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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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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

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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