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Zeroization In place upgrade from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional

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In place upgrade from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional
I have no idea why Microsoft insists on a clean install when upgrading from Microsoft Vista Home Premium to Microsoft Windows 7 Professional. In fact, I dont really care. I want to do an in-place upgrade. Im a busy person and dont have time to dick around for 8-12 hours installing, moving files, moving settings, and reinstalling all my applications. Using a little ingeniuity i.e. hacking I was able to do: an in-place upgrade to Ultimate, a downgrade to Professional, and an activation for Professional If you are like me, you purchased the Windows 7 Professional upgrade, so you have media and a product key. Heres what you need to do: 1. Hack your install media. It turns out that every edition is included on every installer disk. So no matter what edition you have, you have a full install Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. To unlock the capability, create an ISO image of your Windows 7 Professional disk. There are multiple utilities for doing this, most of them are free, use Google to find one. Once you have made the image, convert it to an Ultimate Installer disk using the Windows ISO Image Edition Switcher utility. 2. Now mount the ISO image and begin the install. Again, there are lot of free utilities for mounting ISO images. Use whatever works for you. (Google) 3. When you have the option, choose to do an upgrade install. Window 7 Ultimate allows you to upgrade in-place from just about any other edition. 4. After a few hours, you will have a working version of Windows 7 Ultimate. The problem is, it isnt activated and you have a Windows 7 Professional product key. You cannot activate Ultimate using this key. You need to take the next step downgrade it. 5. Use regedit.exe and go to \\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version hive. 6. Change the key EditionID key from Ultimate to Professional 7. Change the Product Name key from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional 8. Now, using your upgrade media (not the ISO) run another install and choose to upgrade. 9. Several hours later you will have Window 7 Professional. 10. Now, activate it using your product key. ALL DONE! Update: an alternative to the above that can save a lot of time: Chris writes (in comments below:) I had Vista Home Premium (32bit), I made a 7 Home premium disk (from my 7 Pro) and made an in place upgrade. After install, I did not enter a key but went to desktop and did the Anytime Upgrade. I chose that I already had a key, as I have a 7 Pro key already. I entered the key and within 15 minutes, I had a fully activated 7 Pro without losing my settings, programs, etc., etc. 3/20/2010

Zeroization In place upgrade from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional

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You should do this instead, it will save you several hours!

Windows 7 Migration Large Enterprise Win 7 Migration By Dell Powered by Intel Technology

This was written by Mr. Zero. Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009, at 12:13 am. Filed under General, Software. Tagged hacking, Hacks, key, Microsoft, product, Professional, Ultimate, Upgrade, Windows. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Post a comment or leave a trackback.



Wondering wrote: Your description of the steps leading up to the registry hack is good but your description of using your upgrade media (not the ISO) [and] run another install is really inadequate. Using your steps I already have a working install of Ultimate up to that point, and Ive hacked the registry ID. Why do I need to re-install Professional, and are you saying we should just do the second install in-place using whatever Professional media we have? Friday, November 13, 2009 at 4:02 am | Permalink


Mr. Zero wrote: Thanks for your comment. You have Ultimate, but it is not possible to activate it using a Professional product code. You need to run the upgrade twice once to get it to Ultimate and then once again to downgrade it back to Professional. Only then can you activate your copy with a Professional code. However, if you have an Ultimate code, you can just use that. Technically you can use the ISO again if you modify it to turn it back into a Professional upgrade. Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

3. Hey,

Andel wrote:

Great article! I was just wondering whether it is really that easy to upgrade 7 ultimate to 7 professional. Because it is actually a downgrade. Is it not possible to upgrade Vista Home Premium to 7 Home premium, and then upgrade 7 Home Premium to 7 professional? 3/20/2010

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Another question: I bought a win 7 Professional upgrade dvd, but no license came with it. It requires a Vista license. Do you think that the same steps apply to me? Thanks a lot! Andel Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink 4. Mr. Zero wrote: Andel, your proposed path would also work. The problem was I already had purchased Win 7 upgrade media. But, yes, you could do the Home Premium upgrade first and then use Anytime Upgrade to make your copy Professional or Ultimate. Im not sure I understand your other question you should have a product key in with your upgrade media. You need that to activate the copy. Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink 5. Jim Hatch wrote: Mr. Zero, Thank you for your expertise and innovative solution to a more than frequently reported problem. I happened to have a Windows 7 Ultimate Disk that I installed on my desktop PC so the solution did not entail creating an ISO image. My registry has a slightly different path however. There is a Microsoft folder between SOFTWARE and Windows NT. i.e.: \SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows NT Also, the final Upgrade to Windows 7 Professional loaded very quickly to my pleasant surprise. Thanks and kudos!! Jim Hatch Friday, November 20, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Permalink 6. Murr wrote: Dear Senor 0. Thank you for the brilliant solution! It worked for me. I found your site through the Microsoft Answers Forum. But I wanted to mention that in your step #5 you neglected to list one sub-directory ( \Software\MICROSOFT\Windows). Unless thats just how my registry is setup. Nonetheless, thats where I found the keys to change on my machine. Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Permalink 7. Mr. Zero wrote: Thanks to Jim Hatch and Murr for noting the issue with the registry path. Ive fixed in in the post. Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Permalink 8. Chris wrote: 3/20/2010

