General discussion

Upgrading XP home to Pro

I'm trying to upgrade from Windows XP Home to Windows XP Professional, as the subject implies. I am so frustrated right now, that I want to scream. Here is what I have done so far.

I started off with Windows XP Home and Ubuntu 9.10 playing nicely together on my laptop. (I use nicely as a very loose term.) I was doing fine managing without Pro using 3rd party apps. I recently came into a new OEM copy of Pro. I initially tried to install this into Virtual box on Ubuntu, but without success. I then booted into XP Home. I tried installing it as an upgrade to Home. This did not work either. I eventually imaged both partitions and reformatted the entire drive as NTFS and cleared the MBR. I was unable to install Pro to a freshly formatted drive. I reinstalled Home from the HP recovery CD. I then tried to upgrade again into Pro. It did not work, yet again. Each time it fails I get the following error message:

"Setup cannot set the required Windows XP configuration information.
This indicates an internal Setup error.

Contact your system administrator."

Since I cleared the MBR before attempting to reinstall, this leads me to believe that the OEM copy of XP Pro might be lacking driver support for my HDD. (WD Scorpio Black 320GB 2.5" SATA) Anything I might have missed? What do you guys think?

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Yep you're right.

Not that I know too much about it, but XP doesn't recognise SATA drives and so the drivers for those have to be installed via a floppy disk during the install process.

However, thinking about it, attempting to 'upgrade' from Home to XP would not bother about the SATA drivers as they are already installed. But there are other pitfalls, eg; - "Microsoft does not support upgrading Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 1 (SP1) to Windows XP Professional without SP1".

Also, that OEM is a bit of a worry. Since OEM's are usually tied to specific machines, I have to wonder where that OEM disk originated from.

Perhaps others here will be able to give you better advice.

Good luck.


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Additional information

Is it possible, then, to install the drivers via USB? I would rather not have to purchase the upgrade version or a floppy drive if I don't absolutely have to. The OEM copy of Pro is for home system builders. It is not tied to any certain brand of PC. My copy of Home, however, is from HP. When I started the install from my desktop in Home, I was given the option to upgrade from Home to Pro in the install wizard. That is the option I choose.

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Additional answers

Sorry but Windows XP will not pre-install drivers from a USB flash type device. It must be done from a floppy drive. As well, this statement

"The OEM copy of Pro is for home system builders."

isn't correct and has been widely misunderstood. Though often purchased by home PC builders, it was meant for system builders that sell PCs with XP pre-installed. That OEM copy becomes locked to the PC it was originally installed on. It cannot be moved to another PC when the original dies or the user wants to perform a significant upgrade that would include a new MB and CPU. Thus, if the OEM copy of XP Pro in your possession has ever been activated on another PC, it should not activate on yours.

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To upgrade from XP Home to XP Pro

you need the upgrade version of XP Pro and not the full version....and definitely not an OEM copy. As mentioned SATA drives require special procedures for clean installations. If you had the upgrade version of XP Pro with a proper product ID code and compatible service packs it should have worked.

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To upgrade from XP Home to XP Pro

I was clarifying about the OEM comment that it wasn't an upgrade or retail version. It is brand new and has never been installed before. As I am installing this to a laptop. I would like to get this working on my current machine. Is there any other way for this to work, no matter how crazy? Seeing as I have no floppy drive to install the drivers during setup. I doubt I could get one to fit my laptop anyway. I'm looking for crazy ideas now!

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Given an OEM version is a full version

I'll give you an idea of how a full version could be installed on an SATA drive without using such drivers at all. If your BIOS has an IDE or "compatibility" setting for the drive, you can install any "full" version of XP. You'd need to check for that possibility first. Using this setting might cause the PC to take a small performance hit, however. You would boot the CD and delete the existing partitions during the setup process. You would still need to supply drivers for hardware after Windows completed it's own installation. That's the workaround if you don't have the SATA driver available the way XP wants to install it.

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USB floppy

Would I be able to use a USB floppy drive? My BIOS supports something called SATA Native Support. I thought It would be the same as IDE Compatibility, but I had no luck.

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(NT) USB floppy is fine
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I read this twice and see a SECOND ISSUE.

After watching so many folks fail to install XP (home or pro) on SATA hard drives here's one more thing.

That XP CD must be a XP SP2 or XP SP3 CD or you may suffer more time lost.

Frankly, with all the lost time, I'd move on to Windows 7 if possible.

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The CD is XP Pro SP2.

The CD is XP Professional Service Pack 2.

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No luck

I installed the SATA driver via FDD on boot and I still get the same error message. Any other ideas?

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I'm just guessing here.

I see many format a drive before installing this OS and it fails (too often.)

I re-read your posts and can't see where you did anything wrong but then again, the details are not here.

Are you sure it did run this XP before? I've lost count how many times folk get XP from some other PC and this happens.

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Any info you need...

