Skip to comments.Clean Install Windows 7 with Upgrade Media: The Answer
Posted on 10/28/2009 1:03:20 PM PDT by Boucheau
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:
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.
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.
Backup your stuff before attempting any sort of upgrade. There are only two types of people: Those who have lost data, and those who will.
Whether you use an external hard drive or CD's/DVD's, make a backup.
Here is a site that offers a free backup software: AceBackup. This is for a local backup only.
Here is a site with good reviews on the various online backup services: Online backup service reviews 2009
Good catch. This is the way I may go from Vista 64-bit Ultimate.
Aww jees, I’m soooo tired of u asses, if apple ran 70% of THE WORLDS pc’s then you would have the same issues. Shut up and let the info come, I cant wait to upgrade to 7.
I’ve used both PC and Mac for years.
I’ve serviced both PC and Mac for years.
I like them both, and each has their strengths and weaknesses.
Market share aside, Mac’s are just as much a pain in the *ss as PC’s.
Come work in my shop for a week and you’ll see.
Thanks for the post. I haven’t had to do this, but I was wondering how if I had to. I have some computers I might use this on.
Ping for upgrading btw.
In a related article...
well ok, and sorry for calling u an ass, but I’m staying windows.
I know, but it’s a quick way to get the point across. Actually, I borrowed and modified the saying from some aviators I know.
The toughest thing is to get computer users to backup their data. Even the ones who have previously paid thousands to have it recovered.
I am saying however that when all switch over that non virus thing u speak of will be a thing of the past.
Nobody cares about backups. People only care about being able to restore. ;)
Kidding aside, the hardest thing to get people to do is to TEST their backups. I tell them, "Your backups are only as good as your last successful restore."
I’ve worked it IT, so I know of what you speak.
I like to use the metaphor that hard drives are like tires - they do eventually wear out.
I'd love to go with Win7. But I can wait.
I have no problems with XP and am willing to wait for Win7 SP2.
There's still plenty of meat on the XP bone for me.
“...no constant virus crap”
Stick around, it’s coming. Mac’s aren’t virus proof, they’re virus ignored (as someone else said).
While your statement might have been close to the truth a few years back, Mac’s are getting infected with malware more and more.
In this regard, Mac users should be glad that Apple sells far fewer computers than the PC side.
The malware issue on PC’s is a big problem—we spend a lot of time cleaning them. But, again, this is not because Apple has some magic code in their OS that stops all viruses.
If that were the case, Apple is passing up a huge marketing advantage by not offering a ‘virus-proof’ guarantee.
I’ve heard of brand loyalty, (and I do like and recommend Mac’s to certain types of users) but lately, the Mac fanboys have bordered on cultish fanaticism. They’re certainly drinking Apple’s corporate Kool-Aid.
And the “underdog” status is amazing to witness. Have you seen their campus in California? Have you seen their profits?
If their computers were as good as their marketing and PR then the fanboys would be on to something, perhaps.
Ping for later reference.
When I taught Network Admin classes (I was a Novell Master CNI), I used to tell my students, "nobody ever got fired for bad backups... Lots of people get fired for bad restores!" I used to teach them ways to test their backups and restores. I had more than one call from students who told me that they had been backing up their data for quite some time (in one case, more than a year) before they realized (after coming to my class) that their backups were completely useless.
An upgrade also works fine for Windows 7. The reason what he’s doing is a PITA is that he’s trying to con the OS to save money, he’s trying to use the much cheaper upgrade disk (intended only to be used on a machine with Vista already installed) to do a clean install which this disk was never intended to do. He’s giving himself migraines to save a hundred bucks.
How about I just stick with XP.
Of course, I do still have to install my new powersupply. I have to say this, I LOVE Corsair. I have a w750t beast, that I have had to replace twice. BOTH times, Corsair has shipped me a new one ASAP. No second guessing nothing. Just got me a new one. Of course my posting of the diesel sounding power supply on start-up likely helped. A Power supply that sounds like a Diesel is NOT a good thing.
That being said, I would rather dig int he guts of my PC reinstalling and reconnecting a Pwer Supply than to try and install win7 over my XP installation. I might never get back online again and would likely have to f-disk the whole damned thing. (BARF)
There are only ten types of people: Those who understand binary and those who don't.
Three types of people: those who understand math and those who don’t.
“How about I just stick with XP.”
I don’t have a problem with that. I have yet to upgrade this system to 7. I have it on several test machines, however, that we’ve been using for experiements for many months.
I like my old friend, XP. If you don’t want to upgrade, or need to upgrade, then don’t, yet.
There are only 3 types of people: those who can count, and those who can’t.
But they promised that this OS wouldn’t have the problems that Vista had. Well, technically, I guess they are right. It has whole new problems.
This OS does not have the problems that Vista had—not even close.
We didn’t sell new systems with Vista. Now, we’re selling quite a few Windows 7 machines, and I feel comfortable doing so.
When we sell a system and it doesn’t operate smoothly, we get blamed, not Microsoft. If I didn’t trust it, I certainly wouldn’t sell it.
Windows 7 should do quite well.
This is good for the computer user, and the economy.
I hope so. It seems that every succeeding Windows release is bigger, slower, and just as troublesome as the last. I wish that instead of just writing patches around faulty code they would write over it. There are probably tens of thousands of lines of worthless code in Windows.
Yep, you are right. It works better like this:
There are only 10 types of people: Those who understand binary and those who don't.
ep, thats mah theory! If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
This is about a hack for using upgrade media for a clean install, not upgrading from a running version of Windows. Regular upgrades from Vista or XP are simple and automated.