Windows XP Upgrades to Windows 7 or 8 Take Patience, Know-How

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-01-04 Print this article Print

But for many businesses, the most obvious way to move from Windows XP to something newer is simply to copy the install files to a server and to try to run the upgrade. But that method won't work. In fact, it appears to be impossible to do an upgrade if you want to keep your programs and files.

Yes, you can create a standard image of your client workstations and simply move that to the machines that must be upgraded beyond XP. But many smaller businesses lack the expertise. What they know is an upgrade that involves a PC. That, in turn, says it needs XP to be at Service Pack 3, which you can't get very easily, if at all, these days.

After a few hours of failed attempts to get an elusive service pack, combined with calls to Microsoft support and demands of money, it's no surprise that many business owners start contemplating computers without updates, or perhaps a move to Linux, which doesn't have such foolishness.

But for many companies, the move to Linux and its accompanying learning curve are too much. So they believe they're stuck with no upgrade path, no help and a computer that won't be supported in a few weeks. What to do?

First, stop trying to directly upgrade XP to Windows 7 or 8. It won't work. Either use PCMover Pro for a couple of machines or the Enterprise version if you have a lot of machines. Otherwise, if your data is backed up and you have only a few applications, then just blow XP away, install a new version of Windows and restore from your backups.

A Microsoft spokesperson provided a step-by-step upgrade link here along with its official pitch on why all this is necessary.

"Windows XP and Office 2003 were great software releases more than a decade ago, but technology has evolved along with the needs and expectations of your customers and partners that have already adopted modern platforms and devices," the spokesperson said.

"Companies still on Windows XP are also missing out on tangible benefits of modernizing their IT investments from dramatically enhanced security, broad device choice to meet the needs of a mobile work force, higher user productivity, and lower total cost of ownership by future-proofing their IT investments. A 12-year-old operating system can no longer address today's business and technology needs nor security threats," he continued.

Unfortunately, the spokesperson didn't explain why the upgrade from XP to newer operating systems isn't as intuitive as it could be.

Or you can take advantage of the capitalization rules while you can still use them and write off the old computers. Then, install new Windows 7 or 8 machines before restoring your applications from backups. Then, get a modest tax break from donating the old machines.

Regardless, you'll have to deal with the fact that Microsoft has made the necessary move from XP much harder than it needs to be because you have taken so long to upgrade to a newer version of Windows. Just bite the bullet and find another way to go.



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