Solved Experiment: Upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 11 directly


spapakons

Well-known member
Power User
Local time
12:29 PM
Posts
855
Location
Athens
OS
Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
Hello!

I know that normally you cannot upgrade Windows 7 to 11 directly, running Windows Setup you will be offered to do a clean installation instead. But I wanted to try some tricks so Windows Setup would let me do it! And of course I want to share my experience with you.

I replaced my SSD with a spare mechanical SATA III hard disk. I then booted with my Windows 7 USB Flash drive, deleted all partitions on disk and proceeded to install Windows 7 64-bit. After Windows 7 is properly installed and activated, I will copy all Windows 11 setup files in a folder on the disk and then edit the file \sources\cversion.ini so the minimum allowed Windows build number is equal to Windows 7 build number (found by running winver). This hack will hopefully bypass the minimum Windows version requirement and let me upgrade. I will then start Setup and before proceeding I will delete the file C:\Windows~BT\source\apraiserres.dll to bypass compatibility check.

I will report back if the experiment succeeds.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Extensa 5630EZ
    CPU
    Mobile DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo T7250, 2000 MHz
    Motherboard
    Acer Extensa 5630
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Mobile Intel(R) GMA 4500M (Mobile 4 series)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC268 @ Intel 82801IB ICH9 - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1
    Screen Resolution
    1280x800
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB SATA Device (250 GB, SATA-III)
    Internet Speed
    VDSL 50 Mbps
    Browser
    MICROSOFT EDGE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER
    Other Info
    Legacy MBR installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, no WDDM 2.0 graphics drivers, cannot get more unsupported ;) This is only my test laptop. I had installed Windows 11 here before upgrading my main PC. For my main PC I use everyday see my 2nd system specs.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro v21H2 (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom-built PC
    CPU
    Intel Core-i7 3770 3.40GHz s1155 (3rd generation)
    Motherboard
    Asus P8H61 s1155 ATX
    Memory
    2x Kingston Hyper-X Blu 8GB DDR3-1600
    Graphics card(s)
    Asus GT620-1GD3 (nVidia GeForce GT 620 1GB DDR3)
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD audio (ALC887)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia KDL-19L4000 19" LCD TV via VGA
    Screen Resolution
    1440x900 32-bit 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Patriot Burst Elite 480GB SSD as system disk, Western Digital Caviar Purple 4TB SATA III (WD40PURZ) as second
    PSU
    Thermaltake Litepower RGB 550W Full Wired
    Case
    SUPERCASE MIDI-TOWER
    Cooling
    Stock Intel CPU Fan, 1x 8cm fan at the back
    Mouse
    Sunnyline OptiEye PS/2
    Keyboard
    Mitsumi 101-key PS/2
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Legacy BIOS (MBR) installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, WDDM 2.3 graphics drivers, WEI score 5.1

cereberus

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
10:29 AM
Posts
2,058
OS
Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
Surely easier to just upgrade W7 to W10 which works and then upgrade to W11?

Many W7 installation use legacy bios. Sp you may need to do a conversion using mbr2gpt of windows 10 after upgrade.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0

Bree

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
10:29 AM
Posts
2,892
Location
S/E England, UK
OS
Windows 11 Home
I know that normally you cannot upgrade Windows 7 to 11 directly, running Windows Setup you will be offered to do a clean installation instead. ... I will report back if the experiment succeeds.
Even if it succeeds, what you won't know is if the direct upgrade from W7 to W11 can use the exiting activation of the installed W7 to get a digital licence for W11. Your test PC would already have its own digital licence. You'd need to run the test on a W7 PC that was known NOT to have any existing digital licence for W10/11.

I have already shown that for such a PC an in-place upgrade direct from 7 to 11 while keeping nothing (the only option normally offered) will fail to activate W11, but that upgrading the same PC to W10 would activate.

