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How exactly do I do this? (Windows XP fulll -> Windows 7 upgrade installation)

DrezDrez Registered User regular
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
To follow up on my last thread, which I decided not to bump because it's old now and I have a more concrete idea of what I'd like to do is possible, here's the situation:

I'm working on my mother's computer. I've just formatted and installed a full retail version of Windows XP 64-bit on her 1TB drive.

She can get a legitimate educational upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium/Professional/Ultimate very cheap. She was thinking of at least Professional because she uses a few productivity apps that won't work in Windows 7, but she's thinking of maybe even upgrading to Ultimate.

Now the question I have is this: She wants to dual boot Windows XP and Windows 7. If she likes Windows 7 and can get by without Windows XP, she'll probably get rid of that partition later and just stick with Windows 7. But for now, she'd like both.

I remember awhile back that you could install a full version of Windows 7 without a key using a disc or ISO (or even a USB flash drive or SD memory card) without entering a key. Is that possible with the retail version, or was that only possible with the beta and release candidate versions? I was also told that technically all the discs have all the versions so I should be able to install Windows 7 Ultimate using a Windows 7 Home Premium disc. Again, I don't know if this is true for the retail versions or not.

I'm trying to figure out if I can use my disc (I purchased Windows 7 Home Premium earlier this year) to install Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate for her, have her check it out for a few days, and then have her buy the upgrade license from her school and activate Windows 7 using that key. Possible? Not possible? I'm kind of confused by the whole process.

If it is possible, can you give me a rough guide on what I'd have to do? Again, she currently has a 1TB drive with a full WinXP 64-bit installed on it and she wants to keep that. I know the first step is to get a linux boot disc with gparted and repartition (I forgot to set up two partitions when I installed WinXP for her) but beyond that, I am confused.

Thanks.

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Posts

  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Depends on which version on Windows 7 you are going to get. This is my understanding of it (I personally have not done it so please correct me if I'm wrong).

    If you get Windows 7 RETAIL, you should be able to just install it straight into the new partition.

    If you get Windows 7 UPGRADE, you need an XP/Vista install on the partition and then Windows 7 on top of that.

    Gilbert0 on
  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Gilbert0 wrote: »
    Depends on which version on Windows 7 you are going to get. This is my understanding of it (I personally have not done it so please correct me if I'm wrong).

    If you get Windows 7 RETAIL, you should be able to just install it straight into the new partition.

    If you get Windows 7 UPGRADE, you need an XP/Vista install on the partition and then Windows 7 on top of that.

    Did they change the way you do upgrades? Because you used to be able to initiate a normal, from-scratch, install of Windows with an Upgrade disc, the only caveat being that at one point the installer requests you load your legacy OS media into the drive to verify that you qualify for an upgrade, and then it requests the new OS media again and continues.

    Ruckus on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Ruckus wrote: »
    Gilbert0 wrote: »
    Depends on which version on Windows 7 you are going to get. This is my understanding of it (I personally have not done it so please correct me if I'm wrong).

    If you get Windows 7 RETAIL, you should be able to just install it straight into the new partition.

    If you get Windows 7 UPGRADE, you need an XP/Vista install on the partition and then Windows 7 on top of that.

    Did they change the way you do upgrades? Because you used to be able to initiate a normal, from-scratch, install of Windows with an Upgrade disc, the only caveat being that at one point the installer requests you load your legacy OS media into the drive to verify that you qualify for an upgrade, and then it requests the new OS media again and continues.

    Yes, I believe they did, but I was told there are ways around this.

    And just to reiterate: I'm not really looking to circumvent anything here except the bizarre installation methods you are forced to endure. For instance, my mother can order a disc version of her upgrade but it costs $25 more than the download, and frankly if she can avoid even the download (by using my retail disc), that would be preferable.

    Other than that though all the licenses are legit. The installation process for an upgrade is just arcane, though.

    Drez on
    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
  • meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Upgrade is fine. You do not need a previous copy of Windows at all. It never asks and I have installed it twice on brand new drives.

    meeker on
  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I stand corrected. Thanks for the proper info.

    Well I've purchased, but yet to install the cheap education discount.

    When purchasing, they give you the key right away, so assuming your retail disk is the exact version you are using, you should be able to use that key with the disk (and avoid the download). The download is pretty quick though. About 3 gigs, took me an hour to get.

    Gilbert0 on
  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    The media are all essentially the same, however there is a config file in the installer that you'd need to change to tell it which version you're installing, otherwise it won't accept your upgrade key.

    Tofystedeth on
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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2010
    Yeah, Win7 Upgrade never actually asks for the old media. It's an honor system, like OSX upgrade discs.

    There are different versions of the install discs. If they've included the special file on the disc, Win7 will only ever prompt you to install that version. If it's an "all version" edition, it'll give you a selection screen. Either way, you can install without ever inputting the key. However, it will ask to activate, and before the initial install will warn you that if you put in a key for a lower version, you'll have to reformat.

    FyreWulff on
  • rizriz Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Drez wrote: »
    Now the question I have is this: She wants to dual boot Windows XP and Windows 7. If she likes Windows 7 and can get by without Windows XP, she'll probably get rid of that partition later and just stick with Windows 7. But for now, she'd like both.

    Is there no way she can try out Windows 7 on a different machine if she just wants to see if she likes it? Dual booting and then dealing with removing the dual boot seems like more trouble than it's worth, if she's just afraid she won't like it.

    riz on
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