Endless Reboot Vista To Windows 7 Upgrade Problems

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 26, 2009
Updated • Mar 2, 2011
Windows, Windows 7, Windows Vista

Reports about upgrade problems from Windows Vista to Windows 7 began to appear on Friday on several forums and support websites. Users who experienced these difficulties mentioned an endless reboot cycle after a failed Windows Vista to Windows 7 upgrade. The users received the message "“This version of Windows could not be installed, Your previous version of Windows has been restored, and you can continue to use it" during the upgrade process. The next reboot of the system however launched the upgrade again and not the Windows Vista operating system. A Microsoft Knowledgebase entry gives further details and a fix for the endless reboot issue (but not the failed upgrade).

Windows Vista will have been restored on the computer but the Boot Configuration Database (BCD) store has not edited to restore Windows Vista as the default booting operating system.

The computer will continue to boot to the Windows 7 Setup and then fail until the BCD database has been restored to its previous state.

To resolve these issues, select Windows Vista instead of the default Windows 7 setup when you see the boot entry menu and then follow the steps listed below.

1. Insert the Windows Vista Media into the drive and exit the Windows Vista Setup when its launched

2. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then right-click the Command Prompt icon, and then click Run as Administrator.

3. Type the following command at a command prompt and press ENTER

Drive:\boot\Bootsect.exe /NT60 All
Note: In this command, Drive is the drive where the Windows Vista installation media is located.

4. Restart your computer

This will simply make Windows Vista the default booting operating system. The Windows 7 upgrade issue itself is currently under investigation by Microsoft. An alternative would be to perform a clean install (see Clean Install Windows 7 With Windows 7 Upgrades) and use the Windows Easy Transfer tool to transfer user settings and files to the new operating system. (Thanks Dante for sending in the news)


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  1. Al said on January 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Hi guys, I installed my windows 7 update and now I cannot watch videos from certains sites that I previously could watch. All the picture is, is a flashing page where I can see a split second of the video picture then it flashes off on off on.
    I hate the new look of windows 7 and would like to uninstall but have no windows.old folder so I cannot follow the instructions I have read for uninstalling.
    So is there anyway I can now watch videos I previously did? I can’t even upload a picture to tinypic.com and see the http that is assigned to the pic without it flicking on off on off.
    I’d be grateful for any help. Thanks.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      You may want to try a different web browser for starters, which could resolve the issue. Try Firefox or Google Chrome for instance.

      1. Al said on January 2, 2012 at 11:11 pm

        You are a complete star Martin. Firefox works for me. :)
        Thank you.

  2. vaidas said on March 11, 2011 at 1:29 am

    I’ve had a somewhat similar problem with upgrading: The setup would run for about 3-4 hours, and then the monitor went black. I would wait for another hour, then the only alternative I had was to power off. Upon powering up, the computer would take about a half hour to revert to Vista.
    Eventually I got tire of this cycle, so I took it to the Geeks. Two days later I got it back, They said it was NO PROBLEM upgrading!? So I plugged it all together, and powered up. It booted up, I eventually got the W7 background on the monitor, and nothing else! There was nothing to click on. Somehow by accident I did right click, and sure enough some screen options came up.
    Now I finally was able to figure out the problem. I had connected my HDTV via an HDMI cable to the second monitor output, so that I could occasionally display the computer on the TV. Of course I had never turned on the CPU as the source on the TV. I had NOT disconnected when I was attempting the upgrade.
    Apparently during the upgrade, the display setting got changed so that the TV port became the primary. And I never saw it.
    After reconfiguring the display settings, all is fine now.
    I hope this helps someone, sometime, to save a few days of his life.

  3. Fredd said on January 27, 2010 at 5:29 am

    hey guys i just got my win 7 home premium upgrade media and i tried to do a clean install its giving the following error (windows cannot install required files. Make sure all files required for installation are available and restart the installation and i recovered vista back and tried to upgrade but its getting freezed i have ujj 880as i dont know what to do. can anyone please help me out here?

    Thnks guys

  4. Jason Steele said on November 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Once again, and as usual, software to the market that has no business being in the market. This from an industry that uses, patches, as an everyday tool; similar to using duct tape to make something work. Except,duct tape actually works! Thanks again nerds!

  5. DopeyJoe said on October 28, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    So … in the Microsoft world, an “upgrade” isn’t really an “upgrade.” It’s better to backup your data, wipe the hard drive, and resinstall everything from scratch??

    Fuck that.

    My Mac Mini was upgraded from Tiger to Leopard to Snow Leopard by simply popping in the DVD, and clikcing “Upgrade”.

    1. Anonymous said on December 26, 2009 at 10:45 pm

      Mac upgrades are a piece of cake compared to the Windows mess. If I didn’t have so much invested I would dump this PC in a heartbeat!

    2. Jason Steele said on November 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm

      This commercial brought to you by an Apple geek!

  6. Jim Carter said on October 27, 2009 at 12:18 am

    I just returned from a computer show which featured two representatives from Microsoft. When I posed a question regarding upgrade paths in relation to Windows 7, the rep indicated that a clean install was the best way to go. While that’s always been our shop policy, I never expected to hear the same from a Microsoft rep. He indicated that in his personal upgrade experience to “7”, that there were failures–hence his statement about clean installs. Don’t create more work for yourself. Perform regular backups, keep your installation disks/files/serial numbers/passwords. With these things in place, you’re ready to do a clean install of any OS.

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