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Windows 7 Upgrade Makes Some PCs Unusable

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 115 comments

Some PCs are stuck in an infinite PC reboot loop following Windows 7 upgrade attempt.

As is standard M.O. with any new version of Windows, a clean install is best. But clean installs are time consuming as they'd require back ups and reformats and installs and reinstalls and configurations. For some, just doing an upgrade is the preferred way.

Supposedly, the upgrade from Windows Vista to 7 is the most straightforward yet, thanks to the similarity in underlying software. Unfortunately, some users are finding out that the upgrade to Windows 7 could have disastrous, crippling effects.

Participants in a Microsoft support forum are now posting in a thread titled, "Windows 7 - Install Message - Upgrade Unsuccessful." The first poster detailed his or her problem:

"Hello, I purchased Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit. I am attempting to upgrade from Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. On the last step of the upgrade (transferring files/programs/etc), my laptop rebooted and came to a screen telling me the upgrade was unsuccessful and my previous OS files would now be restored. My laptop is now in what seems to be a loop of restarting and trying to restore the files.

"Each copy of Windows I have are genuine (not pirated or anything), and I ran the Windows 7 Upgrade Compatibility Advisor and received no warnings from it before attempting to upgrade. My laptop meets the minimum requirements for upgrade."

Now other users are reporting the same type of problem, though there hasn't yet been a commonality other than trying to upgrade. Some users are upgrading using retail, pressed media, while others are using the installer files from Digital River's $29 student offer.

So far the problem only seems to affect a very small number of users, but Microsoft still has yet to find a solution. One Microsoft support engineer suggested to those who had to burn their own discs from images to use the slowest write speed as possible to avoid corruption.

Have you been having any problems upgrading from Vista?

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Top Comments
  • 42 Hide
    Impulse Fire911 , October 26, 2009 8:42 PM
    George:"hey mike, did u finish coding that part of the win 7 upgrade to restore vista files?"
    Mike: "shit..."
  • 37 Hide
    zach538467 , October 26, 2009 8:45 PM
    Somehow I knew this was written by Marcus before I even clicked on the headline...
  • 33 Hide
    ssalim , October 26, 2009 8:53 PM
    Word of advice: do not do upgrade. Do clean install instead. It's better for everyone.
Other Comments
    Display all 115 comments.
  • 42 Hide
    Impulse Fire911 , October 26, 2009 8:42 PM
    George:"hey mike, did u finish coding that part of the win 7 upgrade to restore vista files?"
    Mike: "shit..."
  • 37 Hide
    zach538467 , October 26, 2009 8:45 PM
    Somehow I knew this was written by Marcus before I even clicked on the headline...
  • 5 Hide
    papasmurf , October 26, 2009 8:46 PM
    I upgraded my wifes notebook from vista home premium 64 to 7 home premium 64 and it took 8 freakin hours! After the install completed it would blue screen and randomly reboot. A fresh install fixed everything I was lazy and didn't want to reinstall everything
  • 23 Hide
    rumar4u , October 26, 2009 8:49 PM
    All things that Marcus Yam Post are against Windows. Pure Mac Fan
  • 9 Hide
    kiloprime , October 26, 2009 8:50 PM
    I upgrade 64bit vista to 64 bit Windows 7, and got the same thing after the first install try. Removed iTunes and my ATI Catalyst Control Center, reinstalled and it went fine, but took over two hours. Reinstalled iTunes and my ATI stuff and off we go, works fine.
  • 19 Hide
    Zoonie , October 26, 2009 8:51 PM
    "Each copy of Windows I have are genuine, AARRR (not pirated or anything AAARRR).."
  • 33 Hide
    ssalim , October 26, 2009 8:53 PM
    Word of advice: do not do upgrade. Do clean install instead. It's better for everyone.
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , October 26, 2009 8:54 PM
    This isn't really news...This has been an infrequent but ongoing problem with almost every previous version of Windows.
  • 24 Hide
    Aoster87 , October 26, 2009 8:55 PM
    This is why upgrading is the suck and clean install is better.
  • 9 Hide
    dhowie , October 26, 2009 8:58 PM
    I upgraded using the $29 upgrade download from digital river, to upgrade from Windows XP Professional 64bit to Windows 7 Professional 64bit in less then 40 minutes, and i still retained my old software and documents even though i backed up all my stuff to begin. Score one for Microsoft.

