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Useful Windows Knowledge - Unbeliever's Land
...The continuing chronicles...
unbeliever64
unbeliever64
Useful Windows Knowledge
I had assumed that, so long as I had a full-fledged activation key for Vista, I could "upgrade" to Win7 on a fresh hard drive.  (Installing one version of Windows *OVER* a previous version is Never A Good Idea.)

I had also delayed "activating" Win7, until I was at least marginally confident that I could get my hardware and software working properly under it.

Well, I got all of my software installed and working, and even though there's still some question about needing to replace some of my hardware, my 30-day grace period was nearly over, so I finally tried to activate Win7.  And THAT'S when I found out that since I HADN'T installed on top of a previous Windows, Win7 didn't see itself as an upgrade, and it demanded a FULL (i.e. non-upgrade) key.

It would NOT simply accept the key from a previous Windows as proof.

ARGH!

Full Win7 Pro (which is precisely the same CD as the "upgrade" with a different key) costs over $250.  I really wanted to avoid that, especially after having already been tricked into buying the "upgrade".

So I went fishing, and found the answer.

Win7 "upgrades" must be installed on top of a previous Windows -- but the "previous Windows" *CAN* be an unactivated install of Win7!

Just install Win7, and then after it finally finishes, turn right around and install Win7 on top of itself.  Voila!  Now you're an "upgrade".  :)

[For the second "upgrade" install, do NOT boot from the CD -- boot Windows from your hard drive, then run SETUP.EXE from the CD.]

"Upgrading" tries to keep your previous Windows software and settings -- which I don't trust, coming from an older version of Windows.  But "upgrading" Win7 to Win7 worked super-peachy -- I am now activated, and all of my installed software still works!

I am saved!

[As a backup plan, there is a command in Win7 you can use to "reset" your 30-day grace period, up to three times.  I could have done this to postpone the inevitable for three more months...]

And now you know.

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amaebi From: amaebi Date: January 12th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy birthday, and many happy returns!
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