Windows Vista Ultimate is currently installed on the computer. It's a genuine full license version that came in a retail box. I installed it from the DVD disc. Now, can I use the same DVD disc to install Windows Vista Ultimate once again on the same computer, but this time in upgrade mode?

Is this a license violation? Is it even technically possible? Will the Windows Vista setup guide just tell me "Windows Vista is already installed you moron" and tell me to buzz off? I mean I'm pretty sure that it won't protest if you are upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 or to Windows 8. But what if you're going from Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows Vista Ultimate (even the editions are the same)? Will it swallow that?...

I have never tried this before, so I wouldn't know. When I need to re-install Windows I usually do a disk format and then a clean install on top of that. The reason I ask this is because I have a registry corruption of some sort, and despite my efforts I have been unable to resolve it. So I am hoping that the re-installing Windows Vista in upgrade mode will force it to correct or re-create the registry. Am I under false assumption?...

Is there perhaps another way to have the Windows registry recreated?...

  • Two side by side installs? – Austin T French Jun 16 '13 at 17:58
  • @AthomSfere No, I meant on the same disk partition as the current one. – Samir Jun 16 '13 at 18:04
  • I want to keep all the software and drivers and not have to re-install those, and of course I want to keep my files. I want the setup to re-create everything else, and hopefully resolve the registry issue. – Samir Jun 16 '13 at 18:06
  • Performing repair installation (or upgrade) takes time! It took me about 5 hours from start to finish! Installation started at about 12:30 AM and ended at 5:00 PM. Give or take 30 minutes. I didn't count on that. It interrupted my sleep. I started the installation by accident, as I was resolving the Windows setup issue which wouldn't start because of PowerShell. This is on a 2.2 GHz Core2Duo with 4 GB RAM, Intel Express chipset, 7200 RPM SATA2 Black Caviar and approx. 130 GB data. – Samir Jun 18 '13 at 10:50
  • I planned on starting the install at 9:00 AM. I understand now that this would have been late also. But as installation already had started, I didn't want to risk anything by aborting it. There even was no Cancel button. I slept through the installation. I woke up when it was nearly finished. – Samir Jun 18 '13 at 11:05

Yes, this will work. This is known as repair installation/inplace upgrade:


You should run it when you have issues that tools like sfc.exe can't fit.

  • No, I can't use sfc.exe because running sfc /scannow produces There is a system repair pending which requires reboot to complete. Restart Windows and run sfc again. But I have restarted it several times, and even tried safe mode, but I still get the same message. – Samir Jun 16 '13 at 19:16
  • delete the file pending.xml from WinSxS folder. This can prevent sfc to run. – magicandre1981 Jun 16 '13 at 19:35
  • Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for. It says that this will work as long as the version of Windows is the same as the one you're attempting to repair install with. If SP1 is currently installed, then SP1 must be integrated in the Windows installation disc. The Windows version on the installation media must be the same version as the one installed on the computer. Having SP1 or SP2 changes the version. – Samir Jun 16 '13 at 19:35
  • Are you sure the path is C:\Windows\Winsxs\pending.xml? I have one called cleanup.xml and another poqexec.log. And there are also about 18000 folders. – Samir Jun 16 '13 at 19:36
  • 1
    yes, I'm sure. Also look in the registry under SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing if you see a key called "RebootPending". – magicandre1981 Jun 17 '13 at 4:06

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