Print 126 comment(s) - last by labgeek.. on Feb 1 at 12:59 PM

Microsoft adjusts its policy for user with Vista upgrade CDs

Microsoft is changing a long-standing tradition when it comes to upgrading from a previous version of Windows to Windows Vista. When using an upgrade CD, popping in a previous version disc during setup will no longer satisfy the people in Redmond.

For example, when performing a clean install of Windows XP Professional using an upgrade CD, users would run through the normal setup routine until prompted to insert a previous version of Windows. A user could pop in a Windows 98 or Windows 2000 CD for upgrade compliance and then the setup routine would move along as usual.

Microsoft has cut out this process for Windows Vista and forces users who buy an upgrade CD to actually have a valid install of Windows XP Home or Professional on their machines before upgrading.

For most users, this wouldn't be a problem. They more than likely have an existing copy of Windows XP installed and would have no problems upgrading to Windows Vista with an upgrade CD.

But for do-it-yourselfers who buy a Vista upgrade CD and think that they can easily perform a clean install whenever they feel free are going to run into the road block. In this case, the road block means that users wanting to perform a clean install with a Vista upgrade CD will have to:

1) Install a genuine copy of Windows XP Home/Professional
2) Activate Windows XP through Microsoft
3) Upgrade to Windows Vista from within Windows XP

So if you plan on saving money by using a Vista upgrade CD instead of purchasing a full copy, be aware that you’re have a few extra steps involved before booting to the Vista desktop for the first time. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle, you’re going to have to pony up for a full copy of Vista.

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OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By soydios on 1/28/2007 5:17:36 AM , Rating: 2
IIRC, OEM versions of Vista from Newegg are cheaper than Retail Upgrades

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Mudvillager on 1/28/2007 5:31:10 AM , Rating: 2
This question has been bugging me - Is there any difference at all between OEM and Retail (non-upgrade)?

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Russell on 1/28/2007 5:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, you can only use it on the one PC. You cannot move it to another later.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By livelouddiefast on 1/28/2007 2:08:46 PM , Rating: 2
maybe i'm missing your point, but you certainly can install oem stuff and then move it around. I've gone through 3 different motherboards, 4 processors, 4 videocards with my xp oem cd. So long as there is only one copy of it.

I'm not sure what their policy is for the retail version, but i know no support is included with the oem software

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By kamel5547 on 1/28/2007 5:31:25 PM , Rating: 1
And that means you've been violating the license agreement...

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By SunAngel on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Zandros on 1/28/2007 7:17:19 PM , Rating: 1
I think it's usually the motherboard.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By tuteja1986 on 1/28/2007 7:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
My OEM is attached to the keyboard :)...

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By rykerabel on 1/29/2007 12:19:08 PM , Rating: 3
No, legally oem software is linked to the motherboard. Legally you can only move it to another motherboard if the first one breaks and even then you have to move it to the same make/model.

You can fudge this in practicality, but not legally. In the past, MS has stated they will not persue home users who violate the license with a "few extra" installs, but they may have since changed their minds (not that i've read yet).

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By dijuremo on 2/1/2007 11:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
So if the motherboard burns down, you should buy a new copy? I have replaced several defective DELL motherboards and DELL did not care to send a new OEM copy of windows with them. So then DELL is breaking the EULA, right?

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Xenoid on 1/29/2007 1:54:16 AM , Rating: 2
I think downloading it violates the EULA too but try and see if I care.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Anonymous Freak on 1/29/2007 12:03:55 AM , Rating: 3
Not only does that officially violate the license agreement (as someone else said,) but with Vista, it won't let you. Period. In XP, if you performed an upgrade that was enough to warrant re-activation, you might have to have had to call MS to explain why you were re-activating, but they'd give you a new code. With Vista, you get one re-activation, that's it. (For different hardware. If it's the same hardware, like for a re-install, it will work. But you only get one 'major hardware change'.)

OEM: Locked to the hardware it was purchased with. This technically means that if you bought it with your CPU, you aren't allowed to upgrade the CPU, because the copy of Windows is legally licensed to THAT CPU. (So I'd buy it with the keyboard or mouse, or something you can leave plugged in, even if you aren't actively using anymore.) It also means that if you ever want tech support, you have to go to the OEM. Newegg does not provide any form of tech support (as in: helpdesk) for Windows. Dell does. HP does. Yeah, the average Anand/Dailytech reader doesn't need tech support, but it is still a limitation.

Retail: You can move it to a different PC. As often as you like. (Rumors stated that it was 'one move only', but MS clarified that.) If you want tech support, MS provides it.

Upgrade: Is linked to the prior copy of Windows. If your prior copy was an OEM copy, that means that this copy of Vista is now considered an OEM copy, with the same license restrictions. (Except MS provides tech support.) If your original copy of Windows was retail, then you have the same license restrictions as a retail copy of Windows. This means that if you use it to upgrade a Dell, you *HAVE* to keep this copy of Vista with *THIS* Dell. And even if you upgraded a Retail copy of XP, you still have to keep that retail copy. You can't go re-selling the old copy of XP.

