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Question Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION ( Notebook Forums and Laptop Discussion HP Compaq )
Updated: 2008-02-06 17:48:46 (6116)
Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

This guide is relatively VENDOR NEUTRAL. It should work on all Vista installations that were preinstalled at the factory, for both laptops and desktops.

NOTE: This procedure may look long, but I'm just really wordy at writing these things. You should get through each step pretty quickly.

Here's the deal, you're a computer guy, and you got a new laptop, but you hate that it came with all that crapware preloaded. If you only had a way to install Vista clean, you'd love to do it. But that brings up another issue: Vista activation. Why should you need to activate Vista again when you already have it activated?

The point of this guide is to be able to install a clean version of Vista, without calling Microsoft (or going online) to activate. No more, no less. I just don't like the "big brother" aspect of activation every time I re-install.

BEFORE YOU POST ANY COMMENTS: This guide is ONLY about reinstalling Vista on a system that you purchased, WITH A VISTA LICENSE. If you have questions about installing on another computer where you have no license, GO AWAY. That is PIRACY and will not be tolerated here.

Some notes:
  • You can only install the SAME VERSION of Vista you already bought. If you're laptop came with Home Premium, you can NOT install Ultimate.
  • This guide uses information that's ALREADY ON YOUR LAPTOP. The only thing you will need to download is a small utility to backup and restore the activation.
  • I have developed this on an HP laptop (dv9000t and dv9500t), but I don't see why it won't work on other systems. (Let me know if it does!)
  • This has been adapted and expanded from the original notes given for Lenovo systems by Wh1t3w0lf (see this thread)
  • I am not a lawyer, but this is not a crack or break in any way. I fully believe that this is completely legal. All you are doing is backing up information already on the computer, and restoring it after you install.

A Note for Beginners:
This is not an especially difficult task, but it is a bit more technical than you may be used to or comfortable with. If you follow the guide, you should be OK. HOWEVER, this guide does not cover installing drivers and possibly other things that you will need after Vista has been installed. Also, you may need to deal with situations that are not covered in this guide. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, then you should not do it. BUT, if you get stuck or something doesn't work right, you can always use the recovery discs to restore your system to the way it was when you opened the box.
Things you need:
  • Skills and knowledge enough that you are comfortable installing an OS from scratch, and maybe partitioning a disk.
  • USB Flash Drive (or other external disk) Must be writable media! You cannot use a DVD or CD
  • Vista Anytime Upgrade CD (Or the WAU folder that is on your hard disk, see F-A-Q)
  • 2 DVD+Rs to make your recovery discs
  • Activation Backup & Recovery tool, downloadable below

Disc Definitions
There is no such thing as a "Home Premium Vista" disc, or an "Ultimate Vista" disc!!!! ALL VISTA DISCS CONTAIN ALL VERSIONS OF VISTA. The thing that determines what version of Vista you have is the License Key that you have. You may have a sticker on it that says "Vista Business" or "Vista Home Premium", but IT IS A LIE. Your disc *may* be forced to install a certain version, (see "CUSTOM OEM Vista Disc" below) but it still contains all versions. It is possible to modify this disc so you can use it to install any version (that you have a license for).

There are many types of Vista discs out there, here is the "official" terminology of what they mean (each of these discs come in 2 versions, 32bit and 64bit):
  • Anytime Upgrade Disc This disc contains all versions of Vista, unmodified as Microsoft is shipping it. It is sometimes included for free with your system, or can be purchased online for under $10. This purchase price does NOT include a license or serial number, it is only the installation media. It is intended so you can upgrade from one version of Vista to another by purchasing a license online. This is the type of disc you need to do a clean install.
     
  • Recovery Disc These disc(s) contain an image of your computer as of when you got it. They can be used to restore your system to the EXACT state as when you first opened the box and turned it on for the first time. Vista is on these discs, but so is all the bloatware. The images are encrypted, and cannot be modified to be used for a clean install. It's best to burn these for yourself using the included recovery disc creation tools, but you can also usually buy them.
     
  • Vista Retail Disc These discs are the ones you buy at the store in a shiny Vista box. They include a license and serial number for a particular version of Vista. The contents of the disc are IDENTICAL to the contents of the Anytime Upgrade Discs. These discs are expensive because you are buying a license along with them. You already have a license for Vista on your laptop, so there's no need to buy another one to do a clean install.
     
  • OEM Vista Disc These discs sometimes get shipped with your system, and are IDENTICAL to the Vista Retail and Anytime Upgrade discs. The main difference here is in the licensing from the OEM (HP, Dell, etc...).
     
  • CUSTOM OEM Vista Disc These seems to be showing up more recently, especially with Dell systems. Some OEMs ship Vista discs that have been modified to include changes such as forcing the disc to only install a certain Vista version, and also include integrated drivers. You can probably do a clean install with them, but you might need to modify the disc before you do it. See the next section for details.

Obtaining The Vista Installation Discs
The most important thing you need for this procedure is the Vista installation disc itself. Like many previous versions of Windows, the disc is often not shipped along with your computer in an obvious form. Sometimes it is hidden in plain sight, and other times it is hidden on the hard disk. It's also very possible it was not given to you at all. You need to obtain the disc using one of the following options:
  • Anytime Upgrade Disc: The Anytime Upgrade disc was being shipped with new computers, and is exactly the same as an installation disc. It may have come in the box with your laptop. It's in a dvd case inside the box with all the manuals. Unfortunately many companies have stopped shipping this disc with new systems. You have a few options to obtain it:
    • The disc can be ordered online (legally) from various places for less than $10. CompUSA used to have them, but now they are going out of business. It is very cheap because it is just a disc, and does not include a license. You can try to search for "Vista Anytime Upgrade" at online stores.
    • Unfortunately, Microsoft has discontinued the Anytime Upgrade program, so you can no longer order the disc from them. You may be able to find the discs elsewhere online, but those will also probably stop being sold as Microsoft shuts down the program.
    • Some people have reported they are being sold on eBay, but they are a little more expensive.
     
  • Already on your hard drive?: Some manufacturers are now copying the contents of the Anytime Upgrade DVD directly onto the hard disk of the computer (sometimes in a hidden folder called "WAU"). The problem is that you cannot directly burn this to a DVD and then boot from it to do a clean install -- you first need to burn the files as a bootable DVD in order to use them. To create a bootable DVD from these files:
    1. Download, install, and run vLite
    2. Select the location with the WAU folder
    3. Select your vista version
    4. Select the ISO button and make the ISO - you can create an image or directly burn to DVD.

    Now you should have a bootable Anytime Upgrade DVD you can use for a clean install. Thanks to seven11 for the steps. (Note: You can do a lot of other things with vLite too, but avoid messing with other things in there until you know what you are doing with it).
    Here are some places you might find the folder on your system:
    • C:\Windows\sonysys\wau (hidden folder)
    • Please let me know where you found it on your system!

    You can see if it might be on your system by doing the following:
    • Click Start > Windows Anytime Upgrade > Choose your edition
    • Under the upgrade option a message will display whether your laptop is pre-configured for Anytime Upgrade

    You will not have the "Anytime Upgrade" option if you have Vista Ultimate, but you might still have the folder on your hard drive. Take a look around for it. (Thank to coolguy for these steps)

    seven11 has created a PDF with screen-shots that can walk you through the process: PDF Walkthrough
     
  • Borrow a Disc: If you know someone else who has an Anytime Upgrade disc, a retail Vista disc, or an OEM disc, you can use any one of those as well. Make sure that you USE YOUR OWN LICENSE. The license is not tied into a DVD, it's tied to the computer and the product key you use.
     
  • Download from Windows Marketplace: According to MyDigitalLife, one can download the Vista installation media from Digital River, who is Microsoft's partner in online distribution of Vista. You'll have to download 3 files, one of which is over 2GiB, and when you're done you'll have the Vista files you need to do the installation. Make sure to burn a BOOTABLE DVD with these files -- burning directly to disc will not work for a clean install.If you go this route, VERIFY THE SIZES of the files as listed below!!!
    Thanks to Kingb33 for links/information about this.

    MD5 sums for the downloaded files: (NOTE: I can only verify them as I have received them. Unless someone at Digital River can confirm them (highly unlikely), we'll have to compare what we have and come to a consensus)
    32 bit:
    • b120c78ff6e37ed9aea16d757bf217a0 X13-49120.exe 77,340,536 bytes
    • e216559f4bf82528979c0f98a23cad5d boot.wim .... 121,963,537 bytes
    • d5704d2cf5515bcee94027dc08714503 install.wim . 2,412,507,182 bytes
    64 bit:
    • 61439ff5fb372a1084751ec990cf1d23 X13-49121.exe 81,790,840 bytes
    • 4d2a6612e4487a625cd41b2d94f1a3c3 boot.wim .... 136,630,167 bytes
    • b31c4eaed6ab5ab10d6f98a6f5f2144c install.wim . 3,504,026,910 bytes

    To burn the resulting ISO file to a DVD, use the image burning function in your DVD burning software. Alternatively, you can use ISO Recorder, which is free. Once you install it, right-click on the ISO file and select "Copy image to CD" (You'll need a DVD for this, not a CD).
     
  • OEM Re-Installation Disc: (This one requires a bit more fiddling than the others, so consider it for more advanced users) Some OEMs ship their systems with a "re-installation disc". This disc may be be customized by the OEM to install only one version of Vista, but those customizations can usually be "undone" using vLite, and then will allow you to install any version (that you have a license for) from that disc. This modification removes some of the custom scripts that an OEM uses to automate the Vista installation. Sometimes they also customize the windows install files, but I think they just add drivers to them. Using this method does not give you a "pristine" install disc, but it should be enough to work. An example where you could do this is if you have a Dell Vista Business disc at work that only allows you to install Vista Business. You can modify this disc to allow you to install Home Premium on your home laptop.
    • For Dell discs:
      1. Copy the entire Dell DVD to a folder on your hard drive
      2. In the "sources" folder, there is a folder called "$oem$". Delete it
      3. In the "sources" folder, there is a file called "pid.txt". Delete it.
      4. Open vLite and burn a new disc using those files
      5. Install vista. It should now allow you to choose a version of Vista to install, and also will not install the dell product key and activation files
      (Thanks to Silas Awaketh for the info that helped me figure this out)
    • Dell is currently the only OEM I have info for. If you have a disc from another OEM, please let me know and we can figure out how to add it.
Procedure:
  1. BURN RECOVERY DISCS. If you don't do this you aren't nearly as clever as you think you are, and probably much less so. Do not use the recovery discs you bought from HP!!! Use the recovery manager tool to burn them yourself!!! Burning them yourself is the preferred method to obtain the recovery discs, and many people have found that there are bugs in the HP discs that cause the recovery to fail. DO NOT USE THEM!
  2. BURN RECOVERY DISCS!!!
     
