Vista activation annoyances

Last November I installed Vista 64-bit. It works well, but I made a mistake during the install, and I’m paying for it now. I bought the student version, which is an upgrade from my (legal copy of) XP. It installed fine, but I then got something wrong (I can’t remember what, now) and I wanted a clean, working system, so started again. I didn’t bother entering the Product Key during the second install, and when I came to activate Windows a few hours later it informed me that my ‘upgrade’ key couldn’t be used for a ‘clean’ install.

Sigh. I’d already set up all my apps, and I couldn’t be bothered installing everything again from scratch. A little googling suggested I could bypass the problem by installing Vista as an upgrade over itself, which is a pretty silly loophole, but apparently works. I was a bit worried it would just break everything, but tonight, with the final activation cutoff date rapidly approaching, I figured I should get it over with.

It didn’t work. It took two hours to fail to install ‘a component’ and revert back to the original setup. I can’t even phone them and beg, since the activation process detects the wrong key before talking to the MS servers. So tomorrow, despite having a completely legal Vista setup, I have to wipe it, install XP, then upgrade XP to Vista and reinstall all my apps. I could really do without this crap.

I’m weighing up the risks of using…alternative methods…to keep things going until I have a bit more free time. Bit risky, though.

Update: Shouldn’t have done that. Worked though. *whistles merrily*