By comparison, the other major retail-purchasable OS, Mac OS X, is always a retail copy. That means that once you install the new copy on your computer, if your prior copy was retail, you can legally re-sell it. (I have done so. I have a PowerBook that came with 10.2. This was an OEM copy. It is locked to this one PowerBook. I upgraded to 10.3. This copy of 10.3 is 'retail'. I could legally uninstall it from the PowerBook and put it on my eMac, if I felt like it. I then upgraded to 10.4. I can now legally re-sell my copy of 10.3, install it on an older machine, whatever. Had I been using 'upgrade' versions of Windows, I would not be able to. I would have to keep all of the copies, because they would all be locked to that original OEM copy.

So to go back, my sister has an old machine that originally ran Win 2000. She got it right AFTER XP's release, so it has moderately decent hardware. (I have upgraded the processor and GPU for her.) She bought an XP Upgrade. Now if she buys a Vista upgrade, she has to keep the original W2k, the XP Upgrade, *AND* the Vista upgrade, because they are licensed as a 'chain'. (Although I think it may be okay under Vista's license to count it as an upgrade from the original W2k, if we were to reformat it to that; but she still couldn't re-sell the copy of XP, because it is 'linked' to the original copy of W2k.)

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Visual on 1/29/2007 4:54:47 AM , Rating: 1
might have to have had to call

come on, seriously?

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By OrSin on 1/29/2007 8:59:47 AM , Rating: 3
I stop reading as several wrong statements. OEM is not like to what hardware you got it with. It is linked to the motherboard of the last system you installed and actived it on in first 15 days. Thats huge difference. You can actually install in on 2 ystems and if you active them both in 15 days them both are active. This is not legal but it works. I have 6 machince in the test lab with the same key all actived and running. Now I not saying go out and do this, but remeber its the first system you put it on not the system you bought it with.

By Anonymous Freak on 1/29/2007 2:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
The technical aspect of activation links to a coded 'hash' of various hardware identifiers. Since the motherboard contains most of these pieces of hardware (chipset, NIC,) yes, it effectively means that the activation is linked to a motherboard.

But if you read the license terms (that's what I meant by 'linked', the license, not the software,) it says that it is linked to the piece of hardware that the OEM software was purchased with.

Again, my commentary is based on the legal aspects of the license, not on the technical aspects of activation. Vista, on the other hand, introduces some harder-to-defeat (theoretically, anyway,) activation issues on top of its more restrictive license issues.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By glennpratt on 1/31/2007 5:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
Comparing this to OS X is just so much bull. There is no comparison.

Apple OS X is ONLY licensed to run on Apple labeled hardware, period. While every copy of OS X may very well be retail, every copy is also effectively an upgrade. Apple has a totally different business model then Microsoft, the comparison doesn't work.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By encryptkeeper on 1/29/2007 9:36:02 AM , Rating: 2
Just so everyone knows, Microsoft is going to get REALLY stringent on reactivations for Vista. You can change everything but the motherboard, when you change that, Microsoft is claiming they won't reactivate Vista. Too bad. What you're saying is true, but only for XP. At least, this is what they claim.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By rushfan2006 on 1/29/2007 4:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
I went ahead and researched this directly from Microsoft, since there is a lot of emotionally charged opinions floating around about this - I wanted to cut through that stuff and get the FACTS from the source this is what I found:

(Btw this information was based on Windows Vista Ultimate):


Of particular interest:


a. Software Other than Windows Anytime Upgrade. You may uninstall the software and install it on another device for your use. You may not do so to share this license between devices.

Seems to me they are saying you are good to upgrade your hardware as long as it is just ONE machine at any ONE given point of time and they don't want the practice of license sharing going on.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By oTAL on 1/30/2007 1:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
From what I read MS included this in Vista Ultimate so make us, enthusiasts, a bunch of happy campers. I believe this may not apply to the other versions of Vista.
After the initial EULA was disclosed there were some discussions with unhappy beta-testers (many of those are enthusiasts) and MS gave-in. Kind of makes sense.... only a few people require a license that allows them to switch computer 10 times during the lifetime of the OS. Most (regular) people that bought a computer with XP are still happy with it.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By lealwai on 2/1/2007 11:14:12 AM , Rating: 2
So, i'm kinda confused, can some1 clarify if the OEM version that's sold on say.. NewEgg be installed on more than one computer. i.e. Installing it one computer, buying a new system a year later, and transferring the license? The description on NewEgg states otherwise.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Captain Orgazmo on 1/28/2007 7:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
There is no problem moving OEM Vista to another PC, or upgrading your current one. To activate, you simply have to use the phone option, then tell the operator that a component broke or the hard disk crashed, and you replaced it with an equivalent model, and it's still the same computer. I run in to the same problem all the time repairing and reinstalling OEM XP on Dells and other brand name comps.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By SunAngel on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By rushfan2006 on 1/29/2007 4:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
Relax. There is a lot of FUD going on in these discussion concerning worries that you can't upgrade your hardware if you get the OEM version. I've gone to the source -- Microsoft, I've spent time browsing and reading....every bit of license documentation I've found on Vista says NOTHING to the point that you are not allowed to upgrade hardware with an OEM license.

