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No more clean installs for Vista upgraders

No more clean installs for Vista upgraders

Vista upgraders will no longer be able to do a completely clean install.

End users buying upgrade versions of Windows Vista will no longer be able to use the disc to install a clean version of the operating system.

This news has broken a long-standing tradition, where the upgrader could simply go through the normal setup routine and insert a previous version of Windows when prompted.

Instead, Microsoft now requires end users to have a genuine Windows installation before allowing an upgrade to Vista from inside the activated copy of Windows XP or Windows 2000.

Of course, this won't be a problem for most users, because they're more than likely to have a previous copy of Windows installed. However, for the enthusiast market, it could pose some problems.

Those looking to save a dime or two by buying the upgrade version will not be able to do a clean installation of Windows Vista. If the hassle of installing and activating a previous version of Windows is too much, you're going to have to save up for a full version of the OS.

Did you used to clean install with an upgrade CD? Let us know in the forums.

49 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
DougEdey 29th January 2007, 07:56 Quote
Shame, but I suppose it's for added security as you have to activate your previous copy first.
Mankz 29th January 2007, 08:03 Quote
Oh well, im in trouble..

I can't download IE7 becase I've got an 'illegal' upgrade from Me edition, so I guess I'll be needing a full copy of Vista-Ulimate for school.

Also, do we know how many times you can load the OS before it locks itself? (I think it was 5 times on XP Pro)
Tim S 29th January 2007, 08:05 Quote
You can only upgrade from Win2k and WinXP
Glider 29th January 2007, 08:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankz_91
I can't download IE7 becase I've got an 'illegal' upgrade from Me edition, so I guess I'll be needing a full copy of Vista-Ulimate for school.
You need Vista for school? And even then the Ultimate edition? I'd recommend changing schools then...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankz_91
Also, do we know how many times you can load the OS before it locks itself? (I think it was 5 times on XP Pro)
If you ring MS and explain, you can reinstall as much as you want...


I think MS should have made the upgrade so that you insert the disk + key of your previous version during install, and during activation of Vista it first checks the previous install and then the Vista one...

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
You can only upgrade from Win2k and WinXP
I think he allready had a less then legal upgrade from Me to XP... (That I make of it)
Mankz 29th January 2007, 08:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
You need Vista for school? And even then the Ultimate edition? I'd recommend changing schools then...
EDIT:
I think he allready had a less then legal upgrade from Me to XP... (That I make of it)

Yep, allready got XP SP2.

Err, No. I like my School
bilbothebaggins 29th January 2007, 08:57 Quote
Quote:

Another reason to not buy that PoC than.
...
Well until the 1st must-have game comes out at least :-)

(Or, maybe, who knows ... friend of mine played WoW under linux+wine yesterday ;) )

- btb -
<A88> 29th January 2007, 09:42 Quote
Ebuyer have the OEM of Home Premium for £65. Although it doesn't come with the oh-so-fancy packaging, it looks like that might be the way to go for me when this RC runs out.

<A88>
GRiDlock 29th January 2007, 10:13 Quote
What happens if a windows installation gets corrupt / ugly after time and you want to do a clean rebuild. In theory you have to wipe the disk, install the old OS and then upgrade to Vista. How stupid, surely you can do a clean install and just provide the old code / cd.
Mother-Goose 29th January 2007, 10:27 Quote
I don't think microsoft can be faulted for this, they are trying to stamp out pirate versions of the software, and whilst it may not be nice, it is fair, even with their massive profits I still get a little riled by people using dodgy installs when I payed to get the legit version of XP. If you don't want to pay then you don't deserve the OS.

(On a side note I do agree with this on the music front IF you could find all the tracks that are on limewire to buy, but you cant, which sucks).
Tim S 29th January 2007, 10:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRiDlock
What happens if a windows installation gets corrupt / ugly after time and you want to do a clean rebuild. In theory you have to wipe the disk, install the old OS and then upgrade to Vista. How stupid, surely you can do a clean install and just provide the old code / cd.
Nope, unfortunately they've changed the definition of upgrade. If you want to do a fresh install of Vista, you're going to have to pay for the full version.
NemeSYS 29th January 2007, 10:40 Quote
That's another reason why people IMO are better of buying OEM versions. First they are much cheaper, and not only in comparison to the full retail price, but also the upgrade price. For example, Vista Ultimate Upgrade costs 259$, Vista Ultimate OEM costs 200$.

Also, while an OEM license is tied to one machine only, you still have plenty of upgrade options, meaning that you could change your graphics card, CPU or HDD and still be able to activate it again.

