Windows 7 Upgrade Hell: Some Vista Users Face 'Endless Reboots'

"Digital River and Microsoft are investigating reports of this issue," he added. "This appears to be a series of isolated issues that are often related to the user's Internet provider or installed third-party software."

Students, who have faced other problems with their downloaded Windows 7 upgrades, were told by Microsoft to seek help from Digital River through a special request-help page.

One user pointed others to a document published last July on Microsoft's support site. The document outlined the endless reboot problem. "When attempting to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 the upgrade attempt may fail with 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'," the support document stated. "However, the next reboot of the machine will launch the upgrade process again only to fail with the same message."

The document included steps users could take to try to regain control of their crippled computers.

This is not the first time that a Windows upgrade has crippled computers with endless reboots. In February 2008, updates meant to prepare PCs for the release of Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1)brought machines to their knees with reboot after reboot. In May 2008, theupgrade to Windows XP SP3 did the same. Microsoft blamed computer makers for the XP snafu.

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