The most I've gathered is you can't do the scheme commonly known as license sharing (basically means you try and run multiple systems with just one license, you get around this by constantly un-installing and re-installing)....if you do 2 major upgrades a year you'll be fine.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Captain Orgazmo on 1/29/2007 5:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think I may have found a new problem with OEM... this text is taken from the site of a local OEM parts seller in my city:

"OEM software must be distributed ONLY with a fully-assembled computer system, which must consist of at least a central processing unit, motherboard, hard drive, power supply, and a case.

Operating system software must be pre-installed on the computer system."

This disclaimer only appears in the Vista products; all other OEM software simply states that it needs to be purchased with some type of hardware (anything, i.e. a mouse would do).

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By stromgald on 1/29/2007 6:21:53 PM , Rating: 2

It's not the official site, but since Directron is a "Gold Member of Microsoft System Builder Program", it's probably fairly legit.

Read #4 under the notes section.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By SunAngel on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By jmunjr on 1/28/2007 4:19:57 PM , Rating: 3
Are Vista CDs copy protected? If not, back it up!

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By OddTSi on 1/28/2007 7:37:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure what the deal is with OEM copies of Vista but with retail copies of Vista you're allowed to make one backup copy.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By darkpaw on 1/30/2007 1:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
MS thankfully does not put any lame ass DRM on its discs (there's more then enough in the OS itself) so you can easily make a legitimate backup copy.

Wish that was true of most of my games as I've lost more then one cd to damage or misplacement in my day.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Thalyn on 1/29/2007 12:12:25 AM , Rating: 2
The main reason for the cost difference between the OEM and retail versions is simple:

Tech support.

When you buy retail, you're buying MS tech support for as long as the product is still officially supported by MS. When you buy OEM, your tech support is the site where you bought it for however long they actually feel like doing so.

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By Griswold on 1/29/2007 11:15:38 AM , Rating: 2
I havent seen it mentioned before, but OEM does only include one disc with either 32bit or 64bit vista, unlike retail where you get both. But it seems that one can buy OEM 32bit and 64bit for virtually the same price as a retail and have 2 licenses in the end (MS doesnt want you to install both versions at the same time from a retail box, not saying its not possible, though).

RE: OEM cheaper than upgrade?
By plonk420 on 1/29/2007 10:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
wow, the Mac User Trolls were VERY late to the thread ... and even MORE surprising, the linux trolls ("zOMG I'D RATHER CUT OFF APPENDAGE X BEFORE INSTALLING VISTA) are virtually nonexistant. get with the program, geeks!

disclaimer: i actually would prefer everyone uses OSX. however, i do have a copy of Vista Business in the mail somewhere between here and asia somewhere...

Last Straw
By Bull Dog on 1/28/2007 5:08:24 AM , Rating: 3
I was seriously thinking about getting Vista Ultimate (Upgrade) but this does it. I'm sticking with my 32bit XP for now maybe I'll check out 64bit XP sometime when I want to go for 4GB of ram.

RE: Last Straw
By xphile on 1/28/2007 5:43:06 AM , Rating: 2
Im not sure you have all of your facts straight there. 32bit Win XP already supports 4GB of system ram, that's its maximim. So you wouldnt need to upgrade to 64bit to have 4GB.

RE: Last Straw
By JazzMang on 1/28/2007 6:07:56 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, in a default config, XP can only address up to 3.25GB of RAM.

RE: Last Straw
By TheBeagle on 1/28/2007 11:10:58 AM , Rating: 2
Question? How does one get the full benefit of 4GB of RAM in WinXP? You used the phrase "default config." Does that imply that there are alternative configs that allow for the full 4GB to be utilized? If so, how do you accomplish that feat?

RE: Last Straw
By jak3676 on 1/29/2007 11:33:42 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not 100% here, but I'll take a stab at it.

You're working with 2 different limitations. XP 32-bit can only address 4GB of memory. This includes more than just your physical RAM - virtual memory counts against that too. There's some tweaks out there to eliminate your virtual memory (do a search you'll find it), but by default virtual memory is installed, thus reducing the amount of physical RAM that is addressable.

RE: Last Straw
By oTAL on 1/30/2007 1:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
Tweaks?? You just go to the control panel and deactivate it... no fuss whatsoever...
Press Win+Break; Advanced; Performance Settings; Advanced. Then choose how much you want...

RE: Last Straw
By Bull Dog on 1/28/2007 4:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
It does in theory. But, even if you can get windows to recognize all 4GB of ram, a single program in Windows XP 32bit will only be able to address a maximum of 2GB of ram. Now granted if you where to open another memory intensive program, it would be able to address the other 2GB of ram.

What I'm trying to say here is that WinXP 32bit doesn't flawless support 4GB of ram. However a 64bit OS will.

RE: Last Straw
By xphile on 1/30/2007 1:43:06 AM , Rating: 2
Hey that's really interesting and absolutely makes your point. I do get a full 4GB showing on my XP system but a bit of playing pounding Photoshop and TMPeg Encoder at once proves you are spot on. I cant get either one to show its using more than around 1.82ish GB of ram when I look at them in Process Explorer. Damn interesting fact and thanks for pointing it out. I guess I dont run an intensive enough workload to ever truely use more than 2gb on one app but Im sure some would. Thanks for your response!

