Vista Home upgrades to require an XP installation

When Windows Vista is released to consumers tomorrow, many users will be tempted to purchase an “upgrade” version of the operating system. The upgrade versions are 33-50% cheaper than the full retail ones, which might seem like a good deal. However, according to a knowledge base entry on Microsoft’s website, users buying upgrade copies of the Home Basic and Home Premium editions of Vista won’t be able to do a “clean” installation of the new operating system. Instead, the user will be required to have a previous version of Windows installed on his PC first. By contrast, upgrade versions of Windows XP simply required the user to verify that he owned a previous version of Windows by inserting the CD during the installation process. (Thanks to DailyTech for the tip.)

Comments closed
    • MiB-s
    • 13 years ago

    Just ghost the first time you install. then you can just restore that install!

    • Mad Ad
    • 13 years ago

    Why cant someone write a program to extract (from your xp disk) the XP files needed to be checked by vista and slap them on a boot disk to be installed before Vista???

    It shouldnt add more than 5 minutes to the vista install process- infact if they could be slipstreamed as a runfirst package on the vista disk all the better.

    • AKing
    • 13 years ago

    Reply to flip-mode:

    Who would pirate the upgradeversion when u can pirate the fullversion? :S

    • Voldenuit
    • 13 years ago

    Windows was successful in the past because it was easy to get into, hard to get out of.

    Now MS is making it hard for legitimate users to install/use/activate Vista, at a time when alternative OSes are gaining ground (not least of which is OSX). Pirates have always found ways against copy protection, and no sane pirate would get/distribute/want an upgrade copy of Vista anyway, so this is nothing but a concerted effort to kick the legitimate user in the nads.

    I think they’re just digging their own grave, but it’s their loss. 😛

    • Hance
    • 13 years ago

    It just depends on what type of user you are. I surf the internet and play games thats it. So for me linux is pretty useless. I have tried different versions of it off and on over the years and it all comes down to the same thing. I ask myself “what can i use this for ? ” The answer is always the same well i can surf the internet on it and thats it i cant play any games i like on it. Widows does that just fine for me so linux just isnt useful for me. For other people linux is great.

    • Hance
    • 13 years ago

    #36 you can install xp by just putting in the 98 long enough for xp to see that you own it. With vista you actually have to have xp installed and working on your hard drive before you can install vista.

    • VTOL
    • 13 years ago

    y[

      • Krogoth
      • 13 years ago

      Well you have to pay for legit licenses of MS OS.

      IMHO, Vista is overpriced especially the Ultimate edition.

    • JJCDAD
    • 13 years ago

    I just tried to install an upgrade version of XP Home that I bought in ~2000 and it won’t install without finding a Windows 98 installation. So why is this such a shock that Vista Upgrade needs XP?

      • daniel4
      • 13 years ago

      You can use the 98 CD. The whole point of this is that people who like to do clean installs will have to install two operating systems now if they buy the upgrade. Either way I really don’t see any need to upgrade to Windows Vista anyway, so bleh.

    • Hance
    • 13 years ago

    Bauxite XP was a HUGE leap forward compared to win9x it was well worth the move the day it came out. Vista on the other hand is kind of meh who cares.

    • Bauxite
    • 13 years ago

    UPGRADE REALITY CHECK

    Please name a feature in vista thats worth 2 cents for a TR person at home. And a majority of actual businesses. (emphasis on majority, that means >50%, also <5% = irrelevant for market share)

    Just like all the clueless who jumped on XP when it first came out…except it wasn’t worth a crap until SP2 and wasn’t needed for any hardware until SLI. (and even that is more forced than anything)
    Hell, 2k + $50 linux box that serves a few dozen PCs is better than SP2 for firewall purposes.

    DX10 games…what DX 10 games? (how about drivers too) In ’07…want to buy this nice bridge I have? Oh and DX10 exclusive games with reasons you might give a crap…um…’09, maybe?

    At least 2k was a good upgrade at launch since very few were using NT and the guts of it were actually above 9x a good bit. Although around SP3-4 or so was the real polish.

    /end URC

      • alex666
      • 13 years ago

      Reality Check. I built my first system in 2002 with a 98se/XP dual boot, and there was no comparison, XP was so much more stable that 98se, even with all the updates to the latter. XP was a true 32-bit system, 98se was not. I liked 98se in a lot of ways, but XP was and still is a much more stable OS if properly nurtured.

        • Bauxite
        • 13 years ago

        Reading comprehension check:

        Please point to me where I said it was not worth it to upgrade from 9x.

