Solved Clean install Vista activation problem

Jjohnson

New Member
Background

Here's the problem. I loaded Vista x64 on my machine as an upgrade. Had everything loaded perfectly, etc... I tried installing Windows 7 Beta. After it was installed I realized that not only are there not enough drivers available, but I stalled it on top of vista instead of it's own partition (colossal screw up). I also realized I couldn't rollback the installation. I didn't feel like re-installing XP and vista wasn't letting me reinstall. So I came up with the brilliant idea of installing it clean without any key code.

Problem

Now how do I activate this or reinstall vista and keep all my programs, files, etc... (ie. not spend countless hours reinstalling everything I have)?
 

rive0108

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Background

Here's the problem. I loaded Vista x64 on my machine as an upgrade. Had everything loaded perfectly, etc... I tried installing Windows 7 Beta. After it was installed I realized that not only are there not enough drivers available, but I stalled it on top of vista instead of it's own partition (colossal screw up). I also realized I couldn't rollback the installation. I didn't feel like re-installing XP and vista wasn't letting me reinstall. So I came up with the brilliant idea of installing it clean without any key code.

Problem

Now how do I activate this or reinstall vista and keep all my programs, files, etc... (ie. not spend countless hours reinstalling everything I have)?


Are you asking for a beta Win7 key that will expire in a few months forcing you to uninstall it, or how to do a repair reinstall of Vista?

I would simply Use the Backup Utility to backup User files. You cannot "upgrade" Install Vista (or any version- since you are running Ultimate). You can perform a repair re-install of Vista, but this will create a "windows.old" file, but you will still have to completely reinstall all your programs, etc.

So you have a choice:
1. Get a free Key for Win7 that expires in a few months, at which point you will have to uninstall and either re-install a release version of 7 (you cannot upgrade from 7 beta to a release version of Win7).

2. Clean install of Vista (after making a file backup)

Next time you want to dual boot follow the tutorial:http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/163304-dual-boot-using-free-partitioning-software.html

[Edit]

If you want a Win7 beta key I can pm one to you...
 

Jjohnson

New Member
Thanks for the Key offer. I actually want to stay with my vista x64, however, I don't want to reinstall all these programs (There are a ton not counting the updates). Is there a way to activate my Vista x64 with my code or to reinstall XP then Vista and keep the programs (ie. ghost image the C:/ drive and restore or something along those lines).
 

rive0108

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Thanks for the Key offer. I actually want to stay with my vista x64, however, I don't want to reinstall all these programs (There are a ton not counting the updates). Is there a way to activate my Vista x64 with my code or to reinstall XP then Vista and keep the programs (ie. ghost image the C:/ drive and restore or something along those lines).

Didnt you say you "upgraded" Win7 beta over Vista?

Did you make a Complete PC Image of Vista?

You are now running Win7 correct? Unless you made a complete PC backup with either Vista's Complete pc Backup utility or Paragon's Backup Imaging Software (or imaged Vista with any software prior to Upgrading to Wind7), you cannot restore Vista as was with all programs/software/etc intact. If you re-install Vista you will have to reinstall all software/drivers/etc.
 

SIW2

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Hi Jj,

If I understand correctly, you did a clean install of Vista from boot - using an upgrade dvd ?

You now want to activate that installation?

Boot into Vista, put the dvd in the drive , run setup.exe and choose upgrade.

Enter your product key when asked.

It should overwrite the o/s files, but leave your apps. and data as they are.

It should also activate fine.

As always, back up any important data first.

Hope it helps
 

rive0108

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Hi Jj,

If I understand correctly, you did a clean install of Vista from boot- using an upgrade dvd.

You now want to activate that installation?

Boot into Vista, put the dvd in the drive , run setup.exe and choose upgrade.

Enter your product key when asked.

It should overwrite the o/s files, but leave your apps. and data as they are.

It should also activate fine.

As always, back up any important data first.

Hope it helps

Maybe I mis-understood, But sounds like to me he Overwrote his Vista install, and "upgraded" to Win7 beta Ultimate (without a key), and now wants to reinstall Vista (as he is unable to "roll back" Win7 install to Vista), and have all programs/software as though he were performing an "upgrade" install to Vista Ultimate. Which I do not think can be done.

My Understanding of Win7 beta is it must be uninstalled, and Vista re-installed (though he can use an Upgrade Vista disk to perform a complete new install, it will still require all programs to also be re-installed. Data needs to be backed up before attempting re-install of Vista.
 

Jjohnson

New Member
rive0108: I am running vista x64 now. I had previously updated to Win7 and found there wasn't enough driver support. When I wanted to go back, I ran into issues because I didn't feel like installing XP first then using my upgrade disk to upgrade so I opted to boot from the Vista dvd, wipe the hard drive, installed a clean copy of vista without a key code (since I formatted, I no longer had a copy of windows to upgrade from) and proceeded to load all my programs. I had originally meant to see if Vista would allow me use my Key after it was all installed but instead I get a message that my key is for an upgrade version only. Hence my dilema.

SIW2:

Unfortuantely, I tried that as well and it will only allow for a clean install, the upgrade feature is greyed out. Any other ideas?
 

rive0108

Vista Guru
Gold Member
rive0108: I am running vista x64 now. I had previously updated to Win7 and found there wasn't enough driver support. When I wanted to go back, I ran into issues because I didn't feel like installing XP first then using my upgrade disk to upgrade so I opted to boot from the Vista dvd, wipe the hard drive, installed a clean copy of vista without a key code (since I formatted, I no longer had a copy of windows to upgrade from) and proceeded to load all my programs. I had originally meant to see if Vista would allow me use my Key after it was all installed but instead I get a message that my key is for an upgrade version only. Hence my dilema.

