Best upgrade path from Vista Basic to Windows 7 Pro (or Ultimate) on Dell

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by rtm, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. rtm

    rtm MDL Novice

    Jun 13, 2010
    7
    0
    0
    #1 rtm, Jan 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
    I have a 9 month old Dell with Windows Vista Basic 32 bit installed from the factory. I need to get this machine to Windows 7 Professional 32 bit (Ultimate may work as well). I have two OEM disks from Dell: Vista Business 32 bit and Windows 7 Professional 32 bit. I want to avoid reinstalling the applications currently on this machine so I need to do an upgrade.

    My understanding is that I cannot go directly to Windows 7 Professional from Vista Basic. Since the Anytime Upgrade option for Vista Basic to Vista Business is no longer available, I tried using the Dell OEM Vista Business disk to upgrade Vista Basic to Business so I could then go to Windows 7 Professional, but it would only allow the Custom (overwrite) install. Is it possible to modify my Dell OEM Windows 7 Professional disk to become a Dell OEM Windows 7 Ultimate disk or a Dell OEM Windows 7 Home disk and then use that disk to do an upgrade?

    These are legitimate upgrade paths according to Microsoft. Since I have Dell disks and the machine is a recent Dell that almost certainly has the correct BIOS, I am hoping not to to need to install other tools such as a loader. Is there a way to do this? What are my alternatives?
     
  2. Michelle68

    Michelle68 MDL Senior Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    465
    262
    10
    If what you want to do is somehow possible the risk of corrupted files and an unstable system would be great.

    I really suggest you bite the bullet and do a clean fresh install of Windows 7.

    You should also entertain the idea of installing Windows 7 64bit if your hardware supports it.

    We'd all like to always take an easier way with a simply upgrade but IMHO it's never the best option.

    Starting with a clean installation is the first step to having a stable system.
     
  3. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
    8,707
    3,064
    300
    @ rtm, i would download slic dump toolkit from the forum and run that to check if you have slic 2.1 the fact your machine came with vista suggests it only has slic 2.0. I would check dell site to see if there is updated bios for your model.
     
  4. rtm

    rtm MDL Novice

    Jun 13, 2010
    7
    0
    0
    I appreciate the fact that upgrades are never as desirable as fresh installs, I too believe this strongly, but in this case I have an application that would be enormous trouble to reinstall and I must install an additional application that will only run under the Business or Professional versions of Windows. (As a side note, neither are 64 bit compatible.) In this case I am willing to try the upgrade route first.
     
  5. subpsyke

    subpsyke MDL Junior Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    75
    12
    0
    What application? And what guarantee do you have that it will continue working if you upgrade to Windows 7?
     
  6. rtm

    rtm MDL Novice

    Jun 13, 2010
    7
    0
    0
    #6 rtm, Jan 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
    (OP)
    Sebus recently posted that my model has SLIC 2.1 and I see Dell has a new BIOS released in December 2010 so I think after I install that I will be good there, thanks.

    I found the OEM sources thread here and downloaded "Win 7 Ultimate x86 OEM SLP $oem$.rar". I also downloaded "7600.16385.090713-1255_x86fre_client_en-us_Retail_Ultimate-GRMCULFRER_EN_DVD.iso" and checked its MD5. As I understand it, now I can create a Dell OEM Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit DVD by placing the unrared $oem$ folder at the root of the ISO. Is that the correct location? It does not seem quite right because I don't see any such folder on my OEM disks from Dell. I am exploring what is different on the Dell OEM disk from the generic disk besides the langpacks folder to understand this, but some help would be appreciated.

    Will this create a disk I can use to upgrade my Vista basic install?
     
  7. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
    5,879
    1,773
    180
    #7 sebus, Jan 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
    I would make (as always) CLEAN install. Forget the upgrading (that is asking for troubles)
    You do NOT need to make a disk to install or upgrade.

    Install without key & add key/certificate later with slmgr

    And what could be so problematic to re-install?

    At least keep Ghost image of your machine before you mess it up

    sebus
     
  8. ippytattoo

    ippytattoo MDL Senior Member

    Jul 17, 2008
    398
    83
    10
    @rtm, I would update to current available bios then run SLIC Dump toolkit to verify that the new bios has slic 2.1. If it does I would use the unmodified win7 ult x86 disk to upgrade and then use a tool such as OPA tool to insert the proper key and cert rather than messing with the iso. That is just what I would do since I have had very good luck with that method before.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. rtm

    rtm MDL Novice

    Jun 13, 2010
    7
    0
    0
    #9 rtm, Jan 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
    (OP)
    Curious, I see two extra lines (the last two) in your post when quoting it that don't show up in the regular forum post. (Ahh, I see, you must have edited just as I quoted you.)Yes, I have made a ghost image and I fully expect I will need to recover to it. The reinstall issue is that the registration information for the application I am trying to save has been lost and I cannot reinstall it without a payment to the supplier. I will probably end up there anyway, but before I shell out a bunch of bucks I want to make one desperate try to avoid re-install. I am not rejecting excellent advice about upgrades, I can't think of one other time I have done one, but this time, UGHHH, I must give it a shot.
     
  10. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
    8,707
    3,064
    300
    Wrong $OEM$ folder is in Sources folder not on the root of the DVD. Check your dell DVD's again.
     
  11. rtm

    rtm MDL Novice

    Jun 13, 2010
    7
    0
    0
    Yes, saw that after I looked at the DVD. Looks like Sources is quite a bit different. From what I have read it is only the $oem$ that matters though.
     
  12. Kouryu

    Kouryu MDL Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2011
    408
    111
    10
    Sorry for the late reply... if you haven't done the upgrade yet, then this is how I'd do it:
    delete the ei.cfg from the win7 disc...
    run the upgrade for 7 under vista, it should give you edition choices (you can choose anything from starter/basic to ultimate, thus negating any need for you to download any windows 7 ISO since you can just copy your disc but without the ei.cfg file!)
    since you are running vista basic, choose 7 home premium, it will upgrade to it

    wait half a day to upgrade (yes it takes that long), then once 7 is running, do anytime upgrade to go to pro or ultimate ;)

    you will need to have the appropriate keys to allow a home premium activation and pro or ultimate of course... those are easily found on this forum :)
    obviously without SLIC 2.1 or a loader, they will not work

    while I agree clean install is always the best, don't let everyone else scare you... if there's anything wrong during the upgrade process and causes it to fail, it will revert everything back to vista like nothing happened, save for a few garbage directories under C:\
    I have successfully upgraded a sony vaio laptop running vista home premium to 7 ultimate and everything worked fine... the upgrade advisor just complained about itunes not working properly afterwards but it seems fine
    I also successfully upgraded an hp 2133 mini notebook from vista business... everything worked except for the 3D drive protector thingy... I just downloaded a new version of it from HP and installed it and all was good.... windows updates later showed a newer version of that same driver too
    I did fail upgrading an hp laptop (forgot which model)... it just reverted back to vista, so no harm done... I have a feeling itunes could be causing it to fail, but it could be some other apps

    now after doing an in place upgrade, if you find the system runs crappy even after defragging it and cleaning out the logs and uninstall file (use disk cleanup tool), then of course the only obvious solution is to format and install 7 clean