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My laptop came presupplied with a Vista Professional installation and no Vista installation DVD. It has now stopped booting, stuck in a cycle of failing startup repairs.

I have a Windows 7 Ultimate DVD, but when I boot from it and select the option to upgrade an existing Windows installation, it states that the upgrade should be performed from within the existing Windows installation as a live upgrade.

Without being able to load the original Vista installation, how can I perform an upgrade to Windows 7 without losing my user accounts and installed programs?

Although I back up most of my data I really need to get the upgrade working in order to sanity check that I'm not losing anything important.

Thanks in advance.

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Have you tried recovering your Vista installation using the Vista recovery disk? Download it here, burn it and boot from it.

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@BloodPhilia: thanks for the link. I'm currently writing from my iPhone as I don't have another machine with a DVD writer until work tomorrow. Anymore suggestions until I can try this? – Brian Scott Jun 28 '10 at 20:55
@user17873 - No, if you want to perform an upgrade, getting Vista to work again will be your top-priority. – BloodPhilia Jun 28 '10 at 20:57
I've been reading that a clean installation actually copies the previous installation to a windows.old folder. Can aynone confirm 100% that I will have access to all previous user / desktop files after a clean installation? – Brian Scott Jun 28 '10 at 21:04
@user17873 - Yes all such information will be copied to your new installation. – BloodPhilia Jun 28 '10 at 21:06
@user17873 - The entire user profile of every used should be retained, this includes documents, desktop, etc. everything in C:\Users probably. I would recommend on backup up before though... there's always a chance something goes wrong. – BloodPhilia Jun 28 '10 at 21:24

You will have to repair the Vista installation to do an Upgrade to preserve your accounts and settings. Here is a link to the advanced methods of boot repair, it will require the recovery disc mentioned by BloodPhilia, or borrow a Vista Install disc from someone to repair. Or try the W7 disc you have to repair the boot issue.


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