Solved How to upgrade windows XP Home to XP Professional

Toshiba / Satellite a100
September 21, 2014 at 00:00:23
Specs: Windows XP, x86 1995 MHz
I have a computer with Win XP Home, trying to upgrade it to Professional edition. When started, the installation CD copied some files and restarted the computer. Upon restart I got two options for booting, Start with Home edition or start with win xp professional installation. I chose the second off course but I got a message saying there was an error on disk and windows wont boot that way. Booting back from home edition went well. started the installation CD again but same steps happened again. How to handle this upgrade?

See More: How to upgrade windows XP Home to XP Professional

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✔ Best Answer
September 23, 2014 at 10:18:10
We had this issue of an apparently missing boot.ini a while back; but can't remember what the cause and resolution was - which of course isn't any help now...

But clearly it is there - somewhere Obviously this is not what the system is using because it doesn’t have the XP Pro option with regard to the sample backup you post above.

This post discusses a similar situation - and assorted thoughts etc. Scroll down to almost the end of it and double check that you have unchecked appropriate box(es) to show/unhide "Hide protected system operating files (Recommended)". Occasionally pholks miss that second box...

http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...

And this one much on similar theme, but uses the "attrib" routine to same end; and the poster there found that to work...

http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6142_10...

Likely if you were to try copying that boot.ini (as posted above) into c: root - it won't go; as almost certainly there is one there - but not yet visible? You can't have two files with exactly the same name in the same area (partition/folder etc...) as likely you already know.

Have you tried to edit the boot.ini using any of the methods linked earlier; as they will bring up the active boot.ini - obviously; and that will show where the active version is...

The method I general use the the MyComputer\Properties etc. - as described in one the M$ links posted earlier. Simplest of all of them in my view...

Did your computer arrive with Home installed; and if so from where/whom? There were a few systems likely sold with retail versions installed; probably by small, local stores? Not usual to find a major vendor etc. pushing out non OEM installations for XP and certainly not later OS... With '9x/ME it was quite common; especially with '9x... OEM evolved due to M$ attempting to restrict the sale of surplus retail disks on the clearance market... OEM began to tie a disk to a given brand (the disk would be branded and tweaked to work only with a given make/model).

The boot.ini you found in the backup is there because the windows installer automatically put that copy there when it started to "upgrade" you Home installation.

That you have an sp3 cd ought to work OK and perform a Repair Installation - when run from a cd boot...; even if your Home installation was not a full blown sp3...



#1
September 21, 2014 at 11:50:10
Why did you want XP Pro? You didn't upgrade, you did a 2nd install & created a dual boot setup. If it installed in the same partition, you have a mess on your hands. If you feel you need/want XP Pro, back up all your important data from XP Home, then completely wipe the HDD & install XP Pro from scratch.

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#2
September 21, 2014 at 15:21:58
I'm not quite sure I agree with riider on this occasion; which is a very event...

Yes quite likely you started to install Pro in the same partition as Home; and yes you managed to create the dual-boot menu showing both versions.

As you can still boot OK to Home... there is no need to wipe the drive and start again… You can revert/reset the system back to Home (only). Although it would be wise to safeguard your personal files now before going any further; copy them to external storage typically dvd and if possible an external hard drive too. Verify the copies are OK. I suggest this as if you wish/intend in the long run to do what you say… safeguarding your files first would be a wise move; just in-case something goes amiss…

Likely if your original Home version went in as Windows, Pro will have gone in as Winnt. And as likely you have just one partition (so often the case – and not a wise way to configure a drive) Pro will have gone into the same C: partition as Home… Presuming so then locating Pro Folder will/ought to be easy?

Next ensure the default OS to boot is Home – not Pro. Whenever a Windows OS goes in after any other OS (including any of assorted flavors of Windows) that latest installation will set itself as default OS to boot. Having set the default to Home; reboot to verify it does just that.

Then edit the boot.ini to remove the entry for Pro; and also reconfirm/check that Home is still default – which is ought to be.

At this stage you can empty the recycle bin and defrag the drive is you wish; not essential but useful to clean up the current situation and its aftermath.

Then you can follow the routine here:

http://tinyurl.com/3bs6k

Essentially you run an Upgrade of Home to Pro… Simples…

I’ve done it a couple of times taken Home to Pro using a Pro cd.

The only problem you may have is if your Pro disk is an earlier service pack than your Home installation is now.

If Home installation is sp3 and your Pro disk is sp1 or sp2 then it won’t allow the upgrade. You have to have a Pro cd that matches your Home sp status. Either the Pro cd is just that - or you slipsteam sp3 into whatever version of Pro sp you have; and use that modified/slipstreamed cdfor the upgrade process.

