Upgrading to Windows 7

I don’t use Windows much, except on my home media centre. For a while I’ve been running Vista and I’ve generally been impressed with the Media Center application.

I read about Windows 7 and was pleased to hear about the Ultimate Steal protomotion for students (and those with .ac.uk email addresses). The high prices of Vista and of Windows 7 off-the-shelf were a real off-putter for me, but the Ultimate Steal price of £30 for an upgrade seems a reasonable price to me. I’m prepared to pay £30 for a product I will use most days.

So I downloaded the 64-bit upgrade for Windows 7 Home Premium. Unfortunately, I hadn’t bothered to read that it’s not possible to upgrade a 32-bit Vista to a 64-bit Windows 7.

So I converted my DigitalRiver upgrade package to a bootable ISO by following this guide. Booting the Windows 7 installer worked fine – however it rejected my product key. It didn’t give a reason, but I assumed it was because my key covered upgrades only, and not clean installs.

Well, my only choice for using my product key legitimately was to “obtain” a copy of 64-bit Vista from somewhere. I installed Vista Home Premium x64, choosing not to enter a product key and not to activate. I immediately ran the Windows 7 upgrade tool and my product key was accepted. The upgrade took a while but was successful.

What a nuisance!


  1. Simmo
    October 26, 2009

    First impressions of W7? Obviously ignoring the pain-in-the-arse processes you had to go through initially to get hold of it 🙂

    I’m surprised you didn’t just pilfer it like you normally do – JOKE! Jon Gazeley does not in any way steal anything, ever.

  2. Jonathan
    October 26, 2009

    Meh, it was OK to steal Windows before they came up with all this activation crap 😛

    Seriously though, I’m prepared to pay a fair price for it. £30 seems reasonable to me. £200 for the regular price doesn’t.

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