Windows7 upgrade nightmare

I finally got Windows7 to install on my home desktop. What a royal pain in the ass. I purchased the Home Pro upgrade via the student discount option, and chose the 64-bit version. This was my first mistake. I received the update notice in my in-box, and was able to successfully download the package. When I ran the “unpackager” tool I ran into an error:

“We are unable to create or save new files in the folder in which this application was downloaded. Please check the folder properties to make sure that you have security
permission on the folder to write files and that the folder is not read-only”.

A quick Google search revealed that this was a relatively common problem with the student upgrade. I followed the instructions for downloading a tool that allowed me to create an ISO file from the install package, burned the ISO to DVD and begin the upgrade.

Because I was moving from 32bit to 64bit, I had to do a clean install. I deleted the old partition (after backing everything up, of course!). I ran the install and it would proceed through the “expanding files” module. At 91%, the system would hang for 30-45 minutes, then fail. I retried this multiple times with the same results.

So now I have a bricked desktop computer. Several hours of Google-fu, downloads and frustrations, I finally figured out that the DVD image I burned from the Dell desktop was corrupt. After a few more hours of work, I got a procedure to work:

(1) Download the package to a portable hard drive
(2) Run the “unpackaging” tool in a XP session on VirtualBox on my Macbook Pro
(3) Use ocsdimg to create an ISO on the portable hard disk drive in the VirtualBox session
(4) Burn the ISO to DVD using the Disk Utility on the Macbook Pro.
(5) Run the install
(6) Skip the entry of the license key during install, since an upgrade key won’t work for a new install
(7) When the install is complete and all patches are applied, run this process to activate the license.

So the Dell desktop is now successfully upgraded, and I’m working through the slow process of reinstalling all my apps, restoring backups and dealing with incompatibilities (grr.. printer drivers….)

Isn’t being a geek fun?