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Clean Install with Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade

Last response: in Windows 7
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August 1, 2012 4:11:00 PM

I have a laptop that already has Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) pre-installed when I bought it. I have a copy of the Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade 64 bit (not the Full Version).

I would like to do a clean install with the Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade key, but I have several questions.

1. In what cases would you recommend someone to do a clean install over upgrade and vice versa?

One of the main reasons that I want to conduct a clean install is to remove all the "remnants/residuals" of the "old" OS (Windows 7 Home Premium).
Is a clean install redundant in regards to the matter above, as Windows 7 Ultimate is Windows 7 Home Premium + additional features?

Another reason why I would like to perform a clean install is in case some of the driver are not compatible with the Windows 7 Ultimate. (Am I mistaken on this part? If a driver is compatible and is fully working with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, will it be fully functional with Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit without any updates or tinkering?)

2. If I plan on doing a clean install with the upgrade key, what are the steps that I need to take?

I read that doing a clean install with upgrade key will require a double installation, otherwise the product key won't be activated. Is this the correct way or are there other ways? Can someone elaborate?

Also, does a clean install involve the BIOS at all? Do I need to change the settings or anything? Do I need to update the BIOS with the flash drive, is that correct?

EDIT: Does the Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade only work if I have Windows XP or Vista and not Windows 7?

EDIT1: I found out from the place where I bought my laptop that when they upgraded the primary hard drive from the 500GB 7200RPM Serial-ATA II hard drive to Intel 520 SSD Serial-ATA III, they conducted a mirror image. (The customer representative stated that everything OS, etc is the same as it originally was, which I took for as mirror image.)
Does the fact that my hard drive is mirror imaged, rather than installed mean that it's better for me to clean install over upgrade?
August 1, 2012 4:37:36 PM

For your first question, I don't particularly see why you'd want to do a clean installation. Windows 7 is Windows 7. Windows 7 HP is Windows 7 Ult. minus a few feauteres. So yes, the clean install is redundant. So because of this, any drivers that work on HP will work on Ultimate.

As for your second question, I've done a clean install with a single installation wit an upgrade key, though honestly it's been a while so I'll get back to you on that.

Ultimately, unless you're tired of the bloatware on your machine and want a clean nstal, I'd recommend to just do an upgrade. Saves you a lot of time and work.
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August 1, 2012 4:38:07 PM

You don't need to do a clean install, with a upgrade key your pretty much just activating whats already there and the upgrade should go fairly fast. I've done two upgrades from Home to Pro, both times no problems.
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August 1, 2012 4:47:35 PM

Thanks for the reply.

WinMac said:
All you have to do is install Windows 7 Home then go to Control Panel\System and Security\System and Click on Upgrade Windows 7 Button


Isn't it better to install the upgrade by rebooting the system and installing it straight from the CD?

Or is it okay to install the upgrade after you load with Windows and everything else and then inserting the CD?
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August 1, 2012 5:02:05 PM

Thanks for the reply.

flaw600 said:
For your first question, I don't particularly see why you'd want to do a clean installation. Windows 7 is Windows 7. Windows 7 HP is Windows 7 Ult. minus a few feauteres. So yes, the clean install is redundant. So because of this, any drivers that work on HP will work on Ultimate.

Ultimately, unless you're tired of the bloatware on your machine and want a clean nstal, I'd recommend to just do an upgrade. Saves you a lot of time and work.


That's what I figured, but I heard that when you do an upgrade, there's a folder called "windows.old" in the Local C drive.
I prefer a clean slate, but like you said, it's redundant and probably not worth the hassle.

flaw600 said:
As for your second question, I've done a clean install with a single installation wit an upgrade key, though honestly it's been a while so I'll get back to you on that.


Was there any problem with the activation using the upgrade key?

Also, I upgrade my primary hard drive through my manufacturer, and as a result, they conducted a mirror image from my 500GB 7200RPM Serial-ATA II hard drive to my Intel 520 SSD Serial-ATA III.

Does that change anything?
Is it still better to upgrade rather than clean install?
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August 1, 2012 5:11:04 PM

Thanks for the reply.

baddad said:
You don't need to do a clean install, with a upgrade key your pretty much just activating whats already there and the upgrade should go fairly fast. I've done two upgrades from Home to Pro, both times no problems.


Yea, I'm not too worried about doing the upgrade, if that's the best option.
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August 1, 2012 7:39:49 PM

No, there wasn't a problem with the acvation key.

bpeter289 said:
Thanks for the reply.



That's what I figured, but I heard that when you do an upgrade, there's a folder called "windows.old" in the Local C drive.
I prefer a clean slate, but like you said, it's redundant and probably not worth the hassle.



Was there any problem with the activation using the upgrade key?