To activate Win 11, what types of older license are good? - post #46

It would be interesting (if your experiment works) to see if it works for the activation too. Unfortunately my experiment has now used up one of my few remaining W7 PCs that has no digital licence, so I can't do that test.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB HDD
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    4GB
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

spapakons

Well-known member
Power User
Thread Starter
Local time
12:29 PM
Posts
855
Location
Athens
OS
Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
Unfortunately, the experiment failed. Windows Setup would not let me upgrade directly from 7 to 11 keeping all my data and files. It would only let me keep my data (clean installation, without format, data in windows.old folder) or nothing (clean installation, format). The reason was that the version of Windows I'm trying to setup is different from the version I have, or similar (same message when languages do not match or when you try to upgrade to Pro when you have Home and vice versa).

So no, direct upgrade from Windows 7 to 11 is not possible, you have to upgrade to 8.1 or 10 first, unless you know different. Please post.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Extensa 5630EZ
    CPU
    Mobile DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo T7250, 2000 MHz
    Motherboard
    Acer Extensa 5630
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Mobile Intel(R) GMA 4500M (Mobile 4 series)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC268 @ Intel 82801IB ICH9 - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1
    Screen Resolution
    1280x800
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB SATA Device (250 GB, SATA-III)
    Internet Speed
    VDSL 50 Mbps
    Browser
    MICROSOFT EDGE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER
    Other Info
    Legacy MBR installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, no WDDM 2.0 graphics drivers, cannot get more unsupported ;) This is only my test laptop. I had installed Windows 11 here before upgrading my main PC. For my main PC I use everyday see my 2nd system specs.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro v21H2 (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom-built PC
    CPU
    Intel Core-i7 3770 3.40GHz s1155 (3rd generation)
    Motherboard
    Asus P8H61 s1155 ATX
    Memory
    2x Kingston Hyper-X Blu 8GB DDR3-1600
    Graphics card(s)
    Asus GT620-1GD3 (nVidia GeForce GT 620 1GB DDR3)
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD audio (ALC887)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia KDL-19L4000 19" LCD TV via VGA
    Screen Resolution
    1440x900 32-bit 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Patriot Burst Elite 480GB SSD as system disk, Western Digital Caviar Purple 4TB SATA III (WD40PURZ) as second
    PSU
    Thermaltake Litepower RGB 550W Full Wired
    Case
    SUPERCASE MIDI-TOWER
    Cooling
    Stock Intel CPU Fan, 1x 8cm fan at the back
    Mouse
    Sunnyline OptiEye PS/2
    Keyboard
    Mitsumi 101-key PS/2
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Legacy BIOS (MBR) installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, WDDM 2.3 graphics drivers, WEI score 5.1

NavyLCDR

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
2:29 AM
Posts
925
OS
Windows 11
Thanks for trying!
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!

2W10

Member
Local time
5:29 AM
Posts
16
OS
Windows 11, macOS 12
Unfortunately, the experiment failed. Windows Setup would not let me upgrade directly from 7 to 11 keeping all my data and files. It would only let me keep my data (clean installation, without format, data in windows.old folder) or nothing (clean installation, format). The reason was that the version of Windows I'm trying to setup is different from the version I have, or similar (same message when languages do not match or when you try to upgrade to Pro when you have Home and vice versa).

So no, direct upgrade from Windows 7 to 11 is not possible, you have to upgrade to 8.1 or 10 first, unless you know different. Please post.
I found a way. Just upgrade using the Windows 10 1507/1511 setup and the Windows 11 install.wim.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11, macOS 12
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1038NG7
    Memory
    16 GB

Bree

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
10:29 AM
Posts
2,892
Location
S/E England, UK
OS
Windows 11 Home
I found a way. Just upgrade using the Windows 10 1507/1511 setup and the Windows 11 install.wim.
The question is, does this method obtain a digital license for an activated Windows 7 machine that has never been upgraded before? If not, then it would still be better to upgrade to W10 first, then to W11. That way the W7 activation is guarenteed to be persevered as a W10/11 digital license.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB HDD
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    4GB
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

2W10

Member
Local time
5:29 AM
Posts
16
OS
Windows 11, macOS 12
The question is, does this method obtain a digital license for an activated Windows 7 machine that has never been upgraded before? If not, then it would still be better to upgrade to W10 first, then to W11. That way the W7 activation is guarenteed to be persevered as a W10/11 digital license.
No. If Windows 7 is not activated, you would need to enter a Windows 10 product key.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11, macOS 12
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1038NG7
    Memory
    16 GB

NavyLCDR

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
2:29 AM
Posts
925
OS
Windows 11
No. If Windows 7 is not activated, you would need to enter a Windows 10 product key.
@Bree was asking if Windows 11 would activate if you upgraded an activated Windows 7.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!

