DailyTech has posted a 7-step workaround courtesy of Paul Thurrott (via Microsoft internal documents) on how to perform a clean install with a Windows Vista Upgrade DVD. Per Microsoft's new licensing requirements for Vista, users are required to install a Windows Vista Upgrade from within Windows XP and to make matters worse, the Windows XP license is forfeited. The process may be tedious, but few will argue when they compare the price differences between the upgrade and retail versions. Here we go:
- Boot from the Windows Vista Upgrade DVD and start the setup program.
- When prompted to enter your product key, DO NOT enter it. Click "Next" and proceed with setup. This will install Windows Vista as a 30-day trial.
- When prompted, select the edition of Vista which you have purchased and continue with setup.
- Once setup has been completed and you have been brought to the desktop for the first time, run the install program from within Windows Vista.
- This time, type in your product key when prompted.
- When asked whether to perform an Upgrade or Custom (advanced) install, choose Custom (advanced) to perform a clean install of Vista. Yes, this means that you will have to install Vista for a second time.
- Once setup has completed for the second time, you should be able to activate Windows Vista normally. You can also delete the Windows.old directory which contains information from the first Vista install.