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Vista Hands On #4: Clean install with an upgrade key

19/02/2007 - 20:25 por Amaury B. F. | Informe spam
I've been reading the breathless reports from other websites this week
about the "Vista upgrade loophole." Most of it is typical echo-chamber
stuff, and most of the reports I've read so far have gotten the basic facts
wrong. The Setup feature they're describing isn't a loophole at all. It's a
perfectly legal workaround for an amazingly stupid technical restriction
that Microsoft imposes on upgraders. In this installment of my Vista Hands
On series, I provide the background to help you understand exactly what's
going on and how you can legally perform a clean install using an upgrade
key.

Let's start with a few essential facts:

a.. All retail copies of Windows Vista use the exact same media. The DVD
contains all editions and can be used to perform a full installation or an
upgrade. If you compare a full retail copy of Windows Vista Ultimate and an
upgrade copy of Windows Vista Home Basic, you'll find that the installation
media for the two products are virtually identical.
b.. The product key included with the copy you purchase determines how
the Setup program behaves. These behaviors are hard-coded into the Setup
program based on the key you enter. Specifically, the Setup program is able
to look at your key and use an algorithm to determine the edition it
"unlocks." The same algorithm determines whether you are allowed to use
that key for an upgrade or a clean install or both.
c.. The license agreement for a Vista upgrade copy requires that the
machine already be licensed for Windows. This license agreement does not
restrict the method of installation in any way. Section 13 of the agreement
reads as follows:
a.. UPGRADES. To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for
the software that is eligible for the upgrade. Upon upgrade, this agreement
takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from. After
you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from.
d.. When you run Setup with an upgrade key, the installer does not check
to see whether you're really eligible. In fact, Microsoft's licensing
infrastructure - the activation and validation servers it uses to check
product keys against hardware hashes - does not (yet) contain any mechanism
to match up your upgrade license with a previous license.
e.. To use an upgrade product key, you must start the Vista Setup program
from Windows 2000, Windows XP, or any edition of Windows Vista. Your
previous version of Windows doesn't have to be activated. Even an
evaluation copy of the edition of Windows Vista you purchased will allow
you to run the Setup program with an upgrade key. (Remember that last
part.)
Got all that? Good. Now let's put the pieces together.


I'm going to assume that you have a PC that came with Windows XP
preinstalled by the PC maker. Any OEM version of Windows XP is eligible to
upgrade to any edition of Windows Vista. So you purchase a retail upgrade
copy of Vista Ultimate. In the box is a DVD and a 25-character product key.

You don't want to do what Microsoft calls an in-place upgrade, which
preserves your installed programs and data files but has a greater risk of
migrating your problems as well. Instead, you want to do a clean install.
But there's a problem: Microsoft used a crude technique to make clean
installs more difficult for upgraders. If you boot from the Vista DVD and
enter an upgrade key, you'll see this error message and will not be able to
go any further:



Now, this restriction is stupid, because even Microsoft acknowledges that
you can be legally entitled to purchase the upgrade version and yet have to
do a clean install. (See the notes on Microsoft's official Windows Vista
Upgrade Paths from Previous Versions page, for example, which says: "If you
are currently using Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional
x64, you are eligible for an upgrade copy to a corresponding or better
edition of Windows Vista, but a clean install is required." Ahem.)

This silly technical restriction is not required by the license agreement.
It's designed to frustrate anyone who wants to use the upgrade version on a
new PC without an operating system and get them to pay more for a full
version. But it's easily worked around.

Your easiest option - by far - is to use the PC maker's system recovery
media to restore an image of Windows XP as it existed when you first got
the computer, and then install Vista. I can hear the complaints now: "That
copy is out of date. It's loaded with crummy, obsolete drivers and
crapware." Yes, I know. That doesn't matter. Every bit of that junk will be
erased soon enough. It will never get mixed with your new Vista setup.

After you finish restoring that original system image, start Windows,
insert the Vista DVD, and run Vista's Setup program. Follow the steps I
listed in Vista Hands On #2: A no-fuss, nondestructive clean install, this
time using your upgrade product key. When you're done, use the Disk Cleanup
tool to remove all traces of your old installation. You have a fresh, clean
system and you are in perfect compliance with your license agreement.

