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Windows 7: How to install x64 Upgrade Edition on new HD

10 Mar 2010   #21
Microsoft MVP


The use of qualifying key or media hasn't been used since XP. All Win7 installers are the same, with some versions hidden. It is the key which is version-specific.

The registry workaround you used was even given out by MS tech support in the days after Win7 release so that millions of beta users would not have to reinstall XP or Vista.

The upgrade-over-itself workaround was used universally to avoid qualifying XP install in Vista and never shut down by MS. In fact, they continue allowing its use in Win7 - largely because the Upgrade over itself is a Repair Install and therefore hard to restrict.

If you want to avoid ever having to reinstall, use the modern method of saving a Win7 Backup Image externally so you can reimage your HD or a replacement in 15 minutes.

It is fully explained here with lots of user feedback: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2010   #22

Windows 7 RTM

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
The use of qualifying key or media hasn't been used since XP. All Win7 installers are the same, with some versions hidden. It is the key which is version-specific.
Hmmm... through all the reading on Win7 and listening of podcasts like Windows Weekly, this fact totally slipped by me. I might have read or heard someone mention that media/key method is deprecated, but I had forgotten. I still think it's a stupid move on M$'s part.

Thanks for the backup image idea. I'll have to look up how to do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2010   #23
Microsoft MVP


Here is the best tutorial for creating the Win7 backup image: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

Others will let you know of alternatives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Jun 2010   #24

Win 7 home premium

This comes a bit late, but perhaps it will help others.

Yesterday, I read, and tried this out which worked:

To install Win 7 Home Premium from the Update DVDs onto a blank HDD (without having to first install your old Vista), you will need to go through the install twice.

The first will be a New Install of Win 7. If you try to enter the product key, it will not accept it... so don't even try.

Here's the trick: RE-INSTALL Win7, but this time as an Update. Takes a while of course, but now you can enter your product key, and there you have it.

Hope this helps.


I want to add this: The Upgrade to Win 7 disks are my legal ones which I purchased in order to upgrade my old Vista PC. I had a catastrophic failure on my old C drive which is why Im re-installing on a new drive. I don't think this violates in laws.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jun 2010   #25

Windows 7 x64 finally!

Welcome to the forums JRjr49 and thank you for your contribution.

If you want to read more about a clean install with an upgrade DVD you can check Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

Regarding your question, you are totally legal. The two key points:
- One installation per license. So if you have to reinstall because your HD crashed (hence you are not using that license somewhere else), you are perfectly legal
- Ownership of Vista or XP license to qualify for upgrade version. If you own a copy of Vista or XP (which don't need to be or even to have been installed on the computer you are installing Win7) you are entitled to use an upgrade

You can read more info and scenarios here: Windows 7 Upgrade Paths - FAQ
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2014   #26


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
There are two workarounds given in the tutorial Wally posted earlier to get Upgrade version activated without the presence of another OS during install: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

Perhaps easiest is the one carried over from Vista for the same situation: Just run the install again from your Win7 desktop using Upgrade, which is a Repair Install in Win7. It will reset your activation to allow use of Upgrade version key.
I know this was an old thread, but its been so long since I have run into this issue I had forgotten how to do it. So thanks you bailed me out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to install x64 Upgrade Edition on new HD

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