  3. BACK UP YOUR DATA!!! This procedure will cause EVERYTHING ON THE DISK TO BE DELETED!!!
  4. BACK UP YOUR DATA!!!
     
  5. Save the information you'll need later:
    1. Unzip the ABR.zip file (downloadable below) and put the ABR folder onto your USB flash drive (or external USB drive). For example, if your flash drive is on F:, unzip to F:\ABR. NOTE: You MUST unzip this file. You cannot run it from inside the Windows "compressed folder" view.
       
    2. Double-click on "activation_backup" to run it. You will see some output, and hopefully everything was successful.
      Running this will create 2 files on your flash drive:
      • backup-cert.xrm-ms: Backed-up activation
      • backup-key.txt: Backed-up product key. This product key is different from the one on the bottom of your laptop. We will NOT be using the one on the bottom of your laptop in this procedure.
      I recommend you write down the Product Key somewhere else as well. Vista may decide that it wants you to re-enter the key at some point, and it's useless if you only have it locked up on your flash drive. (You won't be needing the written down version for this procedure though)
      Your activation has now been backed-up.
       
    3. Save all the software in C:\SWSetup. This is a big folder, so you might need a DVD for this. This folder contains drivers, useful tools, and the crapware that we're trying to get rid of. You will need the drivers again, and you might decide that you want some of the other stuff later on. Specifically, QuickPlay is in there (and not available for download from HP), so you'll need that. QuickPlay stuff is under QLB\ and QPW\ folders. If you burn this to a DVD, it would be a good idea to "verify" the burn process before assuming it was completed. Most DVD burning software has an option to do this.
     
  6. Turn off the Wireless Network switch and unplug any network cables. (I always like to make sure nothing is calling home until I'm ready for it.)
     
  7. Insert the Anytime Upgrade DVD and reboot the computer. "Press any key to boot from DVD" when you see that message. If you don't see that message and Vista just boots up again, reboot again and hold down the "Esc" key. Choose to boot from the DVD drive.
     
  8. Choose your language, time/currency, keyboard. [Next]
     
  9. Choose [Install Now]
     
  10. Product Key window:
    1. Now you will be asked for your product key. DO NOT ENTER ANYTHING HERE. We'll take care of this later.
       
    2. UNCHECK "Automatically activate Windows when I'm online"
       
    3. [Next]
       
    4. You will be asked again to enter your product key. Press [No]
     
  11. You'll be presented with choice of which Windows version you have purchased. YOU MUST CHOOSE THE SAME ONE YOU PURCHASED!!! For me it is HOMEPREMIUM. Also check: "I have selected the edition of Windows that I purchased" [Next]
     
  12. Accept license terms, [Next]
     
  13. Choose [Custom Install]
     
  14. Partition the disk how you like. You can delete the recovery partition here to gain space, BUT ONLY DO THIS IF YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE YOUR RECOVERY DISCS!
    • On the partitioning window you will see 2 partitions, Disk 0 Partition 1, and Disk 0 Partition 2 HP_RECOVERY. If you have a machine with 2 hard drives, you'll probably see those also. The "Disk 0 Partition 1" is where your current Vista install is located.
       
    • Under the box with the disks in it, there is a link on the right called "Drive options (advanced)". Click on that link and you will have some more options, Delete, Format, Extend, and New. Now you have a few options (pick ONE):
      • Press [Next] and Vista will install on top of your current install, leaving pretty much everything on the disk. Your old Vista install will still be on the disk, in the folder C:\Windows.old. This probably isn't what you want if you want a clean install.
         
      • Format Disk 0 Partition 1: This will erase everything currently in the Vista install, allowing you to start from scratch.
         
      • Delete Disk 0 Partition 1, then delete Disk 0 Partition 2. Then make a New partition using all the space on the disk.
       
    • You should be able to figure out if you want a different partition setup. I can't possibly walk through all the options.
       
    • Whatever you do, make sure you have backed up. Doing anything with partitions is not undo-able, and will cause everything to be lost.
       
    • If you get lost here, you can always restore with your Recovery Discs.
       
    • I cannot speak to what you'll have on a 2 drive version of the laptop.
     
  15. Windows will do the first part of the install, formatting, copying, etc... Eventually it will reboot.
     
  16. DON'T boot from DVD this time (you can eject the DVD now). Setup your username, password, etc...
     
  17. Once Windows finishes starting, you'll notice that the video resolution is very low (everything is big). You'll need to install video drivers, but wait until later. On my system, I was able to increase the resolution enough to be usable without installing any drivers.
     
  18. Check the activation status. Control Panel / System and Maintenance / System. At the bottom you'll see the activation status (30 days trial right now)
     
  19. Plugin your USB flash drive from before. Double-click on "activation_restore to run it. Follow the prompts, and hopefully everything was successful.
     
  20. Re-check your activation status, as above. You will need to close and re-open the System window to see the change. Vista should now be activated!
     
  21. Install drivers. You will need to go into the saved swsetup files and start installing the drivers for your hardware. For HP systems, it may not be obvious which files/folders are for what drivers. You can get some clues by looking in the files that end in .CVA inside each folder. Open them up with Notepad and you can look through the file.
    You may want to download up-to-date drivers for your system. Check these links:
    • HP Drivers: Type in the model number for your computer (example: dv9500t), then choose the operating system you are using. Here's the link (USA site): http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/...plit%2Fsupport
    • Need more links here, let me know the link for your computer.
     
  22. Run the "Windows Experience" tool. This will re-enable Aero Glass and all that other nice stuff.

Common Problems
Here are some common problems (and solutions) some people have run into (on HP laptops) after doing a clean install:
  • If you run into really big problems and nothing is working right: Restore your system using the recovery discs.
     
  • Mute/Volume buttons don't work: These buttons are controlled by the Conexant /Realtek Audio drivers. You may have working sound with the default Vista drivers, but to get the full functionality, you need to install those drivers.
     
  • QuickPlay button on the laptop and the Windows Media button on the remote control don't work: Make sure you installed both the QuickPlay software (in the QPW folder under SWsetup) and the QuickPlay Button Drivers (in the QLB folder). Install and probably reboot, and they should work.
     
  • Volume buttons don't beep: These settings are controlled in the BIOS. Sometimes this gets reset by the system, so reboot and check the BIOS. If the button beeps are enabled in there and still not working, post a message so we can figure it out.
     
  • How do I get the fingerprint reader working? There are 2 things to install for the fingerprint reader, the driver and the software. Make your you install both of them. The software is in the folders inside SWsetup.

F-A-Q
  • Why do a clean install? Because a lot of the software on your new computer is stuff you probably won't use, but it's installed and using up resources (hard disk, memory, CPU). Also, some of the software is "trialware", and will keep bugging you to spend more money.
     
  • Why not just uninstall things you don't want?
    • Uninstalling software does not always work properly, and almost always leaves behind stuff that should have been removed. Once you have installed a program, it is virtually impossible to remove it and have your system identical to before you installed it. THE ONLY WAY to get rid of it completely is to do a clean install. This is because there are items left in the registry and on the disk that simply do not get removed during an uninstall.
       
    • Also, the amount of time it takes to manually remove software by hand is comparable to, if not longer than, the time it takes to do a clean install. You could easily spend the same amount of time (or more) removing everything by hand, and still not be sure you got everything.
       
    • Finally, manually uninstalling is just that, a manual process. You have to actively sit there and uninstall each thing, waiting and clicking through uninstallers. Most of the time spent on a new install is an automatic process, so you can go off and do something else while it runs
     
  • Can I use this method to install Vista on another computer? NO! This only works on the same computer/laptop you already have a license for.
     
  • Is the product ID number the same as the one on the bottom of my laptop?. No, these numbers are different. The number from activation_backup is the one HP used in the factory to install your version of Windows. The Windows activation is bound to the factory product ID, not the one on the bottom of the laptop.
     
  • Why not use the key on the bottom of the laptop? That key is not "pre-activated" and you will have to call Microsoft to activate it. (some people have mentioned that you cannot activate online with this key) And you will have to call them again if you decide to do a reinstall... and again if you reinstall... and every time hope that you have an explanation that they will agree to, even though you already have a license for it and shouldn't be treated like a criminal suspect.
     
  • ...BUT if you have no problem calling Microsoft to get your system activated, you can use the key that's on your laptop. But that method isn't what makes this guide special .
     
  • I'm doing this on a Desktop computer, and I changed my hardware. Can I use this method to reactivate Vista? If you are being asked to reactivate because of hardware changes you made, this method will probably NOT work, but I don't know.
     
  • Can I install a 32bit or 64bit architecture if I have the other one? There is no technical difference between the 32bit and 64bit architectures with regards to activation. That means that if you backup your activation on a 32bit system, then clean install a 64bit version, it will technically work. However, there may be licensing issues with this, so you must determine if you are licensed to do this by looking at the license you have.
     
  • Will I still be able to get support from my OEM me after I do this? Probably not. They are not obligated to help you out with SOFTWARE problems that might come up as a result of this. In reality, if you have a driver problem or something, they will probably never ask you if you had done a clean installation. However, having done the clean installation, it is assumed that you are able to resolve these types of issues without calling support.
     
  • Does a clean install void my warranty? No. I am not a lawyer, but a warranty generally only applies to hardware on a computer. In fact, almost all software license agreements explicitly state they don't have a warranty. However, your OEM might complain that you cannot access some of their diagnostic tools or something because you have reinstalled, and will probably blame the problem on you... until you can prove them wrong. That's the fact of how these things work, and why making the recovery discs are so important. Restore from the recovery disc, then call them up again and they can't complain about it. If they still complain that something you did caused the failure, you can refer them to the Magnuson - Moss Act which puts the burden on them to prove that any third-party changes caused the failure.
     
  • How can I make another set of Recovery Discs? For whatever reason, you were not able to successfully create recovery discs for the first time, or you lost the ones you made. Now the software won't let you burn another set. To fix this, open an explorer window (my computer, etc..) and go into folder options. Make sure "Hide protected operating system files" is not checked, and also make sure "Show hidden files and folders" is enabled. Then do a search for the file "hpcd.sys" on all local disk drives. Delete all of the ones that you find.
     
