Installing vista ultimate on a clean drive and cloning vista to 2n

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Installation' started by starstuff, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. starstuff

    starstuff Guest


    I came across something I've never seen in MS products (since windows 2.0).

    When I installed my XP-pro upgrade I had the option to install it on a clean
    HDD. The XP installation just asked me to insert my copy of 2000/98/95, same
    thing when I upgraded to 2000.

    A brief history:
    I bought my vista ultimate upgrade the day after MS released it. Because of
    hardware limitations I didn't install it until yesterday when I got my new
    motherboard, graphics card and 2G of ram.

    First I did an upgrade on a cloned HDD and everything went fine but many
    files and drivers and stuff I didn't want remained in my HDD so I decided to
    do a fresh (clean) install. To my surprise the vista (upgrade version)
    installation does not support this installation path (the product key you
    entered.... blah, blah)

    So I ignored the product key screen and continued... (You should enter a
    product key because if you don't we'll do this and that... blah,blah) I
    ignored the insinuations of being a pirate and a thief and decided to
    continue. Ok vista finished a clean installation and rebooted for the first
    time. Now I can activate vista right? WRONG! the key I entered is still
    invalid for the type of installation.

    OK I called MS tech support in India and a very helpful guy named
    "Sharifssgt" or something like that gave me a solution. After I reactivated
    vista I did a disk clone using ghost 2003. I did a test on the HDD clone and
    vista said there was a problem and asked me to insert the vista CD/DVD
    installation disk and repair vista.

    After I repaired vista everything booted fine which brings me to ask this
    two questions.

    1. Is there a more 'conventional' way of doing a clean (blank HDD) install
    using my copy of vista ultimate (upgrade version)?

    2. What programs within vista can be used to clone a HDD for backup
    purposes? I don't want to clone a HDD just to find out that a booloader was
    installed and it can't be used in a stand alone configuration.

    starstuff, Jun 29, 2007
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  2. starstuff

    Rock Guest

    Vista does not do a shiny media check for the upgrade. It is intended to be
    installed from the desktop of the installed, qualifying OS. The way around
    this, if you want to install without first having the qualifying OS
    installed, but one still needs to own a qualifying product to use the
    upgrade version is a double install method as you discovered. Install once
    without entering the product key, then do an upgrade of that, now entering
    the product key. Here is a link to an article for info on it.

    Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate come with Complete PC backup which
    is drive imaging. When run from the GUI you must image the boot / system
    partition or both if they are different. And then you can choose whatever
    other partitions you want to include. Restore can only be done by restoring
    the complete image by booting the Vista DVD. You cannot restore individual
    files or folders from this image. There is a command line tools that allows
    you to image individual partitions without having to image the boot/system
    partitions but I don't know if restore works the same way, I assume so, by
    booting from the Vista DVD. Again you cannot restore individual files.

    For more control and flexibility look at Acronis True Image version 10. The
    latest builds work in both XP and Vista. It will do partition and drive
    imaging, full, incremental and differential images, file backup and disk
    cloning. Restores can be done on a file, folder, partition or drive basis.
    Rock, Jun 29, 2007
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  3. starstuff

    starstuff Guest

    Thanks for the reply,

    Yes the MS tech recommended the upgrade from vista ultimate to vista
    ultimate... weird but it worked. I just wish the vista upgrade had the same
    options as previous MS upgrades.

    I don't know if this obtuse options are there to deter pirates but it sure
    doesn't make any easier for legal owners. Im sure pirated versions of vista
    will be much more easier to install than legal copies.

    I have ultimate so I will try the backup options that you mentioned.

    thanks again
    starstuff, Jun 30, 2007
  4. starstuff

    Rock Guest


    You're welcome.

    It was believed, and I think it's true, that MS changed the upgrade process
    in Vista from the shiny media check of its predecessors, because it was too
    easy to just borrow a qualifying CD, stick it in and be able to use the
    upgrade version without owning a qualifying OS

    What is unclear though, after going to all the trouble of changing the
    process and requiring the update to be started from the desktop of the
    installed OS (and it was originally believed that the qualifying OS had to
    be activated as well, which doesn't seem to be the case now either), why MS
    allowed this alternate, double installation route, where one can clean
    install an upgrade version without the qualifying OS being installed.

    It's certainly true you can't use technology to stop all things you don't
    want to happen from happening, and the governing document is the EULA, (by
    which the person using an upgrade version must own a qualifying OS) but MS
    has not, to my knowledge, spoken out as to why this double install method,
    exists. Intentional or a big goof up? If intentional, why, and why not
    explain the reasons?

    Ultimate also offers a file backup program. That is targeted at beginner
    level users; it's easy but not very configurable. It backs up by file types
    but there is no provision to specify or exclude particular folders.

    I prefer redundancy in backups. I use both Complete PC Backup in Ultimate
    and Acronis True Image for this. You can also do file backups with ATI;
    save them to different media than where you would store an image. ATI is
    quite useful.

    One other limitation of Complete PC Backup is that it will only keep the
    most current backup backup location. You cannot have several generations of
    backups in the same place. After the initial backup, subsequent backups are
    differential in that only what has been changed is saved, but one only sees
    the one full backup set which is a combination of the previous and the
    current. Contingent on space availability the replaced files from the
    original backup are stored as shadow copies on the original volumes and can
    be restored, if they are still there, from these shadow copies. So in that
    sense you can restore some individual files/folders backed up with Complete
    PC Backup, but there is limited control over this issue.

    There is a way to recover individual files/folders from the backup created
    by Complete PC Backup using VHDmount. I have not worked with that.

    You can have several generations of complete images made by Complete PC
    Backup by creating those backups in different locations or on different

    Also, Complete PC Backups to a hard drive are not compressed, though backups
    to DVD are.

    I don't know if and, if so, what changes might be coming to the backup
    features in SP1.
    Rock, Jun 30, 2007
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