locked
Installing Windows 7 Upgrade to a new Hard Drive

    Question

  • I purchased & pre ordered the Windows 7 Professional upgrade.  I also decided it would be a good time to upgrade to a larger Hard Disk Drive. I will be completely removing the old smaller hard drive. I want to do I clean install of Win 7.  Will I be able to execute a clean install to my new hard drive with out first unsing the Vista Ultimate restore disks that came with my pc?
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 3:03 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Hai,

    It will completely depends up on the restore disc of your pc manufacturer. If it supports the new harddisc you may install vista now and can be upgraded. No issues

    regards from www.windowsadmin.info
    ManuPhilip
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 3:17 PM
  • No.  You must have a qualifying Windows operating system installed, such as Windows Vista, in order to install the Windows 7 Upgrade.
    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, October 22, 2009 3:21 PM
    Moderator
  • I would like to point out that this policy sucks.

    I upgraded my machine from vista to Win 7 beta. Then got a new hard drive and installed Win 7 Home Premium upgrade and was told that my product key was invalid. So, I skipped that step, got the OS installed and tried to activate from within the OS. This time, it tells me the product requires a valid existing OS in order to upgrade.

    So, my only solution is to wipe the drive, install vista, then install the upgrade to get back to where I already am. All this just to get Windows to allow this to be activated?

    That is not a good user experience model.

    I have three valid Vista licenses I would gladly prove that I already own, but am not glad to actually have to install them to verify that I have them.
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 5:26 PM
  • This looks so helpful. Thank you so much for this link.

    Thursday, October 29, 2009 6:07 PM
  • Thursday, October 29, 2009 6:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Please see: Regardless of what any hack says, a Windows 7 Upgrade is an Upgrade. What you need to know
    Carey Frisch
    Carey, the link you pointed out essentially confirms what several of us having been saying. It's the license that determines the validity, not the actual method of installation. As long as you have a license for the previous OS, it is OK to NOT reinstall the previous OS - such as would be the case for such an install.

    From the article:
    "
    Now there are many, many, many, many of you out there that already own Windows licenses that qualify for the Windows 7 Upgrade, so this is a non-issue for you.  (I am talking about people who own a FULL license for a previous version of Windows for their computers already, as shown in the first picture example above.)  For you, since you have the previous version FULL Windows license and qualify for the Windows 7 Upgrade, you have the rights to do a “clean” install."

    Thus, you can use the double-install or registry patch method with a clear conscience, be within the letter of the EULA, and save a lot of time to boot. A lot of people are going to waste a lot of money and time trying to obtain lost recovery disks because this isn't made clear. Why make people waste time on the phone with their vendors trying to buy recovery disks that aren't necessary? If you have them, great. If you just feel like sitting around watching different Windows installers, great. If you don't, great.

    Thus, the real question is - do you have a valid Win2k/XP/Vista license? If so, then no - you do NOT have to reinstall it if you don't want to. While it is recommended to start the install from a previous installation, as that will preserve your data (and for Vista, your applications), it is not technically necessary.
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 8:16 PM
  • Let me add, also from the linked page:

      re: Regardless of what any hack says, a Windows 7 Upgrade is an Upgrade. What you need to know.

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 9:55 AM by mssmallbiz

    @ PRPetitt - You actually answered your own question.  In the first example you gave, you stated, "I have an XP full license."  From there, you explained the various upgrade licenses you added.  If you look at the graphics I provided above, you have a full license and an upgrade, so you have a legal license for the upgraded version.  This is what the ability to clean install is designed for, for those who actually do qualify and have a legal license through the upgrade and want to do a clean install.  As long as you have a full qualifying license and the upgrade license, you can install the new version (and don't need to do an re-install of the old version to do so).  If they did not have the full Windows license to qualify for the upgrade license, then you would not be legal to install the upgrade version as a full version.

    In the second scenario again, the client has an HP or Gateway that came with a full Windows license and now you are applying an upgrade license to the full license.  Since you have the full license and the upgrade license, you can install the upgraded version clean if you choose.  If they did not have the full Windows license to qualify for the upgrade license, then you would not be legal to install the upgrade version as a full version.

    Make sense?

    Thursday, October 29, 2009 8:23 PM
  • I would like to point out that this policy sucks.

    I upgraded my machine from vista to Win 7 beta. Then got a new hard drive and installed Win 7 Home Premium upgrade and was told that my product key was invalid. So, I skipped that step, got the OS installed and tried to activate from within the OS. This time, it tells me the product requires a valid existing OS in order to upgrade.

    So, my only solution is to wipe the drive, install vista, then install the upgrade to get back to where I already am. All this just to get Windows to allow this to be activated?

    That is not a good user experience model.

    I have three valid Vista licenses I would gladly prove that I already own, but am not glad to actually have to install them to verify that I have them.

    You don't have to reinstall Vista to use your upgrade keys.