    On another note Microsoft's 64bit upgrades from Digital River require a 64 bit OS already in place to unpack. Minus one for Microsoft for forgetting to tell everyone.

    The fact is, that even with the problem in place, the software and documents can still be recovered. Unfortunately, for my fellow mac users who upgraded to snow leopard and lost their documents and software to the mac upgrade bug (that deletes files and user information), im sorry, but hey atleast they have patch so you dont loose all your data twice :) 
  • 21 Hide
    samely , October 26, 2009 8:59 PM
    zach538467Somehow I knew this was written by Marcus before I even clicked on the headline...

    Sad to say, I had the same thoughts.
  • 5 Hide
    JonathanDeane , October 26, 2009 9:00 PM
    "Have you been having any problems upgrading from Vista?"

    As a rule I never upgrade I do clean installs, I have had luck in the past but after some time I would just wipe out the system and do a clean install. Each time I have done a clean install VS an upgrade I noticed that the clean install ran faster then the upgrade. (not hard evidence but my perception is important to me lol)

    If some one has a problem doing an upgrade hopefully some one did a backed up before they did the upgrade like they should have anyway.

    2 important lessons.

    1. Back up your stuff, especially if your doing something massive like say hmmm an OS upgrade.

    2. Do a clean install then if you did #1 like you should have then happiness will be yours, with all your files and a fresh new OS whats not to like :) 
  • 3 Hide
    njkid3 , October 26, 2009 9:01 PM
    this is what people get for upgrading. and not doing clean installs
  • 11 Hide
    jegadeth , October 26, 2009 9:02 PM
    Just do a freakin clean install. I did this last week. It was done in 30 minutes. I just added my other media partition as a library. Bam....music, pictures, documents, all there. Then I slowly reinstalled apps as i needed them.

    People that just have 1 partition for the 2-8 year life of their PC, cram it with junk, and expect to just "upgrade" to a new PC without any issues?

    C'mon.
  • 6 Hide
    bliq , October 26, 2009 9:03 PM
    rumar4uAll things that Marcus Yam Post are against Windows. Pure Mac Fan


    Just because he pointed it out doesn't mean it's not happening. And from all accounts, it's happening.
  • -4 Hide
    rsklingensmith , October 26, 2009 9:09 PM
    Just like everyone else, I knew this was a Marcus Yam article the second I read the headline. Go back to watching youself beat off in photobooth Marcus and leave the Microsoft articles to someone with a little less bias.
  • 4 Hide
    legierk , October 26, 2009 9:20 PM
    zach538467Somehow I knew this was written by Marcus before I even clicked on the headline...

    Yep, same here
  • 3 Hide
    kamel5547 , October 26, 2009 9:35 PM
    Funny thing is for all the "blame" on MS for the install times, I installed Vista and Upgraded (clean) to 7 on a new PC in less than an hour. Mayhaps the issue is hardware/file fragmentation related.

    The same issue occurs across OS's (yes even Mac and Linux similar reports exist going from Tiger to Leopard), upgrades do not always go smoothly as it is impossible to test every possible file change that could have occurred. If you don't backup your data religiously you will lose it, if not today then at some point down the road.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 26, 2009 9:39 PM
    A laptop recently appeared on my desk with these exact symptoms. I was pretty stumped by it.
    Not being paid enough to figure out the problem, I managed to revive the recovery partition (Windows 7 had removed the boot entry for it, but hadn't deleted it thankfully) and restored Windows Vista.

    The client wasn't interested in the operating system on the machine, they simply requested that I "fix it"

    It seems the upgrade attempt was performed by the client's son in an attempt to "fix" the machine which was plagued with slow startup time and a healthy dose of unnecessary applications running. I don't have any details about the 7 install that was used, but it seems that it wasn't a retail copy.
    This would have been a perfect candidate for one of those Clean Installs that Microsoft recommends, but for some odd reason, the contents of the My Documents folder was deemed too valuable to simply copy to a flash drive while the system was upgraded.

    I'd be very curious to know more of the specifics about this problem. The machine I had worked on was running a 32bit version of Vista Home Premium, OEM Gateway.
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , October 26, 2009 9:42 PM
    ssalimWord of advice: do not do upgrade. Do clean install instead. It's better for everyone.

    EXACTLY! That's what I tell every one who's upgrading an OS.

    The problem is 75% of the people don't have back ups of their stuff, so backing up that takes quite a while for those idiots.

    Off topic: Any one who lost data and didn't have back ups because they didn't back up, they deserved it.
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