When I was installing Win 7 upgrade I thought that it would simply ask me for my old OS numbers and then finish activating. It turns out that it won't accept the number number because the old OS isn't installed.
The MS web site says: "We recommend that you install Windows 7 with your current version of Windows running. If you want to format the hard drive, and you are using an upgrade version of Windows 7, you'll need to start your computer using the Windows 7 installation disc or a USB flash drive, click Custom (advanced), and then click Drive options (advanced)."
Of course I read that after installation wouldn't work and I can't go back to the "Custom/Advanced" area. Now it seems my options are to start over on another hard drive instead and then clone it back to the correct one after I format it to get rid of the first/failed install.