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Windows 7: Windows 7/10 upgrade path

07 May 2017   #1
NathanA

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Windows 7/10 upgrade path

Hey, e'rybody!

Here's the situation: have a friend with a computer that needs to get to at least Windows 7 (after which Win10 should be straightforward, if they decide to do so), and though I know that a clean install is almost always the best way to go, for various reasons in this particular situation I know that this will actually create more work for me (high-maintenance user, everything is already set up a certain way, it will be a chore for them to dig up all of their application license keys for re-installs, etc.). So I want to do in-place upgrade.

They are running XP right now, but the computer originally shipped with Vista OEM + COA and was then downgraded through downgrade rights. This is what complicates things. Win7 retail can't do full in-place upgrade direct from XP, so we'll have to jump through the Vista hoop. But to my knowledge, I can't use the Vista OEM CD + OEM product key to upgrade from XP...that would have to be clean install. I *could* have the user go out and buy used or old-stock Vista retail/upgrade, but that seems like a total waste, esp. since the computer *does* already possess an actual Vista license.

So here is my thought process:

1. Install Vista as in-place upgrade on top of XP by skipping product key entry
2. Install 7 as in-place upgrade on top of unactivated Vista
3. Install 10 as in-place upgrade on top of 7 if so desired

The question is, will steps 1 and 2 work?

1. I know you can skip product key entry when doing a clean install, but I don't know that I have either tried or read about anybody doing so during an in-place upgrade. Does the installer allow you to skip during upgrade, or would it require that you enter a valid retail or upgrade key before installing the in-place upgrade?

2. I'm thinking if I can make #1 work, then this step is also likely to work, since I know that you can install Vista upgrade on top of unactivated Vista, and 7 upgrade on top of unactivated 7 (the infamous upgrade "loophole"). But does anybody know for a fact that Windows 7 upgrade will install just fine atop an unactivated copy of Vista?

Thanks!

-- Nathan


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 May 2017   #2
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Basic advice - save yourself a lot of work, get the "Friend" to purchase a Windows 7 or Windows 10 licence, (and install media Shrink Wrapped with key sealed inside).

Win 10 may be cheapest as Win 7 is in extended support so what legal legitimate licences are still available are at a premium and rising, expect to pay around $150-$200 for an OEM copy, and do a fresh install - or expect to be fixing upgrade issues for a long time. Also do your research and ensure that all the drivers you will need for XP era hardware are available and in your possession, before you start.

Although the free win 10 upgrade has officially ended some users are seeing that it's still working at least for the present, of course if you are buying licences it will be cheaper to go to win 10 directly

BTW

Using downgrade rights should have nullified the vista licence so your route will need another valid licence to allow your second step, as the upgrade to windows 7 from vista requires a valid activated copy of vista to proceed you will need at least a valid OEM Upgrade licence for Windows 7 - not seen one of those advertised in a long while ... technically you also need a Windows 10 upgrade licence (assuming that MS has terminated the free offer when you wish to upgrade
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2017   #3
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi and welcome to SevenForums,
Upgrades in general or usually full of bugs especially win-10 but not exclusively

Best to just simply buy either os and start over chances are great 10 would have to be clean installed or refresh installed and those will indeed remove all third party stuff and only keep personal files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 May 2017   #4
NathanA

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hey all,

Thanks for the responses. I totally understand the sentiment, too. If I were doing this on my own computer, I would absolutely clean-install it. But I **know** with this user (b/c I have been down this road before) that it will be a big headache to dig up all of the other software product keys (organization not a strong suite), that I will be spending hours after install tailoring everything back to their exact standards, and that in the following weeks there will be a litany of "where is X, Y, and Z? I can't find these anywhere anymore" because of course they forgot to tell me that they did or used X, Y, and Z on this computer, which will just mean further visits that I'd like to avoid.

If upgrading ends up producing a buggy system, then fine, I'll blow everything away at that point and brace myself for the inevitable. And I will also try to have them be prepared for that inevitability. But if an upgrade chain ends up working fine, even if it takes more time up-front, I'm waaaaay ahead as far as future time-sink goes. So I am willing to try it knowing that it may or may not end up working well.

-- Nathan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2017   #5
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
Just use some system images before each upgrade so you can get back easily if it fails
x-p to vista might be the funnest one
Vista to 7 isn't all that big of a jump
7 to 10 well it usually goes okay at first if it completes at all but is usually short lived stability wise.
Good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2017   #6
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Quote:
Using downgrade rights should have nullified the vista licence so your route will need another valid licence to allow your second step,
Why so?

He would be removing xp and installing vista instead. Nothing wrong with that.

If he then wants to upgrade vista to 7, there isn't a free upgrade for that step. Will need a new license at some point.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2017   #7
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Just my memory of the situation at the time, I think it was mainly a business thing to allow an either/or choice of which OS was used, MS wanted to be able to "Sell" Vista, while a lot of businesses were not ready to make the jump - Obviously how it was managed may well have varied between markets and even vendors so as always YMMV
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2017   #8
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Upgrade to vista , then upgrade again to 7, should be doable.

Probably easier to make an image of xp install first. Then use WET to go straight to win7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2017   #9
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

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
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2017   #10
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

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, (Start of Win7 Extended support ??). Even the available full OEM install packages are getting rare - I'm sure one of the big US retailers said a while ago that they were down to their last 100 copies of pro, Enterprise is still available to those who qualify through the VL channels but they are being very tight with MAK key Versions. I wouldn't even consider an Ultimate version as even before the end of support the vast majority of those were illegal
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7/10 upgrade path




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