Thanks for your response, but that link doesn't answer my question. I understand the different upgrade pathways from XP and Vista to 7. What I was wondering about specifically was how BootCamp handles that process.
I guess the real question is - if I get an upgrade version of Windows 7, am I going to have to put another CD in at some point during the installation process and not be able to eject the first one because the optical driver isn't yet installed?
Yea, but doesn't your computer HAVE the drivers now?
You're going to be upgrading from XP, which already has drivers installed. So I think you're ok there.
There IS another issue, though, that might actually help you out more:
We aren't yet sure what method Microsoft is using to "prove" you're actually upgrading. When people upgraded to XP, they (as you mentioned) had to just put the cd in the drive and then take it out. If I remember correctly, to upgrade from XP-->Vista, you actually needed to have XP installed. It wasn't enough to just have the disc.
Of course, this is a mega pain if you need to reinstall Windows from your Vista upgrade disc. You would have to FIRST install XP, and THEN install Vista.
There's been no mention from Microsoft one way or the other, which in my mind means it's probably the same as Vista. Which is, generally speaking, more annoying...but probably better for your issue.
Okay, that makes sense. I never upgraded to Vista because, well, I've been avoiding Vista like the plague (that's part of what prompted my switch to a Mac in the first place). For the little I use Windows these days, I'm probably just as well sticking with XP. But I was curious about trying Windows 7. It sounds like a monumental mess upgrading from XP, but if it works the way you're describing, I shouldn't have the problem that I had installing XP in the first place, because there won't be the CD switch-out issue. The downside will be if I ever do this on another machine, I will still have to install XP before installing Windows 7.
If you read the links from the above url and faq - and check some sites - you'd see that the upgrade method and questions you pose have been addressed and answered.
Surprisingly, the site you linked in your first post (http://www.microsoft.com/windows) did not in fact answer how Apple's Boot Camp handles using an upgrade CD to install Windows 7.
I am very familiar with the links and descriptions of how an upgrade from XP to Win 7 works on a regular Windows computer. My question was about whether or not I am going to need to change out CDs during the install process at a point where the optical drive on my MacBook can't eject a CD. That's what happened when I installed Windows XP to start with (using an upgrade CD), and the only way around it involved "doctoring" a CD to make Boot Camp think it was a full install CD. It was doable, but it was a pain, and I prefer not to have to do that again. In my case, I am willing to try out Windows 7 with an upgrade CD, which I can get at a discount, but if the only way to install it involves getting a full install CD, I'm not going to spend the money. The issue is the specific quirk of using an upgrade CD with the optical drive - it's not really a Windows issue per se.
From BlueDevilKurz's reply, it sounds like this probably won't be a problem this time around, as long as XP is already installed, but we won't actually know for sure until Windows 7 is released. It also sounds as if it probably isn't possible to do a truly clean install, without XP installed already, which is a pain, but better for the optical drive CD switching problem.
Did you even read my question? I know there won't be anything about Apple on the Microsoft website. I was being sarcastic. I am posting on an Apple support forum with an Apple related question and you responded with a link to the main Microsoft site, which shockingly did not answer my question. I thought there might be others here in the same boat, who run XP on their Boot Camp partition and might be considering upgrading to Windows 7. If you don't know anything about that or find my question irrelevant to you, why respond at all?
You should never upgrade, and definitely not from XP.
Plus there are changes (same type of partition tables changes that you can find in Mac os upgrades).
If you upgraded/are upgrading from XP I would do a fresh install because XP creates an improper partition offset of 63K. If you upgrade, then your partition alignment retains that improper offset.
By installing from scratch Vista or Win7, you get a proper partition offset of 1024K or 1 meg.
You are making it harder - start from scratch and do a clean install and I'd forget what you had to learn to do with XP upgrade.
There was a way to use Vista Upgrade DVD also, but that did require a two step process.
I did read what you tried to say, and it was totally off base!
If you thought what I was saying was off-base, perhaps you still don't understand my question, since none of your answers has addressed it.
I don't want to do the "upgrade" process. I was very familiar, even before you posted several links saying the same thing over and over, that you can't do that from XP to Win 7 anyway, but even if you could you wouldn't want to. I get the difference of upgrade v. migrate, etc., etc. Please don't link to it again. That is not my question.
All I want to know is this: If you are using an upgrade CD to install Windows 7 (as opposed to a full install CD, and not to be confused with the "upgrade" process), will there be an issue with switching it out during installation and not being able to get it out of the optical drive?
When I clean-installed XP to Boot Camp using an upgrade XP CD, you couldn't do that, because it needed proof of a prior copy of Windows during the installation process and there was no way to switch out the discs. This was a weird glitch of needing to eject from the optical drive during the installation process but having no way to do so at that particular point in the installation. It had nothing to do with anything about Windows licenses, upgrade pathways, etc. It was a technical oddity because of the hardware.
