Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vista Upgrade to OEM Hack

New ideas are the spawn of desperation. And so it was with me this weekend. My two Vista Premium keycodes were not activating for some reason, but, since I had already wasted my time installing Vista Premium on my computer, I decided to try my luck at getting my Vista Home Edition Upgrade installed.

Now, since I did not have a valid copy of Windows installed, the Vista Upgrade should not have worked. It did, however, seem like it was worth a try.

I ran the Windows Vista 32bit Upgrade from the non-activated, newly installed Vista Premium 32bit desktop.

Here is my process step by step:

1. Boot your computer from a Windows Vista 32bit upgrade DVD
2. When asked for a keycode, enter anyone elses Vista Home Premium keycode
a. You WILL NOT activate this keycode after it is installed
b. Have your Vista Home Edition Upgrade keycode handy
3. Delete your old partitions and format your hard drive
4. Follow all the normal steps for a windows install
5. When you get to the Windows Premium Edition desktop
6. Click MyComputer --> DVD drive --> setup.exe ( on the Windows DVD )
7. Follow the instructions to
a. Install Windows Vista
b. Use your Vista Home Upgrade keycode
c. Delete and format your hard drive
d. Install as normal

After following these steps, Vista should allow you to activate the Upgrade keycode as if it were an OEM keycode.

Note for the Microsoft spies reading this: I made all this up so just go about your business and ignore everything I just said. Thanks