Upgrade Win7 Home to Pro

Introduction: The purpose of this article is to provide the computer user with information that can help overcome issues that prevent the upgrade to Win7 pro, in particular via OEM.

Problem: During the upgrade process, setup fails to complete citing insufficient disk space or similar notification; although the disk appears to have adequate free space.

Useful prerequisites before upgrading:

1) ensure the machine has 4 gigs of ram for the pro.  you will be amazed at how well 4 gigs vs 2 gigs makes the machine perform better.

2) connect a spare drive to the machine via usb, such as a ssd.  this way you can straight copy current application settings from home to preserve during the upgrade to pro.


Tip 1:  delete all restore points and disable system restore in win home. (a: restore points in win home become unusable after the upgrade to pro. b: after win pro installs, pro will create a back up of win home, in case you want to restore the home version)

Tip 2: create a new/virgin user account with admin privileges (a: the normal profile you are using to install pro may actually be corrupted.)

Tip 3: while in the new admin acct, move and or copy your normal user profile from win home to a spare drive. (although i did clone win home to the spare drive, i wanted a separate folder specifically for my user profile. another reason to move the profile is because it may have infected or corrupted settings)

Tip 4: created more space on the hard drive by merging some partitions together.  (if you had divided your current hard drive into separate partitions, like a partition for documents and another for pics, etc…, then copy these folder over to the spare drive.  afterwards, delete those extra partitions on the harddrive and merge them into one big one.  after the upgrade, you can re-partition your hard drive)

Tip 5: Uninstall any and all freeware. (Freeware is free anyways. You can always re-install freeware at anytime after your upgrade)

Tip 6: execute a disk cleanup via admin.

Tip 7: initialize the win7 pro upgrade from the new virgin account.

Note 1: My upgrade was Win 7 Home Premium OEM to Win 7 Pro OEM.  The OEM cost approximately 50.00 from on online software seller that is also a Microsoft Partner, ie http://www.dqdirect.com/

I found similar OEM retailing well over 60 bucks. But there is no point in giving money away to buy a second copy of an o.s. when you already paid for the first one?

Note 2: Repair installs is possible via the OEM setup.  Basically, in doing so, the OEM will reinstall the o.s. via the upgrade option.  Therefore, any window files that were corrupted in your opinion and now require repair, will basically be overwritten/repaired when the OEM reinstalls the upgrade. To this end, your current profile and user settings will be still preserved. However, be sure to execute Tip 2 above before executing a repair install.

Note 3: Because Microsoft did not issue an SP-2, there will be many windows updates to download, which may take a whole day and a number of reboots.  To this end, we should all appreciate that all these updates were not merged into a single file, ie, SP2, because then our SP-1 OEM’s would be useless for Repair Installs, if needed.  (In other words, if a SP-2 update had updated your SP-1 system to a SP-2 system, then the SP-2 update would have to be uninstalled if you needed to use your SP-1 disk for Repair Installs.)

 Note 4 – While Pro has a so-called compatibility resolution subsystem, which is supposed to help make older programs work in Win7, IT DOES NOT WORK!

Fortunately, the upgrade to Pro now permits you to install Microsofts free Virtual Machine and the free WinXP Mode programs.

The above programs create a sub system in Win7 Pro that allows WinXP OS to run as if it were the only o.s. on the computer.  Once XPMode is installed and running, you can click the XP start button and install your old software and run them flawlessly inside the XP subsystem.

a – While in XP mode you can Alt Tab between it and your Win7 pro in order to switch back and fourth between them because while WinXp is a fully fledged operating system running as a subsystem, it pretty much runs as a regular program in which you can launch it and close it when not in use.

b – Both operating systems, ie Win7 and WinXp will share your computer folders.

c – If some of your old software is designed for use by MSOffice for Xp, you may have to install the older MSOffice in WinXP.

d – Recommendation: When installing software in WinXP Mode, create a separate program files directory dedicated for this older software. So instead of using/accepting the default location of “C:\Program Files\    “, create a new locations such as “C:\Program File XPMode\   “

e – Recommendation: Do not install / run utilities programs in XP if they are already installed in Win7, such as email programs, firewalls, anti virus’s, etc.   Also, keep in mind that Win7 will defrag your XP files like any other program and check your XP files for virus’s with its AV program.

f – Recommendation: Do not use WinXP / mode to access the internet. Remember that XP lacks many security features that are now included in Win7.  So if there are free updates or downloads still available for your old XP programs, then download them via Win7 and save to disk.  Then you can install them once you startup your WinXP.

Conclusion: after i accomplished the above steps, the upgrade worked out fine.  However, the new o.s. did require some tweaking.

For example: the firefox bookmarks and passwords were not adopted by win pro.  however because i had made a copy of my profile and program files, i was able to copy the firefox folders over from the spare drive into pro, which resulted in the restoration of my bookmarks and stored passwords.

Therefore, keep your copies of the profile and program files handy for a while, as you may have a need to copy some (but not all) folder back from the spare drive into the new o.s..  You dont want to copy the entire profile back especially if you upgraded because your home version was unstable or corrupted.

Finally About Microsoft: Ultimately, i found the 5 of the 6 customer service agents from microsoft india to of been unhelpful when asking for free assistance pertaining to installation problems.  one hung up on me.  another said i had to do a clean install. another said there was a 50/50 chance he would not meet my expectations.

the last agent claimed he could resolve the installation issue but only only if i paid for advance technical support.  I asked if you know how to resolve the installation issue, why do i have to pay for it?  in any case, i said no thank you. i dont believe that the steps i provided above are indicative of “advance technical support”.

Hope the above helps others!