Upgrading Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8 Enterprise

After having such a great time at Build I felt it was time to upgrade my work laptop to Windows 8.  Previously, however, I had Windows 7 Ultimate and when I tried to upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise the installer told me I could not do so: “Windows 7 Ultimate cannot be upgraded to Windows 8 Enterprise.”  The natural path is to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro but I specifically wanted Enterprise since that was what we have at work and for the ability to side-load Windows Store apps (though maybe Pro can do this as well).

Anyway, just by luck I happened upon a post about a very similar problem going from Vista to Windows 7 Enterprise … same issue.  The fix?  Totally stupid … really.

  1. Close the Windows 8 installer if you have it open and
  2. Launch RegEdit to edit the registry
  3. Find the following branch: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version
  4. Edit the following keys:
    1. EditionId – Change from “Ultimate” to “Enterprise”
    2. ProductName – Change from “Windows 7 Ultimate” to “Windows 7 Enterprise”

Now the in-place upgrade will run just fine.

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15 thoughts on “Upgrading Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8 Enterprise

    • Someone here could help you out if you gave one or two details. This has worked for several people so something is most likely different. Maybe Microsoft updated their installer.

      • Unfortunately, I haven’t tried upgrading anything recently so I don’t know what else I would have tried. Of note, the versions I was working with were all 64bit … perhaps something could be different in 32 bit? Or maybe the registry key is in a different place?

  1. I also tried this. Windows 7 Ultimate 64. The in-place upgrade had already been attempted before I flipped the tags. When I flipped them and closed regedit, the in-place upgrade still did not work. So I reopened regedit to confirm my changes and they were still there. Following that, I restarted my machine. Might as well be sure. The changes were still there. But the installer still thinks I am Windows 7 Ultimate.

    This is with and without allowing it to connect for its quick 451k update to the installer. This is also coming from a mounted ISO (used different drive-letters to test), as opposed to a DVD. I suppose one workaround would be to burn the DVD, but I haven’t gotten that desperate yet.

    Now then…I hadn’t run Windows Update since February (oops), so I ran it. Still no dice. Hope that helps.

  2. Pingback: MoonRiversTechnology Blog - Upgrading Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8 Enterprise

  3. “worked”, not exactly. Going from 7 Ultimate to 8.1 Enterprise with this trick resulted in the same failure. Technically the upgrade would work (but it would without the hack too) but I get to keep “Personal files only” either way which isn’t a successful upgrade to me since I’d have to re-install everything.

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