Also, I upgrade my primary hard drive through my manufacturer, and as a result, they conducted a mirror image from my 500GB 7200RPM Serial-ATA II hard drive to my Intel 520 SSD Serial-ATA III.

Does that change anything?
Is it still better to upgrade rather than clean install?

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August 1, 2012 8:44:19 PM

flaw600 said:
No, there wasn't a problem with the acvation key.


Thanks for the help.

You stated earlier that everything worked with just a single installation. Do you know of any other successful methods that people have tried?
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August 1, 2012 9:29:36 PM

Not personally, no, though like I said earlier, I don'tknow hy you yoldn't upgrade with an upgrade key. Windows.old comes up under a clean install with Setup recognies an earlier Windows installation. With the upgrade, it'll just unlock features of the OS.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 1, 2012 9:58:51 PM

I think all windows 7 dvd's are actually identical, differing only in the activation key, and 32 or 64 bit versions.
The activation key is what unlocks various capabilities.

Upgrade will work with any version of windows, The old os does not actually need to be installed,running, or even present.
While it is possible to change that using registry hacks, I would take the occasion to do the clean install.
The exact procedure for different scenario's is briefly described in the documentation for changing from 32 to 64 bit which can't be done via upgrade.
The old os is saved in windows.old. Once you have verified that all is good, you may delete windows.old.

You should verify that your bios sata mode is AHCI. If it is not, and a simple clone was done to the SSD, you will be missing out on "trim" functionality.
Just changing the sata mode from IDE to AHCI will not work because the AHCI windows drivers are not present.
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August 1, 2012 10:52:28 PM

Thanks for the reply.

geofelt said:
Upgrade will work with any version of windows, The old os does not actually need to be installed,running, or even present.

While it is possible to change that using registry hacks, I would take the occasion to do the clean install.


I was under the impression that without a Windows OS present/installed, the upgrade key won't validate the activation.
How would I perform the registry hack to do the clean install?

geofelt said:
The exact procedure for different scenario's is briefly described in the documentation for which can't be done via upgrade.


Can you link me to this procedure, thanks.

geofelt said:
You should verify that your bios sata mode is AHCI. If it is not, and a simple clone was done to the SSD, you will be missing out on "trim" functionality.
Just changing the sata mode from IDE to AHCI will not work because the AHCI windows drivers are not present.


Let me get this straight.
If Windows 7 OS was installed to my SSD = BIOS Sata mode is AHCI?
But if Windows 7 OS was cloned to my SSD = BIOS Sata mode is IDE?

If the SATA mode is IDE, to change it to ACHI, I need to follow these steps (Tell me if anything else needs to be done or if I am doing something wrong.):

Exit all Windows-based programs.
Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
If you receive the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue.
Locate and then click one of the following registry subkeys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\IastorV
In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.
In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.
Restart
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a b $ Windows 7
August 1, 2012 11:07:32 PM

Here is a link to clean installing upgrade versions
http://www.mydigitallife.info/clean-install-windows-7-w...
Google will find you other alternate explanations.

If the original os was installed when the bios sata mode was set to IDE, then windows would have only installed IDE drivers, and no AHCI drivers. A clone just copies the device, bit for bit.

The only way windows knows that it is a ssd, and not by a hard drive is when you run the experience index, and windows discovers how fast it really is.

I can't confirm your listing of the hack steps. I have not done it.
But, it looks to be like what would need to be done.

Since that is not a usual activity for me, I would be conserned about screwing things up and not discovering it until much later.
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August 2, 2012 5:03:13 PM

geofelt said:
Here is a link to clean installing upgrade versions
http://www.mydigitallife.info/clean-install-windows-7-w...
Google will find you other alternate explanations.


Thanks a lot for the link.

geofelt said:
If the original os was installed when the bios sata mode was set to IDE, then windows would have only installed IDE drivers, and no AHCI drivers. A clone just copies the device, bit for bit.

The only way windows knows that it is a ssd, and not by a hard drive is when you run the experience index, and windows discovers how fast it really is.

I can't confirm your listing of the hack steps. I have not done it.
But, it looks to be like what would need to be done.


The "hack" steps are actually directly quoted from Microsoft Support. It was linked on Tom's Hardware in the thread titled, "Useful SSD Articles - Part 2"

geofelt said:
Since that is not a usual activity for me, I would be conserned about screwing things up and not discovering it until much later.


Yea, it's not a usual activity for me, so there's the possibility of me screwing up. I'll weight my options and talk with others before I decide.

Thanks a bunch for your help.
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November 19, 2012 7:57:31 AM

I have just partitioned my HD (Mac) with Bootcamp, went to install Win 7 Ult on a legit ISO (From Microsoft itself), yet when I go to install, none of the needed drivers are there. What the hell can I do?
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