Now you might be thinking to yourself, just install the Windows 8 Enterprise media and just select the Upgrade option and you should be done. Well normally you would be right except for 1 small problem…
You can’t upgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8 Enterprise.
Don’t believe me? Well then check out Wikipedia for yourself
So now what are you gonna do?
Here’s the steps how we’re going to do it:
- Step 1 – Downgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional
- Step 2 – Upgrade from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 8 Enterprise
- Step 3 – Activating Windows 8 Enterprise
- Step 4 – Cleanup Windows 8 Setup Files
Step 1 – Downgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional
1. Open the Registry Editor and navigate to
2. Double click EditionID, in the Edit String dialog box, in the Value data box, delete Ultimate and type Professional and click OK.
3. Double click ProductID, in the Edit String dialog box, in the Value data box, delete Ultimate and type Professional and click OK.
4. Close the Registry Editor.
5. From Windows Explorer, right click Computer and click Properties.
This will display System properties.
6. Insert your media that is storing Windows 7 Professional with Service Pack 1 and start Setup.exe
7. From the Install Windows dialog box, click Install now.
8. Select Do not get the latest updates for installation.
9. Select I accept the license terms check box and click Next.
10. Select Upgrade.
11. The Compatibility check runs.
12. At the Compatibility Report, review the information and click Next.
You may see items displayed in the information list, but since you already have Windows 7 Ultimate installed there should be no problem to continue.
13. The Upgrading Windows (actually Downgrading Windows) process starts.
The process will be exactly as if you were installing Windows 7, meaning that the computer will be restarted a couple of times.
14. After the installation process has completed and you have logged in with your credentials, you may receive the following message:
The Setup will repair .NET Framework 4.0 automatically. You must wait until the process has completed and you receive the following dialog box.
15. Click Restart now.
16. Login with your credentials and navigate to the Control Panel and double click System.
The Windows edition should display Windows 7 Professional
Step 1 is complete!
Step 2 – Upgrade from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 8 Enterprise
1. Insert your media that is storing Windows 8 Enterprise and start Setup.exe
2. From the Install Windows dialog box, click Install now.
2. Select Go online to install updates now.
3. Select I accept the license terms check box and click Next.
4. Select Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings, and applications.
5. The Compatibility check runs.
6. At the Compatibility Report, review the information.
Here is the entire list of items for my computer.
Notice that the list is divided into Errors and Warnings
You cannot proceed with the upgrade, if you have any items listed under Errors
The dialog box displays Close and not Next because the applications in the error list must be removed first, before being allowed to continue.
7. On the Compatibility Report, click Close.
8. Navigate to the Control Panel, double click Programs and Features and uninstall the applications listed in the Compatibility Report.
9. Rerun 1-6 again.
10. On the Compatibility Report, click Next.
11. The Upgrading Windows process starts.
The installation process will restart your computer a couple of times.
12. After the installation process has completed, login with your credentials and the Start page is displayed.
13. Press the Windows key and X and select System.
14. As you already know, you have upgraded to Windows 8 Enterprise
15. Close the System console.
Step 2 is complete!
Step 3 – Activating Windows 8 Enterprise
1. From the Start page, press the Windows key and C
This will display the Charms pane.
2. Click Settings.
3. At the bottom of the Charms pane, click Change PC settings.
4.On the PC settings page, under Activate Windows, notice that you have a message that you can’t activate now.
So what gives?
You can also see this problem on Windows Activation
When you attempt to activate you receive the following error message:
Well this is because we just installed Windows 8 Enterprise and this SKU defaults using a corporate Volume License activation process by using Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT). More information on this tool and process can be found at:
To make a long technical story short, essentially your computer is attempting to find the DNS server with the appropriate Active Directory/DNS records in order to automatically activate with VAMT. Anyway, that doesn’t solve your activation problem now does it?
But the good new is if you downloaded the SKU from MSDN or TechNet the Product Key you claimed is really a "Multiple Activation Key" (MAK) for activating Windows 8 Enterprise. MAKs are alternatives to corporate Volume License Keys (VLK).
5. Press the Windows key and X and select Command Prompt (Admin).
6. From the Command Prompt, type the following command:
slmgr -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
Obviously replacing with your MAK
You should receive the following message:
7. Then type the following command:
You should receive the following message:
8. Close the Command Prompt.
Step 3 is complete!
Step 4 – Cleanup Windows 8 Setup Files
1. Open Windows Explorer, right click C Drive and click Properties.
2. In the Properties dialog box, click Disk Cleanup.
3. In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, click Clean up system files.
4. Select all the check boxes and click OK.
Notice the size of Previous Windows installation (17.1 GB)
5. Select Delete Files.
This may take a few minutes to complete