Zeroization In place upgrade from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional

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I also bought 7 Pro and am upgrading from Vista Home Premium. I already upgraded to 7 Home Premium, last night using the ei.cfg Removal Utility. Since I have a 7 Pro key can I just upgrade to 7 Pro from here or what is my next step? Should I undo the 7 HP upgrade and upgrade to ultimate, then back to 7 Pro? I wish I had found your site sooner. Thanks for any help you can lend, if you see this in time. Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink 9. Hi, Thanks for writing all of this. I did everything up until step 8. Where do I find the upgrade media? Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Permalink 10. Robert wrote: I like the idea of doing an in-place install, but Im worried about the legality of this and it potentially messing up my registration of my copy of Windows 7 Pro. Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 9:04 pm | Permalink 11. Chris wrote: Thanks! This worked great! I had Vista Home Premium (32bit), I made a 7 Home premium disk (from my 7 Pro) and made an in place upgrade. After install, I did not enter a key but went to desktop and did the Anytime Upgrade. I chose that I already had a key, as I have a 7 Pro key already. I entered the key and within 15 minutes, I had a fully activated 7 Pro without losing my settings, programs, etc., etc. Again, thanks! Why doesnt Microsoft do this install the right way. They are scaring people away needlessly. Chris Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Permalink 12. Mr. Zero wrote: Chris: Glad it worked out people should be made aware of your solution too! Human: Your Win 7 DVD is the upgrade media. Robert: It worked for me with no problems. The fact is, you can install without a product key. Theres nothing illegal about activating a legal copy of Pro when that is what you are running. Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 8:15 am | Permalink Human wrote: 3/20/2010

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Dennis Klaustermeyer wrote: Thanks for posting this online. Used it twice last night to successfully upgrade from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional. Dont know why Microsoft has to make this so difficult and confusing for everyone! Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Permalink


Leslie wrote: Can someone please help me with this process? I have created an ISO image from the installation disk which I created last night. I am using the Win7 Pro upgrade file that I downloaded from Digital River and we all know what a nightmare that has been. The file size of the disk is 3.02GB and the ISO image I created from the installation disk is also 3.02GB so Im not sure why it is giving me an error. When trying to use the ISO Image Edition Switcher, I keep getting the error message Unexpected target file size Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 6:16 am | Permalink


Leslie wrote: By the way, I am assuming that the patch I need to use is the WIN7 Home Premium 32 bit one because I am trying to upgrade to WIN7 Professional 32 bit on my Vista Home Premium laptop. Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 6:19 am | Permalink


Leslie wrote: Anyone? Can someone help me? I really need to get this installed and it just wont do it. I dont know if I am doing something wrong or what? Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink


Stevo wrote: I have vista Home Premium on my comp, and want to get 7 Professional UPGRADE, with the clean install (wich I prefer), will it work with an upgrade product key when it does a clean install, or, do you have to have a full retail version to do this. As when I tried it with Vista a year ago, It did not let me do a clean install, only an upgrade, or is the clean install different with Windows 7 that it allows you to do this for this type of upgradehope this is understandable, as I bearly understand what I wrote myselfthanks in advance for any answers. Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 1:11 am | Permalink


Bachir wrote: 3/20/2010

Zeroization In place upgrade from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional

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I used the below and upgraded from Vista Home Premium Edition to Windows 7 Professional: 1.Use regedit.exe and go to \\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version 2.Change the key EditionID to Business 7.Change the Product Name to Business 8.Now, using Windows 7 Professional CD install the upgrade. Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 5:06 am | Permalink 19. Axel wrote: Did you guys have the Update version or the Full version of Windows 7 Pro when using the Anytime Upgrade method? I have the full version of Windows 7 Pro (free download from my college) and I am now worried that I will get stuck at the Anytime Upgrade part since I dont have an Update Windows serial just the Full serial. Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 9:22 am | Permalink 20. Adam wrote: I can concur, the way Chris does it is an absolute breeze, my update was troublefree. Thanks for this post! Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink 21. Robert wrote: Im going to attempt Bachirs method. Anyone else done it? Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 12:19 am | Permalink 22. Robert wrote: Used Bachirs method. Worked fantastically! W00t. Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 2:16 am | Permalink 23. Kyle wrote: Will this process work if going from a 32-bit version of Home premium to a 64-bit version of Professional? Thanks! Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 10:25 pm | Permalink 24. noob johnson wrote: I am a noob. i have vista home premium and i bought 7 pro, and also want to do the upgrade, bachirs seems the simplest. Im just wondering if someone can help me 3/20/2010

