Windows 7 can be purchased in various editions like Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Ultimate. Next to these editions are also different versions of the operating system like oem, full retail and upgrade. If you purchase a Windows 7 Upgrade you are only allowed to upgrade if you own a previous version of a Windows operating system. But what if you want to perform a clean install on a new computer system? The installation using the Windows 7 Upgrade DVD would work fine but it would not be possible to activate the operating system.
Paul Thurott discovered a way to perform a clean install of Windows 7 using Windows 7 Upgrade media and to activate it with just a simple tweak which can be applied in the running operating system.
According to Paul all that needs to be done after performing the initial clean installation of Windows 7 is the following:
After performing the clean install, ensure that there are no Windows Updates pending that would require a system reboot. (You'll see an orange shield icon next to Shutdown in the Start Menu if this is the case).
Then, open regedit.exe with Start Menu Search and navigate to:
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. It should just work.
There you have it. An easy way to do a clean install of Windows 7 using an upgrade DVD. This is obviously only legal if you own a previous Microsoft operating system that's supported by the Windows 7 Update program.
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