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Anytime you choose AUTORUN within a non-supported operating system and you choose the “upgrade” option because the setup installation routine will eventually stop you from completing this action.

As a point of reference, the Windows Vista upgrade options from prior installations of Windows XP and Windows 2000 are shown on the Microsoft website on the Get Windows Vista: Upgrade options page and it shows you which installations allow an in-place upgrade and on which ones you’ll need to perform a clean install.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] – If there was some desire or need, you are able to upgrade Windows 2000 Professional to Windows XP and then from there you could upgrade to Vista (and from there I suppose you could go to Windows 7 if you really wanted to).

These multiple steps from OS to OS would allow for an in-place upgrade each time and it would save all of your installed applications and settings (provided they run and are supported on the newer operating systems through each of the successive jumps) but from a support standpoint of the system itself it is not recommended.

From a Windows XP standpoint when it comes to attempting an in-place upgrade, the setup routine will halt because it is not a supported upgrade path.

Having said that, Microsoft did build in the logic to allow the setup to provide the option for the installation to continue from that point as a clean install and we’ll outline all of this in our walkthrough.The prerequisites for an upgrade installation of Windows 7 is that the upgrade system must be running Windows Vista with Service Pack 1.Additionally, if you’re running x64 hardware and you have an x86 version of Vista (32 bit) installed you can only perform an in place upgrade to Windows 7 x86; you cannot make a decision to perform an in-place upgrade to x64 despite the fact that the hardware allows for it.(You can of course perform a clean installation and do this). If you are running a Spanish version of Windows Vista SP1 (as an example – it could be any localization) and decide you want to perform an in-place upgrade you cannot choose an English version of Windows 7 to do this.Nothing prevents you from performing a clean install but an in-place upgrade isn’t supported.[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] – It is probably important to note as well that according to the Microsoft website the currently released version of Windows 7 Beta is time-bombed to stop working on August 1, 2009.

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