    You can do an in-place upgrade of Windows 7 over your current Windows 7 installation. Afterwards, your upgrade key will work. Alternately, you can use the registry patch method that essentially does the same thing, only without the second install. It's a bit of a sensitive subject, but Paul Thurrott's window supersite has a tutorial on it.

    Microsoft reps have actually given customers, myself included, instructions to do the second upgrade install over a Windows 7 "custom" install for certain situations - such as where it would be difficult or impossible to restore the original licensed OS. The registry patch method is a shortened version of that procedure.
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 8:33 PM
  • Will I be able to execute a clean install to my new hard drive with out first unsing the Vista Ultimate restore disks that came with my pc?

    That is a direct question and (as others have already explained) the answer to it is "yes!"  It is possible to use tyour Windows 7 upgrade disk/key to cleanly install on a new hard drive without first using your manufacturer-provided recovery media.

    There are 'workarounds' possible with upgrade disk/key which will enable you to do what you ask and, after performing those procedures, your resulting Windows 7 installation will be fully and legitimately licensed because you satisfy the necessary requirement by virtue of your ownership of a valid qualifying license. 

    The simplest (to understand) procedure is as follows:


    * Remove the old hard drive and replace it with your new (empty) hard drive.
    * Pop the windows 7 upgrade disk in the drive and power up, booting from the install disk.
    * Install Windows 7 to your new hard drive.  When prompted for an install key click on 'Next'.  Do not enter your install key at this point.
    * After Windows 7 has installed, boot to desktop, pop the install disk in the drive again and, from within Windows, run 'Setup' again.
    * This time choose 'Upgrade' as the install type, and enter your install key when prompted.

    This will give you a fully working, completely legitimate and perfectly valid Windows 7 install.  Your license upgrade is adequately 'qualified' by your ownership of the Windows license which was provided with the PC.  You must retain the recovery media and the COA sticker pertaining to that previous license, as physical proof of entitlement/ownership.

    You can afterwards format the original hard drive and reuse it for data storage.  You must NOT reuse that hard drive in a different machine, or reuse that previous license on a different machine.
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 9:16 PM
  • Please see: Regardless of what any hack says, a Windows 7 Upgrade is an Upgrade. What you need to know
    Carey Frisch

    Carey, wiith respect, as Seth Henry has pointed out that document clearly indicates that what people are saying here is correct.  The valid ownership of a previous legitimately qualifying license is enough, in itself, to entitle the user to perform an install using a 'fully' clean install procedure with the upgrade disk/key!

    Suggestions to the contrary are, quite frankly, incorrect!
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 9:20 PM
  • Please see: Regardless of what any hack says, a Windows 7 Upgrade is an Upgrade. What you need to know
    Carey Frisch

    Carey, wiith respect, as Seth Henry has pointed out that document clearly indicates that what people are saying here is correct.  The valid ownership of a previous legitimately qualifying license is enough, in itself, to entitle the user to perform an install using a 'fully' clean install procedure with the upgrade disk/key!

    Suggestions to the contrary are, quite frankly, incorrect!

    Your statement "the valid ownership of a previous legitimately qualifying license is enough..." is true, but not entirely.  While you may own a valid Windows license that qualifies for the upgrade version of Windows 7, that license must be installed on the hard drive for verification.  What you are saying is similar to someone that wishes to upgrade to a new car, trade-in the old car and pay the difference, then keep the old car, too.
    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 9:36 PM
    Moderator
  • Carey, that's not correct.  It is your personal interpretation, not definitive truth.

    In the corporate world, where 'volume licensing is ever and always 'upgrade' licensing, installation are in relaity rarely performed by having a 'qualifying' install present on the machine rather than clean imaging.  Same principles apply in the consumer realm.  It is the ownership and discontinuation of use of a valid qualifying license whic legitimates the upgraded license, not the installation procedure performed.

    The 'car' analogy is an incorrect one.  There is no suggestion being made here that both 'licenses' are going to be retained and used.  Whilst it is potentially 'possible' for that to occur, such a thing would be an illegitimate misuse and an illegitimate misuse is most decidely NOT what is under discussion here.  The topic starter is asking in relation to a legitimate and completely honourable need.  Don't 'slap' the good guys just because bad guys exist, huh?



    I (and others) keep pressing this concern because it is, quite frankly, completely unfair that people with legitimate and honourable intentions get repeatedly given incorrect information.



    Thursday, October 29, 2009 9:53 PM
  • A volume license does not require some sort of "hack" in order to activate the license.

    If you boot from the upgrade DVD, Windows 7 setup will perform a compliance check (for a qualifying Windows license) prior to the format. The results of the compliance check are stored in RAM at this point and you can enter the Windows 7 Upgrade product key.  After the format is complete the 'compliance information' is written back to the hard drive before the reboot happens.

    Don't be surprised when, possibly in the future, a Windows 7 Upgrade license is flagged as "non-genuine" because WGA cannot find this "compliance information" that is written back to the hard drive because the installation did not begin with a qualifying Windows O/S installed.