And there a quite few YouTube videos here about it too…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71IW...

It might be useful to post the current boot.ini details here when you post back; mainly to allow clarification as to what is where and how so named etc... and allow more precise details (if needed) of what to edit etc. in the boot.ini.

Echoing riider - a little though. Why the need for Pro over Home? I run Pro, have run Home too. Can't say that for general/domestic use there's any noticeable difference between the two; other than Remote access/login and I think a slightly higher level of security?

message edited by trvlr


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#3
September 22, 2014 at 09:06:26
I started windows upgrade because that was the only option given to me. I wanted to repair Win Home which came installed on the computer with Win Pro CD with SP3 so I ran that CD like how it is explained in the link provided by trvlr but I got a message that "Setup does not support upgrade from Home to Pro" and the only option was to start a new installation. That is why I went ahead with the new installation. Off course I wont use the recovery CD that came with the computer because it will wipe out the whole HD and install the original partition which is not necessary to me.

Obviously now that the new installation wont work. I found the new installation folder on C under $Win..NT$ but I didnt find boot.ini anywhere on C after a comprehensive search although it is supposed to be in windows root. Now I just need to get rid of the boot option on boot menu and delete the Win NT folder on C. but where is boot.ini?


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#4
September 22, 2014 at 16:17:45

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#5
September 22, 2014 at 16:46:12
The boot.ini (located in the C: root) is often hidden by default as are a few other "system files". It can be viewed/revealed this way:

http://tinyurl.com/kugd7u6

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windo...

And once revealed/"unhidden"...

How to edit the boot.ini:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/289022

http://best-windows.vlaurie.com/boo...

http://tinyurl.com/9zntkt

If your computer came with Home already installed - and with a recovery partition, then likely it's what is called/referred to as an OEM installation (Original Equipment Manufacturer installation). The windows key (as displayed on the back or base of many computers will more than likely include the letter OEM; and if dug out with assorted utilities - or you know where to find it in the registry - it will include OEM there as well.

An OEM is almost identical to a retail version - but support for that installation is not provided by M$, but rather by the manufacturer/vendor. An OEM is also tied to the motherboard in the computer where it was installed; hard drives and other parts can be changed (within reason) and the license will still apply; and it can be re-activated if needs-be. If the motherboard dies... then so does the license...; it cannot (easily) be applied to a replacement motherboard...

A retail version of the OS with a retail license (naturally) doesn't have the letters OEM in its license/key. Support is available from M$-land as per their usual terms 'n conditions. A retail version can re-installed/re-activated even if the motherboard is replaced...; and can also be installed on another computer (as long as one doesn't do this more than once...). Typically one computer can be a desktop/tower and the other a laptop; but these days it's frequently two laptops...?

While normally you can use retail version of the OS to upgrade OEM Home to Pro, and also OEM version of Pro over Home - the process is more a Repair Installation (an overwrite of Home) and as such isn't strictly an upgrade in the conventional sense. When the window to enter the key appears one uses the key for cd being used to effect the upgrade (repair installation) - not the one for the installation being upgraded/repaired.

My own experience is that an OEM Pro cd will easily replace/repair/upgrade OEM Home to Pro. Likewise a retail disk the same. The process is run from a cd boot, not from within a booted windows (Home in this case). And again one ends up with a new "key".

Not sure if an OEM Pro will overwrite/repair install ("upgrade") a retail Home...

General wisdom is to use OEM over OEM, and retail over retail.

The critical item is the sp on the cd being used... It must be the same as, or later than, the sp already present in the windows version being "upgraded etc..."

However - as earlier advised… Before doing any re-installs /repairs or whatever at this stage of events - first safeguard "all your personal files off the system entirely". Copy to DVD and ideally an external hard drive too. Check the copies are truly accessible on at least one other working system. Label and put them somewhere "safe". Then your options are a little (a lot) freer from the stress/concerns re' possibly losing all those valuable files etc...

And rather than go down roads that may not be necessary here… how did you set about the upgrade? Did you run it from within Windows itself - or via a cd boot?

The two paths can sometimes produce different results in some situations…

The $winnt folder you found can be deleted - once you have edited the boot/ini as above (to remove the failed Pro installation - and reset Home as default).

And also have a look-see here

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/X...

as Michael Stevens methods may well resolve it all for you; and they represent the path(s) I would suggest later - if not sooner…; after you have edited the boot.ini etc and advised how you ran the failed upgrade?

