Updating from WindowsXP to Windows7

Hello- I have a domain user still on WindowsXP that I need to get upgraded to Windows7 Pro.  Not sure exactly how this happened, or why, but the laptop looks to have come with Win7 Pro (has a sticker underneath with product key, etc) but was apparently downgraded to XP.  So, anyway, I know the laptop is compatabile with Win7 at least.

I have not upgraded a laptop from WinXP to Win7 where I did not just do a complete wipe.  

What do I need to do so this users data is not impacted?  Can I upgrade the O/S using the standard Win 7 Pro disc in such a way that just the O/S is updated and the existing user data (and programs) remain in place?

In addition to that, I am planning to upgrade to 64bit Win7 from the current 32bit XP, so that I can also add some additional RAM

Any help/guidance appreciated!

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Hi please see the following MS article. This will provide you with some useful information

Tyler BrooksNetwork and Security ConsultantCommented:
Unfortunately there is no way that I'm aware of to upgrade from XP to 7 without having to reinstall software. You can use Windows Easy Transfer to backup his files and windows setting to an external drive, but you would need to reinstall all software. There is a walkthrough here that shows you the process.

Sorry wish I had a better answer.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You cannot upgrade XP to Windows 7. Not possible. You can try going through Vista first, but otherwise, you must back up the data, format and install Windows 7 fresh.

You should also be using 64-bit and (even allowing a Vista step in the middle), 64-bit requires reinstall.
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TemodyPickalbatros, IT ManagerCommented:
In addition no better than new fresh installation
Upgraded unfortunately not possible
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
As I noted, if you upgrade to Vista, you can then upgrade to Windows 7. But it is troublesome and forces you to adopt 32-bit Windows 7.
Being a domain user his data is (or should be) on a server. So I wouldn't worry about upgrading. Just do a clean installation of Windows 7. You can always tell the user to save any data he might think is important and only on the laptop to some other location before you do the fresh installation.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
using MDT2012 update 1 you can refresh the operating system from Windows XP to Windows 7 using hard link migration. You will lose ALL installed programs on the PC though.. For 1 PC I'd not go through the effort though.. For an enterprise I most assuredly would.. use windows easy transfer or USMT instead
look if the laptop has its recovery partition still
then you can use that, to have all drivers installed

however - you still have to backup the data, and do all updates

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snyperjAuthor Commented:
This is exactly what I did thanks.
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