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Windows Vista upgrade


Striking Master
Windows Vista upgrade (Answered)

Hey all,
Its been a while, but I finally had time to glance through a few things. I wanted to know something.

I have Windows XP and Vista Business Edition. If I was to buy an upgrade Vista to Ultimate edition, would it try to upgrade the business edition or Windows XP?

I just kind of wanted to know about that. Thanks!

EDIT: Topic Answered.
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OSNN Advanced
It depends which system you are installing it on... I'm assuming you run both vista and XP on 1 machine.
You'll need to have the one you want to upgrade running when you put the upgrade disk in.


Striking Master
ok. So if I put in the upgrade when I'm logged into Vista, it should upgrade JUST that. What will happen though in case of reinstall? Do I put in the upgrade's key or the business edition key?


OSNN Advanced
Yes, if you are running vista business and you throw in the upgrade cd, then it will allow you to upgrade business to ultimate. BUT you don't want to do that coz there's no real benefit. Business and ultimate have similar features.
Yes, if you are running vista business and you throw in the upgrade cd, then it will allow you to upgrade business to ultimate. BUT you don't want to do that coz there's no real benefit. Business and ultimate have similar features.
Maybe he wants Media Center? Business doesn't have that.
And the really good news is that under the Ultimate liscence once Ultimate is in you can replace it with XP for free. :) Couldn't resist...


Striking Master
Well media center would be nice since I'm going to upgrade my TV Tuner to something that can handle Vista (I don't know why, but my current one can't seem to understand the audio I have in).
But back to the question at hand, so if say something happens that I need to re-install from scratch, would I put in the business key initially or the ultimate key?
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I recommend Hauppauge TV tuners.

Sorry I don't know the answer to your question exactly, but see this (how to use the upgrade version of Vista to upgrade itself, which involves a clean install):

Get Vista upgrade, never pay full price

[FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]By Brian Livingston

Many people are upset by the fact that the economical, "upgrade" version of Vista won't accept a Windows XP or Windows 2000 CD-ROM as proof of ownership. Vista Upgrade is said to install only to a hard disk that already has XP or 2000 on it.

But I've tested a method that allows you to clean-install the Vista upgrade version on any hard drive, with no prior XP or W2K installation — or even a CD — required.
Save by avoiding the 'full' version

Windows Vista, in my opinion, is a big improvement over Windows XP in many ways. But the new operating system is distinctly overpriced.

The list price of the "full" (not "upgrade") version of the most expensive edition, Vista Ultimate, is $399.95 USD, with a street price around $380. That gold-plated retail figure is only possible because Microsoft long ago achieved monopoly pricing power in the PC operating system market.

Most computer users would prefer to keep using an older version of Windows, such as XP, rather than paying the inflated prices for the "full" version of Vista. To encourage switching to a new OS, Microsoft has historically offered a lower, "upgrade" price to people who can prove that they've previously purchased an older copy of Windows.

The difference between Vista's full and upgrade prices can be substantial. Based on the asking prices shown at Shopping.com on Jan. 31 — the day after the consumer version of Vista became available — the four most popular Vista versions will set you back approximately as follows:

[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]Edition [/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]Full version[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]Upgrade version [/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]Vista Home Basic[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]$192[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]$100 ($92 less)[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]Vista Home Premium[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]$228[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]$156 ($72 less)[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]Vista Business[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]$285[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]$192 ($93 less)[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]Vista Ultimate[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]$380[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]$225 ($155 less)[/FONT][FONT=Arial,Sans-serif]
The upgrade versions of Vista have street prices that are 32% to 48% cheaper than the full versions. If you're truly installing Vista over an old instance of XP or W2K, the upgrade version of Vista will find the older OS on your hard drive and install without question. The problem is that Vista, unlike every version of Windows in the past, doesn't let you insert a physical disc from an older operating system as evidence of your previous purchase.

Vista has an undocumented feature, however, that actually allows you to "clean install" Vista to a hard disk that has no prior copy of XP or W2K.

Use Vista's 'upgrade' version to clean-install

The secret is that the setup program in Vista's upgrade version will accept an installed copy of XP, W2K, or an unactivated copy of Vista itself as evidence of a previous installation.

This enables you to "clean install" an upgrade version of Vista to any formatted or unformatted hard drive, which is usually the preferred method when installing any new operating system. You must, in essence, install Vista twice to take advantage of this trick. But Vista installs much faster than XP, so it's quicker than installing XP followed by Vista to get the upgrade price.

Before you install Vista on a machine that you don't know is 100% compatible, you should run Microsoft's free Upgrade Advisor. This program — which operates only on 32-bit versions of XP and Vista (plus Vista Enterprise) — reports to you on any hardware or software it finds that may be incompatible with Vista. See Microsoft's Upgrade Advisor page.

