Q. How do I upgrade the Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 OS SKU in a VHD to a higher version?

A. If you've used the method discussed in the previous FAQ on a mounted VHD and ascertained that it can be set to a higher version, use the /set-edition:<edition> switch to upgrade the VHD to a higher version of the OS. In the example below, I change from Home Basic to Ultimate.

D:\Documents\Scripts>dism /image:w:\ /get-targeteditions

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.1.7600.16385

Image Version: 6.1.7600.16385

Editions that can be upgraded to:

Target Edition : Ultimate
Target Edition : Professional

The operation completed successfully.

D:\Documents\Scripts>dism /image:w:\ /set-edition:Ultimate

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.1.7600.16385

Image Version: 6.1.7600.16385

Pended operations ignored. When this image is next booted, these operations will
be processed.
Starting to update components...
Removing package Microsoft-Windows-ProfessionalEdition~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6
.1.7600.16385
\\[=====================

100.0%
=====================\\]
Finished updating components.

Starting to apply edition-specific settings...
Finished applying edition-specific settings.

The operation completed successfully.

D:\Documents\Scripts>dism /image:w:\ /get-currentedition

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.1.7600.16385

Image Version: 6.1.7600.16385

Current edition is:

Current Edition : Ultimate

The operation completed successfully.

You can't downgrade to a lower version—for example, you can't go from Ultimate down to Home Premium. Note that if you upgrade a Server OS, you also need to pass the new SKU product key using the /ProductKey:<new key> switch.

If you want to pass an unattended answer file into your image, just use the /Apply-Unattend:<unattend.xml name and location> switch.

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