RE: Last Straw
By thebrown13 on 1/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: Last Straw
By cgrecu77 on 1/28/2007 1:46:31 PM , Rating: 3
this makes no sense, a more appropriate comparison would be one upgrading his honda civic every 2-3 years when a new version is available ... even though his "old" civic is working perfectly and the new civic only has two or three extra buttons ... :)

RE: Last Straw
By SunAngel on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: Last Straw
By mino on 1/29/2007 4:14:18 PM , Rating: 2
Well, a friend o mine just recently sold his 18yrs old car (after >1.5mil km) and I can tell, the wheels were not falling off.
You know, some people realize that any machine needs continous care.

Some do not, obviously.

RE: Last Straw
By mezman on 1/29/2007 5:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
Way to be progressive. Do you drive a hybrid and live in a tiny apartment?

RE: Last Straw
By bob661 on 1/28/2007 1:47:57 PM , Rating: 3
I'll be getting Vista Ultimate but only after the first service pack. So I have another year before I upgrade.

RE: Last Straw
By Griswold on 1/29/2007 11:17:50 AM , Rating: 2
Good plan, but some MS people have recently been quoted about the first SP to be released this year.

RE: Last Straw
By SunAngel on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
Seems to be all about the coupons
By Spacecomber on 1/28/2007 8:27:14 AM , Rating: 2
I assume this was deemed necessary to keep those upgrade versions made available via upgrade coupons from turning into the equivalent of a second licensed copy of an operating system. With the free upgrade to Vista Business from WinXP Pro, people would have ended up with the capacity (not the right) to use two licenses for the price of one, for example.

The key to trying to prevent this is that the first OS (WinXP) has to be registered before you can install the second (Vista).

RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By Le Québécois on 1/28/2007 9:03:04 AM , Rating: 3
In that case, why dont just ask for the XP cd and cd-key when installing Vista? User would still be required to activate and validate their cd-key for XP but without having to actually install 2 OS.

I remember when I had a Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 upgrade CD. I hated the fact I had to install 3.1 before actually installing 95 after every format (which I remember doing quite a lot with Windows 95). That alone could be enough for me to suggest to everyone I know to forget the upgrade path and to buy the complete version of Windows Vista.

RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By RyanVM on 1/28/2007 11:44:22 AM , Rating: 2
That alone could be enough for me to suggest to everyone I know to forget the upgrade path and to buy the complete version of Windows Vista.
I'm sure MS will be heartbroken.

RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By Le Québécois on 1/28/2007 12:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
Probably yes, since I forgot to say : If I recommend Vista at all.

I honestly don't see the need to buy Vista right now. XP still works perfectly and for most home users that don't play any games, it will probably continue to work for many years to come.

RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By thebrown13 on 1/28/07, Rating: -1
By Le Québécois on 1/28/2007 1:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
Oh don't get me wrong, I will buy Vista. But I wouldn't recommend it for non gamers or people with less than stellar PCs.

RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By SunAngel on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By bob661 on 1/28/07, Rating: -1
By kmmatney on 1/29/2007 12:03:45 AM , Rating: 2
I feel sorry for those that are buying OEM. If the disk becomes corrupt, MS doesn't replace OEM disks, only the OEM can replace the disk. So, if you buy OEM from Newegg and add on the extended warranty, your back to the retail price.

All you have to do is make up backup copy, or borrow somebody else's CD. Only the serial number matters, not the CD media. No need to feel sory for anyone here.

RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By Shawn on 1/28/2007 6:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
I had the Windows 95 upgrade cd and all I had to do, to do a clean install was insert disk 1 of my Win3.1 disk to verify.

RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By johnsonx on 1/29/2007 2:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
I hated the fact I had to install 3.1 before actually installing 95 after every format

So you had no idea what you were doing then? You didn't have to do that.

By Le Québécois on 1/29/2007 3:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
I had to because it was my first computer and since I didn't know much at the time so I bought a factory build NEC computer with a Backup CD and a lengthy restoration process. That was my only way to install Windows 3.1 so no I didn't have the easy option to just insert a Windows 3.1 floppy.

RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By Bootstrap on 1/28/2007 11:06:54 AM , Rating: 2
What about Windows 2000 users, though? You're eligible for an upgrade to Vista from 2000, but 2000 didn't have any of the online activation stuff, did it?

RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By Shawn on 1/28/2007 6:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
Good question. Does anyone know?

RE: Seems to be all about the coupons
By mino on 1/29/2007 4:23:06 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, it does not.

Thats the single reason I'm about to stick to W2k and slowly migrate to Linux over time.

Make no mistake, I was considering Vista just a year ago, hoeever this licensing stuff make the barrier to entry too high.
I'm an awfully lazy guy.
I do NOT look forward to runing AND supporting Linux in my family. However, that Vista license is even bigger rock to swallow. Period.

