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Windows 7: Windows 7/10 upgrade path

07 May 2017   #11
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Yep, best bet is to use windows easy tansfer, clean install 7, then import from WET.

Not clear from op - he may have a win7 key, that way he can use whatever 7 edition he has a key for.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 May 2017   #12
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

How does WET work over different editions? If you have a licence for Windows 7 Home Premium, can you fresh install and use WOT data from XP Pro ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2017   #13
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Haven't done it myself , however Scott says it works fine. He works for MS.

Step-By-Step: How To "Upgrade" from Windows XP to Windows 7 - Scott Hanselman

A possible alternative is PCTrans by easeus. They did a giveaway recently, probably still doing it in various places, may find it with a bit of googling.
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07 May 2017   #14
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Belarc Advisor might be helpful for other programs 'activation key' gathering.

Products: Belarc Advisor


Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2017   #15
NathanA

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for your $0.02, everybody who chimed in!

It does seem, though, that I need once more to clarify what's going on here, since there appears to be some confusion. My questions weren't so much about the particular upgrade scenario (XP > Vista > 7), which we all know is supported. It has more to do with what Vista's and 7's install/upgrade processes will allow with regards to activation in that intermediate (Vista) step.

To once more repeat the situation:
  1. The box has a valid OEM Vista license.
  2. The box has a valid XP install & genuine activation achieved via Vista OEM "downgrade rights".
  3. I will ask the user to go out and purchase a new or used retail copy of 7 (either full or upgrade).

"Downgrade rights" apply to Vista Business or Ultimate to get back to XP Pro. The appropriate Windows 7 edition for the user to purchase would be either Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate.

The normal XP > Vista > 7 upgrade path, though, cannot work in this scenario, because the Vista installer will not allow for an in-place upgrade to take place if the OEM key on the COA is provided to it. So I had 2 specific questions:
  1. Can I skip providing the product key during a Vista install if that install is an upgrade? (I know it can be skipped during clean install, when booted from CD. I have never heard anybody talk about skipping it during upgrade!)
  2. Provided the answer to #1 is "yes", will Windows 7 perform an in-place upgrade on top of an unactivated Windows Vista install?

#1 would allow me to get around the fact that the Vista installer will not allow me to in-place upgrade using an OEM key. (Once again, I have a valid Vista license for the box!!) #2 would allow me to then make the jump to a legally-obtained copy of 7 even though I did not provide Vista with the OEM key.

I suspected this whole time that #2 would likely work, given that you can in-place upgrade unactivated Vista > Vista, and unactivated 7 > 7. Thus unactivated Vista > 7 seems like a no-brainer...I don't know why the 7 installer would treat unactivated Vista any differently than it would treat unactivated 7. So the *real* question was about #1.

Since I still really never seemed to get direct answers to my questions, I went ahead and ran the scenario I proposed as a test in a VM. Here is what I did, which worked perfectly & just as I'd hoped:
  1. Booted up fully activated XP Pro in a VM.
  2. Ran Vista Business setup, skipped the product key, and it let me continue and pick the Vista edition that I wanted to install, in exactly the same way that it does during clean install when booting from the CD. (You need to pick Vista Business or Vista Ultimate, or it will not allow you to pick the "upgrade" option.)
  3. Ran 7 Ultimate setup without ever supplying the Vista install with a product key or allowing it to activate, and 7 proceeded with the in-place upgrade without complaint.

So the answer is a resounding YES, this whole scenario works perfectly fine. I hope that if anybody finds themselves in a similar situation and runs across this thread, that they will find this reassurance helpful.

Thanks much,

-- Nathan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2017   #16
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I'm for sure confused. BUT.

If you use the Vista COA key to downgrade to 'XP' that Vista COA key will not longer work for anything else. That key can only be used on one system at a time.
You can not use the one Vista key to run Vista, XP and upgrade to Windows 7 all at the same time.

Now have I come anywhere close to what you are trying to do?

