Install from upgrade...

No doubt this has been answered in this forum MULTIPLE times already, but I am in a bit of a quandary and need to get my laptop operating quickly - so I apologize if I'm trying to 'short-cut' doing the research to find the answer in some previous post, but I need my laptop back fast ...!
Situation: First, my Vista Home Premium (32-bit) was 'infected' by a series of 'malware' apps and a couple of 'Trojan downloaders' - which took me a bit of effort to 'clean out', but I feel I've defeated them finally.
Second: As I contemplated completing the "Upgrade Anytime" to Windows 7 Home Premium, I began to get error messages that lead me to believe my 320 GB hard disk is now displaying potential failure 'issues' (errors mentioning things about "CRC" and other things which make me believe I must replace it very quickly).
What I'd PREFER to do is use the "Upgrade Anytime" ISO I downloaded to get to Windows 7 ASAP (and of course to save a few bucks on buying a whole new version of Windows), but if my hard disk is 'dying' then I'd want to do a 'clean' install on the new 500 GB disk I just bought, right? So CAN I use this Upgrade disk to do this? Is this possible if there IS no OS on the new hard disk? Will it 'activate' if I choose the option to perform a 'new installation'? I've tried doing a few searches to find out if this is possible and I think I'm more confused now than before I started. Registry 'hacks' and all that leave me 'cold', but I just want to stay 'legal' AND I also want to start with a 'clean' Windows installation. Guidance, please...? Did I just 'waste' $119.00 on this Upgrade Anytime ISO I JUST bought from MS?


Noob Whisperer
Hello and welcome to the forum.
As best as I can determine, the Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade feature is intended solely to be used from within a running (installed) lower version of Windows 7 (say Home Premium) to upgrade to a higher version of Windows 7 (say Ultimate) and is not and cannot be used in any fashion to perform a clean install of the OS. Typically this is done from either typing "Anytime" into the search box or selecting "Anytime Upgrade" from the All Programs menu, which is not available in Windows 7 Ultimate as there is no version to upgrade to.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
May be a difference in terminology situation going on, but if you purchased and downloaded the Upgrade version of Windows 7 Home Premium (not a Windows Anytime Upgrade), with the problems you seem to be having, you might want to at least try reburning the .iso. You might even download it again and try. If you can control the burning speed, do it at a slow speed.

How are you trying to do the upgrade, from within Vista or through a Custom install.

Well, after Randy's reply saying I am (in essence) pretty much 'hosed' as regards to doing a 'clean install' of Windows 7 with this 'Upgrade Anytime' "disk image" (ISO) that I bought from MS, I guess I have to go buy still another license of Windows 7... or so it would appear. Which sorta 'irks' me, I have to say...
My hope, effort and intent would be to do a "Custom Install' to get an entirely new 'clean' installation of Windows 7 Home Premium on what WAS a computer running Vista Home Premium. But due to the fact that the hard disk is reporting errors from within Vista (the system logs show a number of errors regarding "disk read error" and "I/O error", etc.), it 'chokes and dies' during the installation process to 'Upgrade' Vista to Win7. Which is why I went and bought a new 500 GB disk to replace the failing 320 GB - but now all of this seems to be a waste of time, money and effort if what Randy says is true...
Apparently, I have to have an OS installed on the hard disk before I can use the upgrade to get Windows 7 Home Premium. But even if the hard disk WASN'T 'dying', I certainly don't think I'd want to 'import' any possible problems from what WAS an 'infected' Vista system into a new installation of Win 7. So I have two 'issues' here... the current disk is 'dying' - and I can't use the upgrade I bought to get a clean installation of Windows 7 on a new hard disk, either...
Even if I could restore the system from the hidden 'system restore' partition, it would still have all the funky 'junk' software that was included with the original Vista setup - so THIS I'd like to avoid also... I just want a 'clean' system and a known 'good' starting point...
As to the operation of the DVD I burned from the ISO, the installation process works well, so I don't think it has to do with either the download or the 'burn' from ISO to the DVD, but from what I read (and what Randy says), I won't be able to 'activate' UNLESS I'm actually upgrading an earlier version of Windows.. And this sorta blows me away that I 'own' the Vista license (attached to the laptop case), and I bought an 'Upgrade Anytime' from Microsoft to get away from Vista's 'frustrations' - but what 'irks' me is that I'm not allowed to install Windows 7 'cleanly'...?
Now, I've also read online about how some have been able to change some setting in the registry which supposedly allows this upgrade to be validly activated, but this kinda 'smacks' of illegality also (I think). One shouldn't have to change anything in the registry if one 'owns' legal licenses for both OS versions. All I want to do is to NOT feel like I've been bent over the hood by buying this "Upgrade Anytime" fiasco, especially if I can't 'restore' from the hidden partition to achieve a 'functional' Vista ...
I sorta feel like MS has 'taken me for a ride' now that I 'own' both versions and apparently can't use either one. As for the 'system restore disks' that came with the laptop - long gone to God knows where, so I'm not able to use those to get Vista on the new 500 GB disk, either....
Frustrating to say the very least... I feel like I've spent all that I should have to to get a Windows 7 computer 'operational' - and yet "I can't get there from here...". They've got my money and I've got nothing...
Thanks for nothing, Microsoft...