What if you don't have a restore CD? In that case, you can install an
evaluation copy of Windows Vista on the system, specifically to allow you
to run Setup. Here's how:

1. Boot from the DVD and click Install Now.

2. Leave the product key box blank. Instead, click Next.

3. Click No in this warning dialog box.



4. From the list of Vista editions, choose the one that matches the
upgrade you purchased.



5. Complete the installation, accepting all defaults.

Do whatever minimal steps are required to start your new installation for
the first time. Wouldn't it be nice if you could enter your perfectly
legal, fully paid-for product key now and just make the installation
complete? Sorry, you can't do that.

Instead, you need to run Setup again, this time from within Windows Vista.
Don't choose the Upgrade option unless you want to spend an hour or two
migrating your nonpersonalized default Vista settings. Instead, do a
nondestructive clean install. When that's done (it should go very quickly),
use the Disk Cleanup tool to blow away the redundant installation in
Windows.old. You're now good to go.

Now, was that a loophole? No. You satisfied every condition of the license
agreement and aren't skating by on a technicality. The fact that you have
to use a kludgey workaround to use the license you've purchased and are
legally entitled to is Microsoft's fault.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p6
 

Leer las respuestas

#1 Charlie
20/02/2007 - 01:58 | Informe spam
But it doesn't always work. My system is an HP Pavilion Media Center
Edition -- an AMD 64-bit dual core system with 3 GB Memory, 250 GB
hard disk, etc.

I bought the Windows Vista Ultimate system in the full retail box,
since this is the only version which supplies the 64-bit version
(comes on a 2nd disk). I backed up everything, and wanted to install
as an upgrade. But when I tried, it said that the Media Center
Edition was unsupported for upgrade to Vista, and I had to do a full
install. I did this -- in the process it copied everything on my
system to a file called Windows.old, then cleared the disk and did a
full install. I had to copy everything back to the system to get my
applications working again. Everything important to me worked, but
there was one anoying exception. The original drivers were replaced
by Vista's, except they don't have one to support my Multimedia audio
even on the internet. As a result I don't presently have any audio
at all. No big deal -- many times it's a nuisance when I bring up a
website who tries to entertain me with music, etc. But my system
does need audio for many other reasons.

I have sent HP support an email about this, but haven't heard yet --
but there hasn't been enough time for this yet, and I always try to be
reasonable, as I used to do a similar job for IBM from which I am now
retired.

Another difference is that Semantec programs don't work -- but you
really don't need them anymore since Vista is much more secure than
was XP. I saw a quote from an executive of Semantec bad mouthing
Vista -- he's just a competitor who didn't bother to upgrade his
program to be Vista compatable in time despite having lots of time,
and now is trying to blame Vista instead of himself. Anyway I
changed to Avast which is free and works with Vista, and seems to me
to do a much better job without slowing down my system like Norton
did.

Charles Wilkes
San Jose, California

On Feb 19, 11:25 am, "Amaury B. F." wrote:
I've been reading the breathless reports from other websites this week
about the "Vistaupgrade loophole." Most of it is typical echo-chamber
stuff, and most of the reports I've read so far have gotten the basic facts
wrong. The Setup feature they're describing isn't a loophole at all. It's a
perfectly legal workaround for an amazingly stupid technical restriction
thatMicrosoftimposes on upgraders. In this installment of myVistaHands
On series, I provide the background to help you understand exactly what's
going on and how you can legally perform a clean install using an upgrade
key.

Let's start with a few essential facts:

a.. All retail copies of WindowsVistause the exact same media. The DVD
contains all editions and can be used to perform a full installation or an
upgrade. If you compare a full retail copy of WindowsVistaUltimate and an
upgrade copy of WindowsVistaHome Basic, you'll find that the installation
media for the two products are virtually identical.
b.. The product key included with the copy you purchase determines how
the Setup program behaves. These behaviors are hard-coded into the Setup
program based on the key you enter. Specifically, the Setup program is able
to look at your key and use an algorithm to determine the edition it
"unlocks." The same algorithm determines whether you are allowed to use
that key for an upgrade or a clean install or both.
c.. The license agreement for aVistaupgrade copy requires that the
machine already be licensed for Windows. This license agreement does not
restrict the method of installation in any way. Section 13 of the agreement
reads as follows:
a.. UPGRADES. To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for
the software that is eligible for the upgrade. Upon upgrade, this agreement
takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from. After
you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from.
d.. When you run Setup with an upgrade key, the installer does not check
to see whether you're really eligible. In fact,Microsoft'slicensing
infrastructure - the activation and validation servers it uses to check
product keys against hardware hashes - does not (yet) contain any mechanism
to match up your upgrade license with a previous license.
e.. To use an upgrade product key, you must start theVistaSetup program
from Windows 2000, Windows XP, or any edition of WindowsVista. Your
previous version of Windows doesn't have to be activated. Even an
evaluation copy of the edition of WindowsVistayou purchased will allow
you to run the Setup program with an upgrade key. (Remember that last
part.)
Got all that? Good. Now let's put the pieces together.

I'm going to assume that you have a PC that came with Windows XP
preinstalled by the PC maker. Any OEM version of Windows XP is eligible to
upgrade to any edition of WindowsVista. So you purchase a retail upgrade
copy ofVistaUltimate. In the box is a DVD and a 25-character product key.

You don't want to do whatMicrosoftcalls an in-place upgrade, which
preserves your installed programs and data files but has a greater risk of
migrating your problems as well. Instead, you want to do a clean install.
But there's a problem:Microsoftused a crude technique to make clean
installs more difficult for upgraders. If you boot from theVistaDVD and
enter an upgrade key, you'll see this error message and will not be able to
go any further:

Now, this restriction is stupid, because evenMicrosoftacknowledges that
you can be legally entitled to purchase the upgrade version and yet have to
do a clean install. (See the notes onMicrosoft'sofficial WindowsVista
Upgrade Paths from Previous Versions page, for example, which says: "If you
are currently using Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional
x64, you are eligible for an upgrade copy to a corresponding or better
edition of WindowsVista, but a clean install is required." Ahem.)

This silly technical restriction is not required by the license agreement.
It's designed to frustrate anyone who wants to use the upgrade version on a
new PC without an operating system and get them to pay more for a full
version. But it's easily worked around.

Your easiest option - by far - is to use the PC maker's system recovery
media to restore an image of Windows XP as it existed when you first got
the computer, and then installVista. I can hear the complaints now: "That
copy is out of date. It's loaded with crummy, obsolete drivers and
crapware." Yes, I know. That doesn't matter. Every bit of that junk will be
erased soon enough. It will never get mixed with your newVistasetup.

After you finish restoring that original system image, start Windows,
insert theVistaDVD, and runVista'sSetup program. Follow the steps I
listed inVistaHands On #2: A no-fuss, nondestructive clean install, this
time using your upgrade product key. When you're done, use the Disk Cleanup
tool to remove all traces of your old installation. You have a fresh, clean
system and you are in perfect compliance with your license agreement.

What if you don't have a restore CD? In that case, you can install an
evaluation copy of WindowsVistaon the system, specifically to allow you
to run Setup. Here's how:

1. Boot from the DVD and click Install Now.

2. Leave the product key box blank. Instead, click Next.

3. Click No in this warning dialog box.

4. From the list ofVistaeditions, choose the one that matches the
upgrade you purchased.

5. Complete the installation, accepting all defaults.

Do whatever minimal steps are required to start your new installation for
the first time. Wouldn't it be nice if you could enter your perfectly
legal, fully paid-for product key now and just make the installation
complete? Sorry, you can't do that.

Instead, you need to run Setup again, this time from within WindowsVista.
Don't choose the Upgrade option unless you want to spend an hour or two
migrating your nonpersonalized defaultVistasettings. Instead, do a
nondestructive clean install. When that's done (it should go very quickly),
use the Disk Cleanup tool to blow away the redundant installation in
Windows.old. You're now good to go.

Now, was that a loophole? No. You satisfied every condition of the license
agreement and aren't skating by on a technicality. The fact that you have
to use a kludgey workaround to use the license you've purchased and are
legally entitled to isMicrosoft'sfault.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p6

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