My girlfriend is currently a student at the University of Phoenix and she found out that she could purchase a academic version of Windows 7 Professional Upgrade for $30 dollars at the Microsoft Ultimate Steal website, so she bought it. Her Toshiba laptop came with Windows Vista Home Basic, and in Microsoft’s infinite wisdom they don’t allow you to upgrade from this version of Vista to Windows 7 Professional. When she attempted to run the setup for windows 7 it told her that she couldn’t upgrade and that she had to do a clean install. When she told me this I did some research on the internet through Google’s search engine and found that everyone was recommending that to do this upgrade we format the hard drive and then do a clean install of windows 7 professional and then do the registry hack that I have referenced in a previous article to allow you to use a upgrade license key without having to run another upgrade over the current version.
To me this simply was unacceptable, as My Girlfriend didn’t want to lose her settings and documents and didn’t have the time to fool with doing this procedure as she’s still currently in the middle of a class and couldn’t afford the downtime…
In my continued research I found a method for Windows 7 that allows you to do a upgrade “downgrade” from any version of Windows 7 to a lesser version by editing two registry keys. I tried this method on Windows Vista Home Basic and was able to fool the upgrade installer into doing the upgrade as I changed the info from Windows Vista Home Basic to Windows Vista Business and it worked.
This is how you do it.
1. Run regedit and go to this location
look for these two keys
EditionID - Change the value from basic to Business
ProductName – Change the last part of this value from basic to Business
Do not restart, run the setup for windows 7 Professional and the upgrade checker will pass the check after looking at these two registry keys and will do the upgrade for you.
This should work for upgrading to any other version of Windows 7 besides Professional that normally requires you to do a clean install for, just make sure to match the values for the two registry keys for the version.
Disclaimer: Use this information at your own risk, it worked for me but I make no guarantees and can not and will not be responsible if you mess up your computer. Regedit is a powerful tool but can mess up your system if you are not careful.
I remain your obedient servant.