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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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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.


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