  • How can I make sure my Anytime Upgrade DVD has not been modified? If you are concerned that the Anytime Upgrade disc you have might be hacked or corrupted, you can verify the "md5sum" of the disc. The md5sum numbers and volume names for the two official Microsoft Vista discs are (these were generated from ISO images of each disc):
    • 1008f323d5170c8e614e52ccb85c0491 ..... LRMCFRE_EN_DVD
    • 11e2010d857fffc47813295e6be6d58d ..... LRMCxFRE_EN_DVD
     
  • Will systems activated using ABR still work with SP1? Yes! SP1 contains a few fixes from Microsoft that allow Vista to detect a pirated version of Vista. ABR DOES NOT USE THE SAME METHODS THAT PIRATES USE TO GET AROUND ACTIVATION!!! In fact, ABR is not "getting around" activation AT ALL. It activates the system the same way many OEMs activate the system when using their Recovery Discs and factory installation process. ABR is NOT bypassing activation, it is backing-up and restoring it.


Activation Backup & Restore (ABR)
This is a utility that allows you to backup and restore your Windows Vista activation for systems that are pre-installed from the factory, allowing you to reinstall the system without having to call Microsoft. It saves the activation to a file and allows you to restore it once you have done a clean install.

Here is the MD5 and download link:
25902936601827731bac73dbebe51c7e ........ ABRbeta3.zip Mirror Please do not link directly to this file. If you like this utility and want to tell people about it, please link to this web site, and not directly to the zip file.

Other clean install guides:
  • Wh1t3w0lf 's Vista Clean Install with offline OEM activation for Lenovo
  • Stallen's Clean Install Guide for Lenovo (Based on this guide)
  • A version of this guide (as of July 15, 2007), with screenshots, at Dave's Computer Tips.

Answers: Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION ( Notebook Forums and Laptop Discussion HP Compaq )
Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Thanks orev for such a nice guide. I haven't received my laptop yet, but I plan on doing a clean install with this guide as soon as I get it.

On my first read, I missed the information about ABR. I see now that you have "downloadable below" but I missed it in the first reading. I kept asking myself "what the heck is an ABR.zip file?"

The only thing about the guide I might suggest is putting the link for Activation Backup & Restore right in "Things you'll need." And, maybe even putting download, install, and run ABR as step 1 or step 5 (??? which ever is appropriate).

I'm not trying to nit-pick. This will be incredibly helpful when my laptop arrives. I just see that you've put a lot of thought and work into it and I thought you might appreciate a little constructive feedback.

stallen

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Thanks orev for such a nice guide. I haven't received my laptop yet, but I plan on doing a clean install with this guide as soon as I get it.

On my first read, I missed the information about ABR. I see now that you have "downloadable below" but I missed it in the first reading. I kept asking myself "what the heck is an ABR.zip file?"

The only thing about the guide I might suggest is putting the link for Activation Backup & Restore right in "Things you'll need." And, maybe even putting download, install, and run ABR as step 1 or step 5 (??? which ever is appropriate).

I'm not trying to nit-pick. This will be incredibly helpful when my laptop arrives. I just see that you've put a lot of thought and work into it and I thought you might appreciate a little constructive feedback.

stallen

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Naa, I'm thinking about calling Microsoft again, but I just don't know why the ABR software could not find the "activation certificate" even the windows was activated by Microsoft.

thanks again orev

anjunab!tch

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

yeah, I did use serial number on the bottom of notebook, because I was trying to do something different, but then I realised that I am not clever enough to make things change , and now I'm fu*ked

anjunab!tch

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

If you have your recovery discs, you can do a restore from those, then recover the original product key and activation. Then you can do the clean install and use ABR.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjunab!tch
And... this is exactly what I got when running ABR
(...)
how sad, I did call Microsoft last week to active my windows, and now I have done something wrong with my computer, then I have to install windows again.

Help me out please, thank you
Why did you have to call Microsoft to activate? Did you reinstall clean sometime earlier? Did you use the serial number on the bottom of your notebook?

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

And... this is exactly what I got when running ARB

============================================

Backing up product key...

Found key: XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX
Saved to file: backup-key.txt

Backing up activation...

!!! Could not find activation certificate !!!

*** There was a problem running the backup.
*** All of the information may not be saved

press enter to exit

=========================

how sad, I did call Microsoft last week to activate my windows, and now I have done something wrong with my computer, then I have to install windows again.

Help me out please, thank you

anjunab!tch

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe007
orev,

thanks for this guide.

Can you tell me if this approach will still work if I replace hard drive my system came with larger drive and try to install Vista on it? Of course I will be able to restore activation info but it will be from the different hardware conguration.
FWIW, I did what I think you are asking without any trouble.

Right after I pulled my new laptop out of the box I used ABR to back up the activation, then I powered down and installed a Hitachi 7200RPM 200GB 7K200 HDD, then did a clean install with the anytime upgrade disk, and then used ABR to reactivate.

No troubles at all doing it that way.

stallen

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe007
orev,

thanks for this guide.

Can you tell me if this approach will still work if I replace hard drive my system came with larger drive and try to install Vista on it? Of course I will be able to restore activation info but it will be from the different hardware conguration.
It may be a lot easier just to clone the old drive to the new drive.

I am sure that more modern disk cloning software will allow you to clone the old disk to the new larger disk without trouble (although i have not tried it). I do know that both 32 and 64 bit Vista will error out when using older cloning software (such as Ghost 2003), and refuse to start. The workaround is to execute the following before the clone operation:

cd c:\Windows\System32
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} osdevice boot

It worked here for cloning Vista from the original SATA 120gb drive to a 250gb drive. I have also been successfull using this to clone Vista system drives from IDE to SCSI drives under VMWare, and also changing the drive size.

Once those commands are run, Vista does not seem to care if the drive changes size or type.

Joe

JoeCHecht

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

It depends on if changing the drive would cause you to have to reactivate. I'm not sure, but I think changing the drive is excluded from that check. The only thing I could say is to try it, and it should be able to restore the activation. After the activation is restored, at that point you might have to revalidate with MS, but by that point you will have already restored the original activation, so it should be no problem.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

orev,

thanks for this guide.

Can you tell me if this approach will still work if I replace hard drive my system came with larger drive and try to install Vista on it? Of course I will be able to restore activation info but it will be from the different hardware conguration.

JoeSchmoe007

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

orev,

thanks for this guide.

Can you tell me if this approach will still work if I replace hard drive my system came with larger drive and try to install Vista on it? Of course I will be able to restore activation info but it will be from the different hardware conguration.

JoeSchmoe007

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

You don't have to do that. When you unpack the system, Vista is already installed AND ACTIVATED. Sorry I wasn't clear on that. That's what ABR does -- it backs up the activation certificate that's already on the system.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by wojtoo
I have vista for dell from my friend.
The problem is that it automaticly goes for vista ultimate and don't ask for product key.
How to fix it?maybe remove or change some file?

if you have an HP. it should ask for a key/serial during installation. If your pc was a dell, that would be normal. since it's a dell reinstall disk and doesn't need a key on a dell and it was purchased as ultimate- thats the way REAL oem's work.......... I'm not sure why it isn't prompting you for a key/serial...

nobscot6

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

I have vista for dell from my friend.
The problem is that it automaticly goes for vista ultimate and don't ask for product key.
How to fix it?maybe remove or change some file?

wojtoo

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by wojtoo
I have vista for dell from my friend.
The problem is that it automaticly goes for vista ultimate and don't ask for product key.
How to fix it?maybe remove or change some file?
This is discussed in the guide under "Obtaining The Vista Installation Discs" in the "OEM Re-Installation Disc" section. Please take a look at that, and if you run into any problems (or if it works for you), please let us know!

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by strategist333
Is it possible to use this guide to re-reinstall? I did some things to mess up the registry and want to use this guide again, but I'm concerned because I've already downloaded Windows upgrades (and thus installed the MS validation checker). I don't want to reinstall Vista, only to find that I have to call Microsoft to activate or to find that I can't get any updates. Thanks
Sure it will work. Just do it all over again. MS validation checker? If you used this guide for a version of Vista that you already purchased and owned, you have a valid version and that would be confirmed by MS validation checker.

stallen

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Great Guide, worked flawlessly on Vistax64.

I was very carefull only to install the needed drivers (letting windows update handle most of it), and got back a huge amounts of both diskspace and RAM. The machine boots a *lot* faster, and my webcam issues went away.

I had to order the Anytime disk from CompUSA for $5.

Interestingly, I had done a "remove" of the bloatware while I waited on the disk. Even after combing though the system, I went form 38% ram utilization down to 26% after the clean install. Thats a lot of ram to get back on a 4gig system!

There is no substitute for a clean install!!!! None!

Thanks,

Joe

JoeCHecht

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

I have 2 extra anytime upgrade disks if anyone needs please PM me.

jgiordano

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Great Guide, worked flawlessly on Vistax64.

I was very carefull only to install the needed drivers (letting windows update handle most of it), and got back a huge amounts of both diskspace and RAM. The machine boots a *lot* faster, and my webcam issues went away.

I had to order the Anytime disk from CompUSA for $5.

Interestingly, I had done a "remove" of the bloatware while I waited on the disk. Even after combing though the system, I went form 38% ram utilization down to 26% after the clean install. Thats a lot of ram to get back on a 4gig system!

There is no substitute for a clean install!!!! None!

Thanks,

Joe

JoeCHecht

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

ABR does not work when backing up the product key on a 64bit system. It does work when restoring the key to a 64bit system though. So if you already have the key, you can restore it, it's just the backing up part that doesn't work.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Thanks Orev!

stallen

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hansrarius
It should be noted that the HP Pavilion 6000 Series allows BIOS access to the hard drive(s) that the dv9500t does not. Thus fresh-OS installation measures such as the one mentioned in this thread will only work if want to re-build your machine using ONLY the exact opsys HP sent/pre-installed. You will likely NEVER be able to install other operating systems, not Linux, not Windows Server, and almost certainly not Longhorn or whatever else comes after Vista. See my earlier post from the XP-Pro/Vista dual-boot thread.
-------

HP Pavilion dv9500t

I sent my dv9500t back - it's junk because of what they did with the BIOS!

I'll explain. HP has had Phoenix make a "locked down" BIOS in the dv9500t. It does not give the option to control the SATA drives which means you can NOT un-hide the hard drives.

I bought the dv9500t with dual drives so I could dual-boot Vista Ultimate (64-bit) and Windows Server 2003 R2. It came with Vista Ultimate pre-installed. When I ran the Windows Server 2003 R2 (Genuine MS) setup DVD, it reported "no hard drives found." So I ran the excellent freeware program VistaBootPro 3.3 and it reported that the hard drives were either missing or "hidden." I'll explain. See, HP tries to lock the consumer down into using only their "factory" installation which includes their tweaked version of the opsys and lots of "crapware" from vendors such as Vonage and Vongo and AOL who pay HP to include their software on every machine sold.

