Reformatting with a windows 7 upgrade key

I recently bought a new hard drive. I installed windows 7 on the new drive everything was fine until I went to register windows. I previously bought an upgrade key with a student discount. I still have my old windows xp key but when I went to register it said the key couldn't be used with a clean install. Is there anyway I can input both keys to prove that I own a copy of xp or do I need to install two operating systems every time I need to reformat?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Your experience is one thing that makes an image backup such a good idea.

If you had already installed and activated your copy of Win 7, you might call Microsoft to see what they say. If they have a record of the activation, they may be able to help, but this is one of the great unknown situations that were expected with the Win 7 type of installation.

Maybe someone else will know what to do for sure.

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