I'm trying to upgrade Windows XP Pro to Vista Ultimate, and I don't want to do a clean install. The upgrade gets most of the way through the last step in the list of tasks (after about two hours) and then aborts with the following error:

The upgrade was not successful.

It then restores the system back to XP.

When I look in the setuperr.log file (in C:\$Windows.~BT\Sources\Panther, created during the upgrade), the last error in the file is the following:

2009-10-31 21:17:55, Error [0x080390] MIG Failure while calling IPostApply->PostApply for Plugin={ServerPath="%windir%\system32\drmmgrtn.dll", CLSID={743B7FD2-8427-4b7d-B330-A95618DE2BFC}, ThreadingModel=Apartment}.
Error: 0x80070057

I've searched the net for all of the keywords in that error, but haven't found a solution. I've also called Microsoft and paid for a support case, but so far they haven't been able to figure it out either.

I did, however, find a related Super User question, Troubleshooting failed upgrade to Windows 7? about upgrading from Vista to Windows 7.

The file mentioned in the error, drmmgrtn.dll, wasn't on my machine. I can see that it's part of the Vista install (in C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\dlmanifests\microsoft-windows-mediaplayer-drm-dl) so I'm assuming that the installer is trying to load it but can't for some reason.

Looking at the properties of the file, I can see that it's called DRM Migration DLL, from Microsoft. I tried removing every program I could think of that might interfere with DRM, but it always fails at the same place with that same error.

I've also done the following:

  • Used msconfig to boot into Selective Startup mode, with only Microsoft services running.
  • Uninstalled AVG Anti-Virus, Nero, Nvidia display driver, Power DVD, and Windows Media Player.
  • Copied the contents of the Vista install DVD to the hard drive and run it from there.
  • Checked Event Viewer, but found no errors at the time the installation was aborted.

Anyone have any other ideas to try?


Microsoft was right, you should give up and do a clean install. Obviously something carrying over from XP isn't compatible with Vista. While you're at it, skip ahead to Windows 7.

The clean install is your best option since half your apps wouldn't work after the upgrade anyways. Best to inventory them and backup your data and then re-install after putting on the new OS. If you don't have some goofy app from 8+ years ago that's your reason for wanting an upgrade over a clean install, you should also consider Windows alternatives like Linux or Mac.

  • +1 to skipping to Windows 7. Vista is the OS everyone will pretend never happened, just like Windows ME is now. – SevenT2 Nov 23 '09 at 13:23

This is a bit of a stretch, but I had problems doing a clean install of Vista while back due to using a SATA-connected DVD drive. The only way it would finish installing was if I used an IDE connection for the optical drive. Once installed, the SATA connection worked with no problems whatsoever.

I can't say anything for your log files (as I didn't get any to reference when I had the problem), so this may be a totally different issue. I only bring it up because the install killed itself the exact same way...looked good, and then just failed.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. In my case, the DVD drive is actually IDE. The two hard drives are SATA, but there's not much I can do about that. Microsoft seemed unwilling or unable to investigate the error msg, preferring to just try an endless list of shots-in-the dark and disabling and uninstalling everything they could think of. I've attempted the upgrade about 8 or 9 times now. They finally gave up saying the filesystem must be corrupt, and that I had to do a clean install. :-( – Russell G Nov 9 '09 at 22:54
  • My hard drives were SATA as well, it was just the SATA connection on the optical drive that was causing it to fail. If the clean install worked though, it must not have been the problem anyway. – DanB Nov 10 '09 at 18:19

Since the missing DLL has something to do with Windows Media Player, I would install both WMP and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 before trying again.

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