The upgrade assistant gives a RETAIL UPGRADE key since a RETAIL FULL key doesn't exist. An MSDN and OEM FULL key do exist though.
The Win8 media is basically all the same (although it's been mentioned the ISO via the Upgrade Assistant uses different files meaning it's packed differently, but it seems to be the same regardless).
Install to a completely BARE drive using the (upgrade) DVD/USB drive and enter your upgrade key. It will install fine, however it will then likely fail to activate.
Do the registry change mentioned a number of times. This changes Windows record of how it was installed from a full copy to an upgrade one. You may now have to reboot (sorry I can't remember from doing it with 7). You will now find that you can activate successfully.
That reg change is only on media downloaded via the upgrade advisor.
Nope, it's to convert the install type Windows records from a 'full install' version to an 'upgrade' version, therefore allowing an upgrade key to successfully activate.
Someone here already did an install using the upgrade key on a totally blank disc with the MSDN image (which does not require the change) and it didn't activate
Well it wouldn't. The MSDN image is a full install and the upgrade key is an upgrade key therefore the registry change would be required.
Any one care to disprove this? Hopefully, this is the end to this now!
(Actually from memory, I think an slmgr command or two, from an elevated command prompt is required together with the registry change. I'll confirm in a mo when I can dig the info for Win7 up.... update - method 2 detailed here: http://www.winsupers...de-media-128512)