TweakTown's Ultimate Windows SSD Performance Installation Guide (Page 11)

| Nov 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm CST

Clean Installing Windows Upgrades

One thing that is frustrating to enthusiasts is clean installing from an upgrade. For some unknown reason, Microsoft wants you to install your upgrade over an existing install. This is an absolute no-no for an enthusiast. We want everything installed in a clean and streamlined manner.

To accomplish clean installing an upgrade, we need to trick Windows into thinking it was upgraded with an existing install in place.

Clean installing a Windows 7 or 8 upgrade:

Step one is, of course, having an install upgrade disc, or a bootable USB drive with a Windows 7 or Windows 8 upgrade loaded on it.

Install your Windows 7 or 8 upgrade just as you would a normal install. Windows 7 users: do not enter your serial. Type "regedit" into the search bar on your start menu. Right click on the icon, and run as administrator.

Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/

Change MediaBootInstall from one to zero

Exit Windows Registry Editor

Type "cmd" into the search bar on your start menu. Right click on the icon, and run as administrator.

Type "slmgr /rearm" (without quotes, and there is a space between slmgr and the forward slash). Then hit "enter."

Reboot Windows.

Windows 7 users, run activation utility, and enter your product key to activate.

Windows will activate itself. If it does not for some reason, then run the activation utility, and if necessary, activate by following the instructions to activate over the phone. Even if it says you cannot use the key you used, just call the phone activation, and follow the instructions. When you are asked the question "How many computers have been installed with this copy of Windows?" you answer "one," and then you will be given a number that will complete the activation once entered.

Now you have installed your Windows 7 or Windows 8 upgrade as a clean install.

Clean installing a Windows 8.1 upgrade.

Clean installing a Windows 8.1 upgrade is a little different. First, you need to get a copy of Windows 8.1 upgrade in an ISO format. Getting the upgrade ISO is the hard part. You can Google how to get it using your Windows 8 key. I had success getting mine a while back, so I have an ISO saved. But now, when I go to get it using the same procedure, I can't make it work. Microsoft, being the jerks that they are, only want you to be able to upgrade from 8 to 8.1 by using their store, which kills the prospect of doing a clean install of an upgrade.

Anyway, if you manage to get your hands-on the 8.1 upgrade ISO, the trick is install Windows 8.1 using a generic Windows 8.1 key that can be easily found online by googling it. This generic key allows the installation to move forward so afterwards you can replace the generic key with your legitimate Windows 8 key and you will have an activated clean install of a Windows 8.1 upgrade.

I recommend installing the upgrade without internet access to your PC. This also allows you to skip the annoying prompt for an email account when logging in the first time.

After clean installing the upgrade, we need to replace the generic Windows 8.1 key we used to install the upgrade with your own legitimate Windows 8 key and here's how it's done:

Type "cmd" into the search bar on your start menu. Right click on the icon, and run as administrator.

Type "slmgr -ipk" (without quotes, and there is a space between slmgr and the -ipk), then hit the space bar, and type your legitimate Windows 8 key, using the dashes.

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Hit "enter," and a notification that your key has been successfully installed will pop up.

TweakTown's Ultimate Windows SSD Performance Installation Guide 128 | TweakTown.com

Hit "OK," connect your PC to the internet, and reboot your PC.

Windows will activate itself. If it does not for some reason, run the activation utility, and if necessary, activate by following the instructions to activate over the phone. Even if it says you cannot use the key you used, just call the phone activation and follow the instructions. When you are asked the question "How many computers have been installed with this copy of Windows?" you answer "one," and then you will be given a number that will complete the activation once entered.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:33 pm CDT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Jon became a computer enthusiast when Windows XP launched. He was into water cooling and benching ATI video cards with modded drivers. Jon has been building computers for others for more than 10 years. Jon became a storage enthusiast the day he first booted an Intel X25-M G1 80GB SSD. Look for Jon to bring consumer SSD reviews into the spotlight.

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