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Randy The Tech Professor

November 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm

How To Clean (Custom) Install Windows 7 Using Upgrade Media

Windows 7Hello everyone,

Since the release of Windows 7 exactly three weeks ago it has sold more than any other previous version of Windows. The pre-release sales were even hotter – Windows 7 was pre-ordered more than Windows XP and Vista combined!!

The vast majority of Windows 7 sales (both pre and post release) is that of the Upgrade version. Not many people are buying Windows 7 in the Full version. It’s a “no brainer” – anyone with a valid, licensed copy of Windows XP or Vista qualifies for any Upgrade version of Windows 7. This consists of basically the entire “Windows world”!

The Windows 7 Full version is more expensive and not needed at all if you have a previous version (XP or Vista) of Windows on your computers hard drive (hidden partitions don’t count). Microsoft encouraged the buying of the Upgrade media during the Widows 7 pre-release campaign, by offering great deals (like the $150 three copy Windows 7 Family pack), and the Upgrade version is still the best way to go now (see my previous post at: So, “piece of cake” right? Not quite!

It seems that many users are having problems doing a clean (custom) install with the Windows 7 Upgrade media (installing and activating). Apparently Microsoft didn’t clearly document the clean (custom) install with Upgrade media procedure before shipping Windows 7 to millions of consumers on Oct.22. What to do?

Today I want to refer you to Paul Thurrott. Like Ed Bott and Woody Leonhard, Paul Thurrott is another Microsoft “guru” who has “gone to the head of the Microsoft class”. Paul is the editor of the Supersite for Windows, an author of over 20 books and appears weekly on the Windows Weekly podcast with Leo Laporte. But above all, Paul Thurrott is a consumer advocate whose main objective is to help you and me as users. If that means “taking Microsoft to task” then so be it! Paul watches out for the consumer by giving us valuable information in an unbiased manner. I have been influenced greatly by the writings and teachings of Paul Thurrott!

Everything that you want to know about a custom install of Windows 7 using Update media is here ( The clear, well organized documentation makes everything so simple. Fabulous! No one has worked harder than Paul Thurrott  investigating the matter and then putting the facts out. Thanks Paul!!

Professor Randy says: Performing a custom install upgrade of Windows 7 is now a “piece of cake” thanks to the information in the writings of Paul Thurrott!



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