you don't need to have a previous version installed. you can use the previous version's serial number to install an upgrade
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This answer was not clear enough. What the user needs to do is enter the serial number for the upgrade and then when the installer prompts for it, enter the serial number of the previous purchase.
I started with CS2, upgraded to CS3 Premium, and then CS5 premium. The install only required the CS5 Design Premium serial number