But upgrades don't always work...
By hergieburbur on 1/28/2007 1:59:59 PM , Rating: 3
I've done hundreds or thousands of Windows installs, and if there is one thing I've learned, its ALWAYS do a clean install. In-place upgrades rarely go off without a hitch, and more than a few times cause problems that require a complete re-install anyway. I hope M$ has significantly improved their upgrade process if this is their official policy, though from what I hear, its is just as iffy as ever.

Other than that, this isn't really that big of a deal. It was created to stop people from "creating" a license by borrowing a friends disk.

RE: But upgrades don't always work...
By Anonymous Freak on 1/29/2007 12:06:05 AM , Rating: 3
You can still do a clean install... You just have to do the format from within the Vista installer. The Vista Upgrade disc will only run the installer as a Windows application, meaning you have to have an existing copy of Windows on your computer to run the installer. If you boot from the disc, it will let you restore a backup image, but it will not let you install AT ALL.

So you can do a clean install, you just have to do so from a non-clean state.

RE: But upgrades don't always work...
By sxr7171 on 1/29/2007 4:29:11 AM , Rating: 3
Thank you. You seem to be the only one who understands what's going on. I've had such a copy of windows from my school that can only be installed from within a current windows installation. It still allows clean installs, it just leaves the other OS (in this case XP or 2000) as a second OS for dual booting. You can delete the other OS if you'd like manually and edit the boot.ini file.

RE: But upgrades don't always work...
By hergieburbur on 1/29/2007 3:02:00 PM , Rating: 4
That method still sucks though.

RE: But upgrades don't always work...
By sxr7171 on 1/29/2007 11:46:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it does and I won't argue with you on that. The advantage in this case is that my copy runs an automated install that gives you no options with regard to drive options. I'll bet that this CD will let you format whatever partition you like and install a fresh, clean copy of the OS. So it isn't terrible, but it could be better. The tech savvy will still just "borrow" a copy of 2000 and install it while the average consumer will have to suffer if they want an upgrade instead of the full version. On the flip side, the average consumer probably already has an OEM copy of some MS OS on their machine. It's just us who will have to go through that extra step of installing 2000. But it is upgrade version after all so you can't really expect it run exactly like a full retail version.

By mindless1 on 1/31/2007 1:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
I would pose that the so-called tech savvy user was already running Win2k, will not have to borrow any disc. Remember, XP is not better than 2K, it has a lot of neutered crap included which is inferior in functionality to what any self-respecting tech already owned, and is mostly dumbed down for people that didn't know how to do anything, and overly protective since XPSP2 for those who couldn't help but keep getting themselves infected because of their poor application choices (IE and OE) or insecure computing practices.

Since practically anyone already had XP, there's no reason not to just do a clean install of it instead of 2k,even if you had both, unless of course someone was pirating everything up until Vista. If that is the situation, frankly I'd suggest that person buy an XP license instead of a Vista, if they are that crunched for money they would get more performance out of the hardware they can afford anyway.

At least Vista allows to wipe out the current installation, but then it really HAD to do that if you think about it, it was just too different to replace only the core OS files.

By Slaimus on 1/29/2007 2:50:59 PM , Rating: 2
I remember my Windows 2000 to XP upgrade totally screwed up the system. I really do not know what Microsoft is trying to solve.

If it wants to "deactivate" the previous install, then just ask for the CD key from the previous install as well. If the previous install is moved, the next time WGA runs, it will just prevent you from validating.

Lame, but Livable
By braytonak on 1/28/2007 5:29:18 AM , Rating: 2
This does make for an inconvenience, but DUH, it's not that bad. It's a wise idea to make a backup of your system before upgrading, anyway, so just make a backup image of your hard drive before starting. Then the next time you want to wipe Vista off and do a clean install, you can just put the old (dusty) Windows XP image back on the drive and use that to 'boot' your Upgrade disc.

So yeah. It's a sad move on Microsoft's part, but it's easily worked with.

RE: Lame, but Livable
By Bluestealth on 1/28/2007 6:06:41 AM , Rating: 4
I would be more worried about broken upgrades, but if Microsoft wants to take the support calls, fine by me. There isn't anyway I would buy an upgrade now.

RE: Lame, but Livable
By BladeVenom on 1/28/2007 8:10:50 AM , Rating: 2
That's still just as bad,. You're still having to do two installs to get Vista upgrade working. So what if it's installed from an image, it's still just as inconvenient.

Also are you sure that will even work if you've done a major hardware upgrade?

RE: Lame, but Livable
By mircea on 1/28/2007 9:23:37 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know how you create and install a OS immage, but for me a fully installed XP with everything on in Ghost32 takes 3 minutes and about the same for my RC2 Vista with quite a lot installed on it.

For those that use images to reinstall this shouldn't be a problem at all. Yeah it will be the first time, but afterwards, why do a whole install of Vista over a image of XP. Make a image of Vista at first boot and use that skipping all install procedures, on future "clean" installs. That would work easier with hardware upgrades too, since no proprietary drivers are installed on the image.

RE: Lame, but Livable
By SunAngel on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: Lame, but Livable
By rykerabel on 1/29/2007 12:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
or you could just edit the boot.ini file

By Randum on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: and...
By RyanVM on 1/28/2007 11:47:04 AM , Rating: 3
Because some people *gasp* have to sometimes format and reinstall their OS for whatever reason.