With older Pavilions, you could go into the BIOS and turn off what HP calles "SATA Nativity" mode which woould then allow other operating systems to see the hard drives. But on the dv9500t there is no such option to change the "SATA Native" mode which really ought to be called "HP Hidden Drive Mode."

This has worse implications than just keeping the iser from having a dual-boot machine. It also means you can't run Linux. Worst of all, it almost certainly means you'll never be able to upgrade to whatever comes after Windows Vista! This, because other operating systems simply can't see the hidden drives.

Now the average consumer might not care about this, but nobody tells ME what I can and can't do with MY $4400.00 computer! HP's tech support people are terrible too. Most have no idea what SATA is, none among the dozen I suffered with had ever heard of (TPM) Trusted Platform Modules, and all said dual boot is "possible on the dv9500t but not supported." Finally my support ticket (about the hidden drives) was "escalated" to a Case Manager. This guy was a technical lightweight of goosefeather proportions! HP's tech support people, especially the Bangalore-outsourced script-readers, are useless.

Their totalitarian attitude and design decisions are sad because otherwise the dv9500t is a fine machine. The integrated fingerprint reader was very nice, the UltraBright (two bulbs) screen was gorgeous, the Lightscribe DVD burner was great, and the 4GB RAM option were reasonably priced. Perhaps best of all, the dv9500 is one of the only machines available anywhere right now, along with the Toshiba Qosmio, which is DirectX 10 compliant, both having the new nVidia 8600M GS GPU. (None of the other big brands are bothering to mention that none of their laptops will ever support DirectX 10, as all other GPUs are of the old DirectX 9 architecture.)

But nice as the dv9500t is, it's got the FATAL DESIGN FLAW of the hidden drives, locking the user in to only using the HP factory-customized operating system. Buy the dv9500t and it's Hp's way or the highway - and your support will stink.

I will stand by all I have said and will answer any questions.

- Hansrarius@yahoo.com
Wouldn't just slipstreaming the SATA drivers into the Window 2003 Install Disk fix the problems like Orev suggested work? I did that for a Windows Vista install disk when I did my clean install, that worked beautifully.

nephipower

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

question: once you've done the 'activation_backup' once and have that saved. Can the 'activation_restore' use the same files if you had to do a clean refresh again? thanks

rconner

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by orev
PS: You think that $600 is a good price for 4GB of RAM, when it can be had elsewhere for about $200?
4GB (2GB x2DIMM)= $170 for me but I'm not braggin'

Hey orev, I plan on going from 32-bit Ultimate to 64-bit Ultimate. Since the product key is supposedly the same between x64 and x86 your ABR should work right? I think I saw a post yesterday that you were checking into something 64-bit related.

If nothing else, I'll be giving it a try as soon as my laptop arrives and I'll post the results.

stallen

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hansrarius
It should be noted that the HP Pavilion 6000 Series allows BIOS access to the hard drive(s) that the dv9500t does not. Thus fresh-OS installation measures such as the one mentioned in this thread will only work if want to re-build your machine using ONLY the exact opsys HP sent/pre-installed. You will likely NEVER be able to install other operating systems, not Linux, not Windows Server, and almost certainly not Longhorn or whatever else comes after Vista. See my earlier post from the XP-Pro/Vista dual-boot thread.
-------

HP Pavilion dv9500t

I sent my dv9500t back - it's junk because of what they did with the BIOS!

I'll explain. HP has had Phoenix make a "locked down" BIOS in the dv9500t. It does not give the option to control the SATA drives which means you can NOT un-hide the hard drives.

I bought the dv9500t with dual drives so I could dual-boot Vista Ultimate (64-bit) and Windows Server 2003 R2. It came with Vista Ultimate pre-installed. When I ran the Windows Server 2003 R2 (Genuine MS) setup DVD, it reported "no hard drives found." So I ran the excellent freeware program VistaBootPro 3.3 and it reported that the hard drives were either missing or "hidden." I'll explain. See, HP tries to lock the consumer down into using only their "factory" installation which includes their tweaked version of the opsys and lots of "crapware" from vendors such as Vonage and Vongo and AOL who pay HP to include their software on every machine sold.

With older Pavilions, you could go into the BIOS and turn off what HP calles "SATA Nativity" mode which woould then allow other operating systems to see the hard drives. But on the dv9500t there is no such option to change the "SATA Native" mode which really ought to be called "HP Hidden Drive Mode."

This has worse implications than just keeping the iser from having a dual-boot machine. It also means you can't run Linux. Worst of all, it almost certainly means you'll never be able to upgrade to whatever comes after Windows Vista! This, because other operating systems simply can't see the hidden drives.

Now the average consumer might not care about this, but nobody tells ME what I can and can't do with MY $4400.00 computer! HP's tech support people are terrible too. Most have no idea what SATA is, none among the dozen I suffered with had ever heard of (TPM) Trusted Platform Modules, and all said dual boot is "possible on the dv9500t but not supported." Finally my support ticket (about the hidden drives) was "escalated" to a Case Manager. This guy was a technical lightweight of goosefeather proportions! HP's tech support people, especially the Bangalore-outsourced script-readers, are useless.

Their totalitarian attitude and design decisions are sad because otherwise the dv9500t is a fine machine. The integrated fingerprint reader was very nice, the UltraBright (two bulbs) screen was gorgeous, the Lightscribe DVD burner was great, and the 4GB RAM option were reasonably priced. Perhaps best of all, the dv9500 is one of the only machines available anywhere right now, along with the Toshiba Qosmio, which is DirectX 10 compliant, both having the new nVidia 8600M GS GPU. (None of the other big brands are bothering to mention that none of their laptops will ever support DirectX 10, as all other GPUs are of the old DirectX 9 architecture.)

But nice as the dv9500t is, it's got the FATAL DESIGN FLAW of the hidden drives, locking the user in to only using the HP factory-customized operating system. Buy the dv9500t and it's Hp's way or the highway - and your support will stink.

I will stand by all I have said and will answer any questions.

- Hansrarius@yahoo.com
Any time a problem like this shows up, I of course want to investigate it before replying. However, on the other thread that you posted to, there are already people who have posted a solution (marmion, taktakb) -- which is solution that I was suspecting that it is.

The "hidden drive" mode that you're complaining about is the difference between SATA legacy and native mode. Legacy mode has been around for a while so older OSes could handle SATA drives without drivers, BUT THIS IS A WORKAROUND MODE AND NOT A LONG TERM SOLUTION. In Native mode, an older OS will need the SATA drivers loaded during installation, otherwise it cannot see the drives. In XP, you could either press F6 and load them from a floppy, or you had to slipstream them into the install CD. I'm sure Windows Server 2003 works in a similar, if not identical way.

There is a very good explanation of the difference in modes you can find here, but I'll quote the good parts:
Quote:
Let us first understand what is native mode. In native, SATA is used purely as SATA, without any consideration towards the compatibility with older devices and operating systems. Native mode enables use of all the advanced features that SATA can offer. It provides the most flexibility and options, but there is little regard for backwards compatibility.

On the other hand, the Legacy mode is used to work around the most important problem caused by the Native mode: the backward compatibility. However, this comes at a price: the Legacy mode is not as flexible as the Native mode and some advanced SATA features cannot be used. So now there is no doubt why Native is technically the preferred choice.
It's really not unreasonable the HP has removed the legacy SATA mode from such a modern laptop. It may not even be supported in the Santa Rosa (ICH8 southbridge) chipset.

Also, as the poll attached to this thread can attest to, if not also all the posts from people who have had success, you can do a clean install without any of the crapware. And as long as you have SATA drivers, you should have no problem installing Linux or any other OS as well. HP does nothing of the kind in "locking" down the system to only their software image. It would be a very stupid thing to do, as people would pick up on that very quickly and their sales would drop down to nothing.

The fact that NO ONE else has complained about this problem should be a good indicator that maybe you're doing something wrong, instead of the rest of the world doing something wrong.

Basically, you have no idea what you're talking about, so please stop spreading FUD around the forum.

PS: You think that $600 is a good price for 4GB of RAM, when it can be had elsewhere for about $200?

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

This procedure worked perfect. Thanks Orev.

rconner

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

It should be noted that the HP Pavilion 6000 Series allows BIOS access to the hard drive(s) that the dv9500t does not. Thus fresh-OS installation measures such as the one mentioned in this thread will only work if want to re-build your machine using ONLY the exact opsys HP sent/pre-installed. You will likely NEVER be able to install other operating systems, not Linux, not Windows Server, and almost certainly not Longhorn or whatever else comes after Vista. See my earlier post from the XP-Pro/Vista dual-boot thread.
-------

HP Pavilion dv9500t

I sent my dv9500t back - it's junk because of what they did with the BIOS!

I'll explain. HP has had Phoenix make a "locked down" BIOS in the dv9500t. It does not give the option to control the SATA drives which means you can NOT un-hide the hard drives.

I bought the dv9500t with dual drives so I could dual-boot Vista Ultimate (64-bit) and Windows Server 2003 R2. It came with Vista Ultimate pre-installed. When I ran the Windows Server 2003 R2 (Genuine MS) setup DVD, it reported "no hard drives found." So I ran the excellent freeware program VistaBootPro 3.3 and it reported that the hard drives were either missing or "hidden." I'll explain. See, HP tries to lock the consumer down into using only their "factory" installation which includes their tweaked version of the opsys and lots of "crapware" from vendors such as Vonage and Vongo and AOL who pay HP to include their software on every machine sold.

With older Pavilions, you could go into the BIOS and turn off what HP calles "SATA Nativity" mode which woould then allow other operating systems to see the hard drives. But on the dv9500t there is no such option to change the "SATA Native" mode which really ought to be called "HP Hidden Drive Mode."

This has worse implications than just keeping the iser from having a dual-boot machine. It also means you can't run Linux. Worst of all, it almost certainly means you'll never be able to upgrade to whatever comes after Windows Vista! This, because other operating systems simply can't see the hidden drives.

Now the average consumer might not care about this, but nobody tells ME what I can and can't do with MY $4400.00 computer! HP's tech support people are terrible too. Most have no idea what SATA is, none among the dozen I suffered with had ever heard of (TPM) Trusted Platform Modules, and all said dual boot is "possible on the dv9500t but not supported." Finally my support ticket (about the hidden drives) was "escalated" to a Case Manager. This guy was a technical lightweight of goosefeather proportions! HP's tech support people, especially the Bangalore-outsourced script-readers, are useless.

