In this video I start out with a virtual Windows Vista PC and upgraded it to Windows 11 via Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

With Windows 11 being 64bit only and wanting to do only in place upgrades this meant I had to start out with a 64bit OS. Microsoft released a 64bit version of Windows XP but that wasn’t upgradable, so I had to start with Windows Vista (x64).

Windows Vista

Starting with Windows Vista
Windows 7

Upgraded to Windows 7
From Windows 7 to Windows 8

From Windows 7 to Windows 8
Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1
Window 10 with Windows 11 upgrade blocked

Window 10 with Windows 11 upgrade blocked
Windows Vista to Windows 11 upgrades completed

Windows Vista to Windows 11 upgrades completed

Then it was a case of install Vista SP1 and then an upgrade to Windows 8, Windows 8.1 followed by Windows 10. For virtualisation I am using Microsoft Hyper-V and Vista only works on Generation 1 virtual machines whereas Windows 11 only works with Generation 2 machines.

There is no upgrade path from Gen 1 to Gen 2 so converted the disk layout to GPT using the command:

mbr2gpt.exe /convert /allowFullOS

Converting to GPT mbr2gpt.exe

Converting to GPT mbr2gpt.exe

Then I created a new Gen 2 virtual machine and mounted the existing hard drive, once I enabled TPM 2.0 and secure boot I installed Windows 11.

So, there you go, Windows Vista to Windows 11 with in place upgrade and no loss of any files or performing a clean install. This was all just for the sake of doing it rather than a real-world example, but it shows it is possible!

1 thought on “Upgrading Windows Vista to Windows 11 via Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10

  1. This is pretty amazing and brings back memories! Despite what people said, I never had a problem with Vista even back when I was testing the RCs at the time. I’m pretty sure my current Win11 Insider PC that I’ve had for over 15 years (with hardware upgrades, drive clones to SSD, ofc), was done this *exact* way – though mine started with Win98 to XP, upgraded to Vista64, and then only upwards and onwards 😀

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