Also, to see which flavors of XP Home, XP Pro, and 2000 officially support in-place installs and clean installs of the different Vista editions, see Microsoft's upgrade paths page.

Here's a simplified overview of the steps that are required to clean-install the upgrade version of Vista:

Step 1. Boot the PC from the Vista DVD.

Step 2. Select "Install Now," but do not enter the Product Key from the Vista packaging. Leave the input box blank. Also, turn off the option Automatically activate Windows when I'm online. In the next dialog box that appears, confirm that you really do want to install Vista without entering a Product Key.

Step 3. Correctly indicate the version of Vista that you're installing: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate.

Step 4. Select the "Custom (Advanced)" install, not the "Upgrade" install.

Step 5. Vista copies files at length and reboots itself one or more times. Wait for the install to complete. At this point, you might think that you could "activate" Vista, but you can't. That's because you haven't installed the Vista upgrade yet. To do that, run the DVD's setup.exe program again, but this time from the Vista desktop. The easiest way to start setup again is to eject and then reinsert the DVD.

Step 6. Click "Install Now." Select Do not get the latest updates for installation. (You can check for these updates later.)

Step 7. This time, do enter the Product Key from the Vista packaging. Once again, turn off the option Automatically activate Windows when I'm online.

Step 8. On this second install, make sure to select "Upgrade," not "Custom (Advanced)." You're not doing a clean install now, you're upgrading to Vista.

Step 9. Wait while Vista copies files and reboots itself. No user interaction is required. Do not boot from the DVD when asked if you'd like to do so. Instead, wait a few seconds and the setup process will continue on its way. Some DOS-like, character-mode menus will appear, but don't interact with them. After a few seconds, the correct choice will run for you automatically.

Step 10. After you click a button labeled Start in the Thank You dialog box, Vista's login screen will eventually appear. Enter the username and password that you selected during the first install. You're done upgrading to Vista.

Step 11. Within 30 days, you must "activate" your copy of Vista or it'll lose functionality. To activate Vista, click Show more details in the Welcome Center that automatically displays upon each boot-up, then click Activate Windows now. If you've dismissed the Welcome Center, access the correct dialog box by clicking Start, Control Panel, System & Maintenance, System. If you purchased a legitimate copy of Vista, it should quickly activate over the Internet. (You can instead activate by calling Microsoft on the phone, which avoids your PC exchanging information with Microsoft's server.)

I'm not going into detail today on the merits of buying Vista at retail instead of buying a cheaper OEM copy. (The OEM offerings don't entitle you to call Microsoft for support, while the retail packages do.) Also, I'm not touching here on the least-expensive way to buy Vista, which is to take advantage of Microsoft's "educational" rate. I'll describe both of these topics in next week's newsletter.

Why does Vista's secret setup exist?

It's reasonable for us to ask ourselves whether buying an upgrade version of Vista, and then installing it to an empty hard disk that contains no previous version of Windows, is ethical.

I believe it is. Microsoft itself created the upgrade process. The company designed Vista to support upgrading it over a previously installed copy of XP, W2K Pro, or Vista itself. This isn't a black-hat hacker exploit. It's something that's been deliberately programmed into the approved setup routine.

Microsoft spent years developing and testing Vista. This upgrade trick must have been known to many, many people within the development team. Either Microsoft planned this upgrade path all along, knowing that computer magazines and newsletters (like this one) would widely publicize a way to "save money buying Vista." Or else some highly placed coders within the Vista development team decided that Vista's "full" price was too high and that no one should ever have to pay it. In either case, Vista's setup.exe is Microsoft's official install routine, and I see no problem with using it exactly as it was designed.

We should also think about whether instances of Vista that were installed using the clean-install method will continue to operate. I believe that this method will continue to be present in Vista DVDs at least until Microsoft begins distributing the Service Pack 1 edition of Vista around fall 2007. Changing the routine in the millions of DVDs that are now in circulation would simply be too wrenching. And trying to remotely disable instances of Vista that were clean-installed — even if it were technically possible to distinguish them — would generate too many tech-support calls and too much ill will to make it worthwhile.

Installing the upgrade version of Vista, but not installing over an existing instance of XP or W2K, probably violates the Vista EULA (end-user license agreement). If you're a business executive, I wouldn't recommend that you flout any Windows license provisions just to save money.