Their totalitarian attitude and design decisions are sad because otherwise the dv9500t is a fine machine. The integrated fingerprint reader was very nice, the UltraBright (two bulbs) screen was gorgeous, the Lightscribe DVD burner was great, and the 4GB RAM option were reasonably priced. Perhaps best of all, the dv9500 is one of the only machines available anywhere right now, along with the Toshiba Qosmio, which is DirectX 10 compliant, both having the new nVidia 8600M GS GPU. (None of the other big brands are bothering to mention that none of their laptops will ever support DirectX 10, as all other GPUs are of the old DirectX 9 architecture.)

But nice as the dv9500t is, it's got the FATAL DESIGN FLAW of the hidden drives, locking the user in to only using the HP factory-customized operating system. Buy the dv9500t and it's Hp's way or the highway - and your support will stink.

I will stand by all I have said and will answer any questions.

- Hansrarius@yahoo.com

Hansrarius

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Just want to say thanks for this guide to a clean install. Everything went smooth and my laptop is running so much better without all the bloatware.


dafish

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Here's an alternate method that uses the same trick that Orev has published.

In your OEMCert folder you should find a certificate file with the extension .xrm-ms. Take that file and put it somewhere with a short folder path like C:\.

Then go to Start and either press Run or find Run using the search function. Type cmd into Run and press enter (This will automatically run cmd prompt in with administrator privileges).

Type the following command to install the OEM certificate file:

SLMGR.VBS -ilc C:\oem-cert.xrm-ms

(Assuming you put the certificate file called "oem-cert.xrm-ms" in the root folder of C:\.)

The just activate windows the regular way through the welcome center or control panel.

Edit: with this method, it is fine to enter the HP OEM factory key when installing windows. You just cannot activate Vista until the OEM certificate has been installed. If you install the certificate before going online for the first time and entered the OEM during installation, windows will even automatically activate for you when you first go online.

SBR

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by orev
When you run that step in the cmd box, make sure you run it as administrator. Right-click on the "command prompt" icon and choose "run as administrator". Then type those commands in that cmd window.

If that still doesn't work, let me know.
you know...i figured that might have been the problem, but i thought i was already logged in as administrator since that's how my computer is setup. i was right-clicking on the command prompt after it was already open and i didn't see any option to "run as administrator" so i figured that just reinforced my assumptions. i never thought about right-clicking as i'm opening it up. that did the trick. thanks a lot. it really is no hassle at all.

weiser701

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by weiser701
ok, i followed the procedure and i now have a clean install of Vista Home Premium. oh man how it's a nice feeling not having all the junk in there. however, i wasn't able to get the activation working through the command prompt. i type in this:

C:\Users\XXX>cd c:\windows\oemcert

cd c:\windows\oemcert
cscript /nologo oem-install.vbs oem-cert.xrm-ms XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX (i really have my product key inserted there)

and this is what i get:

Install OEM Certificate
Install oem-cert.xrm-ms...
c:\Windows\OEMCert\oem-install.vbs<40,4> SWbemObjectEx: 0xC004F025

i don't get any error messages or anything like that, but i don't get any "success" messages either. it still says i need to activate within 30 days.
When you run that step in the cmd box, make sure you run it as administrator. Right-click on the "command prompt" icon and choose "run as administrator". Then type those commands in that cmd window.

If that still doesn't work, let me know.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

GOOD WRITE UP! Worked great! No changes necessary for a dual drive like mine. I just put everything I needed on the secondary. Might not hurt to mention in the write up about extending the Primary if you delete the second partition just for those who aren't that experienced. Thanx OREV.

AtLarge

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

ok, i followed the procedure and i now have a clean install of Vista Home Premium. oh man how it's a nice feeling not having all the junk in there. however, i wasn't able to get the activation working through the command prompt. i type in this:

C:\Users\XXX>cd c:\windows\oemcert

cd c:\windows\oemcert
cscript /nologo oem-install.vbs oem-cert.xrm-ms XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX (i really have my product key inserted there)

and this is what i get:

Install OEM Certificate
Install oem-cert.xrm-ms...
c:\Windows\OEMCert\oem-install.vbs<40,4> SWbemObjectEx: 0xC004F025

i don't get any error messages or anything like that, but i don't get any "success" messages either. it still says i need to activate within 30 days.

weiser701

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

^^OK, if it doesn't work I will certainly try the script you provided. Thanks

DrewN

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

orev,

just curious, do you have a list off the top of your head (or looking through the swsetup folder briefly) of the drivers you manually installed after the clean install? i browsed through the swsetup folder to see what i might need to reinstall but i'd like to know i'm installing the right stuff if i'm shooting for a CLEAN install...a fresh start.

weiser701

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

orev,

just curious, do you have a list off the top of your head (or looking through the swsetup folder briefly) of the drivers you manually installed after the clean install? i browsed through the swsetup folder to see what i might need to reinstall but i'd like to know i'm installing the right stuff if i'm shooting for a CLEAN install...a fresh start.

weiser701

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

As far as drivers, I didn't really look at them as they are all downloadable from HPs web site. Usually they are more updated versions too. The other stuff in there is software like quickplay, etc... some of which you can't download from HP. I was working on a list, but I'm currently laptopless. I'll be able to do more when the dv9500t is shipping w/ graphics.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

hmmmm....i wonder if the HP drivers for the dv6000 will be compatible with the dv6500? it doesn't look like they have any drivers specifically for the dv6500 CTO on their website. maybe the upgrade utility will work. we'll just see when i get there. i'll probably burn my recovery disks this weekend and then i'll be ready to go.

weiser701

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

I don't understand why you guys care if windows 'activates' even 10 times a day your genuine copy.
You can use the jelly bean version 2 beta 2.5 to extract your original key and use it on a fresh install. Activate online with no problem. Can be done as many times as you want as long as its the same hardware.
Why bother with all this process?

booyoo

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Anyone knows where I can get this Vista Anytime Upgrade CD? AFAIK, HP laptops don't come with this, right?

Thanks!

daemonjin

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by orev
At what step are you seeing that error message? If it's in the Command Window, make sure you have done "cd c:\windows\oemcert" first. Also make sure you have both files in that folder, the xrm-ms file and the vbs file.

Leaving your wireless or network connected should be OK, just make sure to UNcheck "Automatically activate when windows goes online". If you forgot to uncheck that, I don't know what will happen . You can always start from the beginning again.

You bring up a good point. I have always deleted a partition and started from scratch, so I never had to deal with leaving stuff on the C: drive, like windows.old. I'll have to add that step.

After an hour or so, I got the path thing right. You need to add this to the guide "make sure you have a minimal understanding of DOS." The certificate was installed successfully, but there was no activation. There were a bunch of lines like these:

the product key for xxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxxxx-xxxxxx was not present
same these numbers here are different for each line
same
same
same

I had to install Vista 3 times, and each time it wouldn't let me format drive C. I even used the g-parted disk to try to format, but Vista stopped it too. Finally, I gave up on installing Vista on drive C, and put it on another partition. Much to my dismay, windows.old was still there after the third installation. I am nuking the hard drive with Dban now. Thank you, Microcrap (greedy bastards) for making it so hard to use your product.

I am tired. I am frustrated. And I still don't know what to do. I notice there are 4 Yes votes. Common guys, I need help here. Don't feel like posting here? PM me. Enjoy your newly-activated Vista.

davidt1

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by daemonjin
Anyone knows where I can get this Vista Anytime Upgrade CD? AFAIK, HP laptops don't come with this, right?

Thanks!
My dv9225 came with one, a 64 bit only version, which was odd since Ultimate 64 bit was preinstalled, yet my 9220, which came with Premium, did not come with one!

ButchN

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by daemonjin
Anyone knows where I can get this Vista Anytime Upgrade CD? AFAIK, HP laptops don't come with this, right?

Thanks!
Mine did. I'm just waiting for you guys to be sure you got it right then I'm dumping mine and reloading.

AtLarge

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by orev
Things you need:[list][*]Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder v1.51 (search google)[*]Run the Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder, and save the results to your flash drive.
Were you using Vista already because this version does not show the key when I use it.

ButchN

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by orev
Here's the deal, you're a computer guy, and you love you're new laptop, but you hate that it came with all that crapware preloaded. If you only had a way to install Vista clean, you'd love to do it. But that brings up another issue: Vista activation. Why should you need to activate Vista when you have it, already activated, on your laptop?

Following this guide will allow you to install Vista, clean and fresh, WITHOUT DEALING WITH MICROSOFT ACTIVATION. No phone calls. No online activation.

Some notes:
  • You can only install the SAME VERSION of Vista you already bought. If you're laptop came with Home Premium, you can NOT install Ultimate.
  • This guide uses all of the information that's ALREADY ON YOUR LAPTOP. You do not have to download any illicit files or cracks. You will only need to download 1 freeware tool.
  • This is specific to HP laptops (mine is a dv9000t), but probably works on other systems with small changes
  • This has been adapted and expanded from the original notes given for Lenovo systems on this board from Wh1t3w0lf (see this thread)
  • I am not a lawyer, but this is not a crack or break in any way. I fully believe that this is completely legal. All you are doing is backing up information already on the computer, and re-entering it after you install.

