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The Microsoft Windows 7 Free Upgrade Option Program Rev. 4.1
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Clean Installation Requirement For E & N Versions

  • The upgrade path from Windows Vista to the E or the N versions of Windows 7 will not support an "in-place" upgrade.  Instead, the upgrade must be performed as a "clean installation". It is very important that the end user understands the implications of a clean installation upgrade, and takes all necessary steps to retain their applications, files and settings, including backing-up applications, files and settings prior to installation.

  • Note:  Upgrades of N versions of Windows Vista to corresponding N versions of Windows 7 do NOT require a clean installation and will allow an in-place upgrade.

  • A clean installation of Windows 7 is a technical process and end users should be aware of the following basic clean installation steps that are required :

    • End users must save their personal data and settings, including documents, pictures, files, programs, music and video. Microsoft recommends that users utilize an external hard disk for this task.

    • A clean installation does not keep any programs, so end users should make sure that they have the installation disks or setup files saved for any programs they wish to reinstall on their Windows 7 operating system.

    • All required PC software and drivers should be either saved to an external hard disk or should be provided as part of the OEM Program media.  OEMs should determine how to best message this to their end users.

    • End users may then install the Windows 7 Upgrade media and follow instructions for the clean installation presented.

    • End users should next reinstall PC drivers as required.  If some drivers are not present, end users should go to their OEM's website and download the missing drivers.  At a minimum, end users need to have their network drivers supported after the clean installation so that they can download any other missing drivers.

    • End users should reinstall their personal data and restore the settings from their external hard disk to their PC running Windows 7.

    • End users should reinstall their desired programs.

Note:  Microsoft will make detailed, step-by-step clean installation instructions available at


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Official Name
Overview Of The Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program


Important Program Dates
Marketing Guidance
Marketing Materials


Eligible Upgrade Paths


Possible Upgrade Options


Validation Of Program Compliance
Fulfillment Limitations
Installation Notices


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Screenshots


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Screenshots (Continued)


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Requirements
Storage Requirements


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Q&A Part 1


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Q&A Part 2


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Q&A Part 3


Impact Of E & N Versions Of Windows 7
Eligible Upgrade Paths In Europe
Inclusion Of A Web Browser


Clean Installation Requirement For E & N Versions


Media Delivery
Product Activation
Upgrade Media Bill Of Materials

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