Microsoft Warns Upgrading from XP to Windows 7 Could Take “Couple of Hours”

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Microsoft is warning users that upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 requires more steps than other upgrades, and will take, "a couple of hours."

The warning comes in a handy-dandy how-to video that steps users through the process, which includes backing up all your files to an external drive, wiping your system, doing a clean-install of Windows 7, copying your files back, and then reinstalling any applications you actually want to use.

The video is hosted by Kellie Eickmeyer, a senior program manager on Microsoft's Windows team, who tells us at the beginning that, "Installing Windows 7 on a computer running Windows XP requires more steps than a typical upgrade; and we'll be honest; it could take a couple of hours."

Enjoy the full video for a sobering reminder of what it's like being in the Windows world. That said, check out today's coverage of Guest account problems in Snow Leopard for a sobering reminder that as awesome as the Mac platform is, it's not always perfect.

Screenshot from XP to Windows 7 Upgrade Video
Ms. Eickmeyer letting us know gently that upgrading from XP to Windows 7 won't necessarily be a cakewalk



A couple of hours? Doing a complete wipe, OS install, and restore of data AND apps is more like 4 or 5 hours.


It took at about two hours to do the same clean install of SL on my mini w/ the needed updates for program(s) software, after having backed up the drive.

Of course the option to install SL ‘over’ the existing L setup is there, but I choose to avoid the possibility of conflicts by doing so.


I have also done a clean install then migration of personal data.. it took me a few hours too..

iMac 2.16 3Gigs of RAM etc..

But, this “migration” will be an all day event. 
However, in the XP world, this is done pretty regularly (annually or semi-annually depending on use)  So not too big of a deal.


Bryan Chaffin

And if you watch the video, it just really feels like Ms. Eickmeyer drew the short straw on who had to make the video. It feels half apologetic and half sort of sad.

I’m not bagging on Ms. Eickmeyer. She does a fine job with the material she has to present, it’s just that said material is onerous and tedious.


Those Windows & parties are sure to be a blast!


It’s just a couple of hours to install Windows 7.  If you want to back up your existing programs/data, and then reinstall/restore all this stuff and/or upgrade the apps as needed to run on Windows 7, that’s a whole different story, possibly taking several days.


seriously?  i can tell you right now my IT dept will just keep us on XP rather than go thru several hours per computer.  M$ really did it right this time wink


Heck, it’ll take a couple hours just to get all the drivers, and patches.

this is a weekend project.

Oh, and Scott;
I work for an IT department and you are right, we haven’t even talked about Win7. Out XP terminal sessions are fine. The freestanding XP systems are not going to be upgraded. New systems will come with Win7 (VIPs personal laptops for the most part) but we’re not going to be making any special plans for them. They’ll have to use the same Thunderbird and OpenOffice as everyone else. Any other systems will run XP. (Or OS-X, We do have some Macs.)


I think folks are irrationally overestimating the average amount of extra pain this is actually going to cause.

Reinstalling the system is a seasonal ritual for certain prudent Windows users, one of whom is me. You can fight the slow decay on the ground, but nuking it is always a sure win.

Still a little puzzled as to why M$ does not seem to care more. Possibly the engineers concluded that an automated upgrade process was a bad risk for all involved.

Enterprise IT depts are (slowly) going to deploy Win7 in a pre-baked, tested configutation onto known/approved target hardware, so I don’t see M$‘s biggest buyers feeling too hurt about this announcement either.

Agree with Bryan that at least one Sr. Program Manager at M$ could use a hug. The idea of concluding the manual upgrade did seem to cheer her up a little.  Unusual empathy for a software company.


”... we’ll be honest; it could take a couple of hours”

“Honest” my a**!

For some users, Windows 7 upgrade could take 20 hours

BTW, Bryan, the guest account problem in SL a very rare—and recoverable—one. The www echo chamber, as usual, has magnified this out of all proportion.


One of the first things in that video is advice how and where to back up all user files, since the upgrade will erase all user data.

They should have shown this video to that MS division responsible for the Sidekick… Had they seen it, they could have thought of backing up their customer data before doing a SAN upgrade.


How bad is that video on so many levels?
THIS (?) was produced by one of the richest companies on the planet? Horror!
I have seen better ‘tutorials’ released by shareware companies!
Oh Kellie! Didn’t they pay someone to dress you or do your hair and makeup? I’m so sorry you were abducted from your own desk and told you were needed in front of the webcam in the interrogation room at the plastic when you probably just had the most harrowing morning trying to get 3 sick children ready for school and your car broke down on the way to work. Sigh, the least they could have done is warn you the day before so you could get a facial and visit the hairdresser.
Windows 7 is supposed to be cleaner, smarter, faster, leaner and what have they produced here? This looks like it was produced by Kellie’s 4th year son’s class. The lighting is terrible, I’ve seen better on late night tv ads for erectile problems.
This is reminiscent of the early 1990’s its shocking. Almost like a video for windows 95.
And Kellie’s blouse. Really, just because she works in IT and is a computer programmer doesn’t mean she should dress like one! The cheap trinket on her neck and the ill fitting nylon blouse in that dark ominous colour of gloom. And that laptop she has there! What year is it from? Will THAT really support Windows 7? Why didn’t they get a HP voodoo or Dell adamo? at least those look like machines of the time.
Also why are Kellie’s fingernails of different lengths. That must have been the most disturbing thing to watch as she slides the flimsy drive drawer into that machine with the horrible VGA port on the side! And she does this twice!

I dont even want to get on to the content of the video. Who wrote the script? Obviously this was written by the programmers and did not get proofed by the PR company! A script full of ‘doesn’t’, ‘cant’, ‘must’, ‘have to’, you’ll need’ and the worst culprit of all ‘we’ll be honest’ with a turned up lip!Oh Microsof, you’ve shot off another toe!

Finally, why is there an ‘upgrade option’ when you HAVE TO select the ‘custom option’ and why isn’t the upgrade advisor ON the windows 7 CD??

I’m afraid, 9 out of 10 people are not interested in technology and just want something to work out of the box. This is beyond most people and does not interest and even scares away people form wanting to upgrade. As I see it, rather than go down this scary path of unknowns, suddenly the Mac is going to seem a lot more attractive to many people. For once in the history of computing, the Mac will be a more familiar face than Windows thanks to 6 solid versions of their MacOSX and the proliferation of Macs and Apple Stores and numerous other retailers scrambling to the Apple pie (no pun intended). I wonder how many of Apple’s employees who ‘left’ Apple to work at Microsoft are actually spies and saboteurs still on Apple’s payroll. If i were in charge of Apple, that’s what I’d be doing.

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