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Old Oct 23, 2009, 04:44 PM   #1
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genci88
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Default Here's how to install Windows 7 upgrade on a blank hard drive.

Sorry if it's been posted here before, but apparently it's possible to install 7 upgrade on a clean sytem (without the need of a previous Windows version):



I was so hoping to have better news to share, but with all the conflicting reports and my own troubles testing this while on the road, it's been a messy 24 hours. However, after staying up late last night and working through a few different scenarios, I think I do have a (fairly) simple way to clean install Windows 7 with Upgrade media. That is, it should be easier than the old "install it twice" hack that I previously documented for Vista (though that should still work as well).

Put simply, the goal here is to clean install Windows 7 on a virgin, unused PC. You can boot and run Setup with the Upgrade media for Windows 7, but when you go to activate, it won't work.

Thanks to Kevin Fisher and a bit of testing, I have a simple workaround that does work.

After performing the clean install, ensure that there are no Windows Updates pending that would require a system reboot. (You'll see an orange shield icon next to Shutdown in the Start Menu if this is the case).

Then, open regedit.exe with Start Menu Search and navigate to:

HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/

Change MediaBootInstall from "1" to "0".

Open the Start Menu again and type cmd to display a shortcut to the Command Line utility. Right-click this shortcut and choose "Run as administrator." Handle the UAC prompt.

In the command line window, type: slmgr /rearm

Then tap ENTER, close the command line window and reboot. When Windows 7 reboots, run the Activate Windows utility, type in your product key and activate windows.

Voila!

A couple of notes here.

Others have reported that simply installing Windows 7 using Upgrade Media and then activating just works. It certainly doesn't hurt to try this, but my guess is that there was a version of Windows on the hard drive that Setup detected, thus making the install and activation work properly.

I have not tested this yet, but I assume if you launch Setup from within your previous version of Windows, choose Custom, reboot, and then wipe out the previous Windows version during Setup, that that will work as well.

And I'm just about positive that the old "install twice" hack from Vista will work too.

I will test all of this thoroughly when I get home. But for now I wanted to cut through the baloney and cut and paste jobs out there and give you something that really does work.

Again, thanks very much to Kevin for this information.


http://community.winsupersite.com/bl...he-answer.aspx

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Old Oct 23, 2009, 05:03 PM   #2
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Hmm, I put in my 7 Pro upgrade disc into my drive, booted from it into the setup.

I formatted my c:\ drive, it had an install of W7 RC release, then selected the newly formatted drive and installed Windows 7 Pro fine.

No problems.
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Old Oct 23, 2009, 05:19 PM   #3
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Good timing, I'm just setting up my friend's pc with his upgrade edition. Thanks.
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Old Oct 23, 2009, 07:00 PM   #4
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I heard of a similar method on the innertubes:

Boot upgrade disc, choose advanced and proceed with install (not upgrade) while omitting serial (thus a limited time trial). After complete, re-insert disc and choose upgrade -this time entering serial to activate.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 03:23 AM   #5
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my Vista upgrade was the same way.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 08:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auric View Post
I heard of a similar method on the innertubes:

Boot upgrade disc, choose advanced and proceed with install (not upgrade) while omitting serial (thus a limited time trial). After complete, re-insert disc and choose upgrade -this time entering serial to activate.
Are you sure that works for Windows 7? The last I heard, one could not perform an in-place upgrade without an activated copy of Windows already installed.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 03:59 PM   #7
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Just helped my pop to install his copy which was the upgrade of the promo back in august. Installed from DVD and I got prompted to either upgrade or go advanced in which I proceed to format C:.

It fully work, just got activated online without problems. Damn now I'm jaelous
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 04:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auric View Post
I heard of a similar method on the innertubes:

Boot upgrade disc, choose advanced and proceed with install (not upgrade) while omitting serial (thus a limited time trial). After complete, re-insert disc and choose upgrade -this time entering serial to activate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Android1 View Post
Are you sure that works for Windows 7? The last I heard, one could not perform an in-place upgrade without an activated copy of Windows already installed.
You appear to be correct. Contrary to earlier reports, the double-install method will indeed work. I just wonder if or when Microsoft will crack down on these methods.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 07:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirRoxen View Post
Good timing, I'm just setting up my friend's pc with his upgrade edition. Thanks.
Just to update, it worked great. Thanks again.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 08:07 PM   #10
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It boggles my mind why people buy a copy of Windows and then go to such lengths to bypass the licensing and activation checks. If you're going to use the software in a way that violates the EULA, why not just pirate it
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 08:13 PM   #11
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Or, why does Microsoft make it so awkward for their customers - the Full and Upgrade should be just one product.

The UK pre-ordered version is......
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Old Nov 19, 2009, 01:57 AM   #12
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I'd like to add that it worked perfectly for me. Clean install with the upgrade copy and I was able to activate it. No problems at all.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 11:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theevilsharpie View Post
It boggles my mind why people buy a copy of Windows and then go to such lengths to bypass the licensing and activation checks. If you're going to use the software in a way that violates the EULA, why not just pirate it

Well for me I wanted to add a bigger hard drive which was to big to install win2000 on so I had to do a clean install of my upgrade copy of vista. Fortunately it was fairly easy to just call Microsoft and in a few minutes my problem was solved though it required an internet connection for them to fix.

If you don't have an internet connection at home (a few people I know don't) then this method would be useful to upgrade from obsolete copies of windows.

Also if you have a computer problem and need to start from scratch it would save time to not have to install an old copy of windows.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 02:30 PM   #14
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Honestly Microsoft needs to **** off with the retarded upgrade version already.

I do not like Apple on bit, but one thing they've got very right is their OS system.

One disc for all.
Clean install? Upgrade install? Home user? Business user? Basic user?

One lovely disc for all.


I could tolerate Microsoft having a couple different versions (say a business version & home version) if they really must.

But why must there be Retail vs. OEM, full version vs. upgrade, & then a ****load of different versions to confuse everyone.
And pricing is always wayyyy too high for the normal user (not talking about student discounts, etc.)

It's retarded, truely retarded.

So quite frankly, while i personally will never ever buy an UPG version as it's annoyingly hassle-filled, i can totally understand why people will do so to save every penny.
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