General discussion

What does "Upgrade" mean when purchasing Windows 7

I intend to buy the Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack, but everywhere I look on-line it is referred to as an "Upgrade." That word suggests to me that I first need some lesser vision on my computer that will be enhanced. Is that so, or is the Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack all that I would need?

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That is so

That is so. Upgrade versions are discounted upon the condition that you already have a copy of Windows. There's a bunch of legalese stuff regarding the license, but basically all you need to know is update versions will not install on systems without an earlier version of Windows installed.

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Windows 7 Upgrade

So, since I have Windows Vista as of right now, I can get an upgrade and that should work?
Thank you

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As was stated ...

the word UPGRADE indicates that the software is intended to upgrade and existing version to a newer version.

The older, upgradable version of Windows does not need to actually be installed as long as you have the key itself which is normally located on a Certificate of Authenticity sticker on the computer.

This link might prove helpful and answer all your questions (and it specifically mentions The Family Pack )-

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Upgrade vs Full edtions of Windows 7

The upgrade does not have system bootup, you need the old Windows running to install the new OS. If you need to change versions -- Like Ultimate to Enterprize then you will need full version to do clean install.

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Not True

I installed an "upgrade" version of Windows 7 on a brand new PC I built. It had no OS on it when I did the install.

I was concerned that it would refusse to install, not seeing a prior version of Windows on the machine, but it worked fine. Even authenticating the install, so Windows 7 was recognized as a valid install, and could be used beyond the trial period, was no problem. Instructions on how to do that are readily available on the internet.

Oh, and I did do a legal install. My old PC running XP died. I retired it, built a new box, and "upgraded" to Windows 7 immediately instead of installing XP first.

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It depends on who you ask.

Unfortunately, there is not an industry wide consensus on the definition of "upgrade". Microsoft refers to "upgrade" as moving from a particular version of a program to a later version. (We are speaking of operating systems here) There are two general types of upgrades by Microsoft's definition: in-place upgrade and a clean-install upgrade. An in-place upgrade installs over your current OS without formatting and wiping out all your saved files and applications (unless something goes terribly wrong). Only certain OSs can perform an in-place upgrade to certain other OSs; Vista, for instance, can be upgraded to Windows 7 via in-place upgrade in most cases.

The other type of upgrade, by Microsoft's definition, is a clean-install upgrade. In this upgrade, you must format the hard drive completely wiping the previous OS and install the new one. Normally, you must save any files externally you wish to transfer and reinstall them manually to the new OS. This is the general procedure required to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. (There are tricks that one can perform to modify this procedure somewhat, but these generally are beyond the ability of the typical user.)

NOW, in common vernacular within the computer community, a clean-install upgrade is described as "clean install", while an in-place upgrade is described as "upgrade".

So, while Microsoft would say, "Sure, you can upgrade from XP to Windows 7, but you must do a clean-install upgrade." Common usage would say, "NO you cannot upgrade from XP to Windows 7, you must do a clean-install." They are all saying the same thing, there is just some conflict in terminology.

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Thanks everyone...Problem solved the old fashioned way

Thanks everyone for responding. I resolved the issue the old fashioned way. I bought a new computer with Windows 7 already installed. That worked out just fine. LOL...but not on the way to the bank.

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That's The Way To Do It!

That's the way to do it! I usually take the introduction of a new version of Windows, as my cue that it's time to get a new computer. That's one easy way, in most cases, to be sure your computer specs are keeping up with the ever-advancing needs and capabilities of the newer Windows versions.

Nobody above mentioned this, so I will - a Windows 7 Upgrade edition, specifically requires that you have a legal install of Windows XP or Windows Vista already in place, to be upgrade eligible.

If you still have and use your old computer, and it has XP or Vista on it, the upgrade to 7 is most definitely worthwhile. On a Vista machine, there is a notable improvement in performance, as 7 uses only about half the system resources of Vista. If that's the only computer you would need to upgrade, note that the single-license upgrade pack is about $30 cheaper than the family pack. If there are 2 or more computers that are upgrade eligible, the 3-license family pack is clearly the better deal.

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That's actually a misnomer

That's actually a misnomer. When you get down to it, 7 is just a warmed over Vista with a Mac OS X inspired new look. They made a few tweaks here and there, but mostly they just tweaked UI elements so that they have a higher processing priority. That makes the OS feel more responsive, even though it's taking the same amount of time to do Task X as it did under Vista. We like to think we're clever, but when you get down to it, we're very easily fooled by some simple tricks.

The main thing 7 had going for it was it wasn't Vista. Not that Vista was really all that bad, it just suffered some PR setbacks early on and never really recovered. There were also some poor decisions made that helped bring about the bad PR.

We shouldn't forget that everyone hated XP when it was first introduced. The Luna UI was more than integrated graphics chips of the time could handle adequately.

In any case... The issue appears to have been resolved, so seems time for the rest of us to move along.

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semantics, but...

regarding: "...Common usage would say, "NO you cannot upgrade from XP to Windows 7, you must do a clean-install..."

Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I would disagree that this version of "no" is common usage. When someone says that you cannot upgrade from XP to Windows 7, they're usually answering the wrong question. When someone is asking whether to buy the upgrade version or the full retail version, then the physical installation method is irrelevant. It's certainly useful to know that you need to do a clean install, but that's true regardless of which version is purchased.

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For anyone else considering this move

Glad you solved your problem the easy way!

As others stated, the EULA for an upgrade version requires that you own a previous version of Windows - no exceptions. However, if your earlier version is XP, you can't do a physical upgrade but you can use an upgrade version to do the required Clean Install. See the Microsoft web site for details.

However, in the Vista days, the guys at Windows Secrets Newsletter discovered that you could use an upgrade version of Vista to do a clean install. You'd need to sign up to WS Newsletter (free or donation) and check their archive for details - in general terms in entailed installing as a trial version first. I recall that this technique may work for 7 as well, though I've never tried it. But note - this does NOT absolve you from owning an allowable prior version of Windows.

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