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Operating System Upgrade/Downgrade
( Windows Xp, Windows Vista, Windows 7 )
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   What's a operating system upgrade?

   We can say that we do an upgrade when we install an improved version of the same operating system
( lets say I have installed Windows Xp Home and I want to have Windows Xp Professional or we install a new
operating system superior to the one we have. For example: We have Windows XP Home and we want to
switch to Windows Vista Home ).

Note: For more information regarding your product key, license terms and upgrade types you are entitled to
contact Microsoft and request help.

   The purpose of this article is to show you how an upgrade/downgrade procedure works and the various
upgrade options you have at your disposal , using a Windows cd/dvd RTM disc. The articles are made using a
windows 32 bit cd /dvd disc. The 64 bit upgrades are approximately the same.

Note: Don’t mix up the 32 bit with the 64 bit versions. It’s not possible to upgrade from a 32 bit to a 64 bit.
It’s only possible from 32 to 32 bit and 64 to 64 bit. (You can change your operating system from 32 bit to
64 bit using a clean install)

   To show you the upgrade steps I have used a Windows Home version and upgrade it to the most
improved version Professional /Ultimate ( Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7).
Upgrade:

Note: Before you start the upgrade process it’s recommended to run Upgrade Advisor to verify if your system
it’s compatible to run the new upgraded operating system.

You can choose from 3 upgrade options:

A1 – You can start the upgrade install within the operating system. You will have the option to upgrade to
         the desired operating system. Using this type of upgrade offers you the advantage to keep all your
         data and system settings intact.
        Precaution: It’s recommended that any security software to be uninstalled during this operation.

A2 – This type of upgrade is a clean install. You can use Windows Tools to backup your important data and
         your system settings.

         This method can be completed in 4 steps:

        Step 1- Backup all your data and settings from the system partition using Windows Tools or manually to
                      another partition, memory stick or any other external device.
        Step 2- Prepare for a clean windows install ( a clean install will format the system partition and delete
                      any data saved here) . These are the things you should have:
                     a) The windows installation disc and Windows License key
                     b) Your computer drivers (If you don’t have them, access your manufactures site, download
                           and saved them on a secondary partition or an external device.
                     c) Learn how to boot from cd/dvd –rom drive
        Step 3- Do a clean Windows install (formatting the system partition or remaking it)
        Step 4- After you have updated all your drivers and secured your new upgraded system, use Windows
                      Tools to recover the previous saved data and system settings or add your manual backup.

A3 – This upgrade type will do the install by creating a Windows.old  folder. This folder will contain the
        current operating system and the system partition will not be formatted during the upgrade process. All
        the data will be kept on the system partition in the Windows.old folder. You can use Windows Tools to
        retrieve your old system settings.

       Note: If you use this method you can revert back to your previous operating system by using the
        Windows.old folder. If you don’t think to revert back you can delete this folder. This directory will be only
        created during Windows Vista and Windows 7 installations.

       This method can be completed in 4 steps:

       Step 1- Backup all your data and settings from the system partition using Windows Tools or manually to
                     another partition, memory stick or any other external device.
       Step 2- Prepare for a windows install (install windows using windows.old) . These are the things you
                     should have:
                    a) The windows installation disc and Windows License key
                    b) Your computer drivers (If you don’t have them, access your manufactures site, download and
                          saved them on a secondary partition or an external device.
                    c) Learn how to boot from cd/dvd –rom drive
       Step 3- Do a clean operating install (formatting the system partition or remaking it)
       Step 4- After you have updated all your drivers and secured your new upgraded system, use Windows
                     Tools to recover the previous saved data and system settings or add your manual backup.
Downgrade

Through downgrade we understand the installation of an inferior operating system or to the same operating
system but a different version (with less options).

In case of a downgrade you have 3 options:

U1 – If you have previously upgraded the system using the windows.old method you can use this folder to
         revert back to your previous operating system.

U2 – If you wish to downgrade your system to an inferior version of the same operating system you can
         complete this task in 4 steps:

        Step 1- Backup all your data and settings from the system partition using Windows Tools or manually to
                      another partition, memory stick or any other external device.
        Step 2- Prepare for a clean windows install ( a clean install will format the system partition and delete
                      any data saved here). These are the things you should have:
                     a) The windows installation disc and Windows License key
                     b) Your computer drivers (If you don’t have them, access your manufactures site, download and
                           saved them on a secondary partition or an external device.
                     c) Learn how to boot from cd/dvd –rom drive
        Step 3- Do a clean operating install (formatting the system partition or remaking it)
        Step 4- After you have updated all your drivers and secured your new upgraded system, use Windows
                      Tools to recover the previous saved data and system settings or add your manual backup.

U3 – If you wish to downgrade your system to an inferior operating system you can complete this task in
         4 steps:

        Step 1- Backup all your data and settings from the system partition manually to another partition,
                      memory stick or any other external device.
        Step 2- Prepare for a clean windows install (a clean install will format the system partition and delete
                      any data saved here). These are the things you should have:
                     a) The windows installation disc and Windows License key
                     b) Your computer drivers (If you don’t have them, access your manufactures site, download and
                           saved them on a secondary partition or an external device.
                     c) Learn how to boot from cd/dvd –rom drive
        Step 3- Do a clean operating install (formatting the system partition or remaking it)
        Step 4- After you have updated all your drivers and secured your new upgraded system add your
                      manual backup.

   Because you have many options to choose from, in case of a downgrade or upgrade I have created a table
from which you can choose the best method for you.

Note: To demonstrate and to create these articles I have taken the Home version and upgrade it to the last
version Professional/Ultimate(Windows Xp, Windows Vista, Windows 7).

Windows Xp Home <-> Windows Xp Professional

Upgrade

Downgrade

Windows A1

Windows U2

Windows A2


Windows Vista Home <-> Windows Vista Ultimate

Upgrade

Downgrade

Windows A1

Windows U1

Windows A2

Windows U2

Windows A3


Windows 7 Home <-> Windows 7 Ultimate

Upgrade

Downgrade

Windows A1

Windows U1

Windows A2

Windows U2

Windows A3


Windows Xp <-> Windows Vista

Upgrade

Downgrade

Windows A1

Windows U1

Windows A2

Windows U3

Windows A3


Windows Xp <-> Windows 7

Upgrade

Downgrade

Windows A2

Windows U1

Windows A3

Windows U3

Windows Vista <-> Windows 7

Upgrade

Downgrade

Windows A1

Windows U1

Windows A2

Windows U3

Windows A3


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