No upgrades from XP to Windows 7?

I know a lot of people who are skipping Vista but considering Windows 7, on the theory that it will be a greatly improved product, sort of a Vista R2.

If that’s your strategy, you probably need to be aware that, at least in the current not-a-beta release, upgrades from XP to Win7 are blocked. (I don’t know whether this restriction will be in the final edition as well, but I bet it is.) You can do a clean install only, with all your old Windows files going to a Windows.old directory and none of your files and settings transferred (you can, however, use Windows Easy Transfer to save settings first and restore them later).

So the compatibility issues you’re ignoring right now aren’t going to go away. If you have apps or hardware drivers that only work on XP and aren’t compatible with Vista, you’re going to have those same issues with Windows 7, which isn’t going to magically fix anything.

15 thoughts on “No upgrades from XP to Windows 7?

  1. Honestly, that’s probably what they should have done with Vista. Most issues I’ve heard from people were in the “upgrade” process.

  2. I’m with Cory. I upgraded my 2-year old XP desktop to Vista and found it ran badly enough that I ended up doing a scratch reinstall. There was a night and day difference on the same hardware – in fact, I could have ended up as one of those whiney Vista haters had I not done the clean install.

    Windows Easy Transfer is awesome if you put in the time to set it up properly on the old machine. With that and an external drive, I’ll never consider in-place upgrading an OS again.

  3. This is no surprise as the O/S’s will be poles & years apart. I agree Ed that they will block this in the final release of Windows 7. Driver and application compatibility was a major problem when Windows Vista was released and I don’t think anybody wants to go down that path again.

  4. I really do hope they disallow upgrading from XP to 7. I’ve had a ton of problems with customers upgrading XP to vista and it dragging in old drivers or programs being incompatibility and breaking the install before it even really gets going.

    Wouldn’t mind if they still allow the upgrade loophole thats in vista though so you dont have to buy a full copy but its doubtful 🙂

  5. I never use the “upgrade” thing, I don’t trust it. A clean install is way better (cleaner…). A million things can go wrong, why even bother trying to “upgrade”… Plus, if you buy an “upgrade” license, you’re always a bit screwed when you want to do a clean install. They should drop the upgrade idea altogether, spare the resources they’re wasting on that now and use them for something more useful.

    Upgrades are for suckers 🙂

  6. This should be irrelevant. In situ upgrades are inadvisable. A clean install may take a day or more if you have a lot of software to deal with but it’s the only sensible way to go.

    As DaveN said, Windows Easy Transfer works very well. Put your docs, outlook.pst and all other data where possible on a separate drive or partition and it’s even more painless.

    How to move My Docs etc.:

  7. I can see why they would want to prevent an upgrade from XP, but I have to disagree with others about upgrading from XP to Vista.

    I upgraded my wifes 3 year old(Oct 05) budget eMachine from XP to Vista Business and it was as smooth as silk. Of course I did the proper upgrade method by running the Vista Upgrade Advisor and following all of its recommendations.

    The one glitch I did have was that I didn’t, and was never told to, remove the anti-virus software. The first time I did the upgrade it errored out at the very end and rolled back to XP. My wife was never the wiser for a few day’s. Once I tried it again everything went smoothly and she had Vista.

    Vista runs just as good on her computer as it does on mine.

    In the research I did about the Vista upgrade process I learned that Vista actually does a clean install and then imports the applications and settings. This prevents any old XP files from lingering around.

    All-in-all it was the slickest Windows upgrade I’ve ever done.

    If they were to allow an upgrade process in XP it would be in Microsoft’s best interest to force the Upgrade Advisor to pass before allowing the upgrade.

    But in the end, it is probably the smartest move to just avoid the whole scenario all together.

  8. No one mentioned the money scam here. In the past there was always a way to do a clean install with an upgrade disk. The upgrade disk at least for XP was about 100 USD cheaper than the full blown version.

  9. I was curious about what the Windows Vista to Windows 7 upgrade would be like so I upgraded my own machine (Vista used on it for 2 months) … I also did a clean Windows 7 install on another…

    Clean install Windows 7 is a lot faster than upgraded Windows 7 – but the process is definatly improving – there where no compatability problems but there where a few bugs introduced such as the reapperance of the annoying language bar bug I thought I would never have to see again!

    Also interestingly – Live Mesh cannot be installed on Windows 7 but if you upgrade to it from Vista than Mesh works fine.

  10. I upgraded only once, when XP was first released. Never again. Haven’t tried easy transfer, but I certainly will. Thanks for the tip!

  11. I entirely agree on the topic, first, you have to look at compatibility, most software needs to be upgraded as for Vista as well as Windows 7.

    The second thing we have to look at is hardware compatibility, some people even run as little as 256 RAM on XP (Which again most PC shops today dont even sell 256 RAM) and most of the whining about Vista, one would have to look at businesses who find excuses to upgrade to Vista.

    Thirdly, most people as well as some businesses run outdated software, in fact, there are freely available scans which can tell you about outdated software and its vulnerabilities, a client whom i discovered that his system was penetrated by a vulnerability from having an unpatched Quicktime software, again its a proven fact that Windows Vista is more secure than XP.

    What most people dont know is that Microsoft had to sacrifice compatibility to deliver a robust and a secure operating system on Vista.

    Again the hardware demands for Windows 7 are going to be up than XP, most people think that Windows 7 is going to run as smoothly as XP with old XP hardware they have.

    Lastly, it is Microsoft’s ability to educate more people about Vista, at the moment they seem to be quiet and they are more happy about talking about Windows 7 which again if Microsoft dont talk about Vista the more people will wait for Windows 7, which i think is wrong.

    I had some good memories of XP and some bad ones (Blue Screens) but i think its time to move on and see the exciting chapter of the future OS.

    As for upgrading i agree that a clean install is the way to go, even the OS runs more stable on a fresh install.

  12. I never do a upgrade on Windows. I just back up all my documents, pictures etc. and when the clean install is done I restore them.

  13. Brian, the PDC release (build 6801) was officially designated as “pre-beta” and described as more than alpha and less than beta. Thus my characterization of it as “not-a-beta.”

Comments are closed.