I am thinking about getting a pre-order for Windows 7 upgrade, but I don't want to buy it if I can't do clean installs with it. How does the upgrade process work exactly when comming from Windows Xp or Vista? I've poked around on Google, but I have only been able to find documentation regarding the Windows 7 RC to RTM migration.
Would I have to install Windows Xp or Vista first every time I wish to format and reinstall Windows 7 on my computer? Or would I just have to, for example, punch in my old Xp/Vista product key?
According to this article, you will need to have an activated copy of XP, Vista, or 7 RC first:
Now here's the bigger catch: While you
won't need to downgrade from Windows 7
RC to Vista or XP in order to install
Windows 7 final the first, time, you
will need to install one of those
operating systems and activate it
first if you want to do a clean
install in the future. Because the
Windows 7 upgrade disc will only work
with an activated version of Windows.
That means you'll need an activated
version of Windows XP, Vista, or
Windows 7 RC to start with or the disc
will be useless.
The upgrade versions will not do a clean install onto a blank hard drive. The install process will have to be started from an already installed and activated copy of windows. You will then be able to choose whether the install does an inplace upgrade (vista only) or installs a clean copy of Windows 7 (in which case the old windows files will be moved to a folder called Windows.Old).