Vista Activation Fails - Upgrade version on Clean install RRS feed

  • Question

  • I installed Windows Vista on an machine with XP.
    I attempted to do a clean install.  i.e. Booted from the Vista CD and installed over the XP instance on the hard drive.
    I told the installer to re-format the hard drive during the installation process. It actually didn't do this, as upon completion, the old install was in the path 'windows.old', interesting.

    So, when I go to activate windows I get the error:  0xC004F061
    With an explanation, that I purchased an upgrade CD - and did a 'clean' install.
    This dispite the fact that the old instance of the XP install is contained in 'windows.old'.

    Historically, (with older releases of Windows) when you purchased an 'upgrade' version. This meant that you had an older lic. copy of windows (which I do).
    But, no one ever installs on top of an old instance.  That's just bad form, and typically leads to an unstable, unreliable computer.

    If microsoft has changed their 'upgrade' policy, the onus  is on  microsoft to make it clear  that  this new OS does not support the old upgrade policy.

    Assuming that I'm understanding their new policy - I would like to return my copy of vista - and stick with my copy of XP.
    Thursday, April 19, 2007 10:44 AM


  • The Ronbo,

    You should have followed the steps in this MS KB http://support.microsoft.com/kb/918884/en-us, specifically the section "Perform a clean installation of Vista, Method 1."

    Vista differs from previous Windows in that Setup cannot do an upgrade installation when the computer is started from the Vista DVD.  Previous Windows would allow you to start the computer from the CD, then begin an upgrade installation, and then prove your eligibility for the upgrade by inserting the qualifying media.  Vista does not do the qualifying media; you prove to Vista you have a qualifying previous OS by starting Vista setup from within that OS.

    So to get back on track, do a clean installation of your previous XP, then insert the Vista DVD and follow the instructions linked above.

    If you decide to return Vista, please read the return policy info at this link:  http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/productrefund/refund.asp

    • Marked as answer by JeniferA Thursday, September 11, 2008 6:09 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2007 3:21 PM