If I have left out any bit of information that you may need to help me figure this one out, please don't hesitate to ask me. This laptop has been running XP Home for 5 years or so. I have gotten around the limitations with various 3rd party applications. I found XP Professional for $30, so I went for it. The CD was still sealed with the COA and key. It has never been used before on any other system. The key has never been used before either. This is not a branded disc such as one that HP or Dell would ship with all of their 3rd party software loaded onto it. This is simply an OEM copy of Windows XP Pro. I'm going to try to do this with another CD and see if it works.

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There's your clue.

OEM for 30 bucks has always been some pirate hack version 100 percent of the time. And I'm sure you know about the new OEM license issues.

Sorry but this is all volunteer so all the details are for you to share. Now that we know this is another OS that wasn't running before and it was a 30 buck CD the picture is starting to look grim.

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XP Copy

I checked for authenticity upon the disk's arrival. The disk passes all of Microsoft's checks as well as the license key which was genuine and has not been activated before. I even went a step father and verified the information contained in the SETUPP.INI file inside the i386 directory of the CD. It is a genuine copy. Keep in mind that this Operating System is running on 10 years at this point. I had never looked for it before, but it isn't uncommon to find XP under and around $50 now.

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Sorry no.

If you just bought this OS CD then it is not possible that it has been running for 10 years.

I suggest you go back to the OS that has been running.

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10 years

I wasn't talking about my copy in particular. Windows XP was first released in October 2001. It has almost been around for 10 years. That's why I was making the point that a 10 year old operating system isn't that hard to come by for a low price.

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Computers are very picky things.

This new OEM XP PRO CD is not the OS this machine has been running for 10 years. What I do in this case is to get the old OS back on the machine.

Sorry but the only glaring issue I see is either a machine with "an issue" (but what?) or that new CD.

It's this simple -> What changed? Or rather "go back to what worked."


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Still trying

I appreciate your help here, but I posted this support topic in order to get it running properly.

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Which is a good goal. But how to do that?

I just finished re-reading the entire discussion and can't find the make, model of the machine or "the details."

Claiming it worked for 10 years only makes the story worse. We are dealing with five year designs. While you do find 10 year old PCs these have become so cranky that I helped a friend draft up a letter to post at his shops.

It included a list of machines they will never accept for repair unless they are going to replace the CPU, motherboard and such. One of these are the infamous Athlon Socket A machines. These are fantastic for ranking up big repair bills and causing folk to write very nasty things about repair shops.

So the fix for his shop was simple. Don't take in machines that are known to cause customers to get upset over unstable machines or big repair bills. It's been that way for years and we've discussed the fall out. It's been great. Yes you do get a couple that get irate you won't service that beast but it works out fine when they are even more upset with the shop that accepted the machine!


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PS. When the forum bottoms out.

No moderator locked your post.

Just reply to your top post to carry on.

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After reading throughout

the many, many posts (and replies); one has to question a few of things.

1) why upgrade an old O/S with another old O/S ?
2) if you bought the XP Pro for under $50, did you buy just for that reason (because it was cheap)?
If this is the case (price), then why not install an open-source based O/S, such as Linux?
3) why upgrade a 10 year old computer in the first place, why not let it run with the original hardware/ software until it (the computer) finally kicks the bucket?

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While I don't mind answering your questions, the reason I posted this topic wasn't to tell you my reasons for installing, but to try to troubleshoot the cause of the failed installation. The only reason I bothered with this is because I got it for a good price. As I mentioned in my first post, I had Ubuntu running side-by-side with XP Home. I now have use for the added features in XP Pro that I did not need when I originally purchased the laptop. This laptop isn't capable of running anything more than XP, which is why I didn't move to Windows 7. This is also the reason why I use Ubuntu instead of Fedora.

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This laptop isn't capable of running anything more than XP

.., which is why I didn't move to Windows 7."

this one little sentence may be answering your own (original) question. If your laptop isn't capable of running any after XP, it is very possible it won't be able to run XP Pro.

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Not capable

No offense, Brechan, but that doesn't make much sense, seeing as Pro uses no more resources than Home. It adds features that were not present on the Home installation, like multi-processor support, remote desktop, and ASR to name a few. These don't use anything more than what Home would use. The difference is in the included software.

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next question

is the copy of Xp Pro you're trying to install 64 bit?

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64 bit?

No, sir. It is 32-bit.

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found a useful link
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Useful link.

I'll give it a try. I was under the impression that you could go from SP3 to SP2, but you couldn't go to SP1 or prior. That seems to be the only thing I haven't done yet, however, so I'll give it a shot and post results later.

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useful link

this link refers to installing the latest Service packs into the XP Pro cd,not the way around (going from SP2 to SP3).
" The XP Home installation has a later Service Pack installed. Slipstream the latest Service Pack 3 into your XP Pro CD and you will be able to upgrade with no problem "

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