Things you need:
  • Skills and knowledge enough that you are comfortable installing an OS from scratch, and maybe partitioning a disk.
  • USB Flash Drive (or external disk or something)
  • Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder v1.51 (search google)
  • Vista Anytime Upgrade CD
  • 2 DVD-Rs to make your recovery discs

Procedure:
  1. BURN RECOVERY DISCS. If you don't do this you aren't nearly as clever as you think you are, and probably much less so.
  2. BURN RECOVERY DISCS!!!
  3. BACK UP YOUR DATA!!! This procedure will cause EVERYTHING ON THE DISK TO BE DELETED!!!
  4. BACK UP YOUR DATA!!!
  5. Save the information you'll need later:
    1. Find the folder C:\Windows\OEMCert. Copy this folder and it's contents to your USB Flash drive. The file "oem-cert.xrm-ms" is the activation certificate, and "oem-install.vbs" is a script that will install the certificate.
    2. Run the Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder, and save the results to your flash drive. It might be a good idea to write down the key too. This product key is different from the one on the bottom of your laptop. We will NOT be using the one on the bottom of your laptop in this procedure.
    3. Save all the software in C:\SWSetup. This is a big folder, so you might need a DVD for this. This folder contains all of the drivers and crapware that we're trying to get rid of, but you will need the drivers again, and you might decide that you want 1 or 2 of those things later on. Specifically, the QuickPlay 3.0 stuff is in there (and not available for download from HP), so you'll need that. QuickPlay stuff is under QLB\ and QPW\ folders.
  6. Turn off the Wireless Network switch and unplug any network cables. (I always like to make sure no one is calling home until I'm ready for it.)
  7. Insert the Anytime Upgrade DVD and reboot the computer. "Press any key to boot from DVD" when you see that message. If you don't see that message and Vista just boots up again, reboot again and hold down the "Esc" key. Choose to boot from the DVD drive.
  8. Choose your language, time/currency, keyboard. [Next]
  9. Choose [Install Now]
  10. Now you will be asked for your product key. DO NOT ENTER ANYTHING HERE.
  11. UNCHECK "Automatically activate Windows when I'm online", [Next]
  12. You'll be presented with choice of which Windows version you have purchased. YOU MUST CHOOSE THE SAME ONE YOU PURCHASED!!! For me it is HOMEPREMIUM. Also check off "I have selected the edition of Windows that I purchased. [Next]
  13. Accept license terms, [Next]
  14. Choose [Custom Install]
  15. Partition the disk how you like. You can delete the recovery partition here to gain space, BUT ONLY DO THIS IF YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE YOUR RECOVERY DISCS! [Next]
  16. Windows will do the first part of the install, formatting, copying, etc... Eventually it will reboot.
  17. DON'T boot from DVD this time (you can eject the DVD now). Setup your username, password, etc...
  18. Once Windows finishes starting, you'll notice that the video probably isn't right. You'll need to install those drivers, but wait until later. On my system, I was able to increase the resolution enough to be usable without installing any drivers.
  19. Check the activation status. Control Panel / System and Maintenance / System. At the bottom you'll see the activation status (30 days trial right now)
  20. Plugin your USB Flash drive, and copy the OEMCert\ folder and it's contents into C:\Windows. You should now have those 2 files in C:\Windows\OEMCert.
  21. Open a Command Window AS ADMINISTRATOR (right-click on Command Window, choose "Run as Administrator")
  22. Install and activate the product key and certificate. In the cmd window, type:
    Code:
    cd c:\windows\oemcert
    cscript /nologo oem-install.vbs oem-cert.xrm-ms [product key]
    Replace [product key] with the key that was found from the magical jellybean, NOT the one on the bottom of your laptop. The product key format is XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (I don't know if oem-install.vbs exists on systems other than HP. If not, you'll have to look into the slmgr.vbs method)
  23. You should see a success message when it is done.
  24. Re-check your activation status, as above. You will need to close and re-open the System window to see the change. Vista should now be activated!
  25. Install drivers, etc... from the C:\SWSetup area that you saved before. I recommend downloading drivers from HP.
  26. Run the "Windows Experience" tool. This will re-enable Aero Glass and all that other nice stuff.

If you run into problems:
  • Restore your system using the recovery discs

F A Q
  • Can I use this method to install Vista on another computer? NO! This only works on the same computer/laptop you already have a license for.


Quick Question, exactly what is the "bloatware" that comes on the computer? Are you talking about all the programs labeled "HP xxxxxx?" Aren't some of these programs necessary? Such as the network wizards and so on? If i later on decide i liked one of these bloatware programs such as the roxio software or others, can i reinstall them from that windows SWSetup file? How would i do this and how would i go about licensing my versions?

Wanting to get the crap off the computer, but not wanting to F anything up either......

longhornbsbll15

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

If you see the lone "I am stupid" vote at the top, that's me.

davidt1

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by orev
Here's the deal, you're a computer guy, and you love you're new laptop, but you hate that it came with all that crapware preloaded. If you only had a way to install Vista clean, you'd love to do it. But that brings up another issue: Vista activation. Why should you need to activate Vista when you have it, already activated, on your laptop?

Following this guide will allow you to install Vista, clean and fresh, WITHOUT DEALING WITH MICROSOFT ACTIVATION. No phone calls. No online activation.

Some notes:
  • You can only install the SAME VERSION of Vista you already bought. If you're laptop came with Home Premium, you can NOT install Ultimate.
  • This guide uses all of the information that's ALREADY ON YOUR LAPTOP. You do not have to download any illicit files or cracks. You will only need to download 1 freeware tool.
  • This is specific to HP laptops (mine is a dv9000t), but probably works on other systems with small changes
  • This has been adapted and expanded from the original notes given for Lenovo systems on this board from Wh1t3w0lf (see this thread)
  • I am not a lawyer, but this is not a crack or break in any way. I fully believe that this is completely legal. All you are doing is backing up information already on the computer, and re-entering it after you install.

Things you need:
  • Skills and knowledge enough that you are comfortable installing an OS from scratch, and maybe partitioning a disk.
  • USB Flash Drive (or external disk or something)
  • Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder v1.51 (search google)
  • Vista Anytime Upgrade CD
  • 2 DVD-Rs to make your recovery discs

Procedure:
  1. BURN RECOVERY DISCS. If you don't do this you aren't nearly as clever as you think you are, and probably much less so.
  2. BURN RECOVERY DISCS!!!
  3. BACK UP YOUR DATA!!! This procedure will cause EVERYTHING ON THE DISK TO BE DELETED!!!
  4. BACK UP YOUR DATA!!!
  5. Save the information you'll need later:
    1. Find the folder C:\Windows\OEMCert. Copy this folder and it's contents to your USB Flash drive. The file "oem-cert.xrm-ms" is the activation certificate, and "oem-install.vbs" is a script that will install the certificate.
    2. Run the Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder, and save the results to your flash drive. It might be a good idea to write down the key too. This product key is different from the one on the bottom of your laptop. We will NOT be using the one on the bottom of your laptop in this procedure.
    3. Save all the software in C:\SWSetup. This is a big folder, so you might need a DVD for this. This folder contains all of the drivers and crapware that we're trying to get rid of, but you will need the drivers again, and you might decide that you want 1 or 2 of those things later on. Specifically, the QuickPlay 3.0 stuff is in there (and not available for download from HP), so you'll need that. QuickPlay stuff is under QLB\ and QPW\ folders.
  6. Turn off the Wireless Network switch and unplug any network cables. (I always like to make sure no one is calling home until I'm ready for it.)
  7. Insert the Anytime Upgrade DVD and reboot the computer. "Press any key to boot from DVD" when you see that message. If you don't see that message and Vista just boots up again, reboot again and hold down the "Esc" key. Choose to boot from the DVD drive.
  8. Choose your language, time/currency, keyboard. [Next]
  9. Choose [Install Now]
  10. Now you will be asked for your product key. DO NOT ENTER ANYTHING HERE.
  11. UNCHECK "Automatically activate Windows when I'm online", [Next]
  12. You'll be presented with choice of which Windows version you have purchased. YOU MUST CHOOSE THE SAME ONE YOU PURCHASED!!! For me it is HOMEPREMIUM. Also check off "I have selected the edition of Windows that I purchased. [Next]
  13. Accept license terms, [Next]
  14. Choose [Custom Install]
  15. Partition the disk how you like. You can delete the recovery partition here to gain space, BUT ONLY DO THIS IF YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE YOUR RECOVERY DISCS! [Next]
  16. Windows will do the first part of the install, formatting, copying, etc... Eventually it will reboot.
  17. DON'T boot from DVD this time (you can eject the DVD now). Setup your username, password, etc...
  18. Once Windows finishes starting, you'll notice that the video probably isn't right. You'll need to install those drivers, but wait until later. On my system, I was able to increase the resolution enough to be usable without installing any drivers.
  19. Check the activation status. Control Panel / System and Maintenance / System. At the bottom you'll see the activation status (30 days trial right now)
  20. Plugin your USB Flash drive, and copy the OEMCert\ folder and it's contents into C:\Windows. You should now have those 2 files in C:\Windows\OEMCert.
  21. Open a Command Window AS ADMINISTRATOR (right-click on Command Window, choose "Run as Administrator")
  22. Install and activate the product key and certificate. In the cmd window, type:
    Code:
    cd c:\windows\oemcert
    cscript /nologo oem-install.vbs oem-cert.xrm-ms [product key]
    Replace [product key] with the key that was found from the magical jellybean, NOT the one on the bottom of your laptop. The product key format is XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (I don't know if oem-install.vbs exists on systems other than HP. If not, you'll have to look into the slmgr.vbs method)
  23. You should see a success message when it is done.
  24. Re-check your activation status, as above. You will need to close and re-open the System window to see the change. Vista should now be activated!
  25. Install drivers, etc... from the C:\SWSetup area that you saved before. I recommend downloading drivers from HP.
  26. Run the "Windows Experience" tool. This will re-enable Aero Glass and all that other nice stuff.

If you run into problems:
  • Restore your system using the recovery discs

F A Q
  • Can I use this method to install Vista on another computer? NO! This only works on the same computer/laptop you already have a license for.


Quick Question, exactly what is the "bloatware" that comes on the computer? Are you talking about all the programs labeled "HP xxxxxx?" Aren't some of these programs necessary? Such as the network wizards and so on? If i later on decide i liked one of these bloatware programs such as the roxio software or others, can i reinstall them from that windows SWSetup file? How would i do this and how would i go about licensing my versions?

Wanting to get the crap off the computer, but not wanting to F anything up either......

longhornbsbll15

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidt1
What am I doing wrong? I am getting "the system can not find the path specified." I entered the key during the installation by mistake by the way

The tried some other command from another site and get "error 0x35 The network path was not found."
I am pretty sure I entered things correctly.

a couple more things:


I forgot to turn off wireless/network connection during installation. Did this have something to do with anything? Also, there was no option to format before the installation. I forgot that there was that big old "windows.old" folder in the C drive. Did this have anything to do with it?

HELP
At what step are you seeing that error message? If it's in the Command Window, make sure you have done "cd c:\windows\oemcert" first. Also make sure you have both files in that folder, the xrm-ms file and the vbs file.

Leaving your wireless or network connected should be OK, just make sure to UNcheck "Automatically activate when windows goes online". If you forgot to uncheck that, I don't know what will happen . You can always start from the beginning again.

You bring up a good point. I have always deleted a partition and started from scratch, so I never had to deal with leaving stuff on the C: drive, like windows.old. I'll have to add that step.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by longhornbsbll15
Quick Question, exactly what is the "bloatware" that comes on the computer? Are you talking about all the programs labeled "HP xxxxxx?" Aren't some of these programs necessary? Such as the network wizards and so on? If i later on decide i liked one of these bloatware programs such as the roxio software or others, can i reinstall them from that windows SWSetup file? How would i do this and how would i go about licensing my versions?

