10 Steps in install vista upgrade as full version (THE EASY WAY)

1 March 2007
Story Courtesy of  Lib Setag

Oops Microsoft, I did it again. Installed vista upgrade like a full version.

Ok, Ok I know you had read about a complicated trick, where you install vista upgrade in a funny way and wow it works.
All you want is a clean install and hey you even own a licensed copy of xp..good man (or woman).

But I accidentally did this a different and easier way and wow it really works, I duplicated it 3 times on 3 different machines (with 3 different licenses Microsoft).

 I was bound to mess up my install but what I found was even better.

 Here goes:

1) Installed your vista install as a clean full install (you can wipe your drive 1st if you like) not upgrade and go through the entire install per normal. Make sure you unclick the activate now, and untick get update boxes. Do not install your license key  yet.

2) Let it do it’s thing, reboot when asked etc. 

3) Once completed 100% then try to activate your key (it should fail) go to activiation, put in your LEGAL code.
It says this is the wrong version for your key…oops..

 4) 🙂 Best install it again… install it and keep in the SAME partition.. again do NOT install your key in this part of the activation.  Keep all boxes unticked as before go through the install and reboot ready for it to work. 

5) It will say that the old version of windows will be renamed window.old..cool thanks

6)  once done rebooted and ready to roll go back to activation ent. oops says it is installed already..reboot computer..
Again… says it is being a duplicate number (DO NOT REBOOT)…do it again..

7)  After doing twice by accident… it worked.

8) Reboot

9) Delete window.old.

10) Done

 PS I called MS to ask about this after it worked  3 times and asked what I should do (being a moral citizen and everything).
There suggestion format c: reinstall xp then reinstall vista….Hmmm …not

I then escalated it and was told…we have no idea…

 Thanks Bill

Regards, Lib Setag


  1. I would just like to add, I was sent the express upgrade from HP to bring my media centre edition laptop up to vistas level. I recieved 2 discs, one was the update manager and one the installation disc. I must say at this point that i dont want vista on my laptop, but i do want it on my HP/Compaq desktop. I reasoned that as it was a similar machine, there shouldnt really be an issue doing this. After i started the upgrade manager disc it told me that the pc failed the initial compatibility test. It only later told me that this was due to my machine already had Xp pro installed. The only option apparently was to cancel the install.Ok, I dumped the manager disc and went for the install directly. This went fine until it go to the “expanding files” section, then it told me i couldnt continue as it failed to find teh appropriate folder to copy windows to. hmmm. How was i to continue in my battle to have it my way? as usual, i decided to try again. I ran the disc at boot and it failed. i then ran it from the setup utility and it sarted ok, running all the way through the install to completion. i did enter my validation key when prompted and i did exactly as i was prompted for the clean installation. one question, if this is and upgrade only disc, i didnt use any work arounds and it was the wrong initial operating system already installed, how on earth did this work? any ideas on this would be appreciated. im confused to say the least.

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