2W10

Member
Local time
5:29 AM
Posts
16
OS
Windows 11, macOS 12
@Bree was asking if Windows 11 would activate if you upgraded an activated Windows 7.
Maybe. I didn't upgrade from an activated Windows 7, but because a Windows 10 product key was entered, but it could work, as I have been able to activate Windows 11 Pro with an 8.1 key. Also I was only able to keep my files, but apps and settings might be able to be kept if you downgrade to Home Premium first then upgrade to 11 Pro.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11, macOS 12
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1038NG7
    Memory
    16 GB

Slavic

Active member
Member
Local time
12:29 PM
Posts
215
OS
Windows 11 Pro; Windows 8.1 Pro
I would prefer first upgrade Windows 7 to 8 (not 8.1, it doesn't allow to keep all files and programs). Although such upgrade will reset the activation, the Windows 8 license, specifically, the upgrade SKU, is one of cheapest if you are able to find it. Then 8 can be easily upgraded to 8.1 which is still supported or directly to 11 with keeping activation; initial Windows 8 upgrade version (unlike OEM) is counted as retail which allows to make significant hardware changes in the future.

While I didn't perform such full upgrade cycle, I upgraded 7 to 8 and then to 8.1 when support of Windows 7 ended, and recently I upgraded 8.1 Pro to 11 Pro with keeping all programs including Office 2013.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro; Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i7-12700K (Alder Lake)
    Motherboard
    Asus PRIME Z690-M Plus D4
    Memory
    16 GB (2x8 Corsair DDR4-2132)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus GeForce 1050 Ti, 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 235PQ
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Windows 11: Samsung SSD 870 EVO, 500 GB (SATA), MBR
    Windows 8.1: Samsung SSD 980 PRO, 500 GB (M.2), MBR
    PSU
    Platimax D.F. 1050 W (80 Plus Platinum)
    Internet Speed
    Local link 1 Gbps, provider's line 500 Mbps
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Other Info
    Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller (for Windows 8.1 compatibility)
    Microsoft Office H&S 2013 x64

Bree

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
10:29 AM
Posts
2,892
Location
S/E England, UK
OS
Windows 11 Home
I would prefer first upgrade Windows 7 to 8 (not 8.1, it doesn't allow to keep all files and programs). Although such upgrade will reset the activation, the Windows 8 license, specifically, the upgrade SKU, is one of cheapest if you are able to find it.
The upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is supported, allows you to keep all files and installed apps, and get's a free digital licence for Windows 10/11 if you upgrade an activated Window 7. Why pay for a W8 key when it's free to upgrade to W10?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
    CPU
    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    laptop screen
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768 native resolution, up to 2560x1440 with Radeon Virtual Super Resolution
    Hard Drives
    1TB HDD
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
    CPU
    i5 M 520
    Motherboard
    0T6M8G
    Memory
    4GB
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500GB HDD
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

Slavic

Active member
Member
Local time
12:29 PM
Posts
215
OS
Windows 11 Pro; Windows 8.1 Pro
The upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is supported, allows you to keep all files and installed apps, and get's a free digital licence for Windows 10/11 if you upgrade an activated Window 7. Why pay for a W8 key when it's free to upgrade to W10?
Maybe you are right, but I don't have such experience and cannot say whether it works well. It's a bit strange that 7 - 8.1 isn't supported but 7 - 10 is. Anyway, Professional 7 license should be converted to 10 Pro and then to 11 Pro with all benefits. As for me, I paid for Windows 8 and upgraded to it before free upgrade to 10 or using its key for activation became available.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro; Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i7-12700K (Alder Lake)
    Motherboard
    Asus PRIME Z690-M Plus D4
    Memory
    16 GB (2x8 Corsair DDR4-2132)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus GeForce 1050 Ti, 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 235PQ
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Windows 11: Samsung SSD 870 EVO, 500 GB (SATA), MBR
    Windows 8.1: Samsung SSD 980 PRO, 500 GB (M.2), MBR
    PSU
    Platimax D.F. 1050 W (80 Plus Platinum)
    Internet Speed
    Local link 1 Gbps, provider's line 500 Mbps
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Other Info
    Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller (for Windows 8.1 compatibility)
    Microsoft Office H&S 2013 x64

