I’m running windows 7 RC1 on both my machines at home. I’d like to purchase and upgrade version, which is much cheaper even than the OEM version. I have full retail versions of vista for each PC, my question is: When I use an upgrade copy of windows 7, do I need just the valid vista serial #, or do I have to physically install vista on the machines first in order to upgrade? 'cause if I have to install vista first then I won’t bother.
I was able to do a clean install using the upgrade disk. When it prompts you to, do a custom install and then DO NOT enter the serial.
After the install is complete, activate it and it will then ask you for the serial.
I did this on a clean partition which allowed me to keep the windows XP as a bootable back up (see also dual booting).
The article has a few methods about doing a fresh install, but the first worked for me.
I did not need to enter a Vista or XP serial and this was with the Win 7 Home Premium upgrade that they presold for $50 a few months ago.
The OP might be getting the student deal, which is an upgrade to Home Premium or Professional for $30.
Basically, if you already have Windows installed and you install the upgrade it should activate no problem, even if you do a “clean” install that deletes your old partitions.