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Windows 7: How to install the Upgrade version to blank HDD

22 Oct 2009   #1

Windows Server 2008
How to install the Upgrade version to blank HDD

  • Downloaded the Student offer. (Pro x64 in my case)
  • made an iso following this guide: Make bootable iso from student d/l
  • Boot from DVD
  • Choose Custom install when prompted.
  • Go to Options, format the hard drive.
  • Skip the CD-KEY
  • Choose to NOT download updates
  • Let the OS install
  • Once done, Go activate Windows with your CD KEY
  • Wait 5 mins. Tadam, Congratulations, your copy is activated.

That was tested on VMWare, after numerous other trials. Going to do that live now!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP


Worked also for me booting from Upgrade disk and formatting before install, but I put my activation key in upfront.

Looks like they have shipped retail keys with the pre-ordered Upgrades. Thanks, MS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2009   #3

Windows Server 2008 i feel retarded.

Since i activated on a VM, it won't let me activate on live!!!!

Is there anyway to get around this or I'm should go bang my head on a wall right now?


IF it happens to you, use the phone automated system to activate. It will work!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Oct 2009   #4

windows7 RC

Hi sephiros,
I ran into the same issue. I had to let it install with a blank key during setup, and then run the install a 2nd time (was able to do clean install 2nd time). I think setup scans somewhere on the PC for a partition with windows (activated or unactivated didn't seem to matter).

Take a look here if you're curious on what I tried:
Doing a Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to install the Upgrade version to blank HDD

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