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I have a bit of an emergency on my hands. Uncle needs his PC upgraded to Windows 7, however I'm not too keen on reinstalling all his programs. I can't remember if I did a clean install on my PC, but I vaguely remember reading about a method whereby one can keep all installed programs. Much like a Win 98 to XP install used to be like.

Is this possible?

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As far as I know it depends on the version of windows 7 you are installing but not having done an upgrade as I prefer a clean install I can't really give you more than that. – tombull89 Jun 24 '10 at 11:17
See Microsoft's related Help & How to page: Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jun 24 '10 at 11:25
up vote 4 down vote accepted

As both the Microsoft and the Blogs DNA guide state there is no direct upgrade from XP to Windows 7 which will "transfer" installed applications from XP to 7.

The original installation discs or setup files for the programs that you want to use with Windows 7


You need to perform clean installation of Windows 7 by formatting your Windows XP or install on different hard drive partition keeping XP and Windows 7 in dual boot mode

The best you can hope for is to dual boot XP and Windows 7 and then gradually migrate applications to 7 over time. Once you've migrated everything you need you could then delete XP.

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There is no direct upgrade path from XP to Windows 7. However there is a upgrade path from XP to Vista, then Vista to 7.

If you can find a copy you can upgrade to Vista, then upgrade to Windows 7 you then won't lose program access.

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That sounds rather arduous. Can you add more detail about how to smooth the process, or other tips/tricks? – Kazark Mar 15 '13 at 19:43
@Kazark He actually has a good point no one else mentioned yet, I took the liberty of fleshing out the answer a little more. Thadogg if you did not like my edit you can roll it back or make your own. – Scott Chamberlain Mar 15 '13 at 20:00

If you have resources (memory and disk space) use virtualization: Make a virtual copy of your XP (VMware, Qemu, etc), then Install windows 7, and run your XP programs from the windows XP virtual machine...

and then gradually migrate applications to 7 over time. Once you've migrated everything you need you could then delete XP.

All your actual programs willl shoure work with this method, and there are several tutorials on doing this.

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There is no way provided by Microsoft to migrate applications. The only option you have without reinstalling everything are third party applications designed for this type of movement. However, these work with varying degrees of success by application.

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