Yes, one can do a `Custom Install` (clean install) using a so-called Upgrade disc. You have not wasted your $120.



Noob Whisperer
I can only reiterate what I've previously said an anytime upgrade is intended to be done only to update a lesser version of Windows 7 to a more robust version (basic to home premium, or home premium to ultimate, etc.,).
So now we're left with determining what exactly you have.
As saltgrass suggests there maybe some issue with terminology, since you have or have had Vista, it would seem logical that you may have actually purchased and Upgrade (not Anytime Upgrade) version of Windows 7 from Microsoft since you can't actually anytime upgrade from Vista to Windows 7. As I understand the AnyTime Upgrade process, it is done by supplying a new Product Key, which in turn unlocks features not available in the lesser OS version and presto changeO you have the upgrade version on your computer, which doesn't seem to involve any actual install media.
So given that you actually have install media in the form of an ISO which you have burned to a DVD then again it is logical to assume that you have an and Upgrade.
There are many resources available on the internet which explains the intricacies of doing a clean custom install from Upgrade media as well as the potential pitfalls that can be encountered.
Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version - Windows 7 Forums
are two such examples.
Since you have
A new hard drive
A licensed copy of Vista (which satisfies the upgrade requirements)
A licensed copy (ISO) of Windows 7
I really can't see any issues that would prevent you from at least attempting to perform the install and see how it goes. Worst case scenario, put your old hard drive back in and regroup.
And if you continue to get the CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) errors consider, reburning the ISO at the slowest speed possible nothing faster than 4X (get imgburn if your present burning software won't let you slow the process down) as saltgrass again has suggested.
Or consider either replacing the DVD player or installing from a USB stick.

So... terminology as regards exactly WHICH 'upgrade' I bought seems to be my 'hangup' then ...
I'd just began this process earlier, but my (obviously misinformed) "friend" arrived just as I'd started and cautioned me it was not possible to use this disk to do a 'clean' install on a new hard disk, saying that the license would ONLY 'validly activate' if I'd begun from a 'validly activated', fully operational Vista version.
So, I think I get it now... going from Vista to Win7 is simply an 'upgrade' to the OS - NOT an "Upgrade Anytime" version which would more likely be to upgrade from Vista Home Premium to Vista Business, or similar.
So all I've REALLY done is waste my time by listening to "Mr. Right" (who was ADAMANT this license would not activate once it was installed ...). I guess that's what I get for listening to (supposed) 'Windows experts' like him.
Thanks to you all - next time I'll just come here to this forum FIRST... Jeez...


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Since someone still seems to be confused, probably me, you would not have bought a "Windows Antime Upgrade" to go from Vista to Windows 7. You would have purchased the Upgrade version of the Windows 7 install DVD which lists for $119, which is what Trouble is saying.

To do a clean install with that DVD, you need to boot to it, then select custom install and select the partition for the install. You will be allowed to activate the install as long as an activated prior OS was on the system. The install sees the other OS early in the process.

There has also been confusion about what is meant by "Clean Install". I consider a clean install to be anytime you do not install starting from within the prior OS. Doing a custom install does not get rid of everything, but it does replace the prior OS and does not bring forward drivers and such.

Most assuredly - 'clean' means 'CLEAN' - no previous aspect of an earlier OS. Even re-partition and re-format the hard disk for such an installation, if desired... (or as in this case, a brand new hard disk that had never been partitioned and never had an OS installed).
My 'confusion factor' in (addition to which of the 'upgrades' I'd actually bought), was due to the fact that my 'friend's' opinion was that one COULD NOT use an 'upgrade' disk (IE: from Home Premium to Professional, or similar) to perform a "truly clean" Windows 7 installation AND achieve an 'activated' status afterward. His concept was that one MUST have an existing OS on the hard disk and then use a DVD like this to upgrade from that earlier version to a "more current / more robust" version.
And this was what had 'stymied' me preemptively... I hadn't attempted to activate the software (actually, I was 'stopped cold' prior to successfully completing the installation by his 'counsel' - and yeah... I should not have listened to him - but I did...).
But as of now, all is well - Home Premium is installed - it is activated - and I'm back in business.... thanks to the excellent response from this forum.

And my friend Patrick has been 'corrected' in his understanding of what an upgrade disk allows one to do....


Extraordinary Member
I recieved an upgrade disk and it is exact identical to a full version dvd.

You have a valid key and an authorized system

I would just go here and get the Win 7 SP1 image and burn to dvd at 4x. [Direct Download Links] Download Official, Original and Untouched Windows 7 with SP1 ISO (32-bit and 64-bit) - Tweaking with Vishal
These are genuine and official download links. Its completely LEGAL to use them as they don't come with a product key. You'll need to use your own product key to activate Windows. The links provide an untouched Windows 7 ISO which is a fully functional 30-day trial version which can be converted into full version after entering your product key and activating it.
You must use same version of windows that you are authorized for Like Premium, Ultimate or whatever

Put in new hard drive and boot the dvd and install plugging in your valid windows 7 key. You will still have the Vista drive you can later slave in and copy your stuff over provuided it's not a laptop. Or just burn your stuff to dvd before.

BTW what is the name of iso you downloaded? is it like this

EDIT: OOps I see you already done it

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