RE: and...
By Ringold on 1/28/2007 1:34:08 PM , Rating: 3
On top of that, there's a reason we enthusiasts hold the conventional wisdom that clean is always better than in-place upgrade installs.

I saw not long ago an RC1 or RC2 (or maybe it was even RTM?) review over at Ars and they had some serious problems when they tried to do an in-place upgrade.

Some of us really do need to format somewhat regularly, too. I do every 6-12mo just for good measure and any hardware upgrade is always accompanied by balls-out overclocking feasts that end up corrupting half the apps on my HD requiring a format. Not that that part is MS's fault, just another personal knock against it.

What gets me most is that they just now come out with this, or at least, it just now becomes widely known. I've cancelled my Upgrade pre-order and replaced with with Retail but I can only guess how many thousands won't hear in time.

Oh well.. Guess those thousands should've been DT readers, then they'd of known. ;)

RE: and...
By Spivonious on 1/29/2007 10:41:02 AM , Rating: 2
So their plan worked. Make upgrading more tedious and people will buy the full version instead. More full versions = more money.

RE: and...
By Oregonian2 on 1/29/2007 6:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
Not working that well. I've been "on the fence" and think I've been pushed over to the stay-with-XP side. Loss of sale!

It looked to be a pain as it is (as well as my XP itself being an upgrade of Windows ME which itself was an upgrade of.... etc back to DOS (in which I went through multiple upgrades)). I've also just upgraded my motherboard (did a AMD->Intel E6600 upgrade) and such a level of upgrade is something I do every two or three years, along with smaller upgrades in the meanwhile. Some of these have needed from-scratch clean installs because the upgrading path accelerates the system bitrot that happens anyway. So when I need a fresh install, I'm already in a foul mood with a LOT to do, I don't need more <expletive deleted> to be added on.

RE: and...
By marvdmartian on 1/30/2007 9:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
Or, more likely, the enthusiasts (like us, here) will stick with XP for much longer than we otherwise might have. I've seen NOTHING about Vista that will cause me to get all goosebumpy, and want to change over immediately. Coupled with the fact that support for XP will last another 7 years, and I see no reason to "upgrade" to Vista any time in the forseeable future.
In fact, the next time that I see XP upgrade version go on sale, I'm going to snap up a few of them. That will keep me in the land of XP for a long time to come. :)

Does not apply to Windows Vista Business or Ultimate
By AQFP on 1/28/2007 9:07:44 AM , Rating: 4
From the Knowledge Base Article:

• Windows Vista Home Premium
• Windows Vista Home Basic
• Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition
• Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit edition
• Windows Vista Starter

Windows Vista Business and Ultimate Editions are not included. So it would appear that a true clean install may be possible using a Business or Ultimate upgrade key.

By Bootstrap on 1/28/2007 10:49:52 AM , Rating: 4
Seems strange that Amazon is selling one, then.

By gooser on 1/28/2007 1:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
from the amazon description page....
You can upgrade in-place, which means you can install Windows Vista and retain your applications, files, and settings as they were in your previous edition of Windows or you can do a clean install. If you are currently using Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional x64, you are eligible for an upgrade copy to a corresponding or better edition of Windows Vista, but a clean install is required.

I don't think this story is correct.
By KeithP on 1/28/2007 10:53:49 PM , Rating: 3
According to Microsoft's web site,
there are installations that require clean installs. This seems to contradict the story. So what gives?


RE: I don't think this story is correct.
By Brandon Hill on 1/28/2007 11:06:03 PM , Rating: 3
That page outlines which current OSes can be upgraded to the corresponding Vista versions.

This page is what details that XP must be pre-installed:

By Rkonster on 1/29/2007 1:39:27 AM , Rating: 3
From what I am reading from that page, it seems to me that it only applies to ugrade keys purchased with Windows Anytime Upgrade, and not the upgrade version of the software itself. Additionally, it states that it doesn't apply to Ultimate, so that could be a further clue.

This information could still be correct, but my reading of the page leads me to a differnet conclusion. Anyone else get the same thing?

By redbird242 on 1/28/2007 10:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
I don't want to do an image of my computer. I want to format my machine and use the VIsta upgrade DVD. Simple. Upgrades always stink, the machine is becomes something like windows Vista .5.

If they don't change this I will spend extra money and buy a Macintosh.

RE: Outrageous
By Anonymous Freak on 1/29/2007 12:11:43 AM , Rating: 2
They are not forcing an 'upgrade install'. They are merely forcing that you START OUT with an existing copy of Windows.

You still have the choice of doing a clean install. You just have to do so halfway through the install. To be precise, the Vista Upgrade installer is a Windows application. You have to run it from within an existing copy of Windows. Once you are in the installer, though, it will give you the chance to format and install clean.

If you boot from a Vista Upgrade CD, it will not give you any option to do any kind of install, clean or upgrade. If will give you the chance to restore a backup, and other diagnostic and repair utilities. But not an install.

