Upgrading Windows 7 Home Premium to Enterprise

I got Hannah a new laptop which came with the rather long-in-the-tooth XP installed. I had already bought and installed Windows 7 Home Premium on my work laptop. I wanted to move the Home Premium license to the new laptop. Then I wanted to upgrade my work laptop to Windows 7 Enterprise which is offered by my workplace.

Sounds simple (and legal, right?). Unfortunately:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium refused to activate after doing a clean install on the new laptop citing not being an upgrade (as I had wiped XP first).
  • Windows 7 Enterprise would refuse to do an upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium, insisting on a clean install.

I found a way round both these problems which I share in case it helps anyone else. Activating Windows 7 was easy enough, simply use the phone activation wizard, call Microsoft’s toll-free number and enter in the 8 sets of digits to receive an activation code.

Upgrading from Home Premium was possible, but I had to make the following registry changes first:

Under ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersion modify the following keys:

  • EditionID from “HomePremium” to “Enterprise”.
  • ProductName from “Windows 7 HomePremium” to “Enterprise”.

After doing this and running the Windows 7 installer, the upgrade process worked fine first time.

Despite the installation issues I find Windows 7 to be a huge leap forward for Microsoft operating systems. Remarkably stable, responsive, and with a pleasing user interface. My Lenovo T60 used to blue screen intermittently but this has stopped happening since installing Windows 7.

29 thoughts on “Upgrading Windows 7 Home Premium to Enterprise”

  1. Thanks a lot for this useful tip. It worked flawlessly and I was able to upgrade from my HomePremium installation to the Enterprise edition.

  2. Thanks!
    Windows 7 enterprise is offered by my uniersity, but didn’t install until now because I wanted to avoid a clean install. Now I changed my Home Premium to enterprise successfully!

  3. Since I was having the same problem, I followed the steps set out here to upgrade to Ultimate and it certainly worked first time. Absolutely great! Thank you greatly I just wish there were more of these tips on the web for those of us who are novice and sometimes dont know what to do at all.

  4. I just tried the mods to the registry on my Asus installed version of 7 Home Premium and then initiated the setup routine on an Enterprise (7 Pro) 64 bit install disk and it rejected the setup, the installer recognized that installed version is HomePremium. Did I miss a step? I am not sure what you meant about the activation wizard and activation code part.

  5. I’m in the same situation as Bob above me. Complained that I was trying to upgrade to an older version of Windows than I already had. After changing the keys, I ran the setup on the Windows 7 Enterprise (64 bit) and that is where it complained. Is that what I was supposed to do – or perhaps this is a 64 bit issue?
    Also, I noticed that this post is from last year, perhaps an update since then has broken this method?

      1. Thank you for the tip. I just did this recently when I did an upgrade of Home Premium x64 SP1 preinstalled. I had to get the ISO of Win 7 Enterprise with SP1 from Technet.

    1. The reason you’re getting this problem is that you have a service pack installed. If you uninstall the service pack first from add/remove programs, then try again it will work, and then you reinstall the latest service pack after the upgrade.

      In case anyone is curious, this is an identical problem for upgrading Windows 2003 Standard to Enterprise or Datacenter – if you have any service packs installed it won’t let you upgrade and instead tells you that you can’t upgrade to an older version. I successfully upgraded a 2003 Standard to Enterprise yesterday just by uninstalling the service pack first.

      1. This isn’t possible if SP1 came with the computer, it seems. Is there any way to set the registry values to make it look like it doesn’t have SP1?

  6. I’ve been trying to find a way to avoid a clean install for a while, and this appeared hopeful. But on running the installer after changing the registry it still denied me saying I couldn’t upgrade to an older version. There are no service packs listed in the “View Installed Updates” menu in the control panel. Does anyone know what I can do? Thanks.

    1. Per this site:
      If you installed SP1 after your basic OS install, the SP can be uninstalled. If your media come with SP1 already on it, it cannot be uninstalled. I ran the command suggested in the article above, (wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:976932) and got the following message:
      “Service Pack for Microsoft Windows (KB976932) is required for your computer and cannot be uninstalled”
      So…SP1 came with the install media, so I can’t uninstall this Service Pack.

  7. Thanks man, it did really work… you have saved a lot of work for me.
    I didn’t have to reinstall the driver and application and move the data.
    Works just fine with me

  8. Hi,

    So i tried to modify the register key Under ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersion modify the following keys:

    EditionID from “HomePremium” to “Enterprise”.
    ProductName from “Windows 7 HomePremium” to “Enterprise”.

    but it just pops up an error saying that “Cannot edit EditionID: Error writing the values’s new contents”

    has this got to do with service pack1?

  9. Thanks for your suggestion. The Home premium 64 bit sp1 update to Enterprise 64 bit sp1 works like a charm.

  10. Have inherited netbook with Win 7 enterprise previously used in school environment within a controlled Domain.

    Can it be used freely at home ???

  11. In case anyone was still in trouble with their upgrade, I found a rather useful solution.

    Say you have a Windows 7 install/ upgrade disc, either burned from an iso or provided by an institution. If you’re like me I tried to use a windows 7 enterprise disc to upgrade from Home premium, but it wanted me to do a clean install; not an option.

    Here’s what you do.

    Insert that disc into a computer but don’t run setup or autorun. Instead examine the disc in explorer. Open up the sources folder and locate the ‘product’ configuration setting file. Open this up and there should be a list of product keys for whichever version of windows 7. Copy down the key you need and just go do a windows anytime upgrade. This key should work for an upgrade.

  12. Thanks so much for this tip. Worked great as well fro upgrading Home Premium to Ultimate just make these changes.

    EditionID from “HomePremium” to “UltimateEdition”.
    ProductName from “Windows 7 HomePremium” to “Windows 7 Ultimate Edition”.

    Worked great without any issues and I was able to install and use Virtual PC 2007 to help me working on getting my Certs updated for Windows 2008 before they are no longer available this summer.

  13. Rod’s comment above was a lifesaver! I needed to run a Virtual PC with XP Mode on my desktop PC (to use some ancient software required for one of my university classes), which came with Windows 7 Home Edition. The school provides a Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade, but it would not upgrade from Home Edition without doing a clean install, as discussed above. The service pack came installed on my machine, so I was not able to remove it.

    I located the product configuration information per Rod’s instructions and followed the Anytime Upgrade procedure. The Enterprise codes (there were several different ones) did not work, but the product key for Ultimate did, which was enough to allow me to download and install the Virtual PC.

    Just wanted to say thanks! 🙂

  14. Hi there,

    I can’t say how many times this has helped me upgrade windows PC to enterprise in our work environment. Just to let you know this also work for windows 8 to windows 8 Enterprise upgrade 🙂

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