Upgrade XP to Windows 7 fails big time

Although this has nothing to do with virtualization I do not want to keep this from you. This weekend I tried to update one of my desktops from Windows XP to Windows 7 build 7077. Under the assumption that the Windows 7 setup would warn me in case this was a not supported upgrade path I inserted the DVD and started the setup.

All looked well and the setup started normally. I was somewhat surprised that I could upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7, on the other hand Vista has never been very populair so it could be a wise move from Microsoft to provide a direct upgrade path from XP.

This joy and happiness didn’t last very long as the Windows 7 setup reported that this upgrade was not supported. Again I was a little bit surprised as the setup did start and it even started to copy new files to my Windows XP hard drive. Joy and hapiness were certainly out the window when I discovered that the Windows 7 setup destroyed my boot record/settings and my previous OS would not start.

Initially I thought it was the hardware because I had to swap DVD drives to get the Windows 7 DVD working but after checking the cabling Windows XP still would not boot.

That left one other option, the setup destroyed my Windows XP installation :-( .

As we often say ‘Assumption is the mother of all fuckups!’ so I wanted to found that assumption. I cloned a Windows XP virtual machine (so much for the virtualization relevance) and reproduced the procedure. Boot Windows XP, connect the Windows 7 DVD, start the setup, watch the installer as it copies newer files, act surprised as the error tells me that the upgrade path is not supported, reboot and BINGO. ‘Please insert bootable media’.

So to stay with the popular Microsoft vocabulary, Windows XP to 7 upgradeĀ  ‘myth’ BUSTED!

This, of course, isn’t really a myth. It’s my lazyness not willing to google if this upgrade path is supported but to destroy my installation so I don’t have another choice than to reinstall is not very nice to say the least.