If you're strictly a home user, contributing editor Susan Bradley points out that Microsoft's so-called Vista Family Discount (VFD) is an economical package that avoids any license issues. If you buy a retail copy of Vista Ultimate, MS lets you upgrade up to two additional PCs to Vista Home Premium for $50 each. For example, if you buy the upgrade version of Ultimate for $225, the grand total after you add two Home Premiums is $335. That's about $133 less than buying three upgrade versions of Home Premium. Details are at Microsoft's VFD page.

Microsoft did revise a Knowledge Base article, number 930985, on Jan. 31 that obliquely refers to the upgrade situation. It simply states that an upgrade version of Vista can't perform a clean install when a PC is booted from the Vista DVD. A clean install will only work, the document says, when the Vista setup is run from within an older version of Windows (or if a full version of Vista is being used).

This article doesn't at all deal with the fact that the Vista upgrade version will in fact clean-install using the steps described above. It'll be interesting to see whether MS ever explains why these steps were programmed in.

Personally, I consider Vista's ability to upgrade over itself to be Digital Rights Management that actually benefits consumers. It's almost cosmic justice.

I invite my readers to test Vista's undocumented clean-install method for themselves. There certainly must be aspects of this setup routine that I haven't yet discovered. I'll print the best findings from those sent in via our contact page. You'll receive a gift certificate for a book, CD, or DVD of your choice if you're the first to send in a tip that I print.

I'd like to thank my co-author of Windows Vista Secrets, Paul Thurrott, for his research help in bringing the clean-install method to light.


Striking Master
Alright, well in basics more simpler terms....

Say if something was to happen and there was alot of issues that to me it would be better to format and re-install Vista from scratch.

When the Serial key input comes in, would I choose Ultimate edition and put in the ultimate edition upgrade key or would I put in business edition, the business edition key, and then use the ultimate edition upgrade key after I get in?

That's what I mean.

And thanks for the suggesstion on the TV Tuner. If you know, would their tuners have small lag or not on game consoles connected to it? (sometimes, I might need to make recordings for people or will be doing tournament recordings).
Trimming down the 11 steps I quoted, you wouldn't have to use your Business Edition or Business serial ever again. You could install the Ultimate Upgrade edition without a serial, and then install it once more as an upgrade to itself with the Ultimate serial you were provided. Vista installs are much faster than XPs. Takes 15-20 minutes on a modern machine, even if not set to unattended.

If you preferred to for some reason, yes you could reinstall your Business edition using your Business serial and then use the Ultimate Upgrade to upgrade it with the Ultimate serial.

You're welcome. As far as I've noticed (when I've captured from external source using VCR, which would apply to capturing from any external source including game consoles), yes there's a lag of perhaps a few seconds as it encodes the video and audio on the fly, but it probably fills a buffer first before it gets started.

You would have to split the audio and video out from the console, one set to go to the external input of the TV tuner, and the other to another TV/monitor where you could watch what you're doing in real time.

Of course I don't know if every single model of Hauppauge TV tuners have the same amount of lag. I would expect this in all TV tuners.

Whatever TV tuner you buy, one very important thing I learned by experience. Make sure it does hardware MPEG2 encoding. Otherwise, whenever it's recording it will really slow down your computer since it would then be using software encoding, draining your CPU cycles. Even if you wouldn't have it doing anything but recording TV, it can make a huge difference in the performance of the recording itself as well.

As a plus, keep in mind whether you would think it would be nice for your TV tuner to also have hardware MPEG4 or other encoding as well, but right now MPEG2 is still the most important. I believe Media Center either requires hardware MPEG2 encoding or very much encourages it, anyway.

If a tuner's description doesn't mention hardware MPEG2 encoding, don't assume it has it. My first tuner didn't have it and after two months fooling with it and getting crappy performance, I took it back and bought my well-worth it Hauppauge model (in my case a WinTV PVR-USB2, but right now I'd probably look for a PCI-Express model).


Striking Master
That helps alot more. Thanks!
Oh and thanks for the info on the TV Tuner. I knew somewhat about the hardware encoding, but didn't know the rest. That is rather helpful. Too bad I can't get that PCI-Express x1 since my huge ass HD 2900XT almost covers the X1 slot. That being said, the TV Tuner would get hot REALLY fast if I managed to somehow force it to sit with no space in between the video card and the TV Tuner. Curse the built size.

Anyways, thanks again.
Heh. Yeah, it sucks when slots can't be used.

The reason I bought my USB model is that I knew PCI Express was coming out and I wasn't sure how long regular PCI would be around. I guess one of the plus sides of that is that the additional heat is outside the computer. The negative side is that it's one more AC-DC transformer I have to keep plugged in. AC-DC transformers suck energy even when the device their plugged into are turned off or not in use.

Probably negligible, but it bothers me anyway. I hate batteries, too. :)

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