It appears that doing a clean install with a Windows Vista Upgrade DVD is not so easy. In past Windows versions dating back to at least Windows 3.1, all you needed to do is provide a qualifying product media to continue. For Windows 95, you could easily trick it. All it did was look for a file named win.cn_, which is one of the files on the first disk of Windows 3.1. Some clever people figured out that if you just made an empty filed named “win.cn_” and pointed Windows 95 to that, it would continue the install.
Well, it appears that Vista really wants an operating system installed, Windows 2000 or Windows XP to be exact. People figured out however that you can wipe the disk, install Vista and then do an in-place upgrade of that Vista install with your Vista upgrade key. Instructions detailed below:
Which, technically means you could buy an upgrade version and be able to install it as a full OS which some people are making a really big deal of. Who the heck DOESN’T run Windows 2000 or Windows XP? The Ultimate upgrade goes for $259 and the OEM version goes for $199. Hint: Microsoft doesn’t care about this loophole.
– Soli Deo Gloria