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[Tutorial] Clean Windows Vista Install - No Activation needed

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Clean Windows Vista Install - No Activation needed { for OEM versions only }

I am just googling for some one and I have found a nice tutorial for Windows Vista User. So I have decided to share with you.

What you need!

  1. Activation Backup & Restore Program
  2. Windows Upgrade Anytime DVD or retail vista DVD
  3. Recovery DVD(s) for your computer
  4. USB Flash drive, external hard drive, or second internal hard drive
  5. Device Drivers for your computer
  6. The best place to find the most up to date drivers is the support or download area of your computer manufacturer's website. You will need drivers for your display, network card, wireless card, touchpad or mouse, chipset, modem, card reader, etc.

** Do NOT proceed unless you have recovery disk(s) and any data you want to keep backed up! **

Instructions

  1. Download the Activation Backup and Restore program above.
  2. Open the file and copy the ABR folder to your USB flash drive, external drive, or second internal hard drive.
  3. Double click activation_backup.exe. This will open a cmd window and extract the OEM Vista key. If all goes OK you will see two new files in the ABR folder.
    • backup-cert.xrm-ms: Backed up activation
    • backup-key.txt: Backed-up product key

[*]Insert the Vista Anytime Upgrade DVD.

[*]Reboot your computer. Your computer should boot to CD/DVD. If not change the option in your BIOS

[*]Choose your language, Time/Currency, and country. Click Next.

[*]Click on Install Now

[*]The next screen is for your Vista key. DO NOT enter anything in this box. Be sure to UNCHECK the activate box. Click Next. The installation program won't believe you, so it will ask you again if you want to enter your key. Choose NO.

[*]You will be asked which version of Vista you have purchased. Highlight the version that came with your computer. Check the box that says "I have selected the edition of Windows that I purchased". Click Next.

[*]Accept Microsoft's license terms. Click Next.

[*]Choose Custom (Advanced) Installation.

[*]Choose where you want to install Vista.

  • Disk 0 is your primary drive and where you should install.
  • If your manufacturer has included a recovery partition you will see Disk 0 Partition 1 and Disk 0 Partition 2. Choose Partition 1.
  • Highlight Disk 0 Partition 1 (should be the first choice.
  • Click on Drive Options (Advanced).
  • Choose Format. This will completely erase your old installation, including all bloatware!
  • The default settings for formatting will be fine. This will take some time depending on the size of your drive.
  • More experienced users my delete the recovery partition and gain back the 10GB of space.
  • If your computer did not come with recovery disks DO NOT remove the recovery partition unless you have burnt the disks yourself!

[*]The installation program will now begin copying files.

[*]The installation program will reboot the computer. You can remove the DVD from the drive now.

[*]Choose a username and password.

[*]Choose a computer name and desktop background.

[*]Choose an automatic updates option. Choose a time zone, set date and time.

[*]The gears of Vista will whirl for a few moments and Vista will start! Go to Control Panel>System and Maintenance>System. You will see that Vista is NOT activated. Close this window.

[*]Insert your USB flash drive and navigate to activation_restore.exe. Double click the file to start.

[*]A cmd window will open and you will see it doing it's thing. It should say "Successful". Close the cmd window.

[*]Go to Control Panel>System and Maintenance>System again. Notice the difference?

[*]Install the device drivers you downloaded before. You will probably be asked to reboot and it is OK to do so. Be careful not to install any bloatware, or unnecessary helper applications.

[*]Open Control Panel>System and Maintenance>System again. Click on Windows Experience Index half way down the window.

[*]This will open the Windows Experience Index window. Click Update My Score. Vista uses this score to determine if it will be able to handle the Aero interface.

There you have it! A fresh, clean Vista installation with NO extra crap. Guaranteed to make for a faster and more enjoyable computing experience! I know the instructions are lengthy, but it really on takes a fraction of the time you would spend removing the extra crap manufacturers add to a new computer.

You can find complete tutorial with images.

:thumbup Source: Dave's Computer :thumbup

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Nice guide, one needs to remember only for an oem version.

