Direct upgrade from XP to 7

by Marin Franković on 6 November, 2009

Win 7 Upgrade Paths Although, last IT PRO group meeting was about WMI, scripting repetitive jobs and how to use free tools if you do not have budget or knowledge to use full servers products, in one moment discussion took a 180 degree turn. We started to argue can Windows XP be directly upgraded to Windows 7.

Well, first of all, according to the official Windows 7 upgrade paths, Microsoft does not support direct upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. Then the argument was that you can do direct upgrade by using MDT 2010. I must disappoint you again, MDT does not do direct upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. Rather, the upgrade process is based on keeping single instance of the files in place, but building a catalog of links to the items in XP. After the disk is wiped clean, with the exception of the files that have to be migrated, Windows 7 is clean installed on top, and all that USMT has to do now is put the links back into the right location.

As you can see, there is no “real” direct upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 7. Microsoft did not do so, probably because creating upgrade procedures from so “old” version of Windows would take a long time and it would be very complicated.

Another way to upgrade from Windows XP directly to Windows 7 is to use Windows Vista as intermediate platform. Upgrade Windows XP to Windows Vista and then to Windows 7.

I would recommend a clean install any time! 🙂

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

SilvioS November 11, 2009 at 23:30

Nice info! Got to writte sth abut it on my blog! 🙂


skron November 21, 2009 at 14:11

For too busy ones or too lazy ones (like me :)), there is handy 3rd party tool from Laplink, named “PCmover”. Avaliable is several versions for very small fee.


Windows7Guy March 4, 2010 at 16:42

Hello Marin,
There are several reason why we at Microsoft do not support an in place upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. We realized at the start of this project that the “upgrade” from XP would not be an experience we think would yield the best results. There are simply too many changes in how PCs have been configured (applets, hardware support, driver model, etc.) that having all of that support carry forth to Windows 7 would not be nearly as high quality as a clean install. This is something many of you know and already practice. We do provide support for moving files and settings and will prompt at setup time, but applications will need to be reinstalled. We know that for a set of customers this tradeoff seems less than perfect, but we think the upfront time is well worth it.

For additional assistance with the migration of Windows XP to Windows 7, please go here:

Microsoft does have an official Windows 7 Support Forum located here . It is supported by product specialists as well as engineers and support teams. You are welcome to check the threads there and receive additional assistance and feedback.

You can visit the official Microsoft Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 site here:

There are some nice videos tutorials and steps to take when migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7. And yes it is true you cannot directly upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 you can take some steps to ensure a smooth process.
Thanks again and good luck!

John M.
Microsoft Windows Client Support


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