Activate Windows 7 after using an Upgrade disk

I like it!

Windows 7 is great! I’ve been playing around with the beta at work for a while and I’m pretty impressed. So impressed that I actually BOUGHT the FAMILY PACK! That’s right, I bought 3 copies of Windows 7! That’s gotta tell you something! It installed flawlessly on my MacBook Pro, my Mac Mini, and my trust custom PC. I didn’t have to hunt for a single driver.

Uh.. there’s a problem here..

Since I actually own several copies of Windows XP, I bought the Upgrade version of Windows 7. The box says:

If you are upgrading from Windows XP, you will need to back up your files and settings, perform a clean install and then reinstall your existing files, settings, and programs.”

Not a problem, it’s never a good idea to upgrade over your existing stuff anyway, It’s like building a new house on a rotten foundation, so I ALWAYS do a fresh install. And that’s just what I did, I erased my hard drive (after backing everything up!) and installed a fresh coat of Windows 7. However, when it came time for me to activate, I got a nasty message saying that I didn’t have the right license to do a fresh install.. and I COULD NOT ACTIVATE!

Lucky for me, I have a good friend named Google that told me how to bypass this little GLITCH! Here are the steps you need to take if you run into the same issue.

  • Once you have reached the desktop, click Start, type: CMD
  • Right-click CMD, click ‘Run as administrator’
  • At the command prompt, type, regedit
  • Go to HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/mediabootinstall
  • Changed its value from 1 to 0
  • Go back to the Command Prompt, type the following: slmgr /rearm
  • Restart the PC and use the activate windows to re-enter your product key

And that should do it! It’s a silly thing, but Microsoft can’t get everything right.

I’d like to thank Andre Da Costa for posting that tip on a forum somewhere.