Make Clean Installs with Vista Update DVDs

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 31, 2007
Updated • May 26, 2013
Windows, Windows Updates, Windows Vista

For some time everyone thought that it was only possible to use a Vista update DVD on a computer system where Windows XP is installed on to install the new Microsoft operating system using upgrade media. The Windows XP key would become invalid and the Vista installation could commence from that moment on, and that an upgrade cannot not be installed on a system with no installed version of Windows XP.

DailyTech posted a workaround which makes it possible to install Windows Vista using a Vista update DVD without XP. What this means is that you can use the upgrade DVD to install Windows Vista on a system with no qualifying operating system, which can be useful for users who have Windows XP but bought a new hard drive that they want to use Vista on. Instead of having to install XP first to upgrade to Vista, it is now possible to install Vista directly on those systems.

To summarize the procedure. You load the Vista DVD, choose not to enter a product key when it prompts for one and continue the installation by choosing the right Vista edition. This will install a 30 day trial version of Vista. Run the setup again, this time from the now fully working Vista.

Type in your product key and choose a custom (advanced) installation when asked. This simply means that Windows Vista will be installed again on your system, this time with the right product key. Delete the windows.old directory afterwards which contains the files from the first installation.

So, what you do basically is install Vista as a trial to run the installer again to install it fully.

Is it a loophole? Yes it is. Everyone can now use Vista Update DVDs to install Windows Vista without having the operating system at hand that has to be used to update.


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