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Windows 7: STILL confused about "Upgrade" installation process.

12 Sep 2009   #31

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Halp's question is entirely sensible - there has always been a way up till now.

There may still be - that response is a month old - and answers the question "How to activate XP second time round"

I have seen no definitive answer to Halp's query - and Nosmo indicates he has drawn a blank when asking similar.

Doesn't matter to those in Europe who did the pre order deal - they get the full version.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2009   #32


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Halp's question is entirely sensible - there has always been a way up till now.
Indeed. Every forum I've asked this question on has told me, "What do you expect? It's an UPGRADE version!"

People seem to forget (or perhaps I'm showing my age) that every single version of Windows prior to 7 allowed you to install your Upgrade edition on a blank hard drive one way or another.

While it's unfortunate that there's no clear answer, I still appreciate the help from those of you who contributed to this thread in a relevant manner.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2009   #33

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

It's good to have this thread going - a lot will want the answer - when we get it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Sep 2009   #34

Vista Ult64, Win7600

While it's unfortunate that there's a clear answer, I still appreciate the input from those of you who contributed to this thread in a relevant manner, and accept that things change, and that things may not be the same today as they were yesterday,
and admit that they may be wrong .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2009   #35


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Nosmo View Post
With the upgrade media, your $49.95 version, you have to run setup and install from
within an activated legal copy of Vista or XP. You must click custom install if your OS is WinXP. If Vista, you can upgrade. Once you click custom install, you can re partition, format etc. and then install Win 7.

You are no longer allowed to put in an old disk for validation. That will NOT work.
Also the work around from Vista will not work as the requirement is that the
OS you are currently using MUST BE ACTIVATED. This is a change from Vista days.

What is still up in the air is how to re install after a hard drive failure.

The single item listed in your specs is the RC build 7100. YOU ARE ALLOWED, says Microsoft, to install the "upgrade" version of Windows 7 using your activated RC 7100 as the OS you are upgrading from. That saves your XP and Vista.

There has been some discussion on what to do after the RC expires and can no longer be "activated". This thread was created to provide one way to preserve your use of the Retail 7 upgrade should your hard drive crash:

BOTTOM LINE: You will be able to insert the retail 7 DVD, when it arrives, while logged in to your RC version of 7 and install the Home Premium version of 7.

You will want to use the easy transfer wizard to save your user profiles. You will need to reinstall any programs you wish to add to Windows 7. You can then transfer the profiles (you will not be required to create the profiles first) to your new Retail Home Premium 7.

I will be doing this exact install also.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2009   #36


Thanks for the lengthy post iseeuu, but these are things I already know. I'm not worried about upgrading from RC, nor is "saving" XP/Vista of any consequence to me.

My situation is such that I'm often changing hard drives, and running DBAN to rid sensitive data. I would simply like to be able to install my "Upgrade" DVD onto a system with a blank hard drive present. I don't feel as though I should be required to go back and install XP/Vista, or a 7100 disk image, simply to install Windows 7 immediately afterward. This mandatory redundancy was not present in previous versions, and hopefully it hasn't manifested itself in 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2009   #37
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by halp View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
It figures that they want to make sure that you are eligable for an upgrade and have paid your dues for a prior OS.
Right. I have the full versions of both XP and Vista, with legitimate serial numbers. It's just insane that they expect me to go back and install Vista before installing W7 every time I get a new hard drive or run DBAN.
As I understand it you need not install the old OS - just have the installation disk handy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2009   #38

Windows 98SE, Windows XP Home & Pro; OpenSuse 10.3/11, Windows 7 RC and verious linuxes in VBox
Microssofts official answers - sort of ...

Just some comments and a couple of Microsoft published links on their website that "sort of" answers the question for clean Hard drive installs with upgrade media.

According to my understanding of the link below, reinstalls and custom installs should be able to be started by booting from the DVD, and though the statement is not absolute (can we say ambiguous), the last section appears to include blank hard drives. (And, there is no mention of having to run upgrade install only from an activated version of Windows.)

Installing and reinstalling Windows

"-Installing a custom version of Windows. Choose Custom to completely replace your current operating system, or to install Windows on a specific drive or partition that you select. You can also use Custom if your computer does not have an operating system, or if you want to set up a multiboot system on your computer. For more information about setting up a multiboot system, see Install more than one operating system (multiboot)

"-Reinstalling Windows 7. Choose this option if you want to restore default Windows settings or if you are having trouble with Windows and need to reinstall it by performing a custom installation."