spapakons

Well-known member
Power User
Thread Starter
Local time
12:29 PM
Posts
855
Location
Athens
OS
Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
I found a way. Just upgrade using the Windows 10 1507/1511 setup and the Windows 11 install.wim.
Thank you! I didn't thought of that. After installation see the Windows 7 key on the sticker or use ShowKeyPlus utility to find it. Then click on activate, change key and type this key. Windows 11 should activate with the Windows 7 key. I will try it ASAP and report. I don't think an old Windows 10 build is necessary, I will try creating the hybrid installation media with the latest Windows 10 build, 21H2, first and report.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Extensa 5630EZ
    CPU
    Mobile DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo T7250, 2000 MHz
    Motherboard
    Acer Extensa 5630
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Mobile Intel(R) GMA 4500M (Mobile 4 series)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC268 @ Intel 82801IB ICH9 - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1
    Screen Resolution
    1280x800
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB SATA Device (250 GB, SATA-III)
    Internet Speed
    VDSL 50 Mbps
    Browser
    MICROSOFT EDGE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER
    Other Info
    Legacy MBR installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, no WDDM 2.0 graphics drivers, cannot get more unsupported ;) This is only my test laptop. I had installed Windows 11 here before upgrading my main PC. For my main PC I use everyday see my 2nd system specs.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro v21H2 (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom-built PC
    CPU
    Intel Core-i7 3770 3.40GHz s1155 (3rd generation)
    Motherboard
    Asus P8H61 s1155 ATX
    Memory
    2x Kingston Hyper-X Blu 8GB DDR3-1600
    Graphics card(s)
    Asus GT620-1GD3 (nVidia GeForce GT 620 1GB DDR3)
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD audio (ALC887)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia KDL-19L4000 19" LCD TV via VGA
    Screen Resolution
    1440x900 32-bit 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Patriot Burst Elite 480GB SSD as system disk, Western Digital Caviar Purple 4TB SATA III (WD40PURZ) as second
    PSU
    Thermaltake Litepower RGB 550W Full Wired
    Case
    SUPERCASE MIDI-TOWER
    Cooling
    Stock Intel CPU Fan, 1x 8cm fan at the back
    Mouse
    Sunnyline OptiEye PS/2
    Keyboard
    Mitsumi 101-key PS/2
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Legacy BIOS (MBR) installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, WDDM 2.3 graphics drivers, WEI score 5.1

cereberus

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
10:29 AM
Posts
2,058
OS
Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
Thank you! I didn't thought of that. After installation see the Windows 7 key on the sticker or use ShowKeyPlus utility to find it. Then click on activate, change key and type this key. Windows 11 should activate with the Windows 7 key. I will try it ASAP and report.
Showkeyplus will not find the COA W7 key on an oem sticker UNLESS user has used the COA key to reinstall W7 from a standard MS iso. In any case, you shpuld always find keys BEFORE installing new versions of Windows.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0

spapakons

Well-known member
Power User
Thread Starter
Local time
12:29 PM
Posts
855
Location
Athens
OS
Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
I tried once more to install Windows 7 SP1 64-bit first and upgrade directly to Windows 11. Once Windows 7 SP1 64-bit was installed, I copied all Windows 10 files from the ISO into a local folder. I then opened Windows 11 ISO with WinRAR and replaced the file install.esd of Windows 10 with the file install.wim of Windows 11 into the sources folder. I run Setup once again and selected to upgrade. Unfortunately, I got the same error, that I am not allows to do a full upgrade (keep my data and apps), but I was recommended to keep my data only or nothing (clean installation). The reason was because the current version of Windows is different from the version I'm trying to install. What was different? Both versions were Greek 64-bit, current version was Windows 7 Professional and I tried to install Windows 11 Pro. I used Windows 10 v21H2 ISO to take the files, I don't think using a very old build, such as v1607 would make any difference.

