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Can I upgrade a corrupted OEM copy of Windows Vista to Windows 7

I got a new SSD and wanted to start over with Windows 7 on that disk. I did a clean install (my mistake) on the SSD and just went passed the activation part (left the key blank). Now that I have my system all setup, configured, files pulled back from backup, and ready to go, I'd like to activate Windows 7. However, I now get this error:

The following failure occurred while trying to use the product key:

Code:

0xC004F061

Description:

The Software Licensing Service determined that this specified product key can only be used for upgrading, not for clean installations.

Do I really need to wipe my system again, install Windows Vista, and then do the Windows 7 upgrade in order to use my upgrade key? Is there some kind of work around?

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marked as duplicate by studiohack Feb 21 '11 at 22:13

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3 Answers

I know this trick worked when Windows 7 came out but have not tried it in a while, however it still may be worth a shot. Install the full version without a key, then reinstall using the upgrade option on top of the initial version, enter your upgrade key. My first copy of 7 was just an upgrade so I had to do this a few times... I know it worked last time I tried about a year ago since then I got a regular windows 7 copy.

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Your best bet is to contact the Microsoft Activation Center (you can get the phone number local to you via the Manual/Telephone Activation part of the Activation Wizard).

Activation support calls are free, and they'll either get you going with it as-is, or confirm if you need to reinstall and pick 'Upgrade'.

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Legally, the answer is yes. Sorry :(

You can try ringing the toll free Microsoft number and begging, they may let you off!

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