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with step with mr. zero or bachirs first step, mainly with the regedit.exe, what does it do and where can i find it etc.. thanks Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Permalink 25. Christof wrote: Bachirs method worked for me too! Friday, December 18, 2009 at 2:27 am | Permalink 26. Robert wrote: Noob johnson: go to Start and in the search box type regedit and hit ENTER. That should open it. Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Permalink 27. joshef wrote: i used bachirs method also and it worked but am now getting error code 0xc004c008 Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 11:25 pm | Permalink 28. Bob Paje wrote: How do you make a Windows 7 Home Premium disk from a Windows 7 Pro disk? Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Permalink 29. Chase wrote: To make a windows 7 home premium disk from a pro disk you need to remove the efi.cfg file from it If you look around on google, I think there is a tool out there that will do it all automatically. Sunday, January 10, 2010 at 4:13 am | Permalink 30. wub wrote: Ive been looking carefully before leaping on this one. Thanks to everyone who posted their solutions above. Each path has some merit, but my version of the easiest way seems to be by only changing one line in one file of your installation media. I have a few clients who purchased Windows 7 Pro who wanted to upgrade from vista home premium. For this procedure I started with the x15-65804.iso and the install key. Use 7zip or your favorite file manager to extract the iso to a directory(you will get the same installation folders if you burn the iso to a disk and then back to your computer but 7zip saves the step). You can also run the .exe install option to create an install directory with the same structure as the install disk.) 3/20/2010

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Once completed, open the sources folder in the root directory, then look for the ei.cfg file. Open it with notepad++ or your favorite editor. the text appears as: [EditionID] Professional [Channel] Retail [VL] 0 Change that to: [EditionID] HomePremium [Channel] Retail [VL] 0 just change Professional to HomePremium, whatever your version. Save the file. Put the whole expanded windows installation media folderfrom above onto the target computer. Install windows from the setup file in its root folder. You can make another iso and burn to/install from disk if moving the folder onto the target machine is not possible. My last install was to a Dell Inspiron 1521 with Vista Home Premium and a typical profile of OEM software and MS Office 2007. From Install Now to 7 Home desktop took me about 170 minutes, though your mileage may vary. When prompted to enter an installation code, -do not use your key- just choose next. Windows will proceed and restart. Your pro code wont work anyway, but as of this writing, windows restarts and presents a 7 Home Premium Screen. From reading another set of directions I thought the logical next step would be to run the setup file again, this time with the original software with Professional in the ei.cfg file. Not soonce I had 7 installed, it directed me to instead run the anytime upgrade program installed with 7 Premium. I opened the anytime upgrade and pasted the pro 7 key code into the window. That was accepted, and upgrade from that paste to a Pro desktop took 25 minutes. All programs and settings were intact. Apparently nothing illegal or unethical is required here either. If you feel uncomfortable changing the ei.cfg file you could accomplish the same thing by using a 7 Home Premium Disk in the first phase and then just doing the anytime upgrade with your genuine keyall done. As a system builder you dont have to maintain several versions of install disks like with XP-there is just the one disk and the one ei.cfg file. I took a tour of the program files before this procedure and made sure none of the extra OEM programs like a browser error redirector made it into 7. The only program that the upgrade advisor told me was definitely not going to transfer was a 3/20/2010

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Dell modem driver manager. Apparently any incompatible programs are eliminated during the upgrade, but I would stop, uninstall, and then resume the upgrade if directed just to be sure. This would apparently work for any scenario not supported by Microsofts official path as long as you have an install key and media. I hope it helps you as much as the other posts helped me. Sunday, January 10, 2010 at 6:04 am | Permalink 31. NP wrote: I just followed WUBs solution, and it worked like a charm! Excellent info. Thank you! Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Permalink 32. DH wrote: Just wanted to thank Mr. Zero and everyone for the information they shared here! It helped me upgrade my Vista Home Prem 64 to Win 7 Pro 64 in record time, without losing any data. After making an ISO of my Win7 Pro DVD, I followed the directions here: This allowed me to make a bootable USB key with an image of the Win7 DVD. More importantly, since it was on USB key, I was able to easily change it for example, delete the ei.cfg file to make it non version-specific. I upgraded my Vista Home Prem to Win7 Home Prem, then used Anytime Upgrade to go to Win7 Pro thereafter. Thanks again, all!! DH Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Permalink 33. DH wrote: Sorry forgot to say that this worked in record time because USB 2.0 access is faster than DVD access, so the USB method not only makes the image editable, but more efficient also. BTW, I used an 8 GB key but 4 GB would have been sufficient. Cheers, DH Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Permalink 34. Mike wrote: 3/20/2010

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Just wanted to say thanks for the informative postings here. I was able to successfully upgrade to 7 Professional from Vista Home Premium. Fortunately a friend found this link that has upgrade the direct download links from MS. Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink 3/20/2010