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Windows 7: Doing a Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

22 Oct 2009   #61

windows7 RC
 
 

Looks like the x64 clean install from upgrade disc worked this time and accepted my product key during setup (when I had the x32 unactivated install on the HD first). Like I mentioned before I did delete the x32 partitions during the install and installed the x64 to the unallocated space. Therefore it seems that for the upgrade to do a clean install and accept your upgrade key you might have to have some form of windows install on a partition already (even if you just delete the partition 5 minutes later in the setup). I will confirm this by performing 2 more tests:

1.) Rebuild the RAID array (which removes any partitions prior to booting from install disc) and then try to install x32 version. I'm expecting this to not accept my product key

2.) Same as above but using x64 version. This is what failed for me the first time and prompted me to start this investigation

-Dan


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Oct 2009   #62

windows7 RC
 
 

Ok final post for the night. Both the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade with a clean install DID NOT accept my upgrade product key when I rebuilt my RAID array first (aka removed all partition prior to booting off the windows7 DVDs). This tells us that to do a clean install you have to have some previous version of windows already installed on your PC somewhere (perhaps any drive or any partition). The fact that you can erase these partitions and install to the drive's bare unallocated space once in setup must mean that some flag is triggered during the initial loading of setup that detects the windows version somewhere. One key item to note: It seems like this works even with an unactivated copy of windows 7 installed on a partition.

Summary of what I tested tonight using my MS Store pre-ordered Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade version downloaded today:

1.) Installing Windows 7 64-bit Upgrade as a Clean install on a completely blank hard drive prior to install -> Does not accept upgrade product key during setup and will not activate after installation completes

2.) Installing Windows 7 32-bit Upgrade as a Clean install, but having the 64-bit unactivated Windows 7 on the HD from #1 above prior to setup starting (Clean install meant I deleted all existing partitions during setup and installed to non-allocated space) -> WORKS AND DOES ACCEPT PRODUCT KEY DURING SETUP

3.) Installing Windows 7 64-bit Upgrade as a Clean install, but having the 32-bit unactivated Windows 7 on the HD from #2 above prior to setup starting (Clean install meant I deleted all existing partitions during setup and installed to non-allocated space) -> WORKS AND DOES ACCEPT PRODUCT KEY DURING SETUP

4.) Removing partitions from #3 above and Installing Windows 7 32-bit Upgrade as a Clean install on a completely blank hard drive prior to install -> Does not accept upgrade product key during setup and will not activate after installation completes

5.) Removed all partitions and verified #1 again -> DOES NOT WORK

Bottom Line:

A.) If you have a previous windows installation on a drive somewhere in your system and you want to do a clean install from your upgrade disc you should have no problem, as long as that partition is still intact during setup. You can even delete this partition during setup and create a blank hard drive to install to and do a completely clean 1 time installation. This will work with your Windows 7 Home Premium 32/64 Upgrade DVD and upgrade key.

B.) If you have a COMPLETELY BLANK HARD DRIVE prior to install (no previous partitions at all with windows on them), your Windows 7 Home Premium 32/64 Upgrade DVD and upgrade key WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED during setup, and also will not activate later once in windows after installation completes (ex: you leave the product key blank during setup so that setup can complete)

--> The workaround to situation B is to just run the Windows 7 clean installation a second time. The first time you just simply leave the product key empty so that setup can complete. Once in windows after the first install, don't bother trying to activate. Then just reinstall again booting from the upgrade DVD media again. I know this is completely lame and is essentially a 2x installation, but at least you can still do a true Clean Install (no need to try an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 7 sillyness), and this time it will accept your upgrade key.

Hope that wasn't too confusing!! Feel free to ask questions if anything's not clear!

-Dan

UPDATE: Just wanted to update that online activation went thru just fine a few min ago for me following scenario B above where I did the 2nd clean install with my upgrade key after the first install without the upgrade key, screenshot attached =)


Attached Thumbnails
Doing a  Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version-win7_activated.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #63

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - Mac OS X 10.6.4 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by djjaeger82 View Post
Ok final post for the night. Both the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade with a clean install DID NOT accept my upgrade product key when I rebuilt my RAID array first (aka removed all partition prior to booting off the windows7 DVDs). This tells us that to do a clean install you have to have some previous version of windows already installed on your PC somewhere (perhaps any drive or any partition). The fact that you can erase these partitions and install to the drive's bare unallocated space once in setup must mean that some flag is triggered during the initial loading of setup that detects the windows version somewhere. One key item to note: It seems like this works even with an unactivated copy of windows 7 installed on a partition.

