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Seeing as Vista didn't have a really high uptake rate amongst businesses, are you planning to roll Windows 7 out to your Windows XP network and if so, how do you plan on doing it?

This question is mostly due to the fact that there isn't an upgrade path from XP to 7, so it would seem that the nuke & pave approach is all that's available & this seems like it's going to be a pain for larger (or even smaller) networks. Is Microsoft releasing a way to install Windows 7 without wiping out the whole Windows XP install?


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Typically the way we do new OS rollouts is as new machines are put on the floor or as existing machines need to be regenned. It's strict policy to not have anything stored on C: drives which makes it pretty easy to just do a wipe and load. Our PC's are all leased as well so when machines come off lease the new ones go out with the new OS.

While there isn't quite the strigent requirements where I work, it will be a similar process I think as PCs go out of warranty and the users get new machines this will slowly introduce the new OS. Same idea though where one doesn't store important files locally as that isn't backed up. – JB King Jun 1 '09 at 22:50
the best remark is in there - never store your data on the C drive. You'll have an easier time overwriting the OS if you follow that practice. – gbjbaanb Jul 9 '09 at 12:06

As always with our company, the IT department will get first stab at the new OS. I'm already running Windows 7 (and have been since the beta, through a few of the subsequent builds, and now the RC). Luckily our department workstations are reaching their set EOL, so when we upgrade the physical machines, we'll up grade the OS as well.

Probably the biggest challenge facing deployment is training. There were a ton of aesthetic changes from XP to Vista, and there are quite a few changes between Vista and Windows 7 (making the adjustment from XP to Windows 7 quite an ordeal).

We're planning on using my past 6 month's experience, in conjunction with the various Win7 Features webpages and instructional videos to help ease the transition.


We purchase an OEM license for the OS with each PC, and don't generally upgrade it unless there is an obvious reason. Recently we have purchased Vista with the XP downgrade and installed XP. We are hoping to skip Vista, although a couple of us are testing it. I am not sure how Windows 7 will be introduced .. it will most likely be OEM and so will depend on when we start buying again!

In any case, if you decide to upgrade a PC from XP to W7, I suggest a clean install rather than doing an in-place upgrade.


We will likely use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 (aka MDT) when it comes out of beta. The current MDT 2008 version supports Vista migrations nicely including migrating user state with the User State Migration Tool (USMT) 3.0.

With MDT, you are basically creating a custom image of your target OS. Part of the process includes creating a WinPE image that the target system boots into in order run the USMT and other prerequisites before formatting the drive and shoving down your new OS image. Once the OS has been replaced, USMT takes care of putting the user settings back.

To be honest, I'm still new to the product. So I might be slightly off in a few places, but that's basically the gist of it.


Due to weak centralized configuration controls (it's a political thing) our upgrade method is generally in sync with the hardware replacement cycle. In other words, we upgrade OS when we replace the hardware. The one exception will be the general computing labs which are all imaged. But our hardware there is just old enough that Win7 may not run well.


Windows 7 is a nice os which I would probably use at home but not at work - there's nothing revolutional. It's not a cost related questions - as we are msdn subscribers, we don't care. It's just because XP/XPx64 is very stable and still supported. Maybe when Office15 will be out and strictly require IE9 available only for Vista/W7, we'll think about upgrading.


Note that if you want to retain profiles from xp you will need to go through some pain converting them to Vista or Windows 7 because of the new file structure. I just went from XP to Vista and experienced this.

Microsoft has a good white paper on this conversion and the tools needed to pull it off. Most Microsoft programs convert over well but it's hit and miss on many other programs.

This link should help:

If you plan on retaining profiles you will need to read the docs.


One of my clients has decided to do 100% of all upgrades via attrition.

They submit their disk build to Dell and all future orders will come with their chosen baseline.


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