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Well, trying to sort a machine out for a friend-of-a-friend who's kid is autistic, the machine being another friend's ex-machine... Full DoD erase of the Windows partition, then System Restore the vendor OS image... no problems thus far (except for having to find a USB mouse cos the mini-Vista wouldn't recognise a PS/2 one!)...

Next I removed all the free trials and out-of-date software, plugins, etc... and then I figured that, since I have got quite a few Vista licenses from my MSDN subscription that I've not used, I'd upgrade it from the vendor-supplied Home Basic to Home Premium... its not a *huge* change, but it'd get Aero Glass and a few other niceties... a kind of nice litte charitable act, that wouldn't cost me anything, iyswim....

(MSDN Premium (I think it was) gives (gave?) you 10 licenses for every bit of MS software as part of the £1800-ish subscription... I do miss money...! ;-) )

Now, I've done this before... up-editioned Vista, that is... my dad's laptop had Home Something-Or-Other on it from the vendor and I upped it to Ultimate... back before we found out just how crap Ultimate Extras were going to end up being and how much of a joke Ultimate's pricetag ended up being (not that that was an issue... he's got another one of my MSDN licenses... )... From memory, it wasn't even particularly painful... just go through Anytime Update, stick in the product key for Ultimate and then VIsta sat and metamorphosed

So I go into Anytime Upgrade, only to be told that it is no longer available....

OK, so, fair enough... MS are pushing people to buy Win7 (which is what the former Vista Anytime Upgrade page now suggests) or Win8... they're not going to enable to you to buy a 'higher' edition of Vista... I understand that....

BUT, what gets me is that I'm not trying to buy a license.... I already have the license I want to use... indeed, there is no way I'm going to buy a Win7 or Win8 license for a machine that isn't even mine... I'm all for charity, but for what you'd pay for a Windows upgrade license, you could do an *awful* lot more good.... even by simply giving it to one of the mega-charities....!

So I figured I'd just run Vista setup instead and give it the Home Premium key... surely the full product disk (from which I have previously installed Vista Ultimate) should be able to up-edition...?

If, like me, you though the answer to that would be "yes, no problem," then, like me, you'd be wrong... "Upgrade has been disabled"...! Even if you boot from the install media, you get the same message... although I think its for a different reason... if memory serves, upgrading required you to run setup from within Windows...

So, thanks to the way Microsoft built their installers and the complete dismantling of the Vista Anytime Upgrade infrastructure, in-place up-editioning of Vista using a legitimate product key is no longer possible -sigh-

And while its not really a big deal for me (afterall, I didn't pay extra for something I can't now use), I can imagine that anyone who finds they have to factory-restore their machine and then finds that they can't re-apply their Anytime Upgrade is going to be mighty unhappy!!