Summary of what I tested tonight using my MS Store pre-ordered Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade version downloaded today:

1.) Installing Windows 7 64-bit Upgrade as a Clean install on a completely blank hard drive prior to install -> Does not accept upgrade product key during setup and will not activate after installation completes

2.) Installing Windows 7 32-bit Upgrade as a Clean install, but having the 64-bit unactivated Windows 7 on the HD from #1 above prior to setup starting (Clean install meant I deleted all existing partitions during setup and installed to non-allocated space) -> WORKS AND DOES ACCEPT PRODUCT KEY DURING SETUP

3.) Installing Windows 7 64-bit Upgrade as a Clean install, but having the 32-bit unactivated Windows 7 on the HD from #2 above prior to setup starting (Clean install meant I deleted all existing partitions during setup and installed to non-allocated space) -> WORKS AND DOES ACCEPT PRODUCT KEY DURING SETUP

4.) Removing partitions from #3 above and Installing Windows 7 32-bit Upgrade as a Clean install on a completely blank hard drive prior to install -> Does not accept upgrade product key during setup and will not activate after installation completes

5.) Removed all partitions and verified #1 again -> DOES NOT WORK

Bottom Line:

A.) If you have a previous windows installation on a drive somewhere in your system and you want to do a clean install from your upgrade disc you should have no problem, as long as that partition is still intact during setup. You can even delete this partition during setup and have a completely blank hard drive and do a completely clean 1 time installation. This will work with your Windows 7 Home Premium 32/64 Upgrade DVD and upgrade key.

B.) If you have a COMPLETELY BLANK HARD DRIVE prior to install (no previous partitions at all with windows on them), your Windows 7 Home Premium 32/64 Upgrade DVD and upgrade key WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED during setup, and also will not activate later once in windows after installation completes (ex: you leave the product key blank during setup so that setup can complete)

--> The workaround to situation B is to just run the Windows 7 clean installation a second time. The first time you just simply leave the product key empty so that setup can complete. Once in windows after the first install, don't bother trying to activate. Then just reinstall again booting from the upgrade DVD media again. I know this is completely lame and is essentially a 2x installation, but at least you can still do a true Clean Install (no need to try an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 7 sillyness), and this time it will accept your upgrade key.

Hope that wasn't too confusing!! Feel free to ask questions if anything's not clear!

-Dan
Thanks for the verifications! Looks like the double 7 install that alot of us discussed around the MSDN release of 7 has finally come to fruition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


23 Oct 2009   #64
Microsoft MVP

 

DJ, MS foreclosed the possibility of doing the Vista "upgrade over upgrade" trick months ago. Yet some are reporting that is the only way they can clean install with Upgrade without getting an error message. They seem to think it is the only way, period.

THere are now dozens of reports on all the forums of people with Upgrade media getting clean installs to formatted, even zeroed, drives.

I booted from the installer and deleted/created/formatted my HDD ran the install with key upfront and it auto-activated as soon as I connected to the internet and clicked the activation link in Computer properties.

Tomorrow I am going to zero another drive and try it that way.
EDIT UPDATE: My Amazon Upgrade disk didn't arrive til 10/25 and I just tried installing from boot to a zeroed drive. After installation the activation link on Computer>Properties would NOT accept the key. So I did an Upgrade (repair) install over that installation and it accepted the key afterward this time. It must require some kind of traces on the HDD of previous activation of qualifying OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #65
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zidane24 View Post
Thanks for the verifications! Looks like the double 7 install that alot of us discussed around the MSDN release of 7 has finally come to fruition.
It's possible that It only works because the key being inputted with Upgrade medium is a full product key.

MS specifically announced 6 months ago that there would be no upgrade over upgrade as with Vista.

But increasing numbers are reporting this is the only way they can achieve a clean install from booting Upgrade disk without an error message.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #66

Windows 7 Retail
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zidane24 View Post
Thanks for the verifications! Looks like the double 7 install that alot of us discussed around the MSDN release of 7 has finally come to fruition.
It only works because the key being inputted with Upgrade medium is a full product key.