        Did you forget about the actual upgrade known as Windows 2000, of which XP was just a glorified rehash with absolutely nothing new in its core until SP2 and even now its still quite minor.
        (and 3rd party -[

          • poulpy
          • 13 years ago

          Please stop checking everything it’s getting confusing 🙂

          • Taddeusz
          • 13 years ago

          Windows 2000 was not a consumer OS. It was made for business.

          Windows XP, however, was targeted at both. Sure, for business customers there wasn’t a huge upgrade from 2k to XPl. Consumers moved from Win 9x to XP, which was huge.

            • Bauxite
            • 13 years ago

            Educated consumers bought 2k/new computer with it, more so when the ‘techies’ told them about it. (just like today, when the good ones tell them ‘dontcare’ to vista)

            Also it was in all the mom n pop ‘puter stores and some B&M when it came out, I had been messing with the betas and saw the boxes (right next to office) later when I was buying random parts. Thats “consumer” enough for me.

            • Taddeusz
            • 13 years ago

            Well, even though regular consumers bought it Win2k was neither marketed nor supported as a consumer product. It was a “professional” product hence the name “Windows 2000 Professional.” There was no non-professional version.

      • ew
      • 13 years ago

      I agree. To me 2000/XP/2003 all do the same thing. Although the activation nonsense in XP makes it the worst of the bunch. Why should I have to call Microsoft tech support because I installed a motherboard chip set driver? My current thinking is that Vista is the worst due to it’s aggressive activation and DRM features which I don’t want.

      • ionpro
      • 13 years ago

      Features that XP had over 2000 that are musts for me:
      – Remote Desktop Connection (what is with Vista Home Premium not having this?)

      Features that XP had over 2000 that a lot of people use (from my experience in computer support):
      – System Restore
      – Windows Firewall
      – The new interface
      – Much better support for power management
      – Much better support for wireless networks
      – Integrated CD burning

    • Hance
    • 13 years ago

    Meh just one more reason it will be a long long time until I y[

      • CampinCarl
      • 13 years ago

      I’m just hoping XP prices do not jump upwards, and in fact hope they go downwards in price. Trying to jump on the %100 legit wagon from the %90 legit wagon is hard, especially as a poor student.

        • Taddeusz
        • 13 years ago

        Well, the price for XP probably won’t go up and it won’t drop either. I’ve seen the same retail price on Windows 2000. It’s unlikely that the price of XP will change at all.

        • moose17145
        • 13 years ago

        if your in college take a few computer science courses, they usually give you a student MSDN license which includes a copy of XP for free AND legally! Heck, with my student MSDN i can already get Vista Business for free. Is it ultimate? No. Do i care? No, it’s free, why should i, plus it’s still better than Home and Professional (or whatever the 2nd crappiest one is).

    • SpotTheCat
    • 13 years ago

    Why not just have to activate a valid windows XP key too, tying it to the system in question?

    • orthogonal
    • 13 years ago

    [QUOTE]It’s the ones that have an illegitimate copy that they’re going after and punishing those that are in legal compliance.[/QUOTE]

    No, it’s punishing average joe user too. Anyone using the upgrade is at a disadvantage. What if your hard drive fails? What if the OS crashes beyond repair, or there is a serious malware threat not worthwhile to remove and instead require a reformat.

    If that were to happen, you would have to do a clean install of XP and then install the Vista “Upgrade”. Most ppl getting the upgrade are casual users (DIY get the OEM), so when they take it to a fix it shop, they’ll either have to pony up the dough for a retail key, or pay the cost of 2 installs.
    This is a no win situation for anyone but microsoft.

      • Taddeusz
      • 13 years ago

      That’s about what I said. You’re just expounding on my point. They are trying to prevent people that use illegitimate OS CD’s to validate the upgrade and require the user to have a legitimate copy already installed on their system. Annoying but not really unreasonable.

      The more realistic way they could do this is require the user to enter the product key and place the proper CD in the drive to validate their compliance with the upgrade. If they need to verify the key they could allow the install and then WGA verify it afterwards once internet access is established. Only a little bit more complicated.

    • ludi
    • 13 years ago

    /[http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918884/en-us<]§

      • Krogoth
      • 13 years ago

      In other words, Vista Upgrade is only meant for XP.

        • ludi
        • 13 years ago

        Ayup, and the KB article I linked says that, also. Thing is, although the linked KB article didn’t say so, all I had to do to find that out was try “Vista Upgrade” in the KB search box. And there it was. It took an extra 8 seconds to find.

        Several of the comments already posted would have been different if the associated posters had bothered to do that 🙂

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Next up?

    /[

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    I do not see what is exactly the big fuss.

    MS Upgrades were always supposed to require a previous version of the software installed in order to work.

    Microsoft is simply sealing up a long, old loophole.

