What all is involved in loading Windows 7 on a new, blank drive from an Update disk?
I've got 2 computers to upgrade and am about to build a third one, so I'd like to get the Family Pack, which has retail licenses instead of OEM, but how hard will it be to use that on the new pc build?
Well, from my understanding, the Family pack entitles the owner to 3 -upgrades-, not fresh installs. In order for you to fully honor and abide by the License Agreement, you must first have a previous OS installed on each system, thus allowing an -upgrade-, and not -fresh- install, to occur.
I believe that you can still install Win 7 from the Family Pack though, but it won't allow activation unless you have a previous Windows version install beforehand. The installation itself though shouldn't be any different from a normal install.
I definitely have copies of earlier versions of windows, going all the way back to 95.
I recall earlier upgrade CDs, on a blank disk, would ask for a CD of a previous version of the OS (so a Win 98 upgrade would be happy seeing any version of win 95, for instance). Does Win 7 upgrade work the same way, or would it require an actually, completely installed OS to activate?
When installing with the upgrade pack, it requires for you to already have fully installed and activated a previous version of Windows. It won't ask you to insert a disc or anything, it just checks the previously installed OS.
See here for a workaround that allows you to install the upgrade version to a new HDD -- there are a couple of methods that work for some but not others but one of the methods listed will work (the final double install method pretty much always works but is time consuming so best to try the other methods first and resort to that method only if needed.