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Old Oct 24, 2011, 01:17 PM   #1
Tnesper
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Using Boot Camp to install Windows 7 with an upgrade disc

I know that the boot camp instructions state that you must have an original, not an upgrade disc, to install Windows on a Mac using boot camp. As a Windows user thinking about jumping ship, I still have some programs that will require me to have Windows on my computer, but I don’t want to have to invest in a new Windows DVD to run it on a Mac. Which leads me to my question…

Whenever I have purchased a new version of Windows, I always start over fresh with a full system format. Normally, when installing Windows, this would require you to have a full installation CD and not just an upgrade disc. However, there is a workaround for Windows that I am curious to know if it will work with boot camp. The workaround is simple.

1) Install Windows using your upgrade disc
2) When asked for the CD key, leave it blank, effectively installing a 30 day trial of Windows on your PC
3) Immediately go through the install again, this time entering the CD key.
4) This will then install the full, non-trial, version of Windows on your PC.

Basically, this “tricks” (although it is widely believed that Microsoft purposely leaves this loop hole available) the PC into thinking that you are upgrading from a previous Windows installation.

Not knowing how Macs manage boot camp and whether they function under the same parameters, is it possible that this same trick will work on a Mac? If not, are there other tricks for installing Windows using boot camp with an upgrade only disc?
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 07:16 PM   #2
johnhurley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnesper View Post
I know that the boot camp instructions state that you must have an original, not an upgrade disc, to install Windows on a Mac using boot camp.
I think it will work just fine ... but as long as you really have a valid key it is not hard to find someone with a real install disc "just in case".
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Old Oct 24, 2011, 07:17 PM   #3
balamw
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It works fine. Many of us, myself included, have done this.

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Old May 8, 2012, 12:16 PM   #4
gatortpk
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"Upgrade" and "Full" Discs are IDENTICAL

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnhurley View Post
I think it will work just fine ... but as long as you really have a valid key it is not hard to find someone with a real install disc "just in case".
I'm quite sure, (not 100% positive), that the "Upgrade" and "Full" version DVD Install Discs are identical. The only difference is the Product Key. It's the Product Key that will be recognized as either the upgrade or the full purchase.
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Old May 13, 2012, 09:29 PM   #5
Adomian
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It works

I installed Windows 7 on my iMac this way. In fact I followed the directions from your post and it worked perfectly for me. So I just want to thank you for introducing me to this workaround, and I will assure you that it does work.
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Old May 13, 2012, 09:36 PM   #6
jlrathke
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Just follow the instructions here just a few threads down, I did it this weekend and it worked perfectly.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1222826

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Old Jul 14, 2012, 05:35 PM   #7
inskev62
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Would this still work with a digital download of the upgrade, or will I have to get the disk?
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 06:56 PM   #8
zmenow
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Will this work with Paralles?

Hi,

I don't what to use Boot Camp. Will this technique work with Parallels?
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Old Aug 12, 2012, 07:27 PM   #9
terraphantm
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Originally Posted by zmenow View Post
Hi,

I don't what to use Boot Camp. Will this technique work with Parallels?
It'll work anywhere. The upgrade and retail DVDs are the same - it decides what kind of license it is when you enter the key. So if you install it without a key, it defaults to the full trial. At which point you can upgrade on top of that install with your real key.
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Old Oct 1, 2012, 06:27 PM   #10
LeeM
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sorry to bump, but when you do your second install do you do it from within windows?
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 07:44 PM   #11
gekoo
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I tried this and the linked section before but neither worked for my macbook pro retina. When I did the upgrade install my key failed and it said something about this key can only be used for upgrading even thou I did an upgrade. It has worked in the past by installing first home, entering that key then ultimate and entering that key, which is a long process for me.
Any tips?
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