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I am currently running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM on a laptop I recently bought. My laptop was supplied with a Windows Vista Ultimate license and I validate for a free upgrade to Windows 7.

Question: once I get my free upgrade license, can I simply validate my current RTM install or is it a prerequisite to follow the Vista->Windows 7 upgrade path?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's possible that the key you will receive will be an OEM key rather than a retail key, so it may not work.

However, you should be able use the installation media they gave you to reinstall over your existing installation and use the key that was provided.

There is a well known trick that you can use an upgrade license by first installing the OS without any product key, and then running the upgrade and using the upgrade key

So, in your position, I'll assume you're running the 30 day trial. At the end of your 30 days you can reset the activation clock for another 30 days. Then, when you get your copy in the mail, you should be able to pop in the disc, click on Upgrade, and install it right over your existing copy.

If you have an issue you can try changing the cversion.ini (You shouldn't need to).

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I have actually never used an upgrade license: will this require me to install Vista before being able to upgrade or is it possible to simply use it as a clean install option? – Aron Rotteveel Sep 30 '09 at 7:16
You should be able to use an upgrade key as long as any version of Windows is already installed. There is a well-known workaround where you install Windows 7 without using a product key (runs unactivated for up to 30 days). Then, you install again, this time using the upgrade product key and it works fine. – Chris Thompson Oct 22 '09 at 19:44

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