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Windows 7 Upgrade Activation Key - Are 32 bit & 64 bit Keys Interchangable?

    Question

  • I have purchased 2 copies of Windows 7 Pro Upgrade software (1st copy is the 32 bit Pro OS Upgrade and the second copy is the 64 bit Pro OS Upgrade) so I can upgrade 2 existing PCs that currently run the XP Pro OS.   I have had second thoughts and would now like to upgrade both PCs with Windows 7 Pro 64 bit OS - the PCs are 64 bit capable.  The question is: if I install the 64 bit Pro OS Upgrade software on both PCs, will the 32 bit OS activation key work for one of the two upgrades?

    In essence, I am trying to find out if the activation key for Windows 7 Pro Upgrade 32 bit OS will activate my second machine if it has the 64 bit version of the same OS - before I waste time trying to install it as a 64 bit OS. 

     

     

    • Moved by Carey FrischMVP Thursday, December 30, 2010 4:15 AM Moved to more appropriate forum category (From:Windows XP Genuine Advantage Validation Issues (Windows XP))
    Thursday, December 30, 2010 1:08 AM

Answers

  • A genuine Windows 7 product key can be used with either a genuine Windows 7 32-bit installation DVD or a Windows 7 64-bit installation DVD.  Only one (1) installation is allowed - not both at the same time.
    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, December 30, 2010 4:14 AM
  • Q.  "...the activation key that came with the 32 bit version of the OS upgrade is not restricted to the 32 bit OS, and it can also be used to activate a 64 bit version of the OS (for the second PC)"

    A.  That is correct.  However, if after installing the Windows 64-bit edition you are unable to activate via the internet, then choose the alternative to "activate by phone".


    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, December 30, 2010 6:27 AM
  • I disagree with your OEM assessment... this will be a new computer using an existing Windows XP license.
    It's not an assessment, it's the licensing for OEM system builder software. The packaging for OEM software states that by opening the packaging you agree to the OEM System Builder Licensing and that licensing requires that you only use the OEM software on a PC that is intended for resale to a 3rd party.

    Darin MS
    Tuesday, October 04, 2011 7:20 PM
    Owner

All replies

  • A genuine Windows 7 product key can be used with either a genuine Windows 7 32-bit installation DVD or a Windows 7 64-bit installation DVD.  Only one (1) installation is allowed - not both at the same time.
    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, December 30, 2010 4:14 AM
  • Thanks for your response Carey.  Let me restate this to confirm I am correctly interperating your response. 

    Because I purchased two Windows 7 Upgrades, I have 2 activation keys.  Even though I have one 32 bit OS upgrade and one 64 bit OS upgrade, I can chose to upgrade both PCs with the 64 bit OS (by loading the 64 bit OS version upgrade on both PCs).  This will be successful because the activation key that came with the 32 bit version of the OS upgrade is not restricted to the 32 bit OS, and it can also be used to activate a 64 bit version of the OS (for the second PC).  

    Thursday, December 30, 2010 5:59 AM
  • Q.  "...the activation key that came with the 32 bit version of the OS upgrade is not restricted to the 32 bit OS, and it can also be used to activate a 64 bit version of the OS (for the second PC)"

    A.  That is correct.  However, if after installing the Windows 64-bit edition you are unable to activate via the internet, then choose the alternative to "activate by phone".


    Carey Frisch
    Thursday, December 30, 2010 6:27 AM
  • OK to expand on this.... Am I allowed to use both 32 and 64 bit versions on the same PC if I still have 2 valid installs from my Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack upgrade? If so what is the best way to go about doing this. I would think that install the 64 bit as dual-boot then inplace upgrade the 32 bit should work.

     

    I still have a few programs which do not get along with Windows 7 64bit due to need of 16 bit compatability. While a couple of them do all right in XP mode I cannot use XP mode with Home Premium. I would like to move away from XP altogether if I can since it is going to go the way of the dodo bird soon.

     

    If installing both is going to be too big a pain in the posterior (or licensing nightmare) then I guess I will buy either OEM or Full version of Ultimate. Just hate to spend good money if I do not have to.


    Wulff
    Friday, September 30, 2011 2:44 PM
  • The requirement is that each copy of Windows installed must have its own license. The principal is one installation, one license. If you want to use two licenses on the same computer that is your choice.  In the case of the family pack, each of the installations must upgrade an existing copy of Windows.

    If you are dual booting now then you would have two copies of Windows installed on the same computer and you can use two family pack upgrades to upgrade each of the two present intallations.  But why would you?  There is usually no purpose in installing two copies of the same edition of Windows in a dual boot configuration because you can only run one or the other at any one time.  Usually folks dual boot in order to run different editions of Windows. 

    The term "computer" really isn't relevant.  It is common to think that way because 99% of configurations are one computer running one OS.  But one computer can have many OSs installed, especially in this day of virtualization.  When more than one copy of Windows is installed each must be seperately licensed.

    I guess I will buy either OEM or Full version of Ultimate. Just hate to spend good money if I do not have to.

