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Windows 7: RE-installation workaround question - help!

23 Oct 2009   #1
misterfever

Windows XP (about to make a clean W7 install though)
 
 
RE-installation workaround question - help!

I really screwed up. I was running 32-bit XP and went to install 64-bit W7 Ultimate upgrade. During installation I knew I had backed up everything so I formatted the hard drive and merged the partitions within the install (at the point where I selected where to install Windows 7).

You may have guessed my problem. I can't activate W7 because they say I have no previous version of Windows (even though I obviously have a valid XP copy). I am desperately looking for a way to avoid reformatting, installing XP, then re-installing W7.

I'm inexperienced with partitions, but would this work: Create a new partition, about 100 GB to be safe, install XP on it, then somehow point W7 to it for verification? Or any other options?

I really don't want to start over, I've done a lot with my W7 already and it'd be a big undertaking. Help please!!!

Thanks so much for your help...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Oct 2009   #2
Saltgrass

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Well, earlier today you could activate an upgrade without having installed over a previous OS. If it won't, you may have to reinstall XP and start over.

Do you have the correct key for your version, and did you enter it when asked or later? Any chance the key could have been used by someone else?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #3
misterfever

Windows XP (about to make a clean W7 install though)
 
 

No, it's a legit key - and the reason it gives me is that it's an upgrade version but I don't have an earlier version of Windows (at least not that it can detect). How did you activate an upgrade without a previous OS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Oct 2009   #4
Saltgrass

Windows 7 x64
 
 

My theory is that Microsoft, for a period of time, had dropped the requirement for proof of a prior OS from the activation process. If you say it won't let you activate now, then perhaps they have closed that door.

Does it actually say you need a prior OS to activate or is that your assumption?

I had a previous OS, but some folks realized it might not be necessary.

Where did you get your software?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #5
misterfever

Windows XP (about to make a clean W7 install though)
 
 

It's a university-licensed copy through my university (University of Texas). They have mucho licensing deals with Microsoft and others to sell gobs of software to students. And yes. it told me directly that I couldn't use this key, not an assumption.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #6
gregrocker

 

A certain per cent of those trying to clean install with formatting using Upgrade media are getting this message. These are able to activate when they install without key, then run an upgrade from the desktop of the newly installed OS. This is the old Vista "upgrade over upgrade" trick which is working still for Win7, and might work in your case.

Remember to complete activation you have to click on Activate link on Computer>Properties after upgrade. Just putting in the key when prompted is not enough.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #7
misterfever

Windows XP (about to make a clean W7 install though)
 
 

Thank you for the help folks. I would like to mention that I found this link on the forums here and decided to try this workaround and IT WORKED:

http://community.winsupersite.com/blogs/paul/archive/2009/10/23/clean-install-windows-7-with-upgrade-media-the-answer.aspx


To clarify - I installed (accidentally) Windows 7 Ultimate UPGRADE on a completely formatted hard drive after accidentally formatting before letting W7 check for my XP installation. I completed these steps on the link and the activation worked completely. I recommend this route.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2009   #8
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by misterfever View Post
Thank you for the help folks. I would like to mention that I found this link on the forums here and decided to try this workaround and IT WORKED:

http://community.winsupersite.com/blogs/paul/archive/2009/10/23/clean-install-windows-7-with-upgrade-media-the-answer.aspx


To clarify - I installed (accidentally) Windows 7 Ultimate UPGRADE on a completely formatted hard drive after accidentally formatting before letting W7 check for my XP installation. I completed these steps on the link and the activation worked completely. I recommend this route.
I have been monitoring these clean install results for the past 24 hours and read several posts elsewhere that MS is giving out a registry fix for upgrades which won't clean install from boot. The registry fix they are giving is the same one in Paul's blog post above which I posted earlier today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 RE-installation workaround question - help!




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