From Apple support site re. XP and Vista with Boot Camp:
"Important: _You must use a single full-install Windows installation disc._ Service pack 2 is required for Windows XP installations. Do not install an earlier version of Windows XP and attempt to update it later to service pack 2. Use only 32-bit versions of Windows."
You don't need to answer this. BlueDevilKurz somehow understood exactly what I was asking and responded several posts ago as well as anyone can until Windows 7 is actually released and we know for sure. But if you want to, it's a Yes or No question, with a second bonus Yes or No question.
1. Can I use an upgrade Windows 7 CD/DVD (rather than full install media) to install Windows 7 on a Boot Camp partition that currently has XP?
2. Can I use an upgrade Windows 7 CD/DVD (rather than full install media) to install Windows 7 on a Boot Camp partition that is currently empty (no XP installed)?
I'm replying to my own question to let people know what I found out in case anyone else has this question.
If upgrading from XP to Windows 7, you must have the previous operating system installed (you can't just insert the disk when asked to prove you own a prior version of the operating system).
For BootCamp users, this is a good thing in the sense that the ejecting-the-disk-from-the-optical-drive problem won't be an issue. It is aggravating, though, if you ever need to reinstall because you will have to reinstall XP and then install Windows 7. As we know, it's a clean install process because it will wipe out XP, but you are still stuck having XP there in the first place. No big thing now, but it would be annoying to have to do this again in the future.
I have now done this myself (with the actual Windows 7, not beta or RC. My copy of the Win 7 upgrade (academic license) came early. I have no idea why, but this has happened for a few people apparently). The installation went smoothly and didn't take horribly long going from XP to Windows 7. I initiated the process by running the BootCamp utility from Mac OS X.
There were no disk changing problems. I do (did) run a pretty bare copy of XP, though, and didn't bother with the backing up and transferring files part because I didn't need to. I had my XP BootCamp partition initially formatted as FAT32, which I thought was going to be a big problem, but it let me reformat it to NTFS during the installation process. I was afraid I was going to have to reinstall XP on an NTFS partition first, but that wasn't necessary.
I also use VMWare Fusion. I know that the upcoming version 3 is supposed to officially support Windows 7, Aero, etc., but version 2 does work. I did have the hassle of Windows wanting to be activated again and having to call in to the automated line for the codes (I had to do that with XP also), but it finally activated correctly on both BootCamp and VMWare Fusion.
(A final note from a recent Windows switcher and an XP user who never used Vista - Windows 7 is fine. It's okay. It is no OS X. I will not be switching back anytime soon).
I will answer my specific questions here:
1. Can I use an upgrade Windows 7 CD/DVD (rather than full install media) to install Windows 7 on a Boot Camp partition that currently has XP? Yes.
2. Can I use an upgrade Windows 7 CD/DVD (rather than full install media) to install Windows 7 on a Boot Camp partition that is currently empty (no XP installed)? No.
There are dozens of sites with tips on upgrading.
There are millions of people who will be installing Windows 7 upgrade who only used the beta and RC - and those all used the same small number of activation keys. No retail or prior copy needed.
Why not just go to Newegg and buy Windows 7 Home Premium System Builder for $99 and stop worrying yourself to death.
There is no need for another disc to insert. Does it ask for your old activation key? I don't think so. But that would be at worst the only such 'requirement.' It is not one bit like the XP upgrade was.
Blue_ seemed mistaken also in his advise and comments. There will not be any need to install an older OS first. Period.
@The hatter - Reading comprehension is clearly not your strong suit. I am not "worrying myself to death" over this. I have done it. It's done. No worries. I was reporting back here what I learned for those who may have a similar question. You never understood the question, so this is probably not helpful for you. Feel free to disregard, as you have everything else I've written.
My upgrade copy of Windows 7 Ultimate cost $17.85+shipping. That was a pretty good deal. It was worth it for me to figure out how to use it. Buying an OEM license as you suggest is fine (although I'm not sure how using that through virtualization in addition to BootCamp works, license-wise), but still not the best deal for me. It's hard to beat $18.
I understand how the beta and RC worked, but they worked differently. With the official version, just to see what would happen, I tried to install my upgrade copy through VMWare Fusion to a blank partition. It wouldn't do it. It does require a prior copy of XP or Vista to be installed on the machine. (I did not try this on BootCamp because I didn't want to nuke my XP installation and have to install it again).
You are correct in that it was not like installing the upgrade version of XP in the first place. I have no personal experience with Vista. But BlueDevilKurz was 100% correct in stating how it worked, and I believe him when he states that's how it worked going from XP to Vista.
When you have installed an upgrade copy of the official version of Windows 7 to a blank partition on BootCamp, come back and tell us about it. I would be interested to hear it.