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I'm considering upgrading my bootcamp partition on my iMac from Windows XP to Windows 7. I've had a copy of Windows 7 for a while, but I've never gotten around to installing it, since I only use Windows XP for games. This Windows XP installation is starting to get annoying (for instance, it now only pretends to install the Bootcamp 2.2 update, and the graphics card drivers in particular are getting out of date). I presume it has reached its half-life. Rather than re-install, I might as well upgrade.

What problems might occur when doing this, particularly for someone who isn't very familiar with Windows? Will I need to re-install my applications? Are there any settings I should make a note of? Are there any other easily-overlooked banana skins?

Obviously, I'll have a full backup; I'd just like to know what to do to avoid needing to use it!

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You cannot upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. You can only backup your profile (documents and settings), install Windows 7, reinstall applications, and restore your profile.

Microsoft has a page specifically for this.

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+1 Some additional info that may be helpful:… and an upgrade matrix:… – KCotreau Jul 21 '11 at 17:38
That's upsetting that Microsoft chose not to allow upgrades - I always assumed they did due to the low Vista uptake. Thankfully, most of my applications are on an external hard drive, so not too much bother. Thanks for the guide you posted - things don't look too tortuous. – Scott Jul 22 '11 at 18:32

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