How to “clean install” an upgrade copy of Vista

August 11, 2008

Microsoft has made it difficult for users to “clean install” Windows Vista (that is, install the operating system on a computer that doesn’t have a previous copy of Windows) if you’ve bought an upgrade version of the operating system.

Doing this is difficult, but not impossible, although it is a major hassle. Here’s how:

  1. Insert the Windows Vista upgrade DVD in the drive and boot up off it.
  2. Click on “Install Now.” This will begin the installation process.
  3. Now for the main trick: Don’t enter your Windows Vista product key.
  4. When asked, select the version of Windows Vista you bought (don’t think you can trick the system–you can’t).
  5. Continue with the installation normally.
  6. When the installation has finished, access the DVD through Windows Explorer and re-run the setup process and carry out another installation.
  7. When prompted, enter your product key.

Now continue with the installation. You now have a working installation of Windows Vista.

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