SIW2:

Unfortuantely, I tried that as well and it will only allow for a clean install, the upgrade feature is greyed out. Any other ideas?

Thats weird. The vista key should work for the upgrade version-unless you installed Ultimate when say your key is only for Premium/business Version. If not then your choice (if you didnt create a Image of your previous Vista Install) is to reinstall XP then you upgrade Vista version again.
 

Jjohnson

New Member
Hi,

Unfortunately, the upgrade option is still greyed out. When I installed Vista last week, I did what was stated in the instructions you sent me. Over the past week, I had installed all my programs and updates. Do you think the update might have cause this option to be unavailable? Is there another solution? Thanks
 

SIW2

Vista Guru
Gold Member
What Update - did you install SP1?

If you did, you need to uninstall it before the upgrade option is available from a non SP1 dvd.
 

Jjohnson

New Member
That was it. I had to uninstall SP1, then it became ungreyed. It's halfway through upgrading now. I will post the results as soon as it finishes. Thanks again
 

Jjohnson

New Member
Okay problem is still not resolved. After removing SP1, it allowed me to upgrade, however, It gets almost all the way through the upgrade process then says that a certain service isn't allowing me to upgrade and to restart and do it again. I did and still the same response. I have Adobe CS4 loaded on my machine and I do know that it can only be loaded with SP1 installed. Could that be the error? Any other ideas? I have also included snapshots of the Updates I have installed if that helps.
 

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SIW2

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Okay problem is still not resolved. After removing SP1, it allowed me to upgrade, however, It gets almost all the way through the upgrade process then says that a certain service isn't allowing me to upgrade and to restart and do it again. I did and still the same response. I have Adobe CS4 loaded on my machine and I do know that it can only be loaded with SP1 installed. Could that be the error? Any other ideas

Might be the problem - hard to be sure without the exact error message.

Worth checking in msconfig under the startup tab, and uncheck anything to do with CS4 .

Then see if CS4 has any services running (type services.msc in start search box, scroll to Adobe or CS4 or whatever it is called , rt click and in the drop down, select Disabled, then Stop the service).

Or you could try uninstalling CS4.
 

Jjohnson

New Member
Okay problem is still not resolved. After removing SP1, it allowed me to upgrade, however, It gets almost all the way through the upgrade process then says that a certain service isn't allowing me to upgrade and to restart and do it again. I did and still the same response. I have Adobe CS4 loaded on my machine and I do know that it can only be loaded with SP1 installed. Could that be the error? Any other ideas

Might be the problem - hard to be sure without the exact error message.

Worth checking in msconfig under the startup tab, and uncheck anything to do with CS4 .

Then see if CS4 has any services running (type services.msc in start search box, scroll to Adobe or CS4 or whatever it is called , rt click and in the drop down, select Disabled, then Stop the service).

Or you could try uninstalling CS4.


Attempting now. Will post back shortly. Thanks!
 

SIW2

Vista Guru
Gold Member
If it still doesn't work, you could make a slipstreamed install dvd, including SP1 - takes a while, though.

Might be easiest to borrow a Vista SP1 install dvd - it doesn't need to be an Upgrade disc, any one will do as long as you use your own product key.

Also doesn't matter if it says it is Home Premium or Ultimate , or whatever - they are all the same - only the key is different.

Hope it helps
 

Jjohnson

New Member
If it still doesn't work, you could make a slipstreamed install dvd, including SP1 - takes a while, though.

Might be easiest to borrow a Vista SP1 install dvd - it doesn't need to be an Upgrade disc, any one will do as long as you use your own product key.

Also doesn't matter if it says it is Home Premium or Ultimate , or whatever - they are all the same - only the key is different.

Hope it helps

Well for now, I am trying the upgrade with all adobe services disabled. If that fails, I'm gonna try it with CS4 uninstalled. As far as slipstreaming, That may be the next try. Unfortunately, none of my friends own a SP1 disk, so my options are limited. I'll let you know how it works out. Just in case, do you have a link on slipstreaming? It sure would make it easier if I ever decide to start fresh again. One other quick question, is it possible to slipstream the drivers for my chipset, LAN, etc into the installation? Possibly auto-install Office with updates like Dell or HP does with their factory disks?
 

rive0108

Vista Guru
Gold Member
If it still doesn't work, you could make a slipstreamed install dvd, including SP1 - takes a while, though.

Might be easiest to borrow a Vista SP1 install dvd - it doesn't need to be an Upgrade disc, any one will do as long as you use your own product key.

Also doesn't matter if it says it is Home Premium or Ultimate , or whatever - they are all the same - only the key is different.

Hope it helps

Well for now, I am trying the upgrade with all adobe services disabled. If that fails, I'm gonna try it with CS4 uninstalled. As far as slipstreaming, That may be the next try. Unfortunately, none of my friends own a SP1 disk, so my options are limited. I'll let you know how it works out. Just in case, do you have a link on slipstreaming? It sure would make it easier if I ever decide to start fresh again. One other quick question, is it possible to slipstream the drivers for my chipset, LAN, etc into the installation? Possibly auto-install Office with updates like Dell or HP does with their factory disks?

There is an easier way to re-install Vista SP1 in the event of future issues rather that creating a slipstreamed Vista O/S disk-

Get you system set up the way you want it, Install SP1, and all updates, all programs, and when you get it just the way you want it, then Go to Complete PC backup, and create a SP1 image with all programs installed. In the event you need to re-install Vista you restore from the image and the process take less than 30 min (on the average).
I used this procedure after I upgraded from two 100GB hdd's to two 320GB hdd's.

It is also advisable to update the PC image every 6 months, and do weekly User file backups using the file backup Utility In Ultimate.

to access Backup/Imaging utility:
start> in search bar , type, backup> follow prompts.
 

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