalled your AV and were able to do the in-place Upgrade? You should not have a windows.old folder then as it installs in place over Vista keeping your programs, files and settings in place. If you have windows.old you must have done a clean install overwriting Vista.

Had you said you wanted to continue trying an in-place Upgrade, I'd have advised you to turn off everything in msconfig>Startup including AV to get a clean boot which solves most in-place Upgrade hangs. But these would have no bearing on doing a Clean Install Windows 7 from the Vista desktop which is what you said you wanted to if you couldn't boot the disk.

A clean reinstall by booting the installer to delete the old Vista partition, create a new one and format is likely a cleaner install than overwriting Vista with a Clean install - you can do either using the Upgrade version disk: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

However an in-place Upgrade can carry over corrupt settings from Vista which likely make it an inferior install even though many have reported satisfactory results. A simple guide to a successful in-place upgrade - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #7

Vista home premium 32 bit

My goal was a clean install. I hit "custom" installation which I've read is the way to do a clean install. It never really gave me much of an option on what to do from there. It said Windows directory would be renamed .old, and asked me which partition to install to (I have only one).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP


That's about the best you can do without a bootable DVD drive or flash stick.

You can delete windows.old after you're sure you have everything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10

Just for completeness - here's Eric's other thread.....
Upgrade From Vista hangs on copying temporary files

<waves @ Eric>
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Upgrade From Vista hangs on copying temporary files

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