I now have a two month old computer with Vista Home Premium 64 bit. It has taken me a long time to get it fairly set up to use. I don't want to have to re-install all my programs again ..or settings. Can the 'upgrade' keep my setting and program files or will that all have to be done separately if I just upgrade? This caused a lot of downtime and I'm not wanting more. I also downloaded the tool and it told me I could upgrade to Home Premium or Ultimate...I was hoping for Professional and wonder why I can upgrade to Ultimate but not Professional.
Microsoft made a preliminary version of their Upgrade Matrix available for a time, but it has been removed from their web sites.
For what it's worth, it confirms that Vista Home Premium X64 could only be upgraded in place to Win7 Home Premium or Ultimate. (An in-place upgrade preserves most settings and installed programs. If 7 is like Vista, some programs may have to be re-installed to run properly after an in-place upgrade. Most should be preserved without that, though.) There's no explanation as to why the Professional upgrade ins not supported.
Other versions would require a clean installation, which would eliminate your settings and require all applications to be re-installed.
The Windows Easy Transfer utility can help transfer files and settings, but not installed applications.
This is written for IT professionals, but it's almost readable by amateurs like myself:
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