Windows 7 forum


Upgrading to Windows 7 from XP

by Organgrindered / July 13, 2014 10:48 PM PDT


Hope someone can help me. Here's my situation-

I have 3 computers still running Windows XP Pro. None of these computers will support Windows 7 simply because the hardware is too old.

Over the years, I have upgraded (hardware-wise) them with expansion cards, replaced motherboards, hard drives, memory, etc. In some cases, I had to reinstall Windows XP Pro.

The copies of XP I have are all upgrade versions and in order to perform a clean install of XP, I had to insert my Windows 98 CD for the install process to complete although I was performing a clean install each time and didn't keep anything from Windows 98.

In order to "get current", I need to replace my old computers (all of them are Pentium 4's) with new computers.

I wish to purchase new computers that will support 64 bit.

Can I purchse a 64-bit upgrade version of Windows 7 Pro and perform a clean-install onto empty hard drives?
Will Windows 7 accept the Windows XP Pro upgrade versions of the CDs as valid licences?

Thank you for your asssitance.


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All Answers

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Partial answer
by Steven Haninger / July 13, 2014 11:26 PM PDT

Windows 7 no longer accepts the CD from a previous version to qualify the upgrade. Windows wants to see an installed and activated version of a qualifying OS. I can't supply you with the upgrade path but that's what you'll need. I did perform an upgrade to Windows 7 with an upgrade disk by attaching my old hard drive to a motherboard port. It allowed me to install Windows 7 64 bit using the 32 bit version of XP as the qualifier. I know that if I ever need to do a clean install again, I need to have that old XP hard disk again so I have kept it aside. Since you have XP Pro, you will be permitted the Windows 7 pro version.

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by Jimmy Greystone / July 13, 2014 11:33 PM PDT

No. The retail versions of Windows 7 are no longer being sold, haven't been for some time now. All that exists are OEM versions, which is kind of a good news-bad news situation for you.

The good news is that it's a full license, not an upgrade, so you could finally chuck that old Windows 98 CD. The bad news is that OEM versions of Windows will lock themselves, via the activation key, to the hardware they are first activated on, so you'd be very limited in your potential for upgrading in the future. If you see someone on eBay claiming to be selling a retail copy of Windows 7, I would be very wary as it's probably pirated.

If you plan to do the same thing you did before and upgrade motherboards and everything else with the new computers, Windows 8 is your only choice unless you want to hold out for Windows 9, but there's no official date for when that will be out yet, but all rumors currently have it late next year. If you get an OEM copy of Windows 7 you will not be able to replace the motherboard.

Don't worry about all the negative things said about Windows 8. For one, 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of them can be reduced down to "The tile interface scares me". Which just means people were too lazy to spend about 10-15 minutes figuring out how it works. The couple of minor, but legitimate, complaints have all largely been addressed by the 8.1Update 1 release a few months back. What you're left with is a more resource efficient and secure Windows 7 with a number of nice little additions to sweeten the deal a little; like being able to (finally) natively pause/resume file transfers and the task manager overhaul was long overdue as well.

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Re: partial answer and no.
by Organgrindered / July 14, 2014 3:34 AM PDT
In reply to: No

Thanks a lot for your answers.

I was just hoping to save a few bucks by getting the upgrade versions.

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You might find them through other than retail channels
by Steven Haninger / July 14, 2014 4:32 AM PDT

but any copies out there could be suspect. Any upgrade license requires that you retire the previous version. I paid all of 90 bucks for my pre-release copy and am willing to bet I could sell it for more than that now. But, I'd need to discontinue using my rig or risk MS finding my PID code in use twice. You don't want to have to deal with that somewhere down the line.

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There's still Vista out there
by James Denison / July 14, 2014 1:03 PM PDT

I had it installed and then removed it.

