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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I have a laptop running windows XP. I would like to upgrade to Windows 7 without having to reinstall all of my programs. I am wondering if it is possible to upgrade from XP to Vista and then to Windows 7. I have a Vista upgrade disk which I never used and thought maybe I could do the upgrade in steps thereby eliminating having to reinstall all my programs (I said that twice did not?).

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Taking the long and hard way around are you.

    Specify the operating system versions you currently have.

    You could do it but only within the same 32 bit environment as your XP installation, assuming it's a 32 bit installation you have.
    You would also have to have similar operating system versions, and If you move to 64 bit your looking at a total clean install.
    But it's basically doable if you have say an XP Pro installation ( as an example) and want to move up to Vista's Business edition or Ultimate, then you'd
    have to move to 7's pro or ultimate edition, all at the same bit rate, and all upgradable versions. Check the MS charts in the XP to Vista link below.

    Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista

    Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7

    What you'll end up with after all is completed is another matter. Let us know how it all goes if
    you decide to actually do it. I would like to know if the installation is stable and if you are indeed
    able to preserve all of your programs. Some programs that run in XP will not run in windows 7, but
    you should be able to find this out with either the upgrade advisor or an internet search.
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  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Ray, Welcome to the Lounge.

    As Clint mentions, it is theoretically possible to do what you are asking, but at what price. First the Vista and Win 7 will both cost you. Then you will be dealing with a system that may very well be unstable. There have been many more instances of unusual problems doing an in place upgrade that ultimately resulted in the need to clean install anyway. My thought is why bother. Any little problem with your present OS will most probably be carried forward and possibly amplified. All this just to keep some other out of date apps that may not be compatible with Win 7 anyway.

    Just think of this as the opportunity to get a pristeen copy of the best offering from MS yet and an opportunity to update all those apps that have been hanging around, probably many of which aren't even used any more or have better alternatives that will work well with Win 7. Plus, as Clint states if your Xp is 32 Bit you must stick with 32 Bit and the same version (Home Premium, Pro, Ultimate, etc) If your PC is ready, a clean install will give you a much cleaner and meaner OS ready to fly and upgrade to 64 Bit. That is what I would do. Changes in bitness or version generally require clean installs.

    Good luck with whatever alternative you choose. I believe you will spend far less time doing a clean install and installed new copies of the apps you really need then trying to get a cobbled together double In Place upgrade working properly.
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  4. #4
    Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Jenne View Post
    I have a laptop running windows XP. I would like to upgrade to Windows 7 without having to reinstall all of my programs. I am wondering if it is possible to upgrade from XP to Vista and then to Windows 7. I have a Vista upgrade disk which I never used and thought maybe I could do the upgrade in steps thereby eliminating having to reinstall all my programs (I said that twice did not?).
    I know this is very late but I post this for anyone else, anyway.

    You COULD upgrade to Vista then upgrade to Win 7 thereafter but there is a much easier process. Download Windows Easy transfer for XP from Microsoft and install it on the XP machine, run it and save the resultant file to an external device. Now, put Windows 7 in and allow it to wipe the drive and install Windows 7. Run Windows Easy transfer (already comes with Vista and Win 7) and tell it this is the NEW machine and then point it to the external device and import all from there.

    What you gain: A lot of hassle lost. If you have specialised folders for different reasons, you will have to manually add them, in a lot of cases, to the search for things to include when still running XP. Apart from that it works well.

    What you lose: Every installed program that was on your XP. So, for example, if you have Office 2007 installed and wish to use Outlook 2007 (because, let's face it, there is no native email client on Win 7) you need to go back to the Office disks and install the lot when Win 7 is ready and it is best, if you use Outlook 2007, to install it before running Windows Eady transfer on the new Win 7 machine as everything falls into place, minus passwords, if you do it this way. If you have a third party program that MUST be on your computer, once again, you need to install it from the original source.

    So remember - have the original source disks or files ready and then use Windows easy transfer. The alternative is trying to remember what to right click and copy and it is a pain!

    Hope this helps.

    Greg.

  5. #5
    Lounger
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    Two questions, please:

    1. If my Win XP system has 3 separate physical hard drives, is it necessary to backup all three drives prior to upgrading to Win 7 or do I only need to back up the C boot drive? Will Windows Easy Transfer handle this automatically?

    2. Is there any way to install a new boot drive and install Win 7 directly on the new boot drive and move my XP boot drive to a subserviant location?

    Thank you.

  6. #6
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    Ray,

    I upgraded my desktop running Windows XP SP3 32 bit to Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and, like you, I wanted to preserve most of my programs. There was only one app that promised to do that and I bought it - LapLink PC Mover. Using the program was very straightforward after a quick read of the instructions to perform the move.
    I did as recommended and the upgrade went quite smoothly. Once the upgrade was completed and I had all my programs moved to Windows 7 x64. Had two issues with programs: Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office 2007. I ended up removing Acrobat (it was getting quite old, actually) and reinstalled Office. All the other relevant programs worked fine, after I updated some of them to be compatible with Windows 7 (only case I remember I needed to do that was Photoshop Elements).

    All in all the experience with PC Mover was very good. I would use it again if I had to perform a similar move and likely the current version is even better. This upgrade was done back in November 2009. I think PCMover cost me about $20 so it was totally worth it.

    P.S.: I did run the Upgrade Advisor before and removed some stuff said to be incompatible. Nothing important, though.
    Rui
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Golden View Post
    Two questions, please:

    1. If my Win XP system has 3 separate physical hard drives, is it necessary to backup all three drives prior to upgrading to Win 7 or do I only need to back up the C boot drive? Will Windows Easy Transfer handle this automatically?

    2. Is there any way to install a new boot drive and install Win 7 directly on the new boot drive and move my XP boot drive to a subserviant location?

    Thank you.
    In theory, you would only need to backup the boot drive, but I think it's always better to backup everything, just in case. Not sure what you are asking if Windows Easy Transfer will handle automatically.

    Your BIOS should allow you to specify the boot drive of your choice. I think the best bet would be to disconnect the XP drive altogether, at least until Windows 7 is being setup.
    Rui
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  8. #8
    Lounger
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    Thank you. Let me clarify.

    This is my plan. I would appreciate suggestions, feedback, warnings, etc.

    1. Disconnect all internal hard drives except the current C: WinXP boot drive. The other hard drives store data only, no programs.
    2. Run Windows Easy Transfer copying files from C drive to external drive
    3. Do a Custom install of Win 7 on the C drive allowing it to validate and re-format the C-drive
    4. Once Win 7 in installed, import critical settings using Windows Easy Transfer back onto the C drive
    5. Reconnect the other hard drives which contain only data.

    OR

    1. Should I first ttempt to partition the current C drive to Win XP and Win 7 partitions then run the above sequence?

    Thanks again.

  9. #9
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    I would definitely go with your 5 step plan. Of course, I would image the XP boot drive before starting it all, to have a known safe point to return to, in case something might go wrong. This is just a precaution, as the Windows 7 installs I have done have been the most uneventful of all Windows setups ever done.
    Rui
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