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If I’m performing a an upgrade to Windows 8, do I have to have the previous version installed, or is just having the key enough?
Windows 8 Pro Upgrade but no previous version of Windows installed

I'm considering buying Windows 8 Pro with Upgrade offer. I'm currently using Windows 7.

My question is very simple: Will the installation DVD to be downloaded be able to install Windows 8 from scratch or does it need Windows 7 to be installed?

I'm asking this because I will eventually format my computer and I prefer installing an OS from scratch rather from an existing installation.

marked as duplicate by Karan, ChrisF, Simon Sheehan, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Siim K Dec 15 '12 at 20:47

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  • Its entirely up to you. What upgrade options you have is WELL DOCUMENTED so I won't repeat them. You will be unable to use the upgrade license unless there is an existing installation present. You can choose to do a clean install that will end in the same result as formatting the hdd. – Ramhound Dec 14 '12 at 19:51
  • @Ramhound would you care to clarify? I was under the impression that the only requirement was that you have a Windows 7 license already. While the clean install has worked for me (and validated via Microsoft Tech Support), making it a semi-moot point, I'd like to make sure I'm within the license agreement. – im so confused Dec 14 '12 at 20:00
  • @AK4749 - A "Clean Install" will migrate nothing. While it does not format the hdd, nothing is carried into the Windows 8 installation, thus making it practically the same. If you really want to install Windows 8 not within Windows that requires a System Builder personal use (OEM) license. – Ramhound Dec 15 '12 at 22:43

You can still use the Clean Install trick from Windows 7 in Windows 8:

  • Install Windows 8 with your key
  • Open regedit.exe with Start Menu Search and navigate to:


  • change the value MediaBootInstall from "1" to "0"

  • run slgmr.vbs -rearm and reboot
  • activate Windows 8.
  • awesome, will keep this in mind haha – im so confused Dec 14 '12 at 21:56

If you are asking if a Windows 8 Pro Upgrade disc can be used to perform a clean install, it is indeed possible and I have done so successfully. You will, however, be required to call in to tech support each time you do so so that they can verify your installation is legitimate.

EDIT: The line you call is not restricted to regular business hours, and is quite convenient, from my experience. It took about 5 minutes last time I called, with about 2 minutes actually speaking to the tech. (11pm EST)

  • I upgraded fine without calling in. I ran the upgrade advisor. Paid my $40 ($15 for me since I had a new laptop) and it downloaded the OS for me and gave me a product key. Then I just made a bootable USB (from the options given at the end) and booted into Windows 8 and did a clean install. it was nice. – masfenix Dec 14 '12 at 20:42
  • @masfenix ah, did you have Windows 7 installed when you performed the clean install? I had already wiped my drive at that point through a Ubuntu LiveCD. Good to know that that is an option though, thanks! – im so confused Dec 14 '12 at 20:44
  • Availability hours usually change with country :) – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Dec 14 '12 at 20:58
  • Yes I had windows 7, but i don't think the installation checks for existing operating systems. I think you may need to have a xp/vista/7 machine to get the $40 offer, but thats about that. – masfenix Dec 17 '12 at 16:33

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