As far as I know you will have to buy Windows 7 'New'. Most likely you will not be able to find anything that is legal except Windows 7 Pro. OEM System Builders. About $140.00 or more. Which will only be able (legally) to use on the first system it is activated on. Only 'Retail' version of Windows 7 can be (legally) moved from computer to computer and then only on one computer at a time.

You can not legally run 3 operating systems using one COA key at the same time.

Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2017   #17
NathanA

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
I'm for sure confused. BUT.

If you use the Vista COA key to downgrade to 'XP' that Vista COA key will not longer work for anything else. That key can only be used on one system at a time.
You can not use the one Vista key to run Vista, XP and upgrade to Windows 7 all at the same time.

Now have I come anywhere close to what you are trying to do?
No. As you opened with, you are confused. Who said anything about running 3 OSes off of one key?? I'm really not sure what is so hard to understand about this...clearly I am not doing a good job of explaining.

This is *one* computer. At any given time it is only going to have *one* OS installed on it. Not three. Not two. Any given OS key will not even be split across more than one computer.

All I'm trying to do is to get from XP to 7 without having to reinstall and reconfigure everything. That's it. If I legally acquire a Windows 7 Pro Upgrade license, that license is explicitly applicable to a machine running XP (that is, an XP user can legally buy and use Windows 7 at the retail upgrade price). However, despite the permissibility and legality of that, the Windows 7 setup procedure will not perform an in-place upgrade on an XP machine. If it could, I wouldn't be in this mess. So I have to go XP > Vista > 7. And, to be EXPLICITLY CLEAR, I am TELLING THE USER TO BUY A WINDOWS 7 LICENSE. I think I've said this about 3 times now...

It also seems as if you really don't understand how OEM downgrade rights work. All of this info can be found on various MS web pages, but I'll spell it out:
  1. Downgrade rights only apply to OEM software, not retail software (you can't buy Vista retail and use it to legally install XP).
  2. It only applies to the non-Home editions of Windows software (you can't get a computer pre-loaded with Vista Home and legally downgrade to XP Home, at least without separately purchasing an XP Home license)
  3. The Vista product key is not used to install and activate XP. An XPkey is used to install and activate XP. XP installer has no idea what a Vista product key is, but it sure as hell knows that it's not a valid XP key.

The procedure to install XP Pro using a Vista Business or Ultimate OEM license is kinda goofy, but essentially what Microsoft tells you to do is to seek out a valid XP Pro key -- ANY valid (non-VLK) XP Pro key from ANY source, whether OEM or Retail, and whether it has already been used to activate another computer or not. In fact, when you are following MS's instructions, the assumption is that the XP key you get will have already been used. Here is LITERALLY what MS tells you to do:
  1. You install XP Pro with an already-used-but-valid (and not revoked) XP Pro key.
  2. When activation fails (because the key has already been used, remember), you call Microsoft Product Activation Support.
  3. You explain to them that you are exercising your OEM downgrade rights, and wish to activate Windows XP.
  4. You will be asked to read back to the support agent your valid Vista (or 7, which also has downgrade rights to XP) OEM product key from the COA affixed to your computer, so that they can verify your eligibility.
  5. Once they have verified that it is indeed a valid and unique OEM product key for Vista or 7, they will then proceed to assist you with normal telephone-based activation of XP.

Again, you never enter the Vista key into the computer during installation: you enter an XP key. And when you are reading the Vista key to the support agent, it isn't because it is being used to activate your copy of XP. They are just verifying your eligibility to run XP.

Furthermore, just because you exercise your downgrade rights does not mean that you permanently forefeit your license to go back to Vista in the future! How ridiculous would that be. Here, again straight from the horse's mouth:
"The customer also retains the right to use the newer version of Windows Vista that came installed on their PC when they chose to, making a future upgrade back to the original version of Windows Vista easy!"

