Linked by David Adams on Thu 3rd Mar 2011 04:08 UTC
Windows If you had asked me, I would have guessed that this wouldn't be possible. One intrepid OS explorer has made a video wherein he not only installs every version of Windows since 1985's Windows 1.0, but proceeds to upgrade from one to another. The video, titled Chain of Fools: an Exploration of Windows upgrade procedures, shows how DOS and Windows are installed in a VMWare VM, and how a couple of DOS games were installed to see how newer versions of Windows handle backward compatibility. Similarly, various customizations were made to the Windows preferences to see how they survived the upgrades. Video embedded after the break.
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benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

A fun video, thanks for posting it.

I don't think one can really draw any conclusions from it regarding applications compatibility and display settings. After all, due to hardware incompatibilities and the system requirements of different Windows versions, the upgrade sequence shown here could not really occur in real life. It could only be implemented using a virtual machine environment -- which didn't become widely available until several years ago.

Reply Score: 2

bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Actually, it could occur in real life.

The 9x and older lines were tolerant of hardware changes, unlike the NT line.

So, this is actually a plausible scenario...

Buy a Deskpro 386, install Windows 1.0 on it.

Install Windows 2.0 or 2.1/386 on it.

Install Windows 3.0 on it.

Install Windows 3.1 on it.

Decide it's getting a bit long in the tooth, get a loaded Pentium box, XCOPY the entire hard drive over.

Install Windows 95 on it.

Install Windows 98 on it.

You know, a Pentium II would be nice... XCOPY is your friend again.

Install Windows 2000 on it.

Install Windows XP on it.

Damn, that's slow. Stick a 1.4 Tualatin Celeron on a Slocket.

Now, this is getting into the absurd, but it's still plausible...

Install Vista. (If your P2 system was sufficiently beefy to begin with, you can even upgrade it to the point where it's "Vista Premium Ready".)

Install Win7.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

It wasn't too difficult to move a Win2k from one system to another.

I started with Win2k on a Pentium 200MHz MMX, moved the drive to a dual celeron system I was borrowing, and when upgraded to an Athlon 750Mhz of my own, moved the drive again, all without reinstalling.

The secret is erasing HKLM/System/CurrentControlSet/Enum from the registry before you move the drive. Do that, Win2k re-detects all hardware at boot, and has no memory of missing hardware.

Reply Parent Score: 2