Important Update:

Please read prior to attempting a repair installation using the upgrade option.

If you have installed the recent Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista and your original Windows Vista DVD does not include this Service Pack, then the Upgrade option will be disabled, thus preventing you from doing an in place upgrade. The reason for this is that, by installing Service Pack 1 your system is, in effect, newer than that of your original Vista DVD (the only exception to this is if you have a slipstreamed copy of Windows Vista including Service pack 1).

Therefore, if your original Windows Vista DVD does not contain Service Pack 1 you will need to Uninstall Service Pack 1 from your PC prior to attempting the upgrade. See: 110. Uninstall Windows Service Pack 1

The two most obvious repair option for a Windows Vista installation is either re-installing (and losing all your data and programs) or using the repair options available on the Windows Vista DVD.

However, what if the repair options don't work? Do you really want to re-install the operating system and lose everything on your hard drive? Probably not!

Well there is a third option and that is to actually upgrade the copy of Vista you already have using your Vista DVD. By doing this you can re-install Vista over the top of your original copy without losing any programs or data you already have on your PC.

While upgrading should, in theory, not disturb what applications/documents you already have on your hard drive it would be far wiser to actually backup any important files/documents prior to attempting this upgrade.

To repair your Vista installation using the upgrade option proceed as follows:

1/ To begin with you must proceed as if you were upgrading to Windows Vista from another operating system. Therefore, before you start go through the 52. Upgrading To Windows Vista instructions first to see what is involved.

2/ Once you have read the upgrade instructions then begin the upgrade. You should be aware that the upgrade may take several hours.

3/ After the upgrade has completed the following instruction will be found useful.

4/ Because you have upgraded the system you will, after the upgrade has finished, be prompted to activate your copy of Windows Vista.

5/ Select the Activate Online Now option

6/ At the next screen, if you are unable to get an internet connection, Choose the Create new internet connection option.

7/ When the Create New Internet Connection window opens, Select the connection that you had created in the old copy of Vista and then Type in your User name and Password.

8/ Once connected to the Internet the activation process should proceed.

9/ If the activation is unsuccessful you will need to call the automated activation line. The toll free number (in most countries where Microsoft has a presence) is available when you Click the Activate by Phone option.

10/ Once activation has completed the desktop will continue to set up and then, finally, you will be presented with the Welcome Center screen.

11/ Close the Welcome Center screen.

12/ If you now look in the bottom Right hand corner of your screen you may see a message Windows Vista, Build xxxxxx. This copy of Windows is not genuine.

13/ To get this far your activation must have been successful. This indicates that the copy of Vista you are using is Genuine, even though the above message is telling you different. So once you get to this stage simply reboot your PC.

14/ Once the PC re-boots the This copy of windows is not genuine message should have disappeared.

15/ If the message doesn't disappear, then try validating your copy of Windows Vista by visiting

16/ When the site opens, just Click the Validate Now button.