Purchased the windows 7 upgrade (during reduced price period). I had xp on the laptop (have all the installation disks) put in the rc windows 7. Now can I or can I not install this windows 7 upgrade disk? Thanks
Both the RC and RTM upgrades will allow you to do a clean install of Win7 if you have the XP installation disk. (You can do a double-install with the upgrade disks and skip having it look for XP if you want to be tricky. Look for info on how to do this in the forums.)
If you want to borrow someone's Vista Installation disk, you can upgrade XP -> Vista -> Win7. (Look for the sticky that outlines how to do this if you don't want to do a clean install.)
Amazon may not be quite confused. The lack of definition of "upgrade" is EXTREMELY confusing to everyone. There is no concensus as to whether "upgrade" means to install a new operating system without wiping the old one, or whether it means to install a newer (and presumably better, "upgraded") OS regardless of what method you use. If you buy an upgrade version of Windows 7 and perform a clean install (format harddrive and install new OS), that is, by Microsoft definition, an upgrade. Hence "upgrade version". In common useage in this, and other forums, "upgrade" means to install a different (presumably newer) OS without doing a "format and reinstall". regardless of what OS you are installing.
What all this means is that if you have XP on your computer and you do a "format and reinstall" to Windows 7, by Microsoft definition, you did an upgrade, hence the "upgrade" version will work. When you insert the windows 7 installation disc in an XP system, it will recognize the system as an XP OS and if you select the option other than to format it will give you an error message. You will, without performing some complicated tricks, have to format when "upgrading from XP to Windows 7. The same upgrade DVD will upgrade Vista to Windows 7 without requiring this "format and reinstall" operation, thereby saving your installed applications and drivers.
The misuse, or lack of agreed-to definition, of the term "upgrade" is what is causing all the confusion. You can "upgrade" XP to Windows 7, but you must do a "format and reinstall".