      • willyolio
      • 13 years ago

      previously they only require that you owned a copy, not had one installed. you could still install on a fresh reformat by sticking in an old CD for verification.

        • Krogoth
        • 13 years ago

        That is exactly the problem.

        It had create a loophole for casual pirates.

        Pirates can “burrow” a copy of 9x, NT and 2000 with no working key and still could upgrade. They could also take the cheapo route by getting the upgrade version and use their pre-existing legit or not copy of 9x.

          • Taddeusz
          • 13 years ago

          And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it’s a legit copy. It’s the ones that have an illegitimate copy that they’re going after and punishing those that are in legal compliance.

    • albundy
    • 13 years ago

    what if its on a recovery cd/dvd like from dell, toshiba, ibm, etc. I guess they are screwed. LOL!

      • Krogoth
      • 13 years ago

      OEMs could care less.

      If anything they like the fact that users are “forced” to upgrade their systems for Vista.

    • Cova
    • 13 years ago

    Won’t it be great 2 or 3 years from now when people who upgraded have to format/rebuild their machines. Step 1. Find your now almost 10 year old XP disk and install that, hitting F6 to insert drivers for a storage controller that that released after Vista launch and never had XP drivers written for it. Step 2. Go buy a non-upgrade version of Vista.

    • Vhalidictes
    • 13 years ago

    This is seriously good news. I’m very glad that Microsoft is cracking down.

    Go MS! In fact, it would be really choice if pirating Windows was no longer possible (sadly, I doubt this will be the case).

    Consider: Microsoft should have the right to price themselves out of the OS market. This is good for everyone: either MS will dramatically lower the price of their OSs, or everyone will start to install a Linux distro.

    It’s a win/win for everyone – Microsoft gets their money, Users/Developers are driven to develop a easy-to-install-and-use Linux/BSD distro, and Windows market share tanks.

    What’s not to like? DRM is really our best friend here, as is anything that makes MS software unattractive.

      • maxxcool
      • 13 years ago

      Linux blows. To much effort even with debian installs

        • poulpy
        • 13 years ago

        Who said Debian was the easiest?
        Have you ever (better yet recently) tried -say- Mandriva?
        For a typical desktop install there is nothing to do but click on ‘Next’ a few times and select additional packages if you feel like it, a complete moron could do it..

          • Taddeusz
          • 13 years ago

          Unless you’re running cutting edge hardware. Then unless you can find a driver you’re up a creek without a paddle.

          I don’t want to have to go searching for drivers or figure out how to get a certain piece of hardware to work withe the drivers. Nor do I have the capability to or desire to write my own drivers.

          I am a computer enthusiast but I’m not a tweak freak to the extreme that’s required to run Linux.

          There are always going to be the fanatical few that cling to the belief that they can bring about a computer revolution using a communal utopian ideal.

      • indeego
      • 13 years ago

      My philosophy (Windows admin at work, linux admin at home):

      1. Linux for Home or new small business installs.
      2. Microsoft for enterprise and most legacy businesses.

      My feeling is if you start off Linux from scratch, you’ll be happier. Migrating one to the other is a royal paing{<.<}g

        • Taddeusz
        • 13 years ago

        Sorry, but Linux is far from ready to be in common use at home on the desktop. It will be a long time if ever for it to work. Grandma will have to be able to go to CompUSA or Best Buy and pick up a Linux compatible printer, etc. and install it without any need to go hunting for or writing custom drivers. Until that happens your Linux utopia is a failure.

          • indeego
          • 13 years ago

          Funny you mention this. I have my in-laws (grandparents) running it fine. Both have HP inkjets and have no complaints. The support from me is free as long as they stick to itg{<.<}g

            • SGT Lindy
            • 13 years ago

            Go buy them a nice new model-digital camera, or a multi-function device and see if it is harder for them to install it in Windows or Linux.

            Sure they have you…..but millions of users just have tech support for Windows and they have loads of problems. No Fraqing Way…are they going to be ready for any version of Linux.

            Total and utter pipe dream.

            • indeego
            • 13 years ago

            Dig cams are mounted as drives on most dists. “multi-function” device? Good Purgatories I would never wish for them to use such a thingg{.}g

            Nevertheless, they run it, they are comp illiterate, and no complaints in 6 months. Mind you I’ve saved them $200, and multiply that times a new machine every 3-4 years, adds up.

        • Krogoth
        • 13 years ago

        Linux and Unix = programmer’s OS

        If you do not like to program, then you sure are not going to like using Linux.

          • stmok
          • 13 years ago

          That’s the point.

          Open-source really doesn’t mean anything to the end user…Other than you can get a full OS for free.

