Using Windows 7 Upgrade During a Clean Install

I have been running Windows 7rc for a couple of months now with pretty good success. Now that Windows 7 is officially released I figured I would go ahead and upgrade. I also figured this would be a great time to install a larger hard drive.

I purchased a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade version. I installed Windows 7 without a hitch until I got to the section where you enter the license key. It would not accept my licence key. It did allow me to skip past the screen. After the install I went through the procedure to Activate the license. I received an error message stating that the version of Windows 7 I purchased could not be used to install it on a Blank disk. (Even though it let me).

I searched Microsoft support and the only information I found was that I would have to first install my version of Vista on my computer and then perform the Windows 7 upgrade from Vista. What!? What is the purpose of a clean install if I have to install an old version first?

After doing some additional research on other forums I found out that I could simply install Windows 7 on top of Windows 7 and then it would allow me to activate the product. I tried this and it worked. I was able to successfully activate the product.

I fully understand the importance of Microsoft needing to verify proof of an existing/qualifying product to upgrade to but in my opinion the requirement to have the older version actually install ed on the hardware is flawed. I have the Vista DVD and license key. Why not giving us the ability to use one or both of those.

The other frustrating part of this is, the software allowed me to install it on a blank disk. I didn’t get a pop up or warning stating the upgrade product could only be installed on top of an existing install. It also doesn’t state this in any of the paperwork that came with the DVD. I had to hunt to find out why it wouldn’t accept my license key.

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