Using the Windows 7 "upgrade" disc to install on Bootcamp?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Imola Ghost, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Imola Ghost macrumors 65816

    Mar 21, 2009
    It seems as though most local stores only carry the Windows 7 Upgrade disc and not the full version for a clean install without a previous version of Windows.

    Can you use an "upgrade" disc to install on Bootcamp?

    I remember the older previous versions you could trick Windows in to thinking you had an previous version by ejecting and inserting a older windows install disc.
  2. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Nope, it has to be a install DVD, not upgrade.
  3. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    celticpride678 is correct that to comply with all of the licenses you need a full retail copy of Windows 7, not OEM, not upgrade, to run on your Mac.

    Definitely, your smoothest install and one that fully complies with all of the licenses will be with the recommended full retail license which is not hard to find online (Amazon, NewEgg, TigerDirect, ...)

    However the upgrade installer just doesn't check so you can install it on "bare metal" and OEM "works" too even though its use on a Mac is outside the license agreements.

    (For more discussion about these issues look to these fine articles by Ed Bott
    Licensing in general:

  4. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    You can do it by choosing to activate after installation, but it won't accept your product key. There is a registry change you can make to get it to stop caring and it'll be fine from then on.

    I had to do it when I bought a new hard drive to replace one that had Win7 over Vista. Microsoft were extremely defensive, and refused to help at all. They went as far as claiming I'd hacked my original install.
  5. ajayvarma87 macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2009
    So can someone please clarify what copy of windows to get? Most shops in my area only stock the upgrade version of windows 7. Can i use the upgrade version for bootcamp without any hastle? Has anyone sucessfully installed windows to bootcamp using the windows 7 upgrade disk? I do not currently have windows installed on my mac
  6. markothecro macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2009
    Well, not to threadjack or anything, but what I did on my PC was installed an old copy of Vista first, then validated the Win 7 install based on that. Once the upgrade disc had confirmed that there was a previous installation of Windows on that partition, I just let it do a complete clean install.

    Seeing as the way that OSX handles Windows differently, does anyone know if this will work the same way on a Mac?
  7. watchurbak21 macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2010
    Xp then Win. 7

    What if I install a legit copy of windows xp on bootcamp, then upgrade to 7?
    Thanks for the help in advance
  8. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    If you don't already have a full version of a previous Windows version that you WILL BE RETIRING, then this is not legal.

    Yes, there are technical workarounds, such as the registry-key hack. However, that requires that you go through the install twice.

    Assuming you do have an earlier version that you won't be needing, the easiest way is to temporarily attach a disk drive containing that system to your computer during the install. You could do this using a USB drive (or drive case that accepts your old disk) or (for the brave who know what they are doing, and assuming a compatible disk drive) a Y-cable.

    Windows 7 upgrade won't install just using the old version's DVD as previous Windows versions would. It requires an installed and activated installation. But it does NOT have to install "over" the previous version - it can install into another partition or drive.

    For my own install on my Macbook (VMWare - not Bootcamp) I just temporarily attached my Windows XP virtual disk to the new VM. Worked like a charm.

    I then copied the VM to my Linux system and activated it there as well. (I got the 3-user upgrade.)
  9. TommieG macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2010
    I made a clean install of Win 7 Ultimate, with an upgrade key in Bootcamp, using "method #2" from the same link posted earlier in this thread:

    I didn't realise that the student/faculty key I had was a upgrade key until it wasn't accepted during the install. I completed the install without the key, planning to get another, non-upgrade one from the school admin (you have a 30 days trial, before needing the key). Of course he didn't have any non-upgrade keys available for Win 7 Ultimate, only for the Enterprise edition (the school PC's have Enterprise while the students/staff are issued Ultimate). Instead he gave me a Vista CD and key and told me to install Vista first, then upgrade.

    I didn't really want to do two more installs so I searched and found the link posted earlier. I followed the few easy steps in "method #2", typed in the upgrade-key, and everything was OK. Really no trouble at all. And since I had the Vista CD with a valid full-version key in my left hand, while typing in the upgrade key with my right hand, I really didn't feel guilty of doing anything illegal, either. ;-)


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