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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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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.)

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