    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 10:13 PM
    Moderator
  • A volume license does not require some sort of "hack" in order to activate the license.

    If you boot from the upgrade DVD, Windows 7 setup will perform a compliance check (for a qualifying Windows license) prior to the format. The results of the compliance check are stored in RAM at this point and you can enter the Windows 7 Upgrade product key.  After the format is complete the 'compliance information' is written back to the hard drive before the reboot happens.

    Don't be surprised when, possibly in the future, a Windows 7 Upgrade license is flagged as "non-genuine" because WGA cannot find this "compliance information" that is written back to the hard drive because the installation did not begin with a qualifying Windows O/S installed.


    Carey Frisch

    The double-install method, which Microsoft themselves recommend for certain classes of problems, would have the same issue as the registry patch method. If Microsoft is going to recommend customers perform a procedure to install an OS, and then later flag that install as invalid, there would be a serious backlash - and rightly so.

    I can, if you like, forward you emails I received from both technical support, and the Microsoft store, which detail the double-install method - in my case, for upgrading a Win2k system. As an aside, Win2k wasn't ever "activated" (which is probably why you can't start the upgrade from it...), so I would be toast no matter what on that install if Microsoft decides to flag double-installs as invalid.

    I *MIGHT* could see looking for people who did a full install and flipped the registry flag, but in essence, that's all the second install is doing that we know of. If it's not, then a more full procedure needs to be developed to address that issue.
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 10:31 PM
  • A dual-install procedure, in which the install disk is booted from, a clean install deployed with no key assigned, and then a subsequent install performed with key assigned is not a 'hack'.  It is a procedure performed using the inbuilt capabilities of the product, in its provided and unaltered form.   The procedure was possible for Windows Vista also and, shortly after the Vista release, it was included in a Microsoft KB article and described as a 'clean install' procedure people could follow in the event of having upgrade media.  (In other words Microsoft clearly indicated to customers that it was an acceptable/legitimate procedure available as an install option!)

    A single install 'clean' procedure which, after installation, uses a registry edit to enable acceptance of the upgrade key is also not a 'hack'.  (Not in any derogatory or improper sense, anyways.)  People are perfectly entitled to use registry edits in order to have their Windows install perform in non-default fashion.  The technique is simply a registry edit which makes use of inbuilt capabilities of the OS, in order for their perfectly legitimate install key to be validated within their perfectly legitimate installation.  If you like, an undocumented registry function rather than a 'hack'.  and one which can be used to overcome an unfortunate limitation in the default behaviour of the installer.  The registry technique is simply a procedure which can be followed to manually put in place the 'compliance information' you mention. That information is a registry flag within the installation. As mentioned already, as long as legitimacy is attained by virtue of ownership (and discontinuation of usage) of a valid qualifying product then the legal obligations have been adequately met. Vague intimations that the install might go belly-up in the future are merely FUD, in the absence of explanation of how that might conceivably occur. Logic suggests that it can't. The experience of many, many people in the past suggests that it doesn't.
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 10:53 PM
  • Only if they apply to Windows 7 and not older Windows O/S's.  Windows licensing compliance has become more stringent with the introduction of WGA .

    Read more about the next generation of product activation technology that started with Windows Vista and has been updated for Windows 7.


    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 10:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Windows licensing compliance has become more stringent with the introduction of WGA .
    WGA validation has been around for ages.  It isn't unique to Windows 7.  It's been improved over time, but mostly to make it more efficient at avoiding 'false positives'.  (Those haven't been eliminated, buy the way, they've merely become less commonly found.)

    Once activated, a Windows install deployed using the mentioned 'workarounds' WILL successfully pass WGA validation.  That has been conclusively demonstrated already!
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 11:05 PM
  • What passes as genuine today may not pass as genuine tomorrow....words to the wise.
    Just ask some the unsuspecting folks in the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Forums
    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 11:13 PM
    Moderator
  • What passes as genuine today may not pass as genuine tomorrow....words to the wise.

    Another 'word of wisdom'.

    Should that exceptionally unlikely future day ever come to pass then it isn't going to be anything more than an annoyance, because it'd only be the installation rendered 'invalid' as a result, not the license held.   It would still be possible to reinstall using the procedures possible under that future (and very unlikely) imagined scenario.



    The truly 'wise' person wouldn't hold rather irrational fears, and refrain from using what are truly and practically useful procedures because of them.



    There are numerous potential scenarios in which such procedures are arguably the 'best' ones to follow.

    * A reinstall on a new hard drive in the event of system drive failure is one such scenario.
    * Another is the use of an upgrade product by a person who holds a legitimate and valid qualifying license, but whose installation disk for that valid qualifying product is damaged and unusable.

    There are many other such potential scenarios also.  The only pertinent 'point' is that is improper/illegal to use such techniques in order to avoid the licensing requirement of ownership of a valid, qualifying product.  It is quite proper to use them for situations/scenarios which render them the most desirable and/or practicable course of action to follow, where eligibility legitimacy already exists.
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 11:44 PM