Clean Install Windows 7 Using An Upgrade Disc

The cost of a full retail version of Windows 7 Home Premium is about $200. The cost of an upgrade version of Windows 7 Home Premium is quite cheaper, $120. The main difference between a full version of Windows and an upgrade version of Windows is simply the ability to clean install.

However, you can clean install Windows 7 to a computer with that cheaper upgrade disc that you may have purchased. All you will need is your Windows 7 Upgrade disc and your serial number. No torrents, no hacked versions of Windows, no downloads.

windows 7 buy full

windows 7 buy upgrade

Choosing to do a clean install is always a good idea whenever you are switching to a completely new operating system. Clean installs tend to give some hard drive space back and generally allow your computer to run a bit smoother.

If you have a 32 bit version of Windows on your computer and are trying to upgrade to a 64 bit version of Windows, you may have already noticed that it doesn’t work too well. This tutorial should solve that problem for you, allowing you to install using only your upgrade disc.

Insert your Windows 7 upgrade disc into your computer’s optical drive. Wait for the disc to load up completely and begin installation. Let Windows install completely. You may need to enter your serial number during this process.

windows installer screen

After Windows 7 gets done installing, it should look like you have a full version of Windows, ready to use. However, you will come across one problem. When you go to try and activate Windows, it will reject your serial number. You will get an error message that says “This is an upgrade version of Windows 7, you must upgrade from an older version of Windows”.

Windows home screen

To beat the activation, we are going to make Windows think that the installation that we just did is our first operating system. From here, we will upgrade Windows 7 over Windows 7. Insert your Windows 7 DVD back into your computer and run it from within Windows.

Run Windows 7 Disc

The next screen will ask you if you want to install Windows 7. Click the Install now button to initiate the startup. After Windows finishes copying files, a prompt will come up asking you how you want to install Windows. Choose the upgrade option.

Windows 7 Install Prompt Screen

Unfortunately, you now must wait for Windows 7 to upgrade and reinstall on your computer. This can take a significant amount of time. After it gets done upgrading, Windows will boot up like normal. Go ahead and eject the install disk from your PC.

windows installer screen

So far, we have clean installed Windows and upgraded over our clean install. Now, it’s time to enter your activation serial number. This time, it’s going to work.

windows is activated

We are not quite done yet. Now we need to get rid of any old files from the previous install. Navigate to the system cleanup using the path: All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. Let disk cleanup analyze the hard drive. Click the button that says Clean up system files.

remove old versions of windows

This will scan the hard drive again, this time including system files. The next screen will give you an option to remove old versions of Windows. Click to put a checkmark next to this option and hit the ok button. There you have it. You should now have a completely clean install of Windows 7 from an upgrade disc.

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