          Its really the developer that benefits. It takes the control part and brings it back to the author. The author allows users to do what they want with it, as long as they share changes they’ve made.

          The overall goal of open-source is that we all share ideas such that we all benefit from it as a whole. As a community.

          #11, maxxcool.

          Just because something is difficult for you to install, doesn’t mean it blows.

          Its just that you’re simply too arrogant (and possibly clueless) to realise Debian isn’t for your level. You should’ve went with something like Ubuntu or OpenSUSE, PCLinuxOS, etc. Something basic to get you started off.

          Its comments like yours that really fustrate people and start unnecessary flame wars.

            • Taddeusz
            • 13 years ago

            No, it’s because Linux is written for programmers by programmers.

            The Linux utopia will not and cannot exist because not everyone wants to be nor is capable of being a programmer. The whole FOSS environment assumes that everyone is capable and willing to devote time to the community. This assumption is flawed by fanatics.

            Open source software certainly has it’s place but until the Linux community as a whole starts to put serious work into writing an easy to use OS instead of writing it for themselves their dream of Linux everywhere cannot be realized.

            As I said before. Until Grandma can go to the store and buy out-of-the-box Linux compatible hardware and software this utopian ideal will never exist.

            • ew
            • 13 years ago

            If you’d like it to be a certain way then please make the changes. You can find most of the source code here. §[<http://www.us.debian.org/<]§ We'd all appreciate an easier to use GNU/Linux distro. (Including the programmers) I really don't see how people can possible criticize it. Maybe the people that get over enthusiastic about promoting it (I agree it is not for everyone, or even the majority) deserve some criticism. But give me a break! It's a free OS that is capable of doing a lots and keeps getting better. What is there not to like about it.

            • skunkbear
            • 13 years ago

            You guys need to check out Simply Mepis and Ubuntu. Running on Linux, free OS that anyone can use. They come loaded with software that you could use at home or the business place. Virus resistant by the fact that it isn’t Windows based.

            • SGT Lindy
            • 13 years ago

            “Just because something is difficult for you to install, doesn’t mean it blows.”

            Umm sorry if it is hard to install…..the VAST MAJORITY will avoid it.

            Wake up and smell the coffe. As I saw Bill Gates asked on the Today show this morning, when asked if he was worried about Apple….”No we own 90% of the desktop market and we have computer industry standing behind us”.

            Sorry he is right and no matter how much hate MS or love Linux…..in 12 months there will be more Vista machines on the Internet that all distros of Linux and Mac put together just from the sales of new PC’s……that is a fact.

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 13 years ago

    So could a person have XP installed on drive C: and then install the Vista upgrade on drive D: ?

    Either way, I agree this sucks!

    • nstuff
    • 13 years ago

    From what i’ve been able to gather from reading various different sites on the subject:

    Upgrade requires you to install a fresh copy of Windows XP and activate it first, even if you are installing it on a new hard drive, you still need to install XP first.
    However, during the upgrade process, there are some that think that you still have the ability to do a clean install; in that you will be able to wipe the underlying OS. While others think that all it will do is install Vista into another directory or rename the existing directory.

    In either case, the KB article linked to in the story does not mention any Business or Ultimate editions. No one has been able to confirm why Ultimate edition is missing from the “Applies To” section.

      • Peldor
      • 13 years ago

      I’m willing to bet that this doesn’t work out to be the catastrophe/blasphemy/outrage people are thinking just like every other MS activation issue ever reported ever in the history of ever.

    • alex666
    • 13 years ago

    That just sucks. Hell, I mean I can install 98se if I want and not worry about activation and all, but what a waste of time. This just screws the enthusiasts, makes life a bit more complicated.

    And maybe it’s the price all of us have to pay for all of those who pirated XP over the years, got the illegal keys and such. Aargh.

    • flip-mode
    • 13 years ago

    Pirates, I cheer for thee. /me wishes great luck to the pirates.

      • odizzido
      • 13 years ago

      Ive never pirated a copy of windows, but all this BS isn’t making me want to buy a copy. I might need to do my duty and not buy it.

        • Stijn
        • 13 years ago

        I have a fully legal Windows XP Pro, but because it’s a volume license I’m not entitled to upgrades. Spending half a PC on Vista Ultimate? No way! I don’t like piracy, but the price is just insane..

    • Saeghwin
    • 13 years ago

    Oh, hmm…I never I knew that you could just insert the CD for the XP upgrades. Well, never known, never lost I guess.

    • adisor19
    • 13 years ago

    Another reason to pirate this thing. I prefer the Enterprise edition activated to a personal KMS server. Of course i’m not not condoning piracy… 🙂

    Adi

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