I bought a new laptop that came with Windows 7 Home Premium installed (a HP Envy17 1050ea if it matters). I need to use several VM's that I used with an older machine that ran XP Pro so I need to upgrade. As I understand it, buying a Home Premium to Professional Anytime Upgrade just gives me a license key - not a disc?

I already have an OEM version of Home Premium that I bought for my HTPC. Can I use this disk to install Professional off using the Upgrade key? I think I know the answer, but I want to make sure.


There are multiple paths to the Anytime Upgrade and which you follow will depend on what you've already got installed. In many cases, the upgrade will require downloading the new version or having a disc shipped with the new/updated version. Some vendors will, however, pre-load the needed updates somewhere on the machine and all you have to do is buy the upgrade to unlock and install it.

As for the disc, most Windows 7 DVDs ship will all versions on it (an OEM disc may or may not contain all versions). However, most DVDs are locked in to a single version of Win7 and in order to access the screen that allows you to select which version you are installing requires making an altered copy of your install DVD.


Microsoft Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade [Home Premium to Professional] comes with a DVD that you should use for the upgrade.

Don't mix your DVDs : There are actually real differences between what Microsoft installs on the computer for Home and Professional versions. Otherwise, all you had to do would be to change the current serial number of Home to that of Pro. Unfortunately, Microsoft made it much more difficult.

Please note that the serial number of the Home version is kept during the upgrade. If your current version is OEM, then it stays OEM.

  • That's only partially true: You can easily mix the DVDs, because the DVDs are basically the same since Windows Vista (exception: System Builder DVDs are restricted to one architecture while retails are not). But I agree to the rest :) – Tobias Plutat Jan 27 '11 at 13:51
  • @Tobias: I wouldn't bet on it, especially for OEM. – harrymc Jan 27 '11 at 14:24
  • @harrymc still there the differences would be only minimal and relating to activation and stuff like this:) – sinni800 Jan 27 '11 at 14:50
  • @harry: You're right, OEMs might still decide to tinker with the DVD contents, though that has become a lot less prevalent in the last years. But there's an easy way to discern. As a general rule: If the DVD is labeled "Anytime Upgrade", it contains all editions. – Tobias Plutat Jan 27 '11 at 14:52
  • @Tobias: Yes, the Anytime Upgrade DVD will work. I was against using anything else. – harrymc Jan 27 '11 at 15:03

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