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I have just purchased windows 7 64bit. I entered the disk in the drive and it told me I couldn't upgrade as I am using XP so I have tried to boot from CD instead but it doesn't work. It seems to look at the disk for a few seconds and then ends up at a screen saying windows failed to start and then I hit enter and it loads windows XP again.

Does anyone know what could cause this?

Here is my system info:

Time of this report: 4/15/2010, 18:11:39
       Machine name: MYCOMP
   Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.100216-1514)
           Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
       System Model: OptiPlex 755                 
               BIOS: Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A09
          Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     E6550  @ 2.33GHz (2 CPUs)
             Memory: 3316MB RAM
          Page File: 568MB used, 4631MB available
        Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
     DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.5512 32bit Unicode
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migrated from Apr 15 '10 at 17:27

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Is the DVD clean? Can't you start a full re-install from XP? It used to be possible to do a full XP reinstall from XP – Pekka 웃 Apr 15 '10 at 17:15

Make sure your BIOS is set up properly to boot from your optical drive. You'll need to change the boot order to make sure it checks this drive before it checks your hard drive.

If it is getting that far then failing, then I would say either something is wrong with your disc or there is something wrong with your hardware. Let us know.

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You might also want to try using other bootable CDs/DVDs to check if your optical drive is already set to boot from it, just to rule out whether it's a disc or a drive issue. – Isxek Apr 15 '10 at 17:56
@Isxek - good idea! – th3dude Apr 15 '10 at 18:02
An even faster way to figure this out would be just to try not just any other bootable DVD but another Windows 7 DVD... it's a one step diagnostic... if it works, voila, but if it doesn't, it's obviously the hardware or something to do with settings. – Vervious Apr 15 '10 at 21:28

I don't think you can (directly) upgrade from a 32bit os to the 64 bit os. There is a link from Microsoft that talks about how to do the upgrade.


  1. Is the disc clean, maybe it is not readable?
  2. Try booting from the disc on another computer and verify the issue is with your computer.
  3. Boot from some other DVD (maybe some small *nix distro) to verify you can boot from DVDs.
  4. Update the system BIOS from DELL (A17 is the current version, you have A09)
  5. Update firmware on the DVD drive from DELL (there are a lot of updates available for different drives, don't know which is yours).
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Shouldn't the boot DVD still boot? – coneslayer Apr 15 '10 at 17:53
Yes, it should still boot from the DVD. – BBlake Apr 15 '10 at 18:41

I thought that Windows 7's installation routine did not offer to upgrade from Windows XP under any circumstances, you have to do a clean install, so the DVD appears to be working as it is meant to.

If you are happy to wipe everything in your XP installation, boot from your Windows 7 DVD and select "custom" installation, then install Windows 7 on top of Windows XP, obliterating everything.

If you want to keep your data, then you have back it up and restore it after the install. There is a tool available from Microsoft to help you if you don't want to do it manually (and you trust the tool).

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You are correct that you can't directly upgrade from XP and instead have to boot from the DVD, but according to the question, that's what's not working. "I have tried to boot from CD instead but it doesn't work" – coneslayer Apr 15 '10 at 18:53
webnoob said "I have just purchased windows 7 64bit. I entered the disk in the drive and it told me I couldn't upgrade as I am using XP". This seems to me to be the expected outcome of putting a Windows 7 DVD into a Windows XP machine. – Neal Apr 16 '10 at 7:14
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It seems there was an issue booting. I tried 4 times last night with no luck, switched my machine on this morning and it worked ... odd.

Thanks for all the comments and help.

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