Once and for all, we cannot upgrade directly from Windows 7 64-bit to 11, we have to upgrade to 8.1 or 10 first. I would choose 10 to maximize compatibility.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Extensa 5630EZ
    CPU
    Mobile DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo T7250, 2000 MHz
    Motherboard
    Acer Extensa 5630
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Mobile Intel(R) GMA 4500M (Mobile 4 series)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC268 @ Intel 82801IB ICH9 - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1
    Screen Resolution
    1280x800
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB SATA Device (250 GB, SATA-III)
    Internet Speed
    VDSL 50 Mbps
    Browser
    MICROSOFT EDGE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER
    Other Info
    Legacy MBR installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, no WDDM 2.0 graphics drivers, cannot get more unsupported ;) This is only my test laptop. I had installed Windows 11 here before upgrading my main PC. For my main PC I use everyday see my 2nd system specs.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro v21H2 (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom-built PC
    CPU
    Intel Core-i7 3770 3.40GHz s1155 (3rd generation)
    Motherboard
    Asus P8H61 s1155 ATX
    Memory
    2x Kingston Hyper-X Blu 8GB DDR3-1600
    Graphics card(s)
    Asus GT620-1GD3 (nVidia GeForce GT 620 1GB DDR3)
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD audio (ALC887)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia KDL-19L4000 19" LCD TV via VGA
    Screen Resolution
    1440x900 32-bit 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Patriot Burst Elite 480GB SSD as system disk, Western Digital Caviar Purple 4TB SATA III (WD40PURZ) as second
    PSU
    Thermaltake Litepower RGB 550W Full Wired
    Case
    SUPERCASE MIDI-TOWER
    Cooling
    Stock Intel CPU Fan, 1x 8cm fan at the back
    Mouse
    Sunnyline OptiEye PS/2
    Keyboard
    Mitsumi 101-key PS/2
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Legacy BIOS (MBR) installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, WDDM 2.3 graphics drivers, WEI score 5.1

2W10

Member
Local time
5:29 AM
Posts
16
OS
Windows 11, macOS 12
I tried once more to install Windows 7 SP1 64-bit first and upgrade directly to Windows 11. Once Windows 7 SP1 64-bit was installed, I copied all Windows 10 files from the ISO into a local folder. I then opened Windows 11 ISO with WinRAR and replaced the file install.esd of Windows 10 with the file install.wim of Windows 11 into the sources folder. I run Setup once again and selected to upgrade. Unfortunately, I got the same error, that I am not allows to do a full upgrade (keep my data and apps), but I was recommended to keep my data only or nothing (clean installation). The reason was because the current version of Windows is different from the version I'm trying to install. What was different? Both versions were Greek 64-bit, current version was Windows 7 Professional and I tried to install Windows 11 Pro. I used Windows 10 v21H2 ISO to take the files, I don't think using a very old build, such as v1607 would make any difference.

Once and for all, we cannot upgrade directly from Windows 7 64-bit to 11, we have to upgrade to 8.1 or 10 first. I would choose 10 to maximize compatibility.
Wrong, both the 10 1507/11 AND 21H2 setups are different, had you used the 1511 setup, it would have worked.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11, macOS 12
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1038NG7
    Memory
    16 GB

spapakons

Well-known member
Power User
Thread Starter
Local time
12:29 PM
Posts
855
Location
Athens
OS
Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
I haven't kept that old ISO, maybe I download it again and try.

