Friday, November 27, 2009

Windows 7 fix determines Vista upgrade stopper

Some Windows Vista users have been unable to migrate to Windows 7 due to a problem with the installation program. For those unfortunate souls, the system falls after 62 percent of the upgrade has been completed. No amount of waiting, retrying or smacking the computer will help if that encounters.

Vista upgrade stopper Microsoft is pointing to a Windows Vista plug-in, IphlpsvcMigPlugin.ddd, as the culprit, according to the Fix it blog. The firm had published a workaround with complex steps to follow. Now, users with the problem can use Microsoft’s Fix it solution to carry out those same steps automatically and complete their Windows 7 upgrades. The Fix it solution can be applied after the 62 percent upgrade failure happens. At that point, the PC will roll back to Windows Vista. After the patch is applied, users can try the Windows 7 upgrade process again.

Windows 7 was launched to the general public last month, but some individuals have reported various problems upgrading from Vista, including an endless reboot problem still under investigation by Microsoft. The main forum for getting help on Windows 7 upgrade issues can be found here, but Microsoft also gives help resources. Micorsoft supports upgrades only for users moving from Vista to Windows 7. Those migrating from Windows XP 7 need to do a clean install.

In another development, Microsoft has been trying to clarify details on upgrading to Windows 7 for individual users, but it’s been a rocky ride at best. The main problem has been straightening out the differences between what is technically possible and what is permitted by Microsoft’s licensing. Both points appear to be confusing for users. In addition, there’s a cost-motivation factor. Microsoft sells Windows 7 upgrade media at a lower cost than the full editions of the operating system. Hacks have looked on the Web, suggesting a way for users to do clean installations of new Windows 7 using the lower-priced upgrade media.

Individuals need to have a licensed copy of Window XP or Windows Vista to use the upgrade media. They can even migrate to higher versions of Windows 7. For instance, Vista Home Basic users can upgrade to the new Windows 7 Ultimate edition, according to this Microsoft forum post. Users of older Windows OS, such as Windows 2000, have to purchase the full edition of Windows 7 and can’t upgrade. Another snag for those wanting to upgrade their PCs is that the new Windows 7 upgrade is connected to use on specific hardware. The upgrade copy of Windows 7 is only licensed to execute on the same PC that ran XP or Vista, as installed by the original equipment manufacturer.

Users can tell if they have a full licensed copy of Windows from an OEM through a Microsoft certificate of authenticity label. The label will either be linked to the computer or will appear on the installer packaging from the PC manufacturer. So, the word upgrade essentially has two meanings when it comes to Windows 7. First, it refers to what’s permitted by the license. Second, it refers to the technical facility to move from the older Windows OS to Windows 7 without having to migrate settings, options and data. The alternative to an upgrade is a clean install. Those moving from x86 to x64 hardware face a clean install, which needs backing up information before installing the new Windows 7.

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