The other day I was discussing with a friend the benefits of dual-booting Windows 8 using a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) as I wrote about in the article Dual-boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 using a VHD. My friend has Windows 7 Home Premium installed on his computer and was saying that he would give anything for a way to add the Bootable VHD feature to his system so that he could experiment with Windows 8 and keep his Windows 7 setup intact. (As you know, the ability to boot from VHD is only available in Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Enterprise.)
When I told him that there was a way he could do so, he was all ears. When told him that it would cost him about $140, he was still open to the idea saying that if it would allow him to install Windows 8 on a VHD, it would be worth it.
I then explained how he could purchase a Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade key that would allow him to easily upgrade his Windows 7 Home Premium system to Windows 7 Ultimate. A half hour later we were standing in line at the local Best Buy purchasing a Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade key.
The upgrade went very smooth and soon my friend was installing Windows 8 to a VHD. After we were finished, I figured that there were probably other folks out there that would be interested in learning more about using Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade to be able to install Windows 8 on a bootable VHD. As such, in this article, I'll walk you step by step thru the entire procedure of using Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade to upgrade a Windows 7 Home Premium system to Windows 7 Ultimate.
This blog post is also available in the slideshow format in a TechRepublic Photo Gallery.
Editor's Note: Since this article was published, it has been discovered that Native VHD Boot is available in all versions of Windows 7, which means that you can set up a Windows 8 dual-boot configuration in Windows 7 Home Premium. See the article Native VHD Boot is available in all versions of Windows 7 for more detail.
Even though the Upgrade will not alter any of your data or other configuration settings, I recommend that the first thing that you'll want to do is create a System Image from within Windows 7's Backup and Restore. When you do, you'll end up with a complete image of your hard disk. That way, if anything out of the ordinary were to occur as you follow the steps for performing the Windows Anytime Upgrade, you will be able to return to your current configuration.
Furthermore, I recommend that you also create a separate backup of your data. Maybe just make copies of all your data files on CD/DVD or on an external hard disk. While it may sound like overkill, having an extra backup will give you peace of mind.
To create a system image, you'll need to have a CD-RW/DVD-RW drive, an external hard disk, or access to a network drive. To access Backup and Restore, click the Start button, type Backup in the Search box, and press [Enter] when Backup and Restore appears in the result pane.Once you have Backup and Restore up, select the Create a System Image option and choose your backup location. As you can see in Figure A, I used a DVD-RW drive on my system.
As soon as the System Image is complete and before you begin the Windows Anytime Upgrade procedure, I recommend that you reboot your system to make sure that you have a clean slate.
At this point, you can read my article Dual-boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 using a VHD and take advantage of the Bootable VHD feature in Windows 7 Ultimate.
Are you running Windows 7 Home Premium? Would you like to set up a Windows 7/Windows 8 dual boot system using a VHD? Will you take advantage of Windows Anytime Upgrade to move from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.
Howto ------ Click the Start button, type Windows Anytime Upgrade in the search box, and then clicking Windows Anytime Upgrade in the list of results. You will be presented with a screen offering 2 options, one of them suggesting you have a valid Windows Anytime Upgrade key. Once the key has been copied into the appropriate field, it will be verified by MS and the upgrade process will take place. The whole process actually doesn't last longer than 10 minutes, your computer will reboot once or twice. Upon restart, you will notice it now runs a Genuine higher version of Windows 7 ! Keys are not brand specific. Any key will work for any oem manufacturer. Online PID checker by Freestyler: http://d-fault.nl/pidcheck/ Updated: 10-04-2010 Unknown Home Prem: XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00202 