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Windows 7: Ed Bott confirms Upgrade clean install w/o prior OS

27 Oct 2009   #1
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
Ed Bott confirms Upgrade clean install w/o prior OS

Finally, some answers to Windows 7 upgrade questions

Better late than never. We had these hashed out in the sticky on the first night!



Following Brink's tutorial, I used the Upgrade disk to do a formatted clean install from boot, which activated first time. I wanted to confirm that the installer is reading a previous OS from the boot mode on the disk.

So I zeroed HDD on a laptop and tried to install from boot, but this time the key was rejected and activation was refused after it went online - I had to do the old VIsta "upgrade over upgrade" (repair install) again from the desktop to get it to take the key and activate. *edit: see Paul Thurrot's fix here: http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/cle...rade_media.asp

I think this means that it obviously can't read the prior OS on HDD when zeroed, but can read a previous OS on formatted HDD, probably as it is scanning the drive early on BEFORE formatting.

As far as why the "upgrade over upgrade" works as a last resort, perhaps MS allows the "upgrade over upgrade" to activate just with the presence of a prior OS (the first upgrade) and not prior activation because such a "Repair Install" is also needed to fix the OS. So they liberalize the activation by allowing any working Upgrade key.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Oct 2009   #2
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

There was a typo in the link to the winsupersite that you posted, so I have reposted the link here;
http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/cle...rade_media.asp
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #3
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
There was a typo in the link to the winsupersite that you posted, so I have reposted the link here;
http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/cle...rade_media.asp
Thanks, fixed it!
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27 Oct 2009   #4
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

Reading through the comments was fun

The particular one I liked was from Brandon LeBlanc pointing to his blog of the 24th September ....

Moving to Windows 7 FAQ - Windows 7 Team Blog - The Windows Blog

Late again Ed
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27 Oct 2009   #5
Nosmo

Win 7 32 bit , Win xp Sp3
 
 

gregrocker,
I am still not 100%on some of this 'Upgrade' inner workings.. From your tests it seems that the Win 7 installer can sniff out evidence of a prior install, somewhere on the computer, even on another drive or partition. You mention I believe formatting and it still saw enough to allow activation.

So how are users with upgrade keys booting and installing on virgin drives that have never had an OS, and being able to activate and have their upgrade key accepted when entered at the beginning or end of the install process.


I have difficulty in believing MS designed it this way. Are they just allowing any key to work for now and then in 6 months , some users will get de activated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #6
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I think that everybody is just worrying too much about this.

I think for once, Microsoft made a change that made things a little easier on the consumer. I think they kept it quiet as to be a nice surprise when it finally hit the marketplace.

I think Microsoft has found that if they make the cheaper versions "just work" in most cases....that people who would have otherwise just downloaded a hacked version of it, might instead just pay the money and get legit.

The important part to Microsoft is that you purchased something, they made a profit and you have a legit key. And really, with the domination of the marketplace by Microsoft...how many people out there really aren't qualified or otherwise entitled to an upgrade version of Windows.

It's been documented and it's been discussed. Ed Bott says it works, Paul Thurrott says it works, I've seen it work, Brink has documented that it works. It just works. And just like the double vista install method, it's going to continue working as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #7
Nosmo

Win 7 32 bit , Win xp Sp3
 
 

I spent some time on this site the other day.
Windows XP Genuine Advantage Validation Issues (Windows XP) Forum
People who have had their computers working fine for 3 and 4 years are now
being rejected in MgA Validation. MS has tightened up severely in the last few months and it is amazing to see how many users still have pirated keys.

I just wonder down the road why MS would allow users that have no OS to upgrade, install an upgrade key , have it activated. Not like MS at all.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #8
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Well they claimed they were foreclosing with Win7 the method no-prior-OS upgrades are achieved via the Vista "upgrade over upgrade" trick.

I believe this works because it sees the first install underneath and allows activation based on a prior qualifying install.

Technet has said this is because this method of upgrading is also used to Repair the computer and therefore needs to allow the simple presence of an OS to pass flag to activating a valid Upgrade key. Elsewise, no prior OS = no flag passed.

But having Paul THurrot's registry fix that does the same thing being widely disseminated surely challenges them, so I am keeping all of my prevous disks and keys backed up in case of a WGA challenge in the future.

That said, I agree with everything pparks1 says about MS contentment with a purchase of the new OS, enough to ease the hoops purchasers need to jump through.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #9
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu
 
 

I always use full install disks so it is not a real issue for me personally but some method of repair/reinstall is I think a necessity.

Also as the function is already coded into the disks in circulation I don't know how MS can tell if the workarounds have been used to get to the stage that activation is possible - unless there are already checking mechanisms which tag this and are currently being ignored, through their choice
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 Ed Bott confirms Upgrade clean install w/o prior OS




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