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I bought an Windows Anytime Upgrade key from Microsoft's official online store sometime early 2011. The key was to upgrade from Windows Home, that came with the computer, to Windows Ultimate. This happen before the SP1 was released.

I'm downloading ISO Windows 7 Ultimate with SP1 from Windows official online retail store. The download link is suppose to be the official ISO. I'll verify it before using it. Once it's finished, I want to use it to do a fresh install of Windows. I want to know if I could use the Ultimate (Anytime Upgrade) key to activate it during the install -- without calling MS support.

I am pretty sure that mix-matching keys wasn't possible with older version of Windows. However, I want to know if it's possible with Windows 7. This question is important to me because of my location. I work from Afghanistan using a slow internet connection. Average download speeds are 18-25KB/s. With Windows 7 SP1 over 3 gigs, it will take about 2 days to finish install. I want to know if its a waste of time.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

As far as I'm aware it is NOT possible: Anytime Upgrade in Windows 7 is executed from within Windows 7 itself only and takes 10 mins or so to upgrade (it will install/upgrade few files (3 hundred or so, don't remember), will make some changes to a registry -- that's it).

The Anytime Upgrade key will not work for full fresh install -- it's a different key (the same as OEM key will not work with retail version).

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It will not work. Period. I try the hotline but they were no help. Must install original version before using the upgrade key. – SgtOJ Sep 14 '11 at 15:41

This was not possible under XP and Vista.

My guess is it isn't possible without calling MS support. Since it takes so long to download the ISO, I don't see the reason not to call Microsoft. Not only is it faster, but it is cheaper.


If you contact either the original retailer or Microsoft, they will send you a link to the SP1 anytime upgrade or offer to mail it to you.

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