Wanting to get the crap off the computer, but not wanting to F anything up either......
All you NEED to run your computer is the operating system and the drivers. HP laptops come with a bunch of extra stuff, some of which is needed, other of which is not (to be fair, HP doesn't come with nearly as much crap as other systems). Some of it can be useful, which is why I'm suggesting you backup C:\swsetup. The HP helper software is useful, and you can reinstall that if you like. The stuff I consider bloatware are: Norton, muVee, rhapsody, yahoo search bar, and some others I can't think of right now.

As for licensing, everything in the SWsetup folder should install with whatever licensing it came with. I don't use that stuff really, so if anyone else has run into problems, let's hear about it.

And if you reallt F things up, that's what the recovery discs are for! as long as you have your data backed up, you can use those disks to recover to exactly the same condition as when you opened the box.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Hey Orev, thank you for taking the time to write this guide - it's exactly what i'm looking for.
I've just bought a new notebook and it will be arriving shortly, i've read that Toshiba P200-1B6 has a lot of bloatware and i'd like to start 100% fresh. It comes with Vista Home Premium and I would assume either a recovery dvd, oem install dvd or wau dvd.

I think I should be okay on most of the steps, but this one got me:

14. Partition the disk how you like

I don't really know what a disk partition is.. Well, I know it kind of 'splits' the hdd up. What are the differences between the options I will get, and is there one that is best for what I want? (Completely fresh, nothing but vista.. i'll sort out drivers myself after that)

Thanks in advance [:

Kyrre

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxnews
thanks for the quick response.

I have a desktop Window Vista Ultima OEM. Can you use your method with this disk?

Did you mean that my Compaq laptop (C714NR) has WAU folder on the HHD? I read your guide but my concern is that my laptop don't have this WAU folder. I don't have my laptop with me yet.
Yes, your OEM disc will work for this. The disc is not an "ultimate" disc, because it contains all versions of Vista. It's the license key that you have/use which makes it install ultimate.

As far as WAU, I'm not sure if you have it, so I was suggesting that you might have it. If not, then you have the other disc, so you don't need it.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxnews
thanks for the quick response.

I have a desktop Window Vista Ultima OEM. Can you use your method with this disk?

Did you mean that my Compaq laptop (C714NR) has WAU folder on the HHD? I read your guide but my concern is that my laptop don't have this WAU folder. I don't have my laptop with me yet.
Yes, your OEM disc will work for this. The disc is not an "ultimate" disc, because it contains all versions of Vista. It's the license key that you have/use which makes it install ultimate.

As far as WAU, I'm not sure if you have it, so I was suggesting that you might have it. If not, then you have the other disc, so you don't need it.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by microkid
I am going to try this on my Sony. If I obtain the key used during the factory setup. Then simply enter this key whilst reinstalling vista from anytime upgrade disc i have. If I wanted to would I be able to reactiave online without running any additional software? Legally this should be ok?
No, that will not work. You need to use the ABR tool to backup and restore both the key AND the activation certificate. If you just use the key, it will not work. The factory key cannot be activated at all, by phone or online.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrre
Hey Orev, thank you for taking the time to write this guide - it's exactly what i'm looking for.
I've just bought a new notebook and it will be arriving shortly, i've read that Toshiba P200-1B6 has a lot of bloatware and i'd like to start 100% fresh. It comes with Vista Home Premium and I would assume either a recovery dvd, oem install dvd or wau dvd.

I think I should be okay on most of the steps, but this one got me:

14. Partition the disk how you like

I don't really know what a disk partition is.. Well, I know it kind of 'splits' the hdd up. What are the differences between the options I will get, and is there one that is best for what I want? (Completely fresh, nothing but vista.. i'll sort out drivers myself after that)

Thanks in advance [:
A partition is a space on the disk that holds files, and shows up as a drive letter. Most of the time you have 1 main partition which is your C: drive. Many laptops will have a second partition for "recovery". When doing a clean install, you can delete both the C: and D: partitions, and make 1 big one which will be the C:. That way you can use all of the space that you paid for.

If you're going to do a clean install, you don't need the recovery partition because that will reinstall all the bloatware, etc...

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Gotcha, thanks for clearing that up for me!

Kyrre

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by orev
Yes, your OEM disc will work for this. The disc is not an "ultimate" disc, because it contains all versions of Vista. It's the license key that you have/use which makes it install ultimate.

As far as WAU, I'm not sure if you have it, so I was suggesting that you might have it. If not, then you have the other disc, so you don't need it.
I am a little confused. Here is steps I will take:
0) ....
1) back up Home premium key using your program
2) do clean install using Ultima OEM disc with Ultima OEM key
3) restore Home premium key using your program.
4) ....


will the home Premium Key from step (3) override the Ultima OEM key from step (2)?
Since your program back up key from Vista Home Premium, can it restore this key to Vista Ultima?

foxnews

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxnews
I am a little confused. Here is steps I will take:
0) ....
1) back up Home premium key using your program
2) do clean install using Ultima OEM disc with Ultima OEM key
3) restore Home premium key using your program.
4) ....

will the home Premium Key from step (3) override the Ultimate OEM key from step (2)?
Since your program back up key from Vista Home Premium, can it restore this key to Vista Ultimate?
Why would you install using the Ultimate key if you are trying to install Home Premium? When you install, do NOT type in ANY key at all. Forget that you even have an Ultimate key (I assume it's from another computer). The disc you are using is just installation media, the key that you type in determines what Vista version you install. You will be given a choice of which version of Vista to install during the install, and choose Home Premium.

Unless you have an OEM disc (probably Dell) that does not give you the chance to chose, and forces you to use the Ultimate install. In that case, you can't use that disc, as of yet.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Hi. Thanks for this guide..worked very well except for one problem. My buttons dont beep, checked the bios and they are enabled. Any suggestions

edit: NVM I updated the buttons driver and all is well

edit again: New Problem. No sound. First I got sound through the speakers but when i tried to play back a song nothing. Gives me an error saying it cant play it back (error C00D11B1 in WMP). I could hear system sounds but no playback from mp3. Also the microphone would work. The standard High Definition Driver was installed first.

Now I went to the setup on my disk and searched for drivers and it found the realtek drivers and installed them. Now im getting no sound through the speakers at all. Im using aim to talk to a friend and now the microphone works, She can hear me clear. Any suggestions? I have a dv6500. thanks

mrbonner

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Hey I saw this article about Vista SP1 and Activation Exploits... I followed this install process- is this an Activation Exploit?

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2227513,00.asp

TRAFFICBLOWS

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAFFICBLOWS
Hey I saw this article about Vista SP1 and Activation Exploits... I followed this install process- is this an Activation Exploit?

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2227513,00.asp
No, this procedure is not an activation exploit. It activates Windows exactly the same way as OEMs do when they install at the factory. Since this only allows you to reinstall the same Vista version you already paid for, it's not a problem.

The exploits that SP1 fixes are some other things that involve tricking the BIOS and resetting the expiration counter, which are techniques people use to get around activating in the first place.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeCHecht
Three almost identical DV9500T's, all came from the factory with the same product ID's. Orv's clean install guide and ABR applied on only one of them, then ghost 2003 to make 2 clone disks. Disks are now interchangable between any one of the three machines. No problems.

Two notes:

1) Modify to Vista to get it to run from a cloned disk (else it wil detect the difference, and will fail to boot). Before making the clone with Ghost 2003,
get a command window:

c:
cd c:\Windows\System32
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} osdevice boot


2) Of course, you should have the approprate number of licenses for any software cloned, and you might want to change the serials for each disk to match the licenses.


Joe
Joe,

Good to know you have done it too. Though I am not sure I entirely follow what you said in 1) - but it sounds critical. My plan is to do a complete system backup from fully installed and loaded laptop to an external drive; load just Norton Ghost on the other laptop; and then do a complete system restore from this laptop using the image stored on the external hard drive. Can you please explain a bit more if I will still need to do what you mentioned, and what exactly that will achieve. Or is that required only if I do the install using Norton restore CD?!

Btw, I will not be switching the hard drives around, as one laptop is for my brother who does not live with me. Do I still need to do those steps in 1)?!

As for 2) yes I do have licenses for the sw that I am cloning. For those that I have single licenses I will load those once I have done this backup & cloning.

Thanks!

sarge_in

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarge_in
Thanks - that will be such a HUGE save of time & effort!
The comments from joechect are correct though. Before you clone, make sure you prep windows for it. You used to have to run sysprep, and maybe other things for vista.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarge_in
Thanks - that will be such a HUGE save of time & effort!
The comments from joechect are correct though. Before you clone, make sure you prep windows for it. You used to have to run sysprep, and maybe other things for vista.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

I dont have recovery disk and dont want to activate key from the bottom of the laptop by call Microsoft to activate.
Please help me to recover license key from vista preinstalled. Stupid me install clean vista and dont save the activation original factory.
Now recover 300 Gb with GetDataBack for NTFS v3.03 and dont now how to recover key and where is it.
Please help me step by step how to recover key.

mariusx

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusx
I don't have recovery disk and don't want to activate key from the bottom of the laptop by call Microsoft to activate.
Please help me to recover license key from vista preinstalled. Stupid me install clean vista and don't save the activation original factory.
Now recover 300 Gb with GetDataBack for NTFS v3.03 and don't now how to recover key and where is it.
Please help me step by step how to recover key.
Without the recovery disk or other way to recover the original data, it will be very difficult to find this information. You mentioned the you used "GetDataBack". Please describe the situation that you used it. Did you have information on another hard disk, and used it on that, or did you use it on the disk that you did a clean installation on?

Also, which version of Vista do you have?

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

just wanted to post and say that this worked on my gateway mt3705 after i bought a new hdd. i installed from the anytime upgrade dvd and all went smoothly. thanks for the great utility!

shantz24

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarge_in
Joe,

Good to know you have done it too. Though I am not sure I entirely follow what you said in 1) - but it sounds critical. My plan is to do a complete system backup from fully installed and loaded laptop to an external drive; load just Norton Ghost on the other laptop; and then do a complete system restore from this laptop using the image stored on the external hard drive. Can you please explain a bit more if I will still need to do what you mentioned, and what exactly that will achieve. Or is that required only if I do the install using Norton restore CD?!

Btw, I will not be switching the hard drives around, as one laptop is for my brother who does not live with me. Do I still need to do those steps in 1)?!

