I recently had to install Windows 7 using an upgrade edition. At one point I had a legal copy of Windows Vista on the computer, but I had long since switched to Linux and lost the original Windows Vista disk.
So what do I do? I qualify for the upgrade edition, but Windows won’t activate because I did a clean install without having Windows Vista installed.
Here is the solution:
That’s it! Takes about 30 seconds and it makes it so Windows thinks you did an upgrade inside of Windows instead of a clean install. The activation process should work without any problems now.