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Upgrade Windows 7 Pro OEM to Windows 7 Ultimate

Posted on 2014-01-06
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Last Modified: 2014-01-08
I've searched and searched but I'm having trouble finding and understanding the answer...

I have Windows 7 Professional OEM installed. I need my copy to now have the features of Windows 7 Ultimate. I'd like to upgrade using Anytime Upgrade but it is no longer available apparently. At this point I like the idea of buying a retail version of Windows 7 Ultimate (not an upgrade but a full version) but can I use a retail version to upgrade rather than doing a wipe and full reinstall?
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Question by:jpfulton
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Expert Comment

by:John-Charles-Herzberg
ID: 39759890
You can do a Clean Install Windows 7 with Upgrade Media if needed.  YOu will just need to have the OEM install disk when the install is started.
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Expert Comment

by:Will Szymkowski
ID: 39759895
You need to use the "Anytime Upgrade" feature to upgrade your Windows accordingly. If this is not available anymore you might be out of luck.

Windows Upgrade Paths to different versions  - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd772579%28WS.10%29.aspx

Might have to do a new fresh install.

Will.
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Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 39759924
Usually when the Anytime upgrade isn't available it means that whatever "type" of Windows you are using doesn't support it.  For example, at my work if we use Windows 7 with a corporate license. I can't run the Anytime Upgrade.  I have to by a real version of Ultimate. However, if I have an OEM version that came with an HP computer (what we use) then I've always had it.  I wonder it you really have an OEM version.
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Lee W, MVP earned 330 total points
ID: 39759926
The full retail product should work as should the upgrade if you buy Windows 7 Ultimate.
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Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39759933
If you're forced to to a fresh install, use Windows Easy Transfer to transfer your documents, settings, favorites etc.

But it is worth trying to copy the contents of the retail disk of Win 7 Ultimate to disk and starting the upgrade from there (running setup.exe).

HTH,
Dan
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39762776
Buy win7 ultimate OEM, yes, that will work. Just interested: what features are you interested in? Because it might be easier to get them using workarounds.
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Author Comment

by:jpfulton
ID: 39762858
Actually I don't think you can perform an upgrade using an OEM copy. Not positive about that but from my research I'm pretty sure OEM will not let you upgrade -- full install only.

I managed to obtain a "temporary" Anytime Upgrade Key for free, then once it was done I tried activating which requested a different key. I provided the Win 7 Ultimate Full Retail key that I purchased. The whole process took about 20 minutes and I was able to go from Win 7 Professional to Win 7 Ultimate without a full reinstall.

Also, the only feature I needed is the ability to remotely connect to my work PC (the one upgraded to Ultimate) and use 2 monitors.
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Author Comment

by:jpfulton
ID: 39762871
Oh and the Anytime Upgrade option was available... but the purchase of the Anytime Upgrade keys is no available. Microsoft is pushing Win 8 so they aren't trying to help people with purchasing Win 7 upgrades.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jpfulton
ID: 39762873
This is actually all I wanted to know. Thank you.
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by:McKnife
ID: 39762901
>Actually I don't think you can perform an upgrade using an OEM copy. Not positive about that but from my research I'm pretty sure OEM will not let you upgrade -- full install only.

Well, what if I assure you that I have done that on my own workstation?
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Author Comment

by:jpfulton
ID: 39762919
McKnife--

Sorry then. My mistake. Good to know going forward especially since OEMs are so cheap. I just know that since the EULA for OEMs is meant only for new systems (and not upgrades to existing systems) I thought they made it impossible on a technical level as well.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39764606
Have you already bought it? Then I have bad News for you. If not, good news:
The Feature you are looking for is NOT an Enterprise or ultimate exclusive Feature.
RDP-Multimon works with Windows 7 Pro (in any flavor, also OEM). I just tried it. What People don't understand of this Feature is that you Need ultimate or Enterprise (or a terminal Server) at the Server side of RDP, NOT at the Client side.

So no purchase needed.
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Author Comment

by:jpfulton
ID: 39764792
My work computer is the server side which is why I needed Ultimate on it
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39764840
Ah, fine. Sorry I got that one wrong :)
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Author Comment

by:jpfulton
ID: 39764882
And, regarding Microsoft: I have no problem with them making money but it is very frustrating that tjey have this niche feature that isn't even publicized but is only available on the Ultimate version, not the pro version. I find out about it and decide tjat it is worth the money to upgrade but not worth the time to deal with a full install. Enter Amytime Upgrade. The perfect solution. Then I try it and it would be soo easy but alas, Microsoft is no longer selling Anytime Upgrade keys. Planned obsolesense. So i look at other options for moving to Ultimate but they make their line so complicated.. OEM vs Retail vs Upgrade vs Anytime and the tech limitations and the EULA limitations of each of these are not one in the same. All of this when the only thing I wanted was to pay another roughly $150 to upgrade the $130 Window 7 Pro OEM I bought one year ago so I can access one little feature.

Take my money just dont torture me in the process.
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