Microsoft Documents “Windows 7 Upgrade Paths”

Microsoft Windows 7 Upgrade Paths outlines supported and unsupported upgrade paths for editions of the Windows 7 operating system.
Unsupported Windows 7 Upgrade Scenarios:
    • 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
Windows 7 IDS
Windows NT Server 4.0
Windows 2000 Server
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 R2
    • Cross-architecture in-place upgrades (i.e. x86 to x64) are NOT supported.
    • Cross-language in-place upgrades (i.e. en-us to de-de) are NOT supported.
    • Cross-SKU upgrades (i.e. Windows 7 N to Windows 7 K) are NOT supported.
    • Cross-build type in-place upgrades (i.e. fre to chk) are NOT supported.
    • Pre-release in-place upgrades across milestones (i.e. Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 RTM) are NOT supported.
    • Upgrades from Windows Vista to Windows N, Windows K, Windows KN, or Windows E are NOT supported. 
Supported Windows 7 Upgrade Scenarios:
Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7
    • Windows Vista Business –> can be upgraded to –> Window 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate
    • Windows Vista Enterprise –> can be upgraded to –> Window 7 Enterprise
    • Windows Vista Home Basic –> can be upgraded to –> Window 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, or Ultimate
    • Windows Vista Home Premium –> can be upgraded to –> Window 7 Home Premium, or Ultimate
    • Windows Vista Ultimate –> can be upgraded to –> Window 7 Ultimate
Upgrading Windows 7 Using Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade
    • Windows 7 Home Basic  –> can be upgraded to –> Window 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate
    • Windows 7 Home Premium –> can be upgraded to –> Window 7  Professional, or Ultimate
    • Windows 7 Professional –> can be upgraded to –> Window 7  Ultimate
    • Windows 7 Starter –> can be upgraded to –> Window 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate

About blakehandler

BLAKE was a Microsoft MVP and award winning programmer with over 20+ years experience providing complete Windows and networking support for small to medium sized businesses. BLAKE is also Jazz Musician and Instructor for residential clients on the Los Angeles West Side.
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6 Responses to Microsoft Documents “Windows 7 Upgrade Paths”

  1. Bob says:

    So do i have to remove windows 7 back to vista ultimate to upgrade? Vista is still on the recovery drive but windows rc was loaded.

  2. Bob says:

    One other thing i noticed. Since I have vista ultimate on my laptop i can only upgrade to 7 ultimate, not 7 home premium?

  3. Blake says:

    Hey Bob — it means that you’ll need to do a "clean" installation of a different version of Windows 7 as opposed to an "in-place" upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate.

  4. tuxplorer says:

    The thing to note (and avoid confusion) is you can buy an upgrade copy of Windows 7 if you own Windows 2000 Professional or any edition of Windows XP, you only have to perform a clean installation, you can’t perform an in-place upgrade. Half of the time, people get confused between the actual installation process which the "upgrade" in this document refers to and buying an eligible "upgrade" copy.

  5. Charles says:

    Love the fact that when Windows 7 is released I am going to have to reinstall approximately 400GB of games and another 200 GB of applications… not allowing an upgrade from Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 final while allowing an upgrade from XP or Vista to Windows 7 RC is just ridiculous.

  6. Blake says:

    While Microsoft say’s you can’t — there are still ways to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. But the real question is why? There are simply too many good reasons to do a clean install (even if going from Vista to 7) there’s too many "things" in the registry that you do NOT want in your new OS. Besides the many programs that simple do NOT upgrade (AntiVirus, Firewall, Networking Monitoring etc.)So sorry "no name" I personally don’t think it’s "ridiculous" — it’s about time to reinstall that OLD operating system!

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