Unknown Pro: XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00101 Kraftway Pro: XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00158 STARTER (OEM-8992752) (OEM-8992707) ===================== RDJXR-3M32B-FJT32-QMPGB-GCFF6 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30004 --- ACER/GATEWAY/PACKARD 6K6WB-X73TD-KG794-FJYHG-YCJVG --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30005 --- ASUS (Eee) 6PB94-MC2C6-4F37H-KTJ32-PF2PT --- XXXXX-OEM-8992707-00097 --- CASPERERA 36Q3Y-BBT84-MGJ3H-FT7VD-FG72J --- XXXXX-OEM-8992707-00082 --- DELL 4FRH4-WQDGJ-M9HRY-K73D8-RGT3C --- XXXXX-OEM-8992707-00228 --- EXPER RH98C-M9PW4-6DHR7-X99PJ-3FGDB --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30008 --- HP PMXH9-M23P9-QJJMB-2FWRC-7CDKP --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30007 --- FUJITSU 273P4-GQ8V6-97YYM-9YTHF-DC2VP --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30169 --- LENOVO/IBM 22P26-HD8YH-RD96C-28R8J-DCT28 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992707-00153 --- LENOVO/IBM 2K8WH-JVQDM-C9HVC-YR2XC-8M76G --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30065 --- MEDION 2W4DJ-JFFJV-DMCPP-2C3X8-883DP --- XXXXX-OEM-8992707-00121 --- MSI 2YKPV-BFXFW-X8GJQ-9KQFF-KCXGD --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30271 --- MSI 2XGHP-9TQK2-8CF28-BM2P2-8FRX8 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30269 --- NOKIA 344HQ-3YHDT-C7VCT-BDPBV-4KTR3 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992707-00192 --- OLIDATA PV9BD-YBRX6-CTMG6-CCMJY-X8XG7 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30013 --- SAMSUNG 32J2V-TGQCY-9QJXP-Q3FVT-X8BQ7 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992707-00016 --- SONY TGBKB-9KBGJ-3Y3J6-K8M2F-J2HJQ --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30015 --- TOSHIBA 7W842-2HCPJ-BC3MJ-B79K6-TD2HQ --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-30214 --- VILIV 32TF3-PT6YV-V6GCK-RR8GM-VM4QG --- XXXXX-OEM-8992707-00180 --- ????? HOME BASIC (OEM-8992752) ===================== MB4HF-2Q8V3-W88WR-K7287-2H4CP --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50004 --- ACER/GATEWAY/PACKARD 89G97-VYHYT-Y6G8H-PJXV6-77GQM --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50005 --- ASUS 36T88-RT7C6-R38TQ-RV8M9-WWTCY --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50258 --- DELL 8W3JQ-BP2HY-F47QX-6CQ94-2BKQB --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50007 --- FUJITSU DX8R9-BVCGB-PPKRR-8J7T4-TJHTH --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50008 --- HP 22MFQ-HDH7V-RBV79-QMVK9-PTMXQ --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50213 --- LENOVO/IBM 2P6PB-G7YVY-W46VJ-BXJ36-PGGTG --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50013 --- SAMSUNG YV7QQ-RCXQ9-KTBHC-YX3FG-FKRW8 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50014 --- SONY 9DBMT-GXRWM-6Q9Y3-WMYM8-FJCBW --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50165 --- TONGFANG 9H4FH-VD69Y-TGBD2-4PM4K-DRMMH --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50015 --- TOSHIBA 2TY7W-H4DD4-MB62F-BD9C3-88TM6 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50179 --- ????? 2Q4QP-8P4MD-47YBP-7TXX9-FKDRM --- XXXXX-OEM-8992752-50229 --- ????? HOME PREM (OEM-8992687) ===================== VQB3X-Q3KP8-WJ2H8-R6B6D-7QJB7 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00006 --- ACER/GATEWAY/PACKARD 38JTJ-VBPFW-XFQDR-PJ794-8447M --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00304 --- ADVENT V3Y2W-CMF9W-PGT9C-777KD-32W74 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00008 --- ALIENWARE 2QDBX-9T8HR-2QWT6-HCQXJ-9YQTR --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00007 --- ASUS 7JQWQ-K6KWQ-BJD6C-K3YVH-DVQJG --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00118 --- ASUS (Eee) 6RBBT-F8VPQ-QCPVQ-KHRB8-RMV82 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00095 --- DELL 83K3W-QH8JT-T7KBY-9FQB6-V9R8H --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00191 --- DELL C6MHH-TRRPT-74TDC-FHRMV-XB88W --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00009 --- FUJITSU 39QDH-D7MHH-WDMTD-TM2R9-KM7DB --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00258 --- HCL 4FG99-BC3HD-73CQT-WMF7J-3Q6C9 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00010 --- HP 27GBM-Y4QQC-JKHXW-D9W83-FJQKD --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00249 --- LENOVO/IBM 38GRR-KMG3D-BTP99-TC9G4-BBDJJ --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00174 --- LG 2P2P9-CM3F8-FTV6P-PC7CX-8TFF7 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00093 --- MEDION 4G3GR-J6JDJ-D96PV-T9B9D-M8X2Q --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00246 --- MSI CQBVJ-9J697-PWB9R-4K7W4-2BT4J --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00015 --- SAMSUNG HWDFB-YVFG4-3TJ7F-Q3WMT-7B6PH --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00138 --- SIRAGON H4JWX-WHKWT-VGV87-C7XPK-CGKHQ --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00016 --- SONY 6B88K-KCCWY-4F8HK-M4P73-W8DQG --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00057 --- TOSHIBA 6GF36-P4HWR-BFF84-6GFC2-BWX77 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00017 --- TOSHIBA C23T3-9F2T2-FPWBM-XYMW2-272J9 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00143 --- VIEWSONIC 2XPWB-Q64BJ-W8CT3-WJTWT-4DQ99 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00267 --- ????? TTJQ7-4PFJC-6JFJ8-B22VD-VXW88 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00013 --- ????? 7K377-DVP2Q-YGWJG-3M3G7-RBCDP --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00194 --- ????? 3743C-T6892-B4PHM-JHFKY-4BB7W --- XXXXX-OEM-8992687-00202 --- ????? PROFESSIONAL (OEM-8992671) ===================== YKHFT-KW986-GK4PY-FDWYH-7TP9F --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00004 --- ACER/GATEWAY/PACKARD 4CFBX-7HQ6R-3JYWF-72GXP-4MV6W --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00188 --- ALIENWARE 2WCJK-R8B4Y-CWRF2-TRJKB-PV9HW --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00407 --- ASUS 32KD2-K9CTF-M3DJT-4J3WC-733WD --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00524 --- DELL PT9YK-BC2J9-WWYF9-R9DCR-QB9CK --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00007 --- FUJITSU 2QTV2-3CMPP-FQBYK-GRD62-D7XMW --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00501 --- HCL 74T2M-DKDBC-788W3-H689G-6P6GT --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00008 --- HP 32HPJ-4XRDR-424C8-DYQM9-GM768 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00158 --- KRAFTWAY 237XB-GDJ7B-MV8MH-98QJM-24367 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00437 --- LENOVO/IBM 2QGXM-V9W9W-6Q7MR-64C4X-R26CV --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00207 --- LG ? GMJQF-JC7VC-76HMH-M4RKY-V4HX6 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00013 --- SAMSUNG H9M26-6BXJP-XXFCY-7BR4V-24X8J --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00014 --- SONY 7RQGM-4BJBD-GM2YY-R2KTT-43HG8 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00282 --- STEG 2V8P2-QKJWM-4THM3-74PDB-4P2KH --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00137 --- TOSHIBA 6JKVQ-WJTWW-JVPRB-77TGD-2DV7M --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00339 --- WORTMANN 2W3CX-YD4YJ-DF9B2-V27M6-77GMF --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00503 --- ????? BV4Y4-DVXDT-3FC64-X2QR7-DW82M --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00468 --- ????? 6BJ27-DVBFF-VKQC8-7JPQP-TJKYY --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00215 --- ????? 6FWJ7-TDRCV-BYTP3-JWB98-9J64J --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00211 --- ????? W2PMW-T7DBH-YHKRM-DXXF6-KP4KT --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00015 --- ????? 862R9-99CD6-DD6WM-GHDG2-Y8M37 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00205 --- ????? 7QY32-TQCBJ-G7MC8-Y4PGF-7TGB8 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00284 --- ????? 36KXM-JVMP6-88WMK-YCCGV-YFDVX --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00230 --- ????? CRYGF-JG347-QPJKH-BR82M-3MQP3 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992671-00101 --- ????? ULTIMATE (OEM-8992662) ===================== FJGCP-4DFJD-GJY49-VJBQ7-HYRR2 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00006 --- ACER/GATEWAY/PACKARD VQ3PY-VRX6D-CBG4J-8C6R2-TCVBD --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00008 --- ALIENWARE 2Y4WT-DHTBF-Q6MMK-KYK6X-VKM6G --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00173 --- ASUS 342DG-6YJR8-X92GV-V7DCV-P4K27 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00400 --- DELL 9CW99-79BBF-D4M3X-9BK9M-4RPH9 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00009 --- FUJITSU MHFPT-8C8M2-V9488-FGM44-2C9T3 --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00010 --- HP 6K2KY-BFH24-PJW6W-9GK29-TMPWP --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00537 --- LENOVO/IBM (Re-released) 49PB6-6BJ6Y-KHGCQ-7DDY6-TF7CD --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00015 --- SAMSUNG YJJYR-666KV-8T4YH-KM9TB-4PY2W --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00016 --- SONY 2WX6M-X2HKM-86X8X-2QD44-F3FGJ --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00481 --- ????? 78FPJ-C8Q77-QV7B8-9MH3V-XXBTK --- XXXXX-OEM-8992662-00366 --- ?????
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