Installation Problem:

|| Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Function name must be a string in /var/www/html/magento/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Layout.php:555

$out .= $this->getBlock($callback[0])->$callback[1]();

to

$out .= $this->getBlock($callback[0])->{$callback[1]}();

|| Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded in magento installation.

/* solve */
go to xampp/php/php.ini and search by 

max_execution_time=30  replace to 600
max_input_time=60      replace to 600
memory_limit=128M      replace to 1000m

|| PHP extension soap must be loaded

I edited php.ini and removed the leading semicolon ( ; ) from extension=php_soap.dll.
After restarting Apache I was able to proceed with the installation without any other issues.
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Upgrade magento from 1.7 to latest 1.9.2.4

1st way to upgrade :

Use the Magento Connect method:
Within each Magento installation, you can easily upgrade Magento via Magento Connect. The steps to upgrade via Magento Connect include:

  • Login to the Magento admin
  • Move to system- Magento Connect- Connect manager
  • Login to Magento Connect
  • Click on ‘check for upgrades’
  • Upgrade ‘Mage _All_Latest’. This will upgrade Magento.

2nd way to upgrade:

  1. Take a backup of current database and current 1.7 code. place maintenance.flag file inside 1.7 code folder to put website offline.
  2. Download latest magento from the http://www.magentocommerce.com/download
  3. Remove all folders and files from your 1.7 code except maintenance.flag (but you should have backup somewhere) and place all folders and files from the 1.9.
  4. Now from your 1.7 merge your following custom folders into the 1.9
    • Community app/code/community
    • Local app/code/local
    • Media
    • your theme or package (app/design/frontend/default/<your theme> or app/design/frontend/<your package>)
    • custom folders from Skin (both for adminhtml and frontend).
    • copy your custom xml files from app/etc/modules/ to current app/etc/modules/
    • any custom admin theme folder from adminhtml/default/yourtheme.
    • copy your custom folders from adminhtml/default/default/ (1.7) to adminhtml/default/default/ (1.9).
    • custom js files if any from app/js/.
  5. Now go to app/etc/local.xml.Edit database details their.put your database username and password and database name.
  6. Remove maintenance.flag file and check the site in the browser. it is done.