How can I reinstall Windows 7 when I upgraded from Windows Vista and only have the upgrade version?

Bob W. December 31, 2010

My hard drive is failing and I’m not sure how to reinstall Windows 7. I upgraded from Windows Vista and I only have the upgrade version of Windows 7.

I plan on getting a new hard drive. My files are backed up and I created a “Windows 7 Repair Disk.” Not sure how to go through the process of getting my computer back to normal without spending for another Windows 7 DVD.

  1. Anonymous
    January 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Hi
    The deal with upgrade media is simple, an existing, and activated copy of Windows must exist on the hard drive prior to installation, or be prepared to start over.
    http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_use_your_windows_7_upgrade_disk_fresh_pc

    Upgrade disc are generally meant for those who are upgrading from a previous operating system. If you perform a clean install using the upgrade media and try activating Windows, it wont work. There is a way arround
    http://www.winsupersite.com/blogs/tabid/3256/entryid/75587/clean-install-windows-7-with-upgrade-media-the-answer.aspx

    open regedit.exe with Start Menu Search and navigate to:

    HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/

    Change MediaBootInstall from "1" to "0".

    Open the Start Menu again and type cmd to display a shortcut to the Command Line utility. Right-click this shortcut and choose "Run as administrator." Handle the UAC prompt.

    In the command line window, type: slmgr /rearm

    Then tap ENTER, close the command line window and reboot. When Windows 7 reboots, run the Activate Windows utility, type in your product key and activate windows.

    Voila!

  2. Mike
    January 1, 2011 at 9:10 am

    The Windows 7 Upgrade DVD is no different from the "Full Install" DVD.

    Basically you can perform a full clean install using the same DVD by selecting "Custom Installation" instead of "Upgrade".

    The only pointers I want to give at that point is to NOT enter the Upgrade Key during installation and DO NOT let Windows activate automatically. Boot into Windows 7 after the installation and try activating your product from there.

    "Using the Custom installation option if no operating system is installed" at
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Installing-and-reinstalling-Windows-7

    If default Activation says your key is invalid read up on the following article
    http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/10/27/clean-install-windows-7-with-upgrade-media-and-product-key-on-formatted-or-empty-blank-hard-drive/

    ***
    For everyone else reading up on this ~ information is provided assuming you legally qualify for an Upgrade installation.