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
As far as I know you will have to buy Windows 7 'New'.
Uhh, nope. If the original owner has removed the copy from their computer, I can, in good conscience, purchase a used copy of Windows 7 retail version (not OEM) and upgrade using that. Undoubtedly I will have to talk to an Activation Support agent, but that should pose no problem if I explain that the previous owner of the software has relinquished their license to me.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Most likely you will not be able to find anything that is legal except Windows 7 Pro. OEM System Builders...
This makes no sense. Why would I go out and buy an OEM copy of 7? As I have said for the nth time, I am interested in accomplishing an in-place upgrade. Even if I bought an OEM copy of 7, it would refuse to do this for me. I would be forced to clean install, which is exactly what I'm trying to avoid.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
...Which will only be able (legally) to use on the first system it is activated on. Only 'Retail' version of Windows 7 can be (legally) moved from computer to computer and then only on one computer at a time.
Uhh, precisely. Which is exactly what I'm planning on doing. And didn't you just get through telling me that I *had* to buy Windows 7 new? Now you are admitting in the same paragraph it is possible to transfer a retail license from one owner and computer to another?

Now you're the one confusing *me*!

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
You can not legally run 3 operating systems using one COA key at the same time.
Again, this was never my goal. I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion from reading my past posts.

Hopefully this helps to clarify!

-- Nathan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2017   #18
NathanA

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Using downgrade rights should have nullified the vista licence so your route will need another valid licence to allow your second step, ...
As I pointed out in my last post, this is not true at all:
"The customer also retains the right to use the newer version of Windows Vista that came installed on their PC when they chose to, making a future upgrade back to the original version of Windows Vista easy!"
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
...as the upgrade to windows 7 from vista requires a valid activated copy of vista to proceed
I have since tested this in a VM, and have proven that Windows 7 does not care one whit whether the copy of Vista that it is upgrading is activated or not.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ThrashZone View Post
Hi,
I have a retail upgrade key for vista to win-7 but it is a different install process pretty much as the op wants to do but those keys were long gone a long time ago
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Yeah, the Windows 7 Licence is a Given, Whatever the status of the original Vista Licence, I'm not sure if there are even any upgrade keys available for vista to Win7, I think they were withdrawn at one of the long passed milestones...
MS does not sell new ones anymore, sure. But if someone on eBay sells a used Windows 7 retail box with product key and certifies that they have removed it from their computers and are relinquishing their claim to that license, then they can legally and in good conscience (assuming they are telling the truth) sell it to me, and I can legally and in good conscience buy it from them. Whether the seller has actually done their duty and removed Windows 7 from their computer is just a judgment call at that point.

(I think the place where this might get sticky is that I would not be surprised to learn that people putting up their old Windows 7 discs for sale might not understand that the Windows 10 free upgrade license they are using is tied to their old Windows 7 license. If they sell me their Windows 7, they are obligated to remove their free Windows 10 from their computer.)

-- Nathan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2017   #19
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Good luck, latest thoughts are that 99.9% + of second hand ebay Windows 7 copies are illegal and we do not support piracy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2017   #20
NathanA

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Good luck, latest thoughts are that 99.9% + of second hand ebay Windows 7 copies are illegal and we do not support piracy
Agreed. After perusing eBay for a couple of hours, I ran into more than a handful of accounts selling "brand new" "sealed" "genuine" Windows 7 Ultimate in to $60-70 range...too good to be true. All were suspect in a number of ways: they were all accounts that had been around for a while but had little feedback, the box pictures were sketchy in a number of ways, and the item descriptions were all verbatim copies of each other. It seemed extremely clear that these accounts had weak security / passwords and had been compromised and are now being used by counterfeiters to foist their wares on unsuspecting people.

I honestly think the safest and most cost-effect tactic would be to seek out *used* *upgrade-only* copies, because who is going to bother counterfeiting the upgrade-only box/bits when the full version is so much more lucrative, and used means the product key has been vetted over an extended period of time and hasn't gone sour. I've seen used Ultimate Upgrade go for $90-120 and used Pro Upgrade for even less than that.

-- Nathan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7/10 upgrade path




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