Success! I recently received my Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Upgrade and decided to install it in a VMware Fusion 3 virtual machine. In previous versions of Windows, proof of upgrade eligibility simply meant you needed to insert a CD/DVD of the previous version when prompted. No such luck with Windows 7. Despite a owning a stack of Windows CD/DVDs, there’s no prompt to insert one to prove ownership.
Since I was installing in a new virtual machine, I really didn’t want to install an older version just to install over it with Win 7. This process let me perform a clean install and activate the product. Hopefully it will work for you. (Note: this assumes you are trying to do this on a Mac. If not, skip the initial steps related to Fusion.)
Step 1: Create a new virtual machine in Fusion.
Step 2: Insert the DVD when prompted but DO NOT enter a product key. Consider this install a trial install. If you enter the product key now, the install won’t continue.
Step 3: Continue with the Windows 7 install until all reboots are complete.
Step 4: Edit the registry and change the MediaBootInstall from “1″ to “0″. The following assumes you know how to use the registry editor. If not, see the WinSuperSite for details under Method 2.
- Open regedit
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/
- Change MediaBootInstall from “1″ to “0″
- Close regedit
- Open the Start Menu and type cmd in search but do not type enter. Instead, right-click on the icon and choose Run as Administrator.
- Respond to the UAC prompt.
- In the command line window type: slmgr /rearm
- Hit enter and then wait until the dialog “Command completed successfully” appears. Hit OK then close that window, if necessary.
Step 5: Reboot Windows
Step 6: Attempt to activate the product. This time it should work!