Clean install Vista with upgrade DVD via loophole

Written by Tim Smalley

January 31, 2007 | 12:54

Tags: #clean #disc #dvd #install #loophole #upgrade #vista #windows

An internal document from Microsoft has revealed that there is a workaround that will allow end users to use a Vista Upgrade disc to complete a clean install of the new operating system.

On Monday, we reported that Microsoft would prevent this from happening with Vista, as it disabled disc checking during the installation. Instead, it required end users to install and activate a copy of Windows XP or Windows 2000 before upgrading to Vista using an upgrade disc.

Paul Thurrott, one of the most well-known Windows experts, has exposed a workaround that has come from one of the software giant's internal documents and DailyTech has confirmed that it works.

The process described is as follows:
  • Boot to the Windows Vista Upgrade disc and click "Install Now";
  • Do not enter your product key when prompted and then select which edition of Vista you have - this installs Windows Vista as a 30-day trial;
  • Once the installation is completed, restart the setup programme from within Windows Vista and enter your product key when prompted;
  • Choose either an Upgrade or Custom (advanced) install - the latter will complete another fresh install of Vista;
  • Once complete, you should be able to activate Vista as normal.
It does sound like a lot of hassle to us, but doesn't look particularly difficult to follow. It's strange that Microsoft left such a strange loophole wide open, but it means that any upgrade DVD can be used as a fully functional retail Vista disc. We wonder how long it'll stay like this though. Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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