I preordered Windows 7 from NewEgg for $99. I thought I was ordering a full version, but in fact ordered an upgrade version. My intent is to run this in VMWare Fusion on a Mac. Do I need the full version in order to do this from scratch?
[edited to be clearer]
In my experience, a Windows upgrade install will ask you to insert the CD/DVD of the prior version to verify that you own it. Since you have a pre-installed installation of XP (on a different computer), can you call the system vendor and request the Windows media? Often you can order them if your system was pre-installed. $10 or so. It's a good thing to have anyway, in case you need to reinstall the Thinkpad.
Technically, you are not allowed to do what you are planning to do. Pre-installed (OEM) copies of Windows are licensed to the one computer on which they are originally installed. You are not allowed to upgrade them to another computer, virtual image or not, as far as i know. The legal solution is to return the upgrade and get the full version.
On the other hand, if you get the original media, as suggested above, and they send you a disk with the full version on it, then you have what you need to upgrade legally.
Either way, it's a good idea to make sure you have the product keys for your pre-installed software (Windows and Office, if you have it). I use (no kidding) Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder, though there are other programs to get the keys for you.
If you are comfortable with regedit, the Windows XP product key is stored at
You may be able to perform a clean install of Windows 7 using the Upgrade media.
I have not tested the procedure below, but I know that it works for Vista and probably also for Win7. The basic idea is to install Vista as a trial version, then upgrade it ... to Vista (!).
The procedure for Vista is as follows (replace Vista->Win7) :
Read this Vista article for more details (probably the same for Win7):
This procedure is apparently a "feature" demanded by some customers of Microsoft.
You are correct. If you no longer have XP installed on your machine or have installed a blank hard drive your upgrade to Windows 7 will not be able to be validated.
For additional assistance with the migration of Windows XP to Windows 7, please see this link.
Jessica Microsoft Windows Client Team
There is no functional difference between Windows 7 Professional Full and Windows 7 Professional Upgrade.
The difference is that upgrade versions require you to have a previous version of Windows that you are upgrading from (such as XP, Vista, etc).