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Gerbil XP
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Upgrading using old installation

Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:33 pm

I bet chances to this are minuscule, but anyway. Is it at all possible to use your old Xp installation when upgrading to win 8? I bought the upgrade version as I thought I would find my old xp disc. Well of course I didn't. So, what would happen if I took the old HD with xp installed and would try to upgrade that in the new machine? After that I would have to move that installation to the ssd in my new comp. to myself this sounds like an impossible task but what do you guys think? Can it be done?
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Re: Upgrading using old installation

Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Simple answer is no. There is no direct upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 8.

If you had licenses for Vista and Win8 (and possibly Windows 7) you might be able to upgrade from XP to Vista to 7 to 8 (you may be able to skip the 7 to 8 upgrade) but the chances of your having the licenses and NOT having used them.. are zero.

The good thing is that it will keep your data around, but you will have to re-install all of your programs after doing the upgrade. I've already been through the experience and it can take a couple of days to get everything installed and set the way you want depending on how much needs to be installed.
Gerbil XP
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Re: Upgrading using old installation

Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:33 pm

Always have a backup of your stuff.

In general, upgrading from windows versions is not as "clean" as reinstalling from scratch. Especially if you are going from XP -> Vista -> 7 -> 8. Good for an academic/computer science exercise, but from a practical production system standpoint, just back your stuff up, and re-install direct. It's usually faster, easier, and produces a more stable system.
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Re: Upgrading using old installation

Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:07 pm

The problem for you (and for me) stems from the old XP hard drive not being able to boot in the new hardware. You need to either start over with a new full version of Windows 8 or you need to "transplant" your XP disk contents to the new hardware while still allowing it to work just long enough to start the Windows 8 installer.

I have two valid full-version windows installations on old hardware that I would like to port over to my new hardware. One is Windows XP and the other is Windows 7. In both cases, I do not need to keep the original OS, apps, or data. They're clean licenses that I would like to not have go to waste.

I kept the old hard drives and system components and have thought of a way to do it with two Windows 8 upgrade discs. Untested. But might be tested sometime in the coming months. You get what you pay for...but here's my thinking:


R1. Old system must still be bootable.
R2. You must have Macrium Reflect with the bare-metal restore feature.
R3. New hardware must be built and ready-to-go.

Steps I plan to take:

1. Boot original system. Install Macrium Reflect and create a boot disk/USB stick that contains the Windows PE environment.

2. Take a backup image. Should be able to do it with Macrium inside of Windows, but just to be safe, I would take two backups; one "cold" with a boot disk and one "warm" from Windows.

3. On the new system, restore it with Reflect's "redeploy to new hardware" option.

4. Boot it on new system. Validate that XP still works and is properly licensed. Correct any outstanding issues.

5. Now "upgrade" it to Windows 8 with your upgrade disc and key.

6. De-install/Dispose of the original XP and/or repurpose the original XP hardware.

No guarantees of course!
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Re: Upgrading using old installation

Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:39 am

You can upgrade from XP to Win8 using a custom install which will give you a clean installation.
The way to do it is to boot from the Win8 media whilst having the activated XP drive accessible to the installer.
The question is whether the Win8 installer whilst checking the activation status of XP on your drive will also check to see if the hardware matches the activation.
In your case as you’re moving the XP drive to a new PC the hardware won’t match obviously. Try it and see and you can install straight to the SSD this way as part of the custom install.

If MS are being rigorous they will check that but they are quite relaxed when it comes to upgrades. As was the case with Win7 which allowed an upgrade license to be used for a clean install. I read that it is possible to do the same with Win8 but using a different method.
Note that unless you have a retail XP license on the old PC then you aren’t eligible to transfer it to the new PC anyway so would be in breach of the license terms.

There are legitimate reasons for wanting to do a clean install with a Win8 upgrade license as when building a new PC it saves having to install an old licensed version of XP/Vista/7 so saves time. I’m in that situation as I have an unused XP Pro retail license that I can use as the base license for a fresh Win8 Pro Upgrade install.
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Re: Upgrading using old installation

Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:53 am

No need to install XP first, just install Win8 as described here and you're all set.
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