As for 2) yes I do have licenses for the sw that I am cloning. For those that I have single licenses I will load those once I have done this backup & cloning.

Thanks!
I cannot speak for versions of Ghost other than 2003 (my favorite). I know that to clone a Vitsa install with 2003, you must first do the BCD Edit thing, before you backup. Without it, Vista is tied to the hard drive it was installed to, and will refuse to start from another disk. I would guess that some newer cloning software may fix this up for you, but again, I am unsure.

I do know that after running the BCDEdit commands, Vista does not seem to care what sort of drive it boots from. I have even been able to go IDE to SCSI and back.

Also, this cloning probably only works on machines that are faily close to identical, however, I am sometimes very suprised to find out how much the hardware can actually vary, and still be a successful. I have even seen it work on XP going from a AMD to an Intel based machine!

Of course, take all this advice at yor own risk

Joe

JoeCHecht

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

The guide worked perfectly for me on a Compaq Presario F572US laptop

ncxcstud

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

I don't want to come off as being negative but, after looking at the instructions for this guide it seems as though there is too much work to do for the little advantage you will gain in return. I much rather use an uninstaller like Ccleaner to remove programs I dont need. It just seems a whole lot easier and safer to go that route.

But hey there are obviously plenty of people that like to clean install, but just remember the more programs you install and uninstall over time, the more crap you'll have to remove anyways.

Just my two cents.

nateratm

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Its easy as.. you can train a monkey to do this. i dont see whats being risked by doing this option since you have the recovery disks

and the advantages are great. Ccleaner is no where near as good as having a fresh copy of windows. I used Ccleaner before i did a clean install, it helped but the clean install was alot better. It also fixed my lightscribe drive and improved my gaming performance, not to mention i still have full functionality of everything

1:30-2min unresponsive boot up time cut down to half on a fresh install

flipfire

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

thanks for posting this. Everything worked great, Vista seems alot more responsive now and quicker to startup/shutdown. Definitely worth the effort to do this and deal with installing drivers.

WWScoobyDo

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Eureka!!!!!!!!!!!
Orev, you are the man!!!!! Everything is done and successful. This was easy as ABCD....., easy as sunday morining!
For everyone scared to give it a try, PLease give it a try!
Whats amazing was how quickly Vista installed, so all this slow instalation thing was because of bloatware?
Thanks a lot. Am stilling updating from Hp.
Now, Can someone tell me why my windows time keep changing any time i reset?

popextra

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Have you done all the window's updates? Could be that because today is the day light savings time would have changed, it's trying to change the time. Once you get the update so it knows our stupid new day light savings time (two weeks from now), it's be okay?

triad95928

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Have you done all the window's updates? Could be that because today is the day light savings time would have changed, it's trying to change the time. Once you get the update so it knows our stupid new day light savings time (two weeks from now), it's be okay?

triad95928

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by orev
....[*]Insert the Anytime Upgrade DVD and reboot the computer. "Press any key to boot from DVD" when you see that message. If you don't see that message and Vista just boots up again, reboot again and hold down the "Esc" key. Choose to boot from the DVD drive.
Hi, I've just bought a HP Compaq6710b. It goes with Vista Buisness, but i don't have a Upgrade DVD, what can I do about it? I need a clean install in order to partition my drive correct, because the shrink function doesn't work out for me.... and the OS is full lit stuff I don't need.
Please help, can i download image from somewhere and use the serial I got from ABR, I need fast solution...

grandchamp

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

You can buy it off CompUSA for like $5. Theres also downloading the image from torrents but i wouldnt really recommend this.

flipfire

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by flipfire
You can buy it off CompUSA for like $5. Theres also downloading the image from torrents but i wouldnt really recommend this.
thanks, i called HP and they will send it to me!
Very usefull topic, respect!

grandchamp

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Thanks Joe & Orev!

I actually thought I would give it a shot without making those changes, and it all seems to work fine! It may be because I am using Ghost 12 (which is awesome btw), or coz the configs as well as OEM keys (I think) were the same for the 2 laptops, or I just got plain lucky. Nevertheless, was able to save SO MUCH time in trying to reinstall everything on the 2nd laptop from scratch.

Cheers!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeCHecht
I cannot speak for versions of Ghost other than 2003 (my favorite). I know that to clone a Vitsa install with 2003, you must first do the BCD Edit thing, before you backup. Without it, Vista is tied to the hard drive it was installed to, and will refuse to start from another disk. I would guess that some newer cloning software may fix this up for you, but again, I am unsure.

I do know that after running the BCDEdit commands, Vista does not seem to care what sort of drive it boots from. I have even been able to go IDE to SCSI and back.

Also, this cloning probably only works on machines that are faily close to identical, however, I am sometimes very suprised to find out how much the hardware can actually vary, and still be a successful. I have even seen it work on XP going from a AMD to an Intel based machine!

Of course, take all this advice at yor own risk

Joe

sarge_in

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Careful - what HP will send has all the bloatware included in it. AFAIK, you will NEED to get the discs from CompUSA if you want to do a true clean install. Be prepared to wait more than a month for it as shipping takes a looong time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grandchamp
thanks, i called HP and they will send it to me!
Very usefull topic, respect!

sarge_in

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarge_in
Careful - what HP will send has all the bloatware included in it. AFAIK, you will NEED to get the discs from CompUSA if you want to do a true clean install. Be prepared to wait more than a month for it as shipping takes a looong time.
Good point, make sure they are sending you an Anytime Upgrade Disc, not a Recovery Disc. However, reports for the compusa disc lately seem to indicate shipping is going much faster now.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by orev
Good point, make sure they are sending you an Anytime Upgrade Disc, not a Recovery Disc. However, reports for the compusa disc lately seem to indicate shipping is going much faster now.
Hmm I told them that I want a Update Disk, to make a clean install, hope they send me tha right thing, but even if they don't i hope to be able to at least reinstall and format my hard drive the way i want and remove the recovery stuff, because i realy don't need it..
And by the way - i'm from europe....

grandchamp

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by grandchamp
Hmm I told them that I want a Update Disk, to make a clean install, hope they send me tha right thing, but even if they don't i hope to be able to at least reinstall and format my hard drive the way i want and remove the recovery stuff, because i realy don't need it..
And by the way - i'm from europe....
If the disc you get is the Recovery Disc, it will contain all of the bloatware and you don't get to choose which to install.

Any 32bit Vista disc will do, as they are all the same. You already have a license for it, you just need the disc. If you know someone who has the retail disc, you can use that for the install (just make sure to use your license key).

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Hi,

I have a HP DV9630ED. Wher can I find the anwser file for the orignal HP image?

Regards,

Kingb33

Kingb33

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by foodan
Hey Guys,

Has anyone been able to find the WAU folder on the HP Pavillion Laptops?
I am also wondering this.

Is it the one full of registries C:/HP/HPQWare/WAU_Reg ?

enalin7

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

thanks for this guide, orev. the backup of the OEM cert worked. now i just have to wait for the DVD from CompUSA.

chi

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Is it possible to use this guide to re-reinstall? I did some things to mess up the registry and want to use this guide again, but I'm concerned because I've already downloaded Windows upgrades (and thus installed the MS validation checker). I don't want to reinstall Vista, only to find that I have to call Microsoft to activate or to find that I can't get any updates. Thanks

strategist333

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

yes, that's exactly what's it's for. orev did a great job developing the abr tool for us.

ann

nobscot6

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

When I ordered my dv2500t, HP offered to provide a copy of the Vista Premium DVD for $20, turns out it's just the Recovery disk and not a real Vista one. Disappointing, but I've ordered a WAU from CompUSA ($5) and will try this out as soon as it comes in. This is a great guide, thanks.

Oh yeah, question. A clean install won't have the bloatware, but what about the other programs? Am I going to have to download the Lightscribe software, etc. again?

Steeler7588

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeler7588
When I ordered my dv2500t, HP offered to provide a copy of the Vista Premium DVD for $20, turns out it's just the Recovery disk and not a real Vista one. Disappointing, but I've ordered a WAU from CompUSA ($5) and will try this out as soon as it comes in. This is a great guide, thanks.

Oh yeah, question. A clean install won't have the bloatware, but what about the other programs? Am I going to have to download the Lightscribe software, etc. again?
"Bloatware" means "the other programs". Unless it comes with Vista like if you bought it from Microsoft, then it won't be there when you do the clean install. That's why you need to save your c:\swsetup folder.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeler7588
When I ordered my dv2500t, HP offered to provide a copy of the Vista Premium DVD for $20, turns out it's just the Recovery disk and not a real Vista one. Disappointing, but I've ordered a WAU from CompUSA ($5) and will try this out as soon as it comes in. This is a great guide, thanks.

Oh yeah, question. A clean install won't have the bloatware, but what about the other programs? Am I going to have to download the Lightscribe software, etc. again?
"Bloatware" means "the other programs". Unless it comes with Vista like if you bought it from Microsoft, then it won't be there when you do the clean install. That's why you need to save your c:\swsetup folder.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Ah, missed that line when I read it over. Thanks.

Steeler7588

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Can anyone help me, is the wau cd on the hdd of a dv6500t?

JETJRCOM

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by JETJRCOM
Can anyone help me, is the wau cd on the hdd of a dv6500t?
Run Windows Anytime Upgrade. It should say if your computer is preloaded with WAU, or if you'll need to buy a CD.

Steeler7588

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

it says " follow the instructions on the screen to complete the upgrade. you will need a windows anytime upgrade disc. the disc may have come with your computer, or you may have purchased it to upgrade to windows vista from an earlier version of windows.

JETJRCOM

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Quote:
Originally Posted by JETJRCOM
it says " follow the instructions on the screen to complete the upgrade. you will need a windows anytime upgrade disc. the disc may have come with your computer, or you may have purchased it to upgrade to windows vista from an earlier version of windows.
If you had the disc on the computer, it would say that the system is preconfigured for anytime upgrade. As far as I know, HP does not do that.

orev

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

thank you for the reply, i went ahead and ordered one from MS.

JETJRCOM

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

things went really smooth on mine. went from a 3.2 rating to a 4.8 after the clean install. memory was the limiting factor both times and i notice about half as much idle usage of ram as before

Dragon RR

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

Hi, this is a great guide, thanks for posting it.

I have a hidden folder named WAU_reg on the hard drive of my dv2500t. But IMO it is too small to be an actual thing (few hundred kb's).

Can anyone tell me what it is?

Thx.

leka

Clean Vista install WITH NO ACTIVATION

so id be able to do this with a vista dvd if i dont have the anytime upgrade dvd?

demonsend

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