Using Boot Camp to install Windows 7 with an upgrade disc

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Tnesper, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Tnesper macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2011
    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?
  2. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    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".
  3. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    It works fine. Many of us, myself included, have done this.

  4. gatortpk macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2003
    Melbourne, FL
    "Upgrade" and "Full" Discs are IDENTICAL

    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.
  5. Adomian macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2012
    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. :)
  6. jlrathke macrumors member


    Apr 10, 2011
  7. inskev62 macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2012
    Would this still work with a digital download of the upgrade, or will I have to get the disk?
  8. zmenow macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2012
    Will this work with Paralles?


    I don't what to use Boot Camp. Will this technique work with Parallels?
  9. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    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.
  10. LeeM macrumors 6502a

    Jan 1, 2012
    sorry to bump, but when you do your second install do you do it from within windows?
  11. gekoo macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2012
    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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