The moral is to do a clean install from within your existing copy of Windows, then install your drivers and 'required' applications. Then, before installing any games or 'non-required' applications, make a backup onto DVD as a 'clean' backup. Then, if you should need to reinstall, you boot from your Vista disc, and just perform a restore of this clean image. This has the side benefit of being an already tuned system, rather than a pure clean install.

RE: Outrageous
By kelmon on 1/29/2007 3:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
You make this sound like the proposal is OK and is no bother. I may have missed something here but if, for example, you replace your main hard drive you are going to have no choice but to install 2 operating systems in order to get to where you want to be rather than simply installing the one that you want as we have been able to do before. As a legitimate Microsoft customer, why do I have to do this now? As with the usual DRM fiascos I am being treated as a criminal and that really annoys me.

RE: Outrageous
By Anonymous Freak on 1/29/2007 2:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
I was explaining that a true 'clean' install is still possible with an upgrade copy. Some people seemed to be under the impression that with an upgrade copy, you could *ONLY* do an upgrade, not a clean install.

Yes, if your hard drive fails, you are still in a screwy condition, since you need to have a prior copy of Windows installed before you can install Vista, even with a clean install.

But, as I mentioned elsewhere, if you make a backup as soon as your copy of Vista is up and running, you can restore that backup after booting from the Vista install disc. They don't prevent you from booting from the Vista disc, only installing when booted from it. You can still restore a backup. (Which for most people is nicer than doing a clean install anyway.)

Microsoft pisses me off sometimes
By valkator on 1/29/2007 2:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well I will definitely get the retail version. I do not want to sit there and call microsoft because I upgraded my motherboard. That is pure BS! I am a gamer and I need my upgrades and the way new platforms are being made nowadays, considering how socket A lasted forever back in the day, I would probably have to call microsoft every year to get my damn computer reactivated. This is bull because I have an AM2 platform now and soon might go to a LGA775 or even the next platform that will be launched by intel next year and so on and so on. It will get real old real fast. If I do not have to do this with the retail version, then fine great. But if I have to then I will just have to wait for a crack to fix this issue. I don't care if it "breaks license agreement" because I am still using ONLY ONE computer for my 400 dollar licensed copy of Windows Vista Ultimate. I'm sorry but I still consider it not breaking the license agreement because I am still using only one computer with my licensed copy and I don't care that it says this in the agreement that you can't because that would render that agreement unfair.

By DigitalFreak on 1/29/2007 4:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
Well I will definitely get the retail version. I do not want to sit there and call microsoft because I upgraded my motherboard

That's exactly why they did this. They want to make it more difficult for users to do a clean install, so those users get pissed and buy a full version.

Note how there was absolutely no mention of the whole upgrade issue until one of the MVPs brought it up. They knew people would be pissed and didn't want the outcry overshadowing their precious Vista launch.

By mindless1 on 1/31/2007 1:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
It is quite a bit easier than you're making it, just don't buy Vista yet. You are not compelled to use it and would be better off just waiting until you have the next full system upgrade to then tie the OEM license to it.

When you do the next upgrade significant enough that it requires another Vista license, buy another OEM license at that point, and you then have TWO systems that can run Vista instead of one. 2 > 1

Micros add another reason to skip Vista
By Randalllind on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: Micros add another reason to skip Vista
By ghost101 on 1/28/2007 10:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
The crucial part is the activation of XP. Otherwise, you can simply use a pirated XP CD. Or you could simply borrow a disc off a friend.

I doubt this will put very many people off. As mentioned before as well, make a backup image of your hard drive with the OS installed and everything personalised. This will save you hours.

By Bootstrap on 1/28/2007 11:23:02 AM , Rating: 2
But you can also upgrade from 2000, which doesn't require activation, so couldn't you still use a pirated disk?

By livelouddiefast on 1/28/2007 2:16:44 PM , Rating: 1
To you are the key words. Consumers, by and large, are saps and have to have whatever is new and hip. To the rest of them it's a neat new toy. Thankfully i'm getting it for free, otherwise i'd be in the same boat that it costs too much... though only $200 for OEM Ultimate... probably less for me since schools get stuff way cheaper.

Simple economics though. Microsoft is arguably the greatest necessary evil of our time. They make a lot of things half assed, but they dominate the market, and will continue to do so until someone can prove to the public that linux or os X is better, which in turn makes software makers more focused on that system, which will decrease the market share of windows. Til that day, long live microsoft.

Greed is what makes the free market world go round. Don't judge it as a bad thing, just look at it as people wanting to be as profitable as possible.

By Russell on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: crack
By THEREALJMAN73 on 1/28/2007 10:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
In hod we trust.

RE: crack
By The Boston Dangler on 1/29/2007 12:22:30 AM , Rating: 2
Hod Bless You

Upgrading from 2000 to Home Premium?
By Bootstrap on 1/28/2007 10:46:45 AM , Rating: 2
I read that upgrading from Windows 2000 to Vista Home Premium would require a clean install. Does this mean I'd have to install 2000, pop in a Vista disk, let Vista completely remove 2000, and then install itself? I guess I could live with that, but seems pretty silly to me.