Finally, even if you build a totally new system in 2 years and want to install Vista on it, you can buy another OEM version for it. It really makes sense if you consider that 1 full retail version == 2 OEM versions.

People like to complain about Vista's high price or installation restrictions, but IMHO Ultimate OEM for 200$, even if I can't install it on a totally new machine afterwards, is a pretty good deal. Just my two cents. :)

//Edit: According to this , it is even possible to transfer an OEM license from a PC to another.
Ionix 29th January 2007, 10:55 Quote
It looks like you can perform a clean install with an upgrade disk after all from what it says here: http://www.tweakguides.com/

"Confusion is rife over this at the moment, but it appears that you can do a clean install using an Upgrade Edition, you simply have to boot into a qualifying previous version of Windows first, then start the installation process and choose a clean install to your selected hard drive."
Gordy 29th January 2007, 11:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
Nope, unfortunately they've changed the definition of upgrade. If you want to do a fresh install of Vista, you're going to have to pay for the full version.

That is seriously stupid!
Tim S 29th January 2007, 11:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ionix
It looks like you can perform a clean install with an upgrade disk after all from what it says here: http://www.tweakguides.com/

"Confusion is rife over this at the moment, but it appears that you can do a clean install using an Upgrade Edition, you simply have to boot into a qualifying previous version of Windows first, then start the installation process and choose a clean install to your selected hard drive."
That's not a true "clean install" though - you've got to install another OS before you can install Vista. With XP, you could just put your XP upgrade disc in the drive and the when prompted put a full version of Windows 2000, Windows 98 or Windows ME disc into the drive to confirm that you're eligible to upgrade.
Mother-Goose 29th January 2007, 11:39 Quote
doh the way it works now is how I assumed it always worked :( I don't think I have ever done an upgrade come to think of it.
DXR_13KE 29th January 2007, 12:12 Quote
that OS will not run on my PC (to much DRM).
they can start making DX10 compatible with XP or making it open.
DougEdey 29th January 2007, 12:20 Quote
Well, I found out today the Microsoft has completely crippled OpenGL in Vista.

Even XSI can't work in directX mode under vista and all OpenGL work is about 2FPS.
BioSniper 29th January 2007, 12:56 Quote
Doug: if OGL is crippled what happens to games like those based around the Q3 engine? Presumably they will just cease to function or just be very slow?
DougEdey 29th January 2007, 13:16 Quote
No idea yet, I have D3 at home and will try it out.

I'm seriously moving back to XP.
Tim S 29th January 2007, 13:21 Quote
Last time I checked, Quake 4 just ran like crap.
bloodcar 29th January 2007, 13:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
Nope, unfortunately they've changed the definition of upgrade. If you want to do a fresh install of Vista, you're going to have to pay for the full version.
They didn't change the definition of upgrade, they just tightened up some of their rules a little bit.
kergareth 29th January 2007, 13:58 Quote
Progress? I think not. T'is more like regress
DarkReaper 29th January 2007, 14:28 Quote
Well at least it allows you to format the drive - having to do an install-on-top and having legacy stuff lying round would be very messy.
Tyinsar 29th January 2007, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider
...
I think MS should have made the upgrade so that you insert the disk + key of your previous version during install, and during activation of Vista it first checks the previous install and then the Vista one...
I agree that that should be enough since that's really all you'd be needing to do with the XP install anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
Well, I found out today the Microsoft has completely crippled OpenGL in Vista.

Even XSI can't work in directX mode under vista and all OpenGL work is about 2FPS.
>:( And there we have it - the old evil Macro$loth is back :( (for a while they seemed almost human).
iggy 29th January 2007, 17:27 Quote
clean installations

how does this all fit in then?

ive got xp pro, ive bought the upgrade version of vista home premium. says there i can do a clean install. so can i or cant i?
Tim S 29th January 2007, 18:01 Quote
You can do a "clean install" (i.e. Vista setup wipes your activated copy of Windows XP and then installs fresh) but you can't do a clean install with a completely blank hard drive in the way that you could before (via Windows Setup)
alastor 29th January 2007, 18:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodcar
They didn't change the definition of upgrade, they just tightened up some of their rules a little bit.
Including the OEM rules. They've apparently closed the loophole about 'system critical components', and now you can only legally buy an OEM copy if it comes preinstalled on a full PC. Just depends if Microsoft want to stop anyone from selling it...

EDIT: They did that a while ago though and haven't done anything about it yet...will have to see what they do with Vista.
randosome 29th January 2007, 18:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DougEdey
No idea yet, I have D3 at home and will try it out.