MS specifically announced 6 months ago that there would be no upgrade over upgrade as with Vista.
No its not. Its the upgrade key because windows itself told me I can't use this key for a full installation, only for upgrades. Only when I run setup again and choosing upgrade (the second time) could I enter the key and windows 7 accept it. Then it activated fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #67

XP_Pro, W7_7201, W7RC.vhd, SciLinux5.3, Fedora12, Fedora9_2x, OpenSolaris_09-06
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
It only works because the key being inputted with Upgrade medium is a full product key.
What is the source for this information ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #68

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (Technet)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by djjaeger82 View Post
Ok final post for the night. Both the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade with a clean install DID NOT accept my upgrade product key when I rebuilt my RAID array first (aka removed all partition prior to booting off the windows7 DVDs). This tells us that to do a clean install you have to have some previous version of windows already installed on your PC somewhere (perhaps any drive or any partition). The fact that you can erase these partitions and install to the drive's bare unallocated space once in setup must mean that some flag is triggered during the initial loading of setup that detects the windows version somewhere. One key item to note: It seems like this works even with an unactivated copy of windows 7 installed on a partition.

Summary of what I tested tonight using my MS Store pre-ordered Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade version downloaded today:

1.) Installing Windows 7 64-bit Upgrade as a Clean install on a completely blank hard drive prior to install -> Does not accept upgrade product key during setup and will not activate after installation completes

2.) Installing Windows 7 32-bit Upgrade as a Clean install, but having the 64-bit unactivated Windows 7 on the HD from #1 above prior to setup starting (Clean install meant I deleted all existing partitions during setup and installed to non-allocated space) -> WORKS AND DOES ACCEPT PRODUCT KEY DURING SETUP

3.) Installing Windows 7 64-bit Upgrade as a Clean install, but having the 32-bit unactivated Windows 7 on the HD from #2 above prior to setup starting (Clean install meant I deleted all existing partitions during setup and installed to non-allocated space) -> WORKS AND DOES ACCEPT PRODUCT KEY DURING SETUP

4.) Removing partitions from #3 above and Installing Windows 7 32-bit Upgrade as a Clean install on a completely blank hard drive prior to install -> Does not accept upgrade product key during setup and will not activate after installation completes

5.) Removed all partitions and verified #1 again -> DOES NOT WORK

Bottom Line:

A.) If you have a previous windows installation on a drive somewhere in your system and you want to do a clean install from your upgrade disc you should have no problem, as long as that partition is still intact during setup. You can even delete this partition during setup and have a completely blank hard drive and do a completely clean 1 time installation. This will work with your Windows 7 Home Premium 32/64 Upgrade DVD and upgrade key.

B.) If you have a COMPLETELY BLANK HARD DRIVE prior to install (no previous partitions at all with windows on them), your Windows 7 Home Premium 32/64 Upgrade DVD and upgrade key WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED during setup, and also will not activate later once in windows after installation completes (ex: you leave the product key blank during setup so that setup can complete)

--> The workaround to situation B is to just run the Windows 7 clean installation a second time. The first time you just simply leave the product key empty so that setup can complete. Once in windows after the first install, don't bother trying to activate. Then just reinstall again booting from the upgrade DVD media again. I know this is completely lame and is essentially a 2x installation, but at least you can still do a true Clean Install (no need to try an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 7 sillyness), and this time it will accept your upgrade key.

Hope that wasn't too confusing!! Feel free to ask questions if anything's not clear!

-Dan

UPDATE: Just wanted to update that online activation went thru just fine a few min ago for me following scenario B above, screenshot attached =)
So if I understand your update at the bottom of the post, then the entire post is a moot point, and you CAN install to a completely clean hard drive, enter no key during installation, but enter the key later and it WILL activate? If this is true, I think you should edit the post to reflect that, as it is quite confusing with the addition of the update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #69

windows7 RC
 
 

Hi MacGyvr,
Sorry for any confusion, I've updated my UPDATE in my post above. I just wanted to confirm that online activation was successful following scenario B where I did the 2nd install with the upgrade key after the 1st install without. Previously I had only verified that within setup the product key would be accepted. Until now I had not verified it would complete the online activation.

-Dan
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #70

Windows 7
 
 

Wow super confusing but thanks for the help. I've been working on my desktop all day trying to figure this all out. I was going from a 32bit vista to the 64bit 7, but i couldn't install it because i didn't have the disc. I had downloaded the software from online. So i had to figure out how to get it to iso and now my product key won't register. So now i've format my hard drive and i've got my fingers crossed for the trick to work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Doing a Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version




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