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troubleshooting Question

Windows 7 install fails with invalid activation key

Avatar of splait
splaitFlag for United States of America asked on
Windows 7
9 Comments1 Solution541 ViewsLast Modified:
A client of mine has a Sony laptop and the hard drive went bad.  I purchased a new drive and atempted to use his Win7 upgrade CD on it.  In the "old" days, if you had a Win OS upgrade disk, you started it up and at some point it asked for proof that you had a previous Windows OS, so you put in a disk as proof.  Not so here.

I installed the virgin drive, and the installation DVD didn't recognize it.  I formatted the drive and it still wasn't recognized.  Somehow, I got past that point and was able to run the DVD.

I got all the way through the installation and was asked to enter the activation key.  At that point, I got an error message indicating the key was not valid.  The installation disk I am using came in a standard Microsoft retail box, and the client had installed from this disk several months ago, so I know the key is valid.  In addition, the installation process never asked for proof of a previous OS.

I found a post online indicating the invalid key message is indicative of the upgrade process not finding a previously installed OS.

Is that correct?  Would our friends in Redmond actually create a process whereby we cannot install an upgrade without the previous OS being installed?  Would they allow me to go through the entire installation process before it looked for it?   Would they also create an error message that is so totally useless (say it ain't so!)?

Back to the point, how do I get Win7 installed on this disk?  Must I install XP on the disk before I can go forward?  I don't see an answer anywhere on the Web.
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