I'm seriously moving back to XP.
i don't understand why anyone wants to move away

the only benefit of vista to me as i see it, DX10 - that's it, i wouldn't consider upgrading if it wasn't for the fact i cant run DX10 in XP, even then I'm waiting as long as i possibly can

Hopefully wine will get DX10 support, then i can give MS the good old 2 finger salute
Ramble 29th January 2007, 20:32 Quote
The default MS WDDM drivers don't work with Opengl well (Because it goes via directx) but nvidia and ati drivers work with it just fine.

Plus, why the hell do you need Vista ultimate for school? Just get Home Premium OEM.
DarkReaper 29th January 2007, 20:52 Quote
On an ironic side note, I clicked stumbleupon to leave this page and it served me up with this:

http://www.joyoftech.com/joyoftech/joyimages/915.gif

subliminal message or sheer fluke?
Woodstock 29th January 2007, 21:11 Quote
Well, thats an extra hour or so of absolute pointless crap, just what you want
cpemma 29th January 2007, 21:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alastor
They've apparently closed the loophole about 'system critical components', and now you can only legally buy an OEM copy if it comes preinstalled on a full PC.
Quote:
OEM software comes in two types it seems - that for end users to buy off an OEM distributor and that for system builders to buy to put on systems they then sell to a customer. Scan usually sell the first type, which comes with a hardware requirement of just one component. A while ago Scan got the wrong type in, and had to change their clause to say only for sale with a complete system, because they got the ones for system builders. I got one of these and when you install it directly you have missing bits of information, like system manufacturer and system model (it says 'To be completed by system builder' or something). To fill in those bits you need an OEM Preinstallation Kit and you need to be registered to get hold of one of them.

The end-user type just takes the information directly from the motherboard, and hence is tied license-wise to the motherboard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisP, Scan Retail Sales Manager
The OEM licence of Vista can be purchased with a 99p mouse, this is classed as a hardware purchase...
The new 'clean install' process is messy, but the biggest danger is anyone buying the retail Vista Upgrade to install over their legally-obtained XP OEM may find it difficult in a year or so when they've advanced to a new motherboard (and almost certainly new processor and memory to suit it). The agreement that OEM versions are for the life of the original system's motherboard would mean your XP OEM won't activate and your Upgrade Vista DVD becomes a coaster.

A pity, but should MS sit back and ignore all the bragging posted on the internet from those abusing the system? They've taken a more draconian step, no more borrowing a qualifier to stick in the drive for a few seconds.

It's not a case of "you could enter the old product key". The qualifier must validate.
Cthippo 29th January 2007, 22:56 Quote
This will only encourage piracy. People who in the past would have purchased an OEM or upgrade disc will instead download it from a torrent. Congratulations, MS, you just shot yourelves in the foot.\

And speaking of feet, here's a footnote. I went to linux to avoid Vista and I feel better and better about that decision every day!
Enak 29th January 2007, 23:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scan person
The OEM licence of Vista can be purchased with a 99p mouse, this is classed as a hardware purchase...
This is incorrect and based on old licencing rules...
Quote:
Originally Posted by alastor
Including the OEM rules. They've apparently closed the loophole about 'system critical components', and now you can only legally buy an OEM copy if it comes preinstalled on a full PC. Just depends if Microsoft want to stop anyone from selling it...

EDIT: They did that a while ago though and haven't done anything about it yet...will have to see what they do with Vista.
You can purchase an OEM System Builder Pack pretty much anywhere and the only real requirement is that you stick the key on the outside of the box and provide your own tech support... Technically you should be a registered Microsoft System Builder to do this.

Basically, Vista OEM comes in a brown box with a system builders licence on the outside (which is what you'll buy online). Once you've opened the box, you can't sell it on as you are required to sell the contents (e.g. Vista) pre-installed on a new or refurbished PC. If you are not selling it on, you are quite entitled to build your own PC with this copy. In fact, this was one of the reasons for the licencing changes (to allow home users access to OEM).
Sloth 29th January 2007, 23:07 Quote
Cthippo, you're sounding very lucky now.. (trying to make a full Linux move over, but gaming causes me to stay dual booting.. the GIMP is awesome though)

