XP clean install with XP upgrade disc?

Because of the ease of use of laptops in the living room, and the presence of a roommate that is living in our former computer room, my desktop has been sitting untouched for about the last 9 months. When I try getting on it, it runs slowly (even though it’s two years newer and faster than my laptop), and freezes disgustingly often. “Must not be any important datas on it,” I say, because I would have missed it since FEBRUARY was the last time I used it.

So I want to reformat it, and do a clean install of Win XP, but for some reason, all I can find is the upgrade CD. The BF and I each have a full copy of XP somewhere, but heaven help me if I can find it. I even have a copy of Win ME around here SOMEWHERE because I know that I have used the upgrade disc before for a clean install and had to dig the ME disk out of God knows where because it asked for proof that I really did have an older version.

But I can’t find any of that now. Alls I want to do is a clean install. Is there any known workaround? I don’t need a keygen or anything illegal like that, because I have the cute little green folder that the CD came in with the key. I just need to install this dumb XP.

(Side note: I went and looked at Wal-Mart, to price a copy of WinXP. They don’t even have the full version of it! I can buy an upgrade (UPGRADE!) for 99 dollars. Ugh.)

Sorry, you’re out of luck. You can’t do a clean install with an upgrade disc.

Wrong. The only difference between a full install disk and an upgrade disk is that it will ask you for the product key of the qualifying Windows product. I have installed XP on newly formatted drives with an XP upgrade disk dozens of times.

Neat! I’ll try it. I just have to wait until the bf comes home because his idea of cleaning up is “Where can I put this to where chaoticbear will never find it?”. He’ll surely know where he put my green folder with the CD key in it that used to be on the living room table.

Depending on the manufacturer, it may also be on a sticker on the computer case, on the side or back somewhere.


Yeah, that whole “Windows Installation is checking for previous versions of Windows” bit is just a joke.

You could borrow a friend’s install disk and use your serial. You could also us other not so legal ways of downloading an image of the install. Of course, no matter what you do, please use your original serial number.

That’s one way of putting it. What do you imagine happens if the XP ugrade program does not find a previous version of Windows?

It tells you that it can’t continue. I’ve seen this before. That’s why, you know, the full version is/was twice the cost of the upgrade. Otherwise people would just be using the upgrade discs to perform clean installs. Microsoft knew this 15 years ago.

If you want to do a clean install of Windows XP via an Upgrade disc, you’ll need the original CD that you used to install the original operating system to begin with. Once it verifies that, it will give the option of doing a clean install.

Either way, to do a clean install, you’ll need the original XP full installation CD.

OK, I misunderstood. However, any previous Windows disk will work, and you don’t even need the product key.

That’s my recollection as well, though it’s been a while, from when I installed XP onto a freshly-formatted hard drive with nothing on it. It asked for my old version media, I dropped in my Windows NT 4.0 install CD, it spun it up, looked at it real close, and then said, “Okay, then, let’s get going.”

Hmm. Maybe I should have clarified those answers since the it’s now formatting the HD in order to install Windows. There was already an XP installation on the drive, but I wanted to do a fresh install. It’s already past the “do you have an old installation OK I guess so proceed” part, and I have the product key for my real, honest-to-goodness full (well, OEM) installation of WinXP. Do you think I’m OK, or should I start looking around eBay for an old copy of Win98? (If no one knows, I’ll report back later tonight with the results. I started the hd formatting about 20 minutes ago and it’s 43% done. :eek: )

You now have two more hurdles (and have probably already encountered them).

The first one: you will need a product key before the second half of the install begins (after the character-mode part is complete). This is usually the number from the sticker. You will know right away if that is a problem.

The second one: activation.
If activation fails with your key that is on the sticker, you can call Microsoft (they give the number in the bad-boy message) and they will ask a few questions and give you a new key. This happens occasionally when you totally wipe a machine and reinstall from the original CD.

Hurdle 2, no probs, I had the green folder for one of my full licenses, just not the damn disc. I haven’t registered it yet, because I need to install Zonealarm and the wireless adapter driver before it has internet access. I’ve had to deal with the bad-boy Microsoft number before, so no problem there.