I have edited this lengthy post to correct/clarify some info re' using OEM or retail to "upgrade" Home to Pro. Rereading it I noted my previous/original paragraph there was misleading, confusing, and also possibly inaccurate.

message edited by trvlr


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#6
September 23, 2014 at 06:18:20
Apparently you already had a problem with XP Home & you compounded things by trying to repair it with XP Pro. You may be able to fix things by using the suggestions provided above, then again, you may simply be chasing your tail. Backing up your data, wiping the HDD & reinstalling from scratch is now the best fix. Yes, it will take several hours but in the end, you will have decent running system again. How many hours do you have into it so far & what have you accomplished?

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#7
September 23, 2014 at 06:30:49
"riider" may well be right in that your best bet is to backup (as in copy) all your files to external storage and then reset to factory status.. (Check your backup/s/copies are OK as previously advised too...) But you do indicate it's not your preferred route (understandable).

One other option... presuming you have an OEM Home installation - not a retail one; borrow an OEM XP Home cd; run a repair routine with that - using "your" OEM key when prompted for a key. The Michael Stevens route will guide you through it safely. If you have a retail Home (with a retail/non OEM key) then you naturally need a retail cd... If you borrow a cd - you can legally make a copy of it; but must always use/apply your key with it.

You can download the ISO for either versions (legally) and burn to cd/dvd; then boot with that an apply your key as required... Get both the sp2 and sp3 bversin; although you ought to be able to use the sp3 regardless of what level your Home is at present.

If/when you make a disk - make two; and suitably labeled (with the key); and keep safe in separate locations... Also when the system is up and running again.. make an image of the system; then if things go awry again you can restore that image - and you're back where you were when you made the image.

Remember a Repair Installation (and from my perspective too an upgrade too) is run from a CD boot; not from within windows.

message edited by trvlr


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#8
September 23, 2014 at 09:17:09
I have my files backed up on EHD and I have a ghost image of partition C in case I need to wipe out everything but I was doing a "routine maintenance" when trying to repair so the wiping out is still a bad idea for my situation.

My system files were already shown but no trace of boot.ini. I found boot.ini.backup in windows\pss\ which reads like this:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

Obviously this is not what the system is using because it doesn’t have the XP Pro option.

I believe if I place the same file renamed to boot.ini in C root that will solve the problem (remove the XP option from boot menu). I just need a confirmation of that pls.

The windows key displayed on the back of the computer does not have OEM on it neither does the key found by a utility. The Home edition has SP3 like the CD I have.

I ran the attempted upgrade from within windows. I will try to do it from a direct boot although this is not a big priority for me now.


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#9
September 23, 2014 at 10:18:10
✔ Best Answer
We had this issue of an apparently missing boot.ini a while back; but can't remember what the cause and resolution was - which of course isn't any help now...

But clearly it is there - somewhere Obviously this is not what the system is using because it doesn’t have the XP Pro option with regard to the sample backup you post above.

This post discusses a similar situation - and assorted thoughts etc. Scroll down to almost the end of it and double check that you have unchecked appropriate box(es) to show/unhide "Hide protected system operating files (Recommended)". Occasionally pholks miss that second box...

http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...

And this one much on similar theme, but uses the "attrib" routine to same end; and the poster there found that to work...

http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6142_10...

Likely if you were to try copying that boot.ini (as posted above) into c: root - it won't go; as almost certainly there is one there - but not yet visible? You can't have two files with exactly the same name in the same area (partition/folder etc...) as likely you already know.

Have you tried to edit the boot.ini using any of the methods linked earlier; as they will bring up the active boot.ini - obviously; and that will show where the active version is...

The method I general use the the MyComputer\Properties etc. - as described in one the M$ links posted earlier. Simplest of all of them in my view...

Did your computer arrive with Home installed; and if so from where/whom? There were a few systems likely sold with retail versions installed; probably by small, local stores? Not usual to find a major vendor etc. pushing out non OEM installations for XP and certainly not later OS... With '9x/ME it was quite common; especially with '9x... OEM evolved due to M$ attempting to restrict the sale of surplus retail disks on the clearance market... OEM began to tie a disk to a given brand (the disk would be branded and tweaked to work only with a given make/model).

The boot.ini you found in the backup is there because the windows installer automatically put that copy there when it started to "upgrade" you Home installation.

That you have an sp3 cd ought to work OK and perform a Repair Installation - when run from a cd boot...; even if your Home installation was not a full blown sp3...


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#10
September 23, 2014 at 12:05:47
I forgot for a while about editing the boot.ini through the computer properties method. When I did I surely found 2 options to boot. When trying to edit the file I found out that it is saved into the C root but still not visible. Instead of editing it I renamed the backup and copied to C. Sure enough the system gave me the duplicate copy dialogue and I chose yes to replace the old file. At that time the file became visible. When booting, the computer booted with Home and the Pro boot option was gone. Now I will take my time to try the above mentioned upgrade methods. Thanks trvlr.

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