By drwho9437 on 1/28/2007 2:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
I bet it does... for the "home" version users. Lucky, win2k install can go pretty fast, if you pick a small partition (ie not a 3 hour wait on the formating step)

As pointed out by another user, this KB article doesn't list Business edition, which is what I ordered as my upgrade (from XP free).

Another solution might be to leave a 1 GB windows XP partition on the drive. If you think frequent reinstalls might be needed. With Vista's Beta I could duel boot win2k and Vista.

This kind of junk certainly puts me off buying any XP machine with free upgrade though... Come on Lenovo get with it Dell/HP have Vista offerings already.

Dual Boot Questions
By BigDDesign on 1/29/2007 1:47:30 AM , Rating: 2
1:) Can you Dual Boot with a Vista upgrade using 2 Drives, one with XP Home or Media Center 2005 already installed on one of the drives and have the Vista upgrade install on the other drive? Or would it work better with the OEM version of Vista?

2:) I already dual boot XP Home and Media Center on my main workstation. Can I triple boot? I have seven drives (4 are setup in two separate Raid 0 volumes **5 drive letters**, that's not an issue. I would hate to give up one of my XP OS, but if I have to... so be it.

RE: Dual Boot Questions
By darkpaw on 1/30/2007 1:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, you can triple boot. I had Vista, XP64, and XP all installed at the same time at one point.

Do A Disk Image
By grayfox1169 on 1/28/2007 9:03:07 AM , Rating: 2
This just stresses the importance of doing a disk image.
1. Image Vista after installing, updating, and activating
2. Do a disk image of XP or keep a minimal activated install in a small partition.
3. Copy these images to a safe place, like an external hard drive.

RE: Do A Disk Image
By SunAngel on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
By DigitalFreak on 1/29/2007 12:58:58 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone else notice that Vista Ultimate isn't mentioned at the bottom of the KB article under the Applies To: section? Wonder if this is yet another ploy to push Ultimate on people.

By labgeek on 2/1/2007 12:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
If it is an upgrade, what this version is intended for. You do not need to go through all of these tricks to do a clean install. Note the 2nd line - bolded for your entertainment.

Method 1

Start the installation from a compliant version of Windows, such as Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP, or Microsoft Windows 2000. After you have started the installation, you can select Custom at the installation choice screen to perform a clean installation

Why would anyone be foolish enough to use Vista
By Beenthere on 1/28/07, Rating: -1
By KaiserCSS on 1/28/2007 1:22:07 PM , Rating: 1
And this is exactly why Mac users will never get ahead in this world.

By Oregonian2 on 1/29/2007 6:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
Well, Apple has just recently added official support for running Microsoft OS's on their computers (for a small couple dollar fee I recall). So Mac users presumably can now run Vista as well.

By kelmon on 1/28/2007 4:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
In all fairness, assuming that you already have XP Service Pack 2 installed, what's wrong with what you already have? My main computer is a Mac but I do run XP a lot during the day and, by and large, it's fine. Certainly in my testing of Vista I've seen little that makes me want to throw more money at Microsoft particularly when it comes at a greater price of increased inconvenience. Stick with XP unless it's critical for you to run Vista and ignore the hype.

long story short
By medavid16 on 1/28/07, Rating: -1
RE: long story short
By 3kliksphilip on 1/28/2007 12:55:43 PM , Rating: 2 has the Windows Premium edition for £70 (The upgradable version costs more, I think). I expected it to be about £150 or so. £70 for a new operating system seems like a reasonable deal, especially as It'll require updates for the next 4-5 years.

RE: long story short
By just4U on 1/28/2007 3:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
"I feel sorry for those that are buying OEM. If the disk becomes corrupt, MS doesn't replace OEM disks, only the OEM can replace the disk. So, if you buy OEM from Newegg and add on the extended warranty, your back to the retail price."

I have a question, Can't you just make a back up copy of Vista on a dvd and put the original away for safe keeping?

RE: long story short
By SunAngel on 1/28/07, Rating: 0
RE: long story short
By just4U on 1/28/2007 3:48:19 PM , Rating: 2
I just don't see why it wouldn't be. I've never had a problem copying any Window's discs and MS doesn't appear to care about that... Wish other companies saw it the same way. I really like to keep all my original disc's in perfect condition.

RE: long story short
By ATC on 1/28/2007 6:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see why you couldn't make a backup for yourself.

My MSDN copy which I've been told is identical to the retail DVD was easy to make a copy of for my own purposes.

RE: long story short
By glennpratt on 1/28/2007 5:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
You can backup the disc. Note it say do not make illegal copies of the disk, it doesn't say do not make copies :)

Seriously, all you need is the key, volume customers don't even get media when they order from MS, just licenses. The media costs extra and you only get one.

RE: long story short
By mixpix on 1/28/2007 10:04:09 PM , Rating: 3
You buy games for $50 and an OEM version of Windows for for around $120. HOW is that a rippoff?!?! Don't be so freaking cheap.

If you "break" your OEM disk all you have to do is burn another Vista disk of the same version. The product number is the part you have to worry about losing. Anyways how many people break disks that they maybe use once a year?

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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