A quick Google search revealed that Rufus has the ability to download an older Windows 10 ISO. Right now I am downloading Windows 10 v1507 64-bit just to test your theory. Hope dies last, as they say.
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Extensa 5630EZ
    CPU
    Mobile DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo T7250, 2000 MHz
    Motherboard
    Acer Extensa 5630
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Mobile Intel(R) GMA 4500M (Mobile 4 series)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC268 @ Intel 82801IB ICH9 - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1
    Screen Resolution
    1280x800
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB SATA Device (250 GB, SATA-III)
    Internet Speed
    VDSL 50 Mbps
    Browser
    MICROSOFT EDGE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER
    Other Info
    Legacy MBR installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, no WDDM 2.0 graphics drivers, cannot get more unsupported ;) This is only my test laptop. I had installed Windows 11 here before upgrading my main PC. For my main PC I use everyday see my 2nd system specs.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro v21H2 (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom-built PC
    CPU
    Intel Core-i7 3770 3.40GHz s1155 (3rd generation)
    Motherboard
    Asus P8H61 s1155 ATX
    Memory
    2x Kingston Hyper-X Blu 8GB DDR3-1600
    Graphics card(s)
    Asus GT620-1GD3 (nVidia GeForce GT 620 1GB DDR3)
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD audio (ALC887)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia KDL-19L4000 19" LCD TV via VGA
    Screen Resolution
    1440x900 32-bit 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Patriot Burst Elite 480GB SSD as system disk, Western Digital Caviar Purple 4TB SATA III (WD40PURZ) as second
    PSU
    Thermaltake Litepower RGB 550W Full Wired
    Case
    SUPERCASE MIDI-TOWER
    Cooling
    Stock Intel CPU Fan, 1x 8cm fan at the back
    Mouse
    Sunnyline OptiEye PS/2
    Keyboard
    Mitsumi 101-key PS/2
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Legacy BIOS (MBR) installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, WDDM 2.3 graphics drivers, WEI score 5.1

2W10

Member
Local time
5:29 AM
Posts
16
OS
Windows 11, macOS 12
I recorded a video on the whole process.
I haven't kept that old ISO, maybe I download it again and try.

A quick Google search revealed that Rufus has the ability to download an older Windows 10 ISO. Right now I am downloading Windows 10 v1507 64-bit just to test your theory. Hope dies last, as they say.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11, macOS 12
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Apple
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1038NG7
    Memory
    16 GB

spapakons

Well-known member
Power User
Thread Starter
Local time
12:29 PM
Posts
855
Location
Athens
OS
Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
In the video there are two options, to keep your data but NOT your applications, and to keep nothing. You chose the first option. This is not a complete upgrade! I would prefer to keep both my data AND applications (grayed option, not available). I will try some more tricks and report.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 64-bit (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Extensa 5630EZ
    CPU
    Mobile DualCore Intel Core 2 Duo T7250, 2000 MHz
    Motherboard
    Acer Extensa 5630
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Mobile Intel(R) GMA 4500M (Mobile 4 series)
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC268 @ Intel 82801IB ICH9 - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1
    Screen Resolution
    1280x800
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB SATA Device (250 GB, SATA-III)
    Internet Speed
    VDSL 50 Mbps
    Browser
    MICROSOFT EDGE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER
    Other Info
    Legacy MBR installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, no WDDM 2.0 graphics drivers, cannot get more unsupported ;) This is only my test laptop. I had installed Windows 11 here before upgrading my main PC. For my main PC I use everyday see my 2nd system specs.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro v21H2 (build 22000.739)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom-built PC
    CPU
    Intel Core-i7 3770 3.40GHz s1155 (3rd generation)
    Motherboard
    Asus P8H61 s1155 ATX
    Memory
    2x Kingston Hyper-X Blu 8GB DDR3-1600
    Graphics card(s)
    Asus GT620-1GD3 (nVidia GeForce GT 620 1GB DDR3)
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD audio (ALC887)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia KDL-19L4000 19" LCD TV via VGA
    Screen Resolution
    1440x900 32-bit 60Hz
    Hard Drives
    Patriot Burst Elite 480GB SSD as system disk, Western Digital Caviar Purple 4TB SATA III (WD40PURZ) as second
    PSU
    Thermaltake Litepower RGB 550W Full Wired
    Case
    SUPERCASE MIDI-TOWER
    Cooling
    Stock Intel CPU Fan, 1x 8cm fan at the back
    Mouse
    Sunnyline OptiEye PS/2
    Keyboard
    Mitsumi 101-key PS/2
    Internet Speed
    100Mbps
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Legacy BIOS (MBR) installation, no TPM, no Secure Boot, WDDM 2.3 graphics drivers, WEI score 5.1
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