Is it just me or is MS shooting itself in the foot in the enthusiast market so that they can have their precious simpleton market of people who just bought a C2D setup PC with XP and now will buy a new PC with the same specs, having Vista? I just want XP with DX10! Why do you hate us Microsoft?!
randosome 30th January 2007, 00:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Generic42
I just want XP with DX10! Why do you hate us Microsoft?!
We are MS's cash cows <_< why not trample over the people who are most likely to help everyone else in the world with your cruddy OS
Tyinsar 30th January 2007, 00:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpemma
...
It's not a case of "you could enter the old product key". The qualifier must validate.
OK, some days I'm a little dense. Please explain why it's impossible for MS to write an installer that could check the version of XP on the old install disk then reference the key against that and their lists of active and pirated keys. I suppose they'd also have to generate a hash based on the hardware and that might require the correct drivers (maybe I just answered my own question) but - as you said, this is all a little draconian.
EbilCanadian 30th January 2007, 03:20 Quote
Ok, now here's a question. If i have a retail version of windows XP (FPP not OEM), which if i understand right can be reinstalled if I upgrade my motherboard without problem. So therefore combined with an upgrade version of vista i should be able to install it again on a new motherboard if I upgrade, correct? Or does the upgrade version have OEM-like licencing rules?
cpemma 30th January 2007, 13:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyinsar
OK, some days I'm a little dense. Please explain why it's impossible for MS to write an installer that could check the version of XP on the old install disk then reference the key against that and their lists of active and pirated keys. I suppose they'd also have to generate a hash based on the hardware and that might require the correct drivers (maybe I just answered my own question) but - as you said, this is all a little draconian.
Wouldn't install need to go online for that to work? :o
cpemma 30th January 2007, 14:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
I went to linux to avoid Vista and I feel better and better about that decision every day!
Bloody born-again Ossians... :p
randosome 30th January 2007, 17:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpemma
Wouldn't install need to go online for that to work? :o
well that's true

could it not go online after its installed, if it doesn't verify, your locked out ? (well to the point you can click "buy vista")

And even then, these days (i think) a lot of people have Internet via Ethernet, and windows should be able to get the Internet at installation, i know Server 2003 would detect if there was another server on the domain with the same Name, so why cant vista ?
Tyinsar 30th January 2007, 19:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpemma
Wouldn't install need to go online for that to work? :o
Quote:
Originally Posted by randosome
...could it not go online after its installed, if it doesn't verify, your locked out ?
That is what I was thinking: When Vista goes to activate it would first check the XP key then, if that passes, check the Vista key.
gpw111 31st January 2007, 08:12 Quote
Here's a workaround - if no one else has already posted it

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=5932

A bit long winded really...

1) Boot from the Windows Vista Upgrade DVD and start the setup program.

2) When prompted to enter your product key, DO NOT enter it. Click "Next" and proceed with setup. This will install Windows Vista as a 30-day trial.

3) When prompted, select the edition of Vista which you have purchased and continue with setup.

4) Once setup has been completed and you have been brought to the desktop for the first time, run the install program from within Windows Vista.

5) This time, type in your product key when prompted.

6) When asked whether to perform an Upgrade or Custom (advanced) install, choose Custom (advanced) to perform a clean install of Vista. Yes, this means that you will have to install Vista for a second time.

7) Once setup has completed for the second time, you should be able to activate Windows Vista normally. You can also delete the Windows.old directory which contains information from the first Vista install.
DougEdey 31st January 2007, 08:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpw111

7) Once setup has completed for the second time, you should be able to activate Windows Vista normally. You can also delete the Windows.old directory which contains information from the first Vista install.

Vista has actually got a clean up method to remove old installations of Windows, it removed 50GB from my old XP install!
Glider 31st January 2007, 08:45 Quote
But this is a Vista install that remains, not an XP...

And I don't know, it seems like circumventing the whole update thing, as you never have to enter the previous key (from the XP license)
DougEdey 31st January 2007, 09:00 Quote
I haven't tested it on a Vista old install yet, but it's called "Clean previous Windows installations" so I'm assuming it'll work on Vista
Mother-Goose 31st January 2007, 09:48 Quote
hmmmm it is going to be interesting, I guess the only way to see if it works is when it comes to upgrading?! What happens if you flash the bios and replace the CPU? or at least, what is supposed to happen? I don't mind paying £130 every couple of years when I do full upgrades but if I have to change a mobo because it dies, would that mean you would have to get a new version of it? I assume this is the benifit of having the retail version, this problem doesn't exist?
randosome 31st January 2007, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mother-Gooser
hmmmm it is going to be interesting, I guess the only way to see if it works is when it comes to upgrading?! What happens if you flash the bios and replace the CPU? or at least, what is supposed to happen? I don't mind paying £130 every couple of years when I do full upgrades but if I have to change a mobo because it dies, would that mean you would have to get a new version of it? I assume this is the benifit of having the retail version, this problem doesn't exist?
you can re-activate vista up to 10 times, so that's 10 changes of hardware
Lame TBH, because why should there be any limit at all, it can still only be on 1 PC so why shouldn't it be unlimited - just asking for it to be hacked
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