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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    My wife's PC was around 7 years old, running XP Professional. While functioning fine, it was pretty slow. This past weekend I installed a new motherboard, a quad core Intel i5 CPU, 8 GB RAM and used her older 1/2 GB hard drives. After powering it up and setting a few things in the BIOS, I turned on RAID.

    This, of course, wiped out both hard drives. Since I had purchased Windows 7 Home Upgrade, I went ahead with the install, fully expecting the installation program to ask for the original XP disk for upgrade verification.

    I'm here to tell you that Microsoft left that little bit out of the installation program. It installed beautifully but will not let me enter the product key, insisting that it was not an upgrade installation.

    I was going to re-install XP and start over, but with the SATA drives, XP expects a third party SATA driver to be installed so it can correctly access the hard drives. Since my wife PC lost the floppy drive some years ago (never used) and XP installation insists on reading the driver via a floppy drive, that option was not possible.

    After numerous calls to various Microsoft departments, they've agreed to sell me a clean install package for $30 more, after I gave them the SKU from the upgrade product.

    If only the installation process would have asked for the XP disk, I wouldn't have had to waste a bunch of time and pay for an upgrade to the upgrade. How lame is that.

  2. #2
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    There a numerous articles around to show how to do a clean install with upgrade media. See Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Clean Install Windows 7 with Upgrade Media for one.

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
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    I'll give that a shot, Joe.

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger
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    I upgraded three different PCs to Windows 7, each time with an upgrade DVD, installing onto an empty disk drive (no prior OS installed) and never ran into problems. But then I remembered the trick - don't enter the product key during installation, just skip that step. Then after the installation attempt to activate and it will ask for the product key - enter it then. (At least that is what I recall, it has been some months since I have done this.) Paul Thurrott's installation steps are a must read!

    By the way, in each case I disconnected the disk drive that was running XP or Vista - I didn't want the Windows 7 install to mess with them; that way I could fall back to them if absolutely necessary (which I have not done...). So yes I was legally entitled to use upgrade media.

  5. #5
    2 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Johnson2191 View Post
    Paul Thurrott's installation steps are a must read!
    I'll try the steps on his page. I did try to activate it after installation, but the OS informed me that the product key I entered was invalid as it was for an upgrade installation only.

  6. #6
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    The entering the product key after the install is method #1 on Paul's page. I don't think I had to resort to methods #2 or #3, though I might have had to do method #2 when upgrading my daughter's laptop. Like I said, it's been a while and the details are fuzzy.

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