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In light of
by Jimmy Greystone / July 14, 2014 9:40 AM PDT

In light of Steven's earlier comments, I think your best bet would be to probably buy the retail version of Windows 8. That leaves you with the largest number of doors not welded shut. It'll cost a little bit more, but that's how it goes sometimes. Unless you think you can wait it out another 1.5-2 years (maybe longer) for Windows 9 to come along, but then you'd be hoping that Microsoft would be running some kind of promotional price for people who preordered or bought early, which is not guaranteed. Odds are Windows 9 will not accept Windows XP as a valid upgrade option, so you'd be stuck buying full retail or OEM same as now.

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save even more money
by James Denison / July 14, 2014 1:02 PM PDT

I went from using XP to using Mint Linux and Kubuntu Linux and not regretted it. I did upgrade my wife's to Windows 7 since that's what she also uses at work. I set my daughter's XP a long time ago to a Limited account and clean it of infections every 6 months or so.

check out videos on Linux at youtube and see if it's for you. Especially favor those by Nixie Pixel and/or Spatry, they have some well presented and informative ones.

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Re: Upgrading to Windows 7 from XP
by Organgrindered / July 14, 2014 11:28 PM PDT

Thanks for everyone's replies.

I guess I'll bite the bullet and purchase a non-OEM version of Windows 8 64-bit.

While I was surfing, I saw reference to a "family pack" version of Windows 7 but couldn't find anything like that for Windows 8.

Do you have any recommendations on how to install a single purchased copy of Windows 8 on 3 computers? Legally of course. Or will I have to purchase 3 copys of Windows 8?

Does Microsoft provide any way of licensing Windows 8 on more than one computer in order to avoid purchasing 3 copies of it? i.e. is there such a thing as discounted multi-computer licensing fees?

Thanks! Ed

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There was a way
by Jimmy Greystone / July 14, 2014 11:56 PM PDT

There was a way once upon a time to buy extra licenses for Windows, but you only got like a $10 discount/license, so it's probably just worth paying the extra $20 (assuming the program is still going and same discount applies) to have backup copies of the restore media.

And since our resident Linux zealot decided to comment... Having used Linux myself for many years in the days when you had to actually know something about the OS to get it working well, I wouldn't recommend it for a new system, even with the numerous advances they've made over the last few years. If you want to try it out on the systems you're looking to retire that would be an altogether different scenario and one I would wholeheartedly endorse. Keep at least one of the three you'll be retiring to use with Linux, FreeBSD, and whatever else may strike your fancy.

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I agree with Jimmy here
by itsdigger / July 16, 2014 1:59 AM PDT
In reply to: There was a way

I love my Linux computer and really is all I use but it all depends on what you use the computers for. For everyday e-mailing and surfing the net and paying my bills and stuff like that it's prefect but if you're a gamer or want to watch Amazon Prime movies , forget it. You can make Linux play Netflix with some luck but it's a PITA.

If I were you, I might switch one to Linux but the others, I'd go with Windows 8.1.


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(NT) As I recall, any 3 packs were for "Home" versions
by Steven Haninger / July 15, 2014 2:43 AM PDT
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(NT) You recalled right. Yup, I own one of the 3 packs.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 15, 2014 3:00 AM PDT
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I had a WINXP and this is how I now have WIN7 Home Premium
by DCLew3 / July 22, 2014 8:47 AM PDT

it is 32/64 bit. I downloaded and created on a cd the following:; set it aside and there is a WIN7 Home Premium that is 32/64 bit DVD ,costs $80 plus taxes and shipping from
Then you need to download for WIN7 drivers for your make and model of your computer. get a flash drive and save all your important data on it along with your drivers (my has Gateway folder and HP folder for 2 computers). There is one drawback , there won't be a recovery section. I saved pictures, documents, wallpaper, win98 sounds, and anything that is updated in that drive. I have 2 WIN7 DVD's for 2 computers - that is my recovery disk.
My gateway is 3 .5 years old and my Compaq is 2.5 years old. Darrell

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