    You are not eligible to use an OEM copy of Windows.  By its very definition, OEM is for original equipment manufacturers, which you are not.  You might pass as a do-it-yourselfer, but you certainly are not describing building computers for sale to customers, and that is the fundamental requirement for installing an OEM copy as specified in the System Builder license.  OEM System Builder packs are sold on sites like Amazon for small system builders like local stores and tech consultants.  The limitations imposed by the system builder license are spelled out on the product details tab.  Take a look.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Friday, September 30, 2011 3:39 PM
    Answerer
  • I disagree with your OEM assessment... this will be a new computer using an existing Windows XP license.
    Wulff
    Friday, September 30, 2011 3:44 PM
  • "Wulff74464" wrote in message news:8c8f8052-66a9-49d7-85a8-1deef8f35a5e...

    OK to expand on this.... Am I allowed to use both 32 and 64 bit versions on the same PC if I still have 2 valid installs from my Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack upgrade? If so what is the best way to go about doing this. I would think that install the 64 bit as dual-boot then inplace upgrade the 32 bit should work.

     

    I still have a few programs which do not get along with Windows 7 64bit due to need of 16 bit compatability. While a couple of them do all right in XP mode I cannot use XP mode with Home Premium. I would like to move away from XP altogether if I can since it is going to go the way of the dodo bird soon.

     

    If installing both is going to be too big a pain in the posterior (or licensing nightmare) then I guess I will buy either OEM or Full version of Ultimate. Just hate to spend good money if I do not have to.


    Wulff
     
    I can see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to use two of the three licenses from a Family Pack – but remember that Family Pack licenses are Upgrades only, and therefore you would need a separate valid base license for each install.
     
    Note that You would technically be in breach of the OEM Licensing rules if you bought an OEM copy of Windows and used that.
     
    You would not need Ultimate to be able to use XP Mode – Professional would be enough (and will be supported for longer than Ultimate, anyhow)
    You can always run your 16-bit apps inside a Virtual Machine of whatever description – I use WinME or Win98 on occasions for such things, or XP if necessary

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Friday, September 30, 2011 3:44 PM
    Moderator
  • "Wulff74464" wrote in message news:5fe61f07-cd6a-4c0c-8712-ef367851bfbf...
    I disagree with your OEM assessment... this will be a new computer using an existing Windows XP license.
    Wulff
     
    I disagree with your disagreement
     
    Technically, OEM Licenses are sold (to the manufacturer) on the condition that they are installed using the OPK, and for sale to third parties (the End-User). They should NOT be sold to the End-User.
     

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Friday, September 30, 2011 4:07 PM
    Moderator
  • It makes no difference if it is a new computer.  It is that the computer is for your own use.  That requires a retail license.  Only if you build a computer for sale to a customer can you use the OEM System Builder license to install OEM software on it.  The System Builder license specifically forbids the purchaser of the license from installing the software for his own use.  From the System Builder license:

    2. Authorized Distribution and Acceptance. To distribute the Software or Hardware in this Pack, you must be a System Builder and accept this license. 'System Builder' means an original equipment manufacturer, an assembler, a refurbisher, or a software pre-installer that sells the Customer System(s) to a third party.

    4. Limited license. If you comply with the terms of this license, Microsoft grants you a limited license to distribute the Software or Hardware. Except as granted in this license, you may not use, run, copy, modify, display, distribute, repackage or reassemble the Software, Hardware, OPK or any part of them.

    You can read the full System Builder license here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/OEM/en/licensing/sblicensing/pages/localized_licenses.aspx

    The SB license governs the right to install OEM software.  The EULA installed by the OPK governs the rights of the end user.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Friday, September 30, 2011 4:08 PM
    Answerer
  • "Wulff74464" wrote in message news:5fe61f07-cd6a-4c0c-8712-ef367851bfbf...
    I disagree with your OEM assessment... this will be a new computer using an existing Windows XP license.
    Wulff
     
    I disagree with your disagreement
     
    Technically, OEM Licenses are sold (to the manufacturer) on the condition that they are installed using the OPK, and for sale to third parties (the End-User). They should NOT be sold to the End-User.
     

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth

    Just to add to Noel's comment, the OPK (OEM Preinstallation Kit) is the how the system builder ensures that the customer is presented with the EULA and accepts it the first time the customer runs the computer.  Otherwise there would be no time when the end user is required to accept the terms and that would cause Microsoft a potential legal issue.  So Microsoft requires the SB to use the OPK to install the software.  Of course, the OPK performs other tasks as well, but basically it is what sets up the OOBE (out of box experience) that the end user sees on first run of the OS but never sees again.
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Friday, September 30, 2011 4:54 PM
    Answerer
  • I disagree with your OEM assessment... this will be a new computer using an existing Windows XP license.
    It's not an assessment, it's the licensing for OEM system builder software. The packaging for OEM software states that by opening the packaging you agree to the OEM System Builder Licensing and that licensing requires that you only use the OEM software on a PC that is intended for resale to a 3rd party.

    Darin MS
    Tuesday, October 04, 2011 7:20 PM
    Owner
  • Please do not resurrect year old threads.

     

    If you have a Activation or Validation related question or issue, please create your own thread.

     

    <Thread Locked>


    Darin MS
    Tuesday, October 04, 2011 7:22 PM
    Owner