Later on page:

"Here's how to reinstall Windows using the original installation disc:

1. Turn on your computer and insert the Windows 7 DVD or CD.
2. On the Install Windows page, follow any instructions that might appear, and then click Install now.
3. On the Get important updates for installation page, we recommend getting the latest updates to help ensure a successful installation and to help protect your computer against security threats. You need an Internet connection to get installation updates.
4. On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept the license terms.
5. Follow the instructions on each page. On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.
6. On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, select the partition where you want to install Windows.
7. Click Next to begin the installation.
8. Follow the instructions to finish installing Windows 7."

Of coarse, I'll believe it when I've actually had a chance to try it myself and/or get an actual report from a reliable technical person who has actually tested with upgrade media.

I find it amazing that Windows 7 is in RTM and yet there appears to be no one with a copy of the upgrade media. I have to assume that like prior versions of Windows the full and upgrade media is actually the same and the difference is the serial numbers.

And, I hope that many good class action lawyers have already culled the published page above, and the many misleading and outright incorrect statements made by MVPs in MS's official forums over the last 6-9 month's. There are just too many that contradict the link above.

As to what qualify's as an upgrade (license wise) see:

Windows 7 - Buy and download from Microsoft Store

It has stated since at least the start of the June to July 10th pre-order sale that Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista qualify for upgrade. It states no version restrictions. So, any version of Vista should qualify as upgrade to any version of Windows 7, not same version or better as other posters have stated.

From above page:

"Currently running Windows Vista
Customers with Windows Vista can purchase Windows 7 Upgrade versions. You can do a clean install (back up your files, clean install, and then reinstall your applications) or an in-place upgrade (Windows 7 installs over Windows Vista)."

Frankly I could read that statement to promise an in-place upgrade from Vista Home Basic 32 bit to any version of Windows 7 32 or 64 bit. (But, I'll let the lawyers work out if that is what is promised.) And, I understand that most upgrade installs will actually be "custom" rather than in-place.

The 64 bit FAQ is more specific on the custom install issue.

32-bit and 64-bit Windows: frequently asked questions

There is also a chart first published here:

Deciphering Windows 7 Upgrades: The Official Chart | Walt Mossberg | Mossblog | AllThingsD

That chart appears to give an accurate run down of what can be in-place upgraded and what must be "custom" upgrade. But, I personally find a few flaws in the "official-ness" of the chart.

First the MS source is not stated, second the footnote states that Windows 2000 does not qualify as an upgrade (in conflict with MS store statement above).

Third, I can think of no technical reason that Vista Home (Basic or Premium) cannot be in-place upgraded to Windows 7 Business, but can be in-place upgraded to Ultimate. But, since the article does not identify the MS "source", I have to consider it still an unofficial chart. Besides, if official, why is it not on the Windows 7 pages?

Finally, the best one for the lawyers is here:

Can my PC run Windows 7?

Quote at bottom is what I love:

"While we don't recommend it, you can opt to upgrade your current PC from Windows XP or another operating system to Windows 7. We recommend that you get help with this process from your local computer service provider. You'll need to back up your current files and settings, perform a custom (clean) installation, and then reinstall your files, settings, and programs."

That statement has been up since at least early July. Guess that qualifies any OS as an upgrade path to Windows 7.

Now where did I put my copy of Caldera Linux, BeOS and Windows 3.1? (Again, we'll let the lawyers have a field day with that statement.)

Hope this sheds some light on the official Microsoft answers regarding upgrade media installation procedures. It certainly shows that there are conflicting statements. Microsoft could have a major class action lawsuit over not fully and accurately publishing clear answers to the questions raised in this and many other forums.

I personally intend keep my pre-order sale upgrades. And, make Microsoft stand behind their published web pages on qualifying upgrades and installation/re-installation of those upgrades.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2009   #39

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro

Thanks for such an informative post. You have provided more information in this single post than in all the others put together... +rep

And Welcome to Seven Forums!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2009   #40
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1


yes, well done timsart!

excellent first post!

welcome to sevenforums - it looks like you will be a worthy member.

(i'm so happy my discounted pre-ordered disc will be the full version )
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 STILL confused about "Upgrade" installation process.

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