FAQ - How to do a "clean install" - XP 32/64 to Windows 7 and Vista 32 to Windows 7 64 - STICKY THIS

Windows 7

Asked by: DonnieR

Upgrade "Clean Install" Steps.

First and foremost: Do Not Erase Your Current Windows Drive Before Installing Windows 7 Upgrade! This is the number one reason users are having trouble with their Upgrade's Product Key. You need to have a valid Windows installation on the drive you are going to install the Windows 7 Upgrade to for the Upgrade's Product Key to work. If you do not have a valid Windows installation during the upgrade process your Upgrade's Product Key will not register as being valid.

The "clean install" referred to by Microsoft does not mean an unused, clean drive or new Hard Drive. It is actually referring to the fact that during the upgrade process all the information that is on your current Windows drive will be erased permanently by the upgrade process.

You will have to do a "clean install" that will wipe out all your programs, but you can save your files to another internal hard drive or an external storage device before doing so. Here are the steps according to Microsoft (with added information MS did not include):

1. Run Windows Upgrade Advisor (http://windows.microsoft.com/upgradeadvisor) to see if there are any known issues that might affect the installation and whether you have to install the 32-bit version or you can install the 64-bit version of Windows 7.

2. Save your files and settings on another internal hard drive, a network drive, an external hard drive, USB flash drive or CD/DVD using Windows Easy Transfer (http://windows.microsoft.com/windows-easy-transfer) or the MigWiz (Migration Wizard) found on the Windows 7 DVD (:supportmigwiz). If you are using another internal hard, use the "network" button to select the drive. With MigWiz, you can save entire program installations as long as they are compatible with Windows 7, but you need a large storage space.
You'll need to manually reinstall some programs, such as Microsoft Office, after you install Windows 7. Gather the installation discs for your programs and any associated product/license keys. You might be able to download some programs from the Internet. For example, Windows Live Messenger can be installed from download.live.com/messenger. Do Not Erase Your Current Windows Drive!

4. Inset the Windows 7 DVD into your PC, restart and boot from the Windows 7 DVD. When asked "Which type of installation do you want?" click the "Custom (advanced)" button.

5. When you get to the screen that asks you which drive you want to install Windows 7 on, under the list box will be a clickable Drive Options Advance link. Click this link and it will open the formatting/partitioning options if you want customize the partitions on the drive. It is at this stage that you will erase/format your current Windows drive for the "clean install". Continue the installation.

6. After Windows 7 is installed, use Windows Update to install any updates needed. Create a restore point. Use Windows Easy Transfer/MigWiz to restore your files and settings if you saved them, then create another restore point. Check Windows Update again.

7. Start installing your other software. Be sure to check Windows Update and create a restore point after each installation before proceeding to the next program installation.

I suggest using MigWiz (Migration Wizard) if you are going from Vista/W7(RC) 32-bit to W7 32-bit or Vista/W7(RC) 64-bit to W7 64-bit. I do not know if you can transfer XP settings and programs to Windows 7 or from 32-bit to 64-bit.
I used it on my Windows 7 RC 64-bit installation and I was able to restore my settings in Windows 7 HP 64-bit. This was great since I did not have to reinstall my World of WarCraft and some other programs.

If you have received an invalid Product Key error while upgrading and before reading these instructions, you most likely will need to reinstall your previous Windows version and start the upgrade again.

I hope this helps the users that are having trouble with their Upgrade's Product Key being reported as invalid.

Hopefully a Mod will sticky this at the top so people will not keep thinking that their is something wrong with their Upgrade Key. It is actually that most users are wiping/erasing their drive before starting the upgrade installation.

Answered by:

Need a Mod to sticky this to solve most "Invalid Key" issues.
Download, install & activate 16/09/2015 0 Comment 96 views

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