Vista Upgrade and Microsoft techs with their hands tied

February 14, 2007 by Jared Goralnick

Update: I’m going to try the hack suggested here for how to install an update without installing an old OS first. Sure, it requires two installs, but it may be an easier option than trying to get XP running again. I’ll keep you posted. IT WORKED!

Well I’m not in much better of a position than when I started. I called Microsoft the next morning (2/2) and they offered a number of good ideas. The most likely idea they mentioned was that by attempting to install Vista I had overwritten the master boot record with one that the XP installer couldn’t use…and thus I could no longer install Vista. The solution was to restore the boot record to the XP one. I followed the steps listed on a few websites and discussed it with the Microsoft tech, but had no luck reinstalling XP.

I was on the phone with Microsoft for about 2 hours, being juggled around between different people, all of whom were very friendly. Unfortunately, they all said that the solution for me was a product key that they couldn’t provide. Funny how much time Microsoft is willing to spend to avoid the potential of giving out a license to someone who already legally purchased their software.

So, in short, purchasing an upgrade can be a real waste of time. You have to have the previous OS running, and if you don’t, you’re SOL.

I guess I’m going to purchase another copy of the software. Buying it OEM is still cheaper than using their online purchase. Something just doesn’t sit right with me about the whole experience.

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