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Nice guide, one needs to remember only for an oem version.

Thanks for correction :hello:

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Sorry I tried all above but got stuck at the start ABR could not find Activation Cert I have OEM Business Any ideas as this would be great to have

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I am the original author of the guide and "Activation Backup and Restore" which I call ABR. You can follow the whole thread and read the guide that I keep up to date here at notebook review.com. The screen shots were added by Dave at Dave's Computer Tips, but that guide is a little out of date now. I have also updated ABR since he made a copy of it on his site.

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Well this doesn't work with OEM Business Ed

I have other reports saying that this DOES work with the Business edition. However, ABR is only designed to work with OEM preinstalled version of Vista. If you are using another type of Vista, like a retail disc, it won't work. I don't have access to the other types of Vista to be able to develop for them.

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Is this legal or what? I know its not cracking, but still. Not that I cared anyway.

Anyway, thanks for it. Activating is a pain in the a** anyway.

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For the legality, this is not a crack. What the program does is allow you to back up the activation certificate, then after you reinstall, it allows you to restore it. That's it.

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For OEM disks

why would i go through all that?

when you simply mountrw your image and create dir folders if needed and copy the *.*xrm-ms to DVD\sources\$OEM$\$$\SYSTEM32\OEM, plug your key in the xml and its done. No 2 mb exe to run or nothing and you can do that without it stopping and asking for a key

All this was covered in the Unattend forums some time ago but a recent post is http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=101649

Edited by maxXPsoft
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For OEM disks why would i go through all that? when you simply mountrw your image and create dir folders if needed and copy the *.*xrm-ms to DVD\sources\$OEM$\$$\SYSTEM32\OEM, plug your key in the xml and its done. No 2 mb exe to run or nothing and you can do that without it stopping and asking for a key

All this was covered in the Unattend forums some time ago but a recent post is http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=101649

Most people will not be burning their own custom versions of DVDs, and this works with unmodified Vista discs. This utility/process is aimed at a more general audience who is able to reinstall a system, but has not gotten into making custom discs and automated installs. That's a big difference in who's going to use it.

Obtaining the xrm-ms files means finding them on a torrent or p2p somewhere, which is more or less piracy. This utility extracts the necessary information from a running, legitimate system, then allows you to restore it later. There is no need to locate xrm-ms files from a pirate web site, or wherever else you might try to get them. That approach also makes many more people likely to be comfortable with it.

If it does not suit you, that's fine, but the utility of the process is certainly valuable to many people. I find it interesting that you characterize the process of mounting WIM images, creating directories, editing xml, reburning discs, and hoping it all worked correctly as a simple process, but then refer to the steps of: "run the backup tool" and "run the restore tool" as "all that" hassle. The rest of the steps listed are just the normal install process.

PS. It's 2MB because it's written in Perl. I've thought of making it smaller, but is 2MB really *that* big, especially when the WIM tools are over 1GB?

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For the legality, this is not a crack. What the program does is allow you to back up the activation certificate, then after you reinstall, it allows you to restore it. That's it.

If this was not legal, neither would Norton Ghost 12 be. ;)

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@orev

All I'm saying is this

Think about what you're saying there. If its an actual OEM disk then the files are already in place or in my case they are for a fully legal Dell. You simply need to create a small xml file with correct answers including your key and put it on a floppy/usb stick and then don't have to go through all the other stuff you're saying. I/we have even discovered that the PID.txt it is in sources folder and in Boot.wim 2 Sources folder also is not even needed.

Why do I go through mountrw my image, SP1 testing dude, its not your original disk but you can make it activate like it was. Also to inject Drivers, Updates and setup Application installers

Then your first app activation_backup.exe would be good for extracting the *.*xrm-ms and original key for those purposes but second 1 is not needed.

And lastly, in other forums you're posts were installing clean without the garbage, thats what I do M8, only the *.*xrm-ms and xml with valid key are needed with the right Bios and you don't even see the Logos :whistle:

how clean is that? and legal because same computer i've only updated it.

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