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Windows 7: Reinstalling windows, upgrade only

08 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Reinstalling windows, upgrade only

Well, here's my story.

In April of this year, I got windows 7 pro 64-bit though my school for only $30. It said it was only an upgrade. I also purchased the backup disc.


I downloaded the .ISO, wiped my drive, installed it, and it activated just fine, no errors.

Now I just reinstalled it on a different hard drive, and its giving me the error that it is an upgrade only. This is using the same product key that worked before. I did this on another friend's new build and it gave the same error. I talked to a representative that said I should not have been able to install in the first place.

I tried calling to activate, but when it gets to the product key, it will not recognize the numbers or letters when I try to type or say the key.

I used the number 1-866-234-6020. I am getting nowhere on the phone.

So here's my questions. Can I get this product key activated for a full version anywhere? Any specific numbers I have to call?

Question 2: I have a disc of XP retail version lying around. Can I install that and upgrade using my backup disc?

Thank you, and any questions you have, please ask.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2011   #2

Win7 Home Premium x64 W10Pro&Home

look in the Sources folder and try the setup.exe file there, you should also be able to first install xp, then upgrade...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

So if I install xp, then pop the win7 disc in, and then click setup, it will upgrade? I want to make sure before I go and install XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Dec 2011   #4

Win7 Home Premium x64 W10Pro&Home

My experience says yes, but try the setup.exe in the Sources folder first, not the one in the root directory...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP


Do the quick registry workaround given here to activate Upgrade version on a new or wiped HD: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

If the HD doesn't have a qualifying OS on it seen by the installer when it boots or runs, you need to leave the key blank and do the workaround, which is made available for those who must replace or wipe their HD so that they won't have to reinstall XP or Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Reinstalling windows, upgrade only

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