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Help upgrading WinXP Home user to WinXP Pro

I need to upgrade some Windows XP Home users to XP Pro, as they will be installing an SBS2003 server, but I don't want to have to reload all of the application software and data. Is there another way? All users will continue to use the same PC.

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Most of the time you can upgrade from XP Home to XP Pro by simply putting in the install CD and telling the installer to upgrade the existing installation. This will preserve the applications and user data. On the whole, though, it's always best to back up user data, make a clean install, and restart fresh -- if you do an in-place upgrade, any existing problems you have with your XP installation will only be carried over or exacerbated. I wouldn't attempt something like this without a backup anyway.

This was first published in May 2006

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