Troubleshooting Windows Anytime Upgrade in Windows 7

Windows Anytime Upgrade is a method provided in Windows 7 & Vista, for upgrading from one Windows edition to a higher edition. While the WAU procedure in Windows Vista involved a setup.exe, the process in Windows 7 is different, as it uses the Windows servicing infrastructure to perform the process. Driver, data and application migration issues are completely bypassed.

Windows Anytime Upgrade

If you want to upgrade Vista to Windows 7, Windows Anytime Upgrade will really make your job easy! To do a WAU, you need to open the Windows AnyTime Upgrade module via the Control Panel and enter the  new key and finally re-activate Windows.

Windows 7 will automatically upgrade to a higher edition provided it is a valid Upgrade Path.

All the files & components required for upgrading to an higher edition of Windows 7 are already installed on the computer when you install Windows 7, and are located in the Windows\Winsxs & Windows\servicing\packages folders.

Now in a rare eventuality your Windows Anytime Upgrade may not go through smoothly and you may receive the following error message/s:

Windows Anytime Upgrade was not successful

The upgrade was not successful. Please try the upgrade again

Here are a few troubleshooting steps you may want to try:

1. Restart the computer to complete pending operations, if any.

2. See the following log files. the log entries may give you any idea why the WAU failed.

%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Anytime Upgrade\upgrade.log

%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Anytime Upgrade\upgrade_dism.log

%systemroot%\Logs\CBS\CBS.log file

%systemroot%\Logs\CBS\CBS.persist.log file

3. Run Chkdsk and see if it helps.

4. Run Memory Diagnostics to check for issues with the system hardware. Type Memory in start search and hit Enter to open Open Memory Diagnostics Tool. Click Restart Now and Check Problems. Your computer will restart  & the diagnostic program will start. Please note any reported errors.

4. Run CheckSUR to resolve problems with the component store.

5. If your key is invalid and you need to change the keys you may have to open regedit and deleting the ProductKey value in the following registry key first:


6. This problem can also occur if Windows 7 SP1 (KB976932) has been downloaded by Windows Update but has not been installed yet. In such a case, to resolve this issue, you may want to follow the steps mentioned in KB2660811.

Hope something helps.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.