Windows 7 Upgrade Paths

With the release of Windows 7 yesterday, it would be fair to assume that most IT Managers and IT Professionals would now like to upgrade/migrate their client Operating System platforms to Windows 7.

Therefore, with this series of blog posts, I plan to highlight all the relevant information for the IT Managers and IT Professionals that would help them understand, identify and troubleshoot specific scenarios in the process of moving to the new OS platform.

In this series, this first post highlights the upgrade paths supported by Windows 7 and the consequent posts will highlight the specific tools and utilities that can prove to be very useful in having a smooth transition.

Supported Upgrade Scenarios

From Windows Vista (SP1, SP2) Upgrade to Windows 7
Business Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate
Enterprise Enterprise
Home Basic Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate
Home Premium Home Premium, Ultimate
Ultimate Ultimate


From Windows 7 Repair/In-place Upgrade to Windows 7
Enterprise Enterprise
Home Basic Home Basic
Home Premium Home Premium
Professional Professional
Starter (x86 Only) Starter (x86)
Ultimate Ultimate


From Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade to Windows 7
Home Basic Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate
Home Premium Professional, Ultimate
Professional Ultimate
Starter Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate


Upgrade Scenarios Not Supported

  • Upgrades to Windows 7 from the following operating systems are not supported:
    • Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows XP, Windows Vista® RTM, Windows Vista Starter, Windows 7 M3, Windows 7 Beta, Windows 7 RC, or Windows 7 IDS
    • Windows NT® Server 4.0, Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server® 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Cross-architecture in-place upgrades (for example, x86 to x64) are not supported.
  • Cross-language in-place upgrades (for example, en-us to de-de) are not supported.
  • Cross-SKU upgrades (for example, Windows 7 N to Windows 7 K) are not supported.
  • Upgrades from Windows Vista to Windows N, Windows K, Windows KN, or Windows E are not supported.
  • Cross-build type in-place upgrades (for example, fre to chk) are not supported.
  • Pre-release in-place upgrades across milestones (for example, Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 RTM) are not supported.

– The Upgrade option is not available in Windows 7 Setup when installing Windows 7 on a computer running Windows XP. However, you can use Windows Easy Transfer to migrate files and settings from Windows XP to Windows 7 on the same computer.
– If you are upgrading from a pre-release installation of Windows 7 such as the Beta or RC versions, you will need to use Windows Easy Transfer to migrate files and settings to a new installation of Windows 7 or by can be done by IT Professionals using USMT about which i will discuss in the coming posts.

Find out if your PC can run Windows 7

To see if your PC is ready for Windows 7, download the free Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. It scans your PC for potential issues with your hardware, devices, and installed programs, and recommends what to do before you upgrade.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor screenshot

The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor checks for compatibility issues.

Before scanning your PC with the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, be sure to plug in and power on any USB devices or other devices, such as printers, external hard disks, and scanners, that you regularly use with the PC you’re checking.

Download the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

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9 thoughts on “Windows 7 Upgrade Paths”

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