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Windows 7: Can you do a clean install from an upgrade dvd?

07 Oct 2009   #1

Windows Vista HomeBasic
Can you do a clean install from an upgrade dvd?

i need to know

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2009   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400


yes but your key may not work
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2009   #3

Custom overwrite

From what I have read (and we will have to wait til 22nd to find out for sure) the cleanest install you will be able to get is a Custom overwrite over the XP or Vista you are upgrading. This is required for the XP but only an option for Vista. It means you will not be able to format the partition/disk but the Win7 does overwrite the older OS, putting your files in windows.old where you can locate and distribute them later, then delete the monster.

MS specifically foreclosed the possibility here of being able to clean install using the old Vista "upgrade over upgrade" trick. And since the underlying XP or Vista system will have its license disabled once it is verified, for this reason they say install cannot be done to another partition.

My sources here are TechNet and Ed Bott's columns from the past year.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Oct 2009   #4

windows 7 RTM

It appears that the best ( Only ) way to do a clean install with the
W7 Upgrade disk, is to first do a clean install of Vista, than update over it.

Not as crazy as it sounds. Just install vista using the clean install method,
ie. format the HDD first. Than do not install any software, drivers etc.
or make any configuration settings.

Register Vista online and let it run its upgrades ( 59 at last count ) and if
needed install SP2. It is not necessary to install SP1 as SP2 includes
SP1. One or the other is required.

Just the bare OS is left, which will leave a clean slate for W7 to work with.
This procedure will have most of the benefits of a clean install.

So many say a clean install is such a pain, but it is well worth the effort.

Many of those nagging little problems, which I read about on this forum,
everyday, will be gone.

Just be prepared. Their are excellent instructions on this forum. It really
is worth the effort.

Let me know what you think!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2009   #5

I like it

Keeping with Richard's theory of making the underlying Vista or XP as clean as possible, since it is only being overwritten with a Custom (cleanest) install using the Win7 upgrade disk, how about not even installing Vista/XP updates or SP's?

Couldn't we just install XP or Vista to a zeroed HDD, activate and then commence the Win7 Custom overwrite upgrade? It will tell us if it needs anything else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #6

windows 7 RTM

Excellent point. I tried to do that and windows started the upgrades automatically as soon as it went on line.

The problem is that it is necessary to be on line to register, thus their
is no option to not accept the updates.

Service pack 1 or 2 is required for the update to run.

Wish it could be easier



It occurs that if SP2 was downloaded in advance, than one could unplug the internet
connection and complete the Vista install, than install SP2 before reconnecting the
internet in order to register.

SP2 should include most of the updates needed. This would save at least a little time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Hmmm.....don't you get an option when you install Vista to not turn on automatic updates? At least you can go turn them off in control panel to save yourself the download.

I'm pretty darn sure that you can activate Vista right after the install without getting updates or service packs and then upgrade from there.

The only reason the double install is a PITA is for techies who like to rebuild quite a bit. However, my advice is to install, get it running, clean out the old windows.old folder and then use the integrated backup "System Image" utility to get an image of your Windows 7 install right at the start which is very clean. And then in the future just restore this rather than loading from DVD media each time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2009   #8

Windows Vista HomeBasic

from the sound of it the only way to truely do a clean install is to buy the full version which is what I have decided to do. Thanks for all your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2009   #9


Yes I agree the HDD imaging with Win7 is the best ever, 20 minutes each way for several computers here for which I have made a recovery partition and backed up also to external.

This is a great way to avoid upgrade double reinstalls, but will it hold activation? So far using it for RC and RTM reinstalls has held, but I wonder about upgrades.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2009   #10

Ubuntu Lunix and Windows 7

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mitchball View Post
from the sound of it the only way to truely do a clean install is to buy the full version which is what I have decided to do. Thanks for all your help.
That extra $100 buys a LOT of convenience. If you can afford the full version, I think you will find that over time it's worth the cost especially if you like to with the machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can you do a clean install from an upgrade dvd?

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