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Is a new license key required when changing from a Windows 7 Pro 64 bit installation to a Windows 7 Pro 32 bit? What about Win 8.1 Pro downgrade? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Due to specific application, I need a new computer with Windows 7 Pro 32 bit as OS.

    Trouble is, practically any new computer I can find has a Windows 7 Pro 64 bit or, alternatively, Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit.

    I have some questions:

    1. Buying a Win7 Pro 64 bit, can I legally (ie: with the same license key) do a new full install from a Win 7 Pro 32 bit media? Or I need to buy a new license? What about OEM vs retail licenses? Can a 64 bit OEM license be used for a 32 bit installation?
    2. What about Win 8.1 Pro 64 bit downgrade? Can I legally (eg: with the same license key) downgrade to Win 7 Pro 32 bit?

    Thank you all.



    • Edited by shodanshok Wednesday, August 26, 2015 7:45 PM
    Wednesday, August 26, 2015 7:12 PM

Answers

  • For 1: this is incorrect. However, you do not have the right to reimage an OEM pre-installed OS. The only possible way you could put a 32bit OS on an OEM system that came with 64bit would be to acquire a 32bit recovery DVD from the OEM. I have encountered this situation officially, when a customer purchases a 64bit but needs a 32bit, they send the system back for re-imaging or purchase the 32bit recovery DVD... IF it is offered.

    Note that Windows 7 32bit does not always work correctly, nor is supported on modern hardware that have UEFI 2.3.1 firmware.

    For 2: I have not seen this offered before, however for an end-user Downgrade, you are allowed to do it. Downgrade rights do not use terms relating to architecture. For example, it specifically says you could downgrade from Windows 7 to Windows XP or Windows XP x64.
    http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/pages/downgrade_rights.aspx

    • Marked as answer by shodanshok Thursday, August 27, 2015 4:10 PM
    Thursday, August 27, 2015 3:07 PM

All replies

  • Some things to consider

    1-You may be able to run a win 7 32 bit OS in a virtual machine (or win 8 64 bit) if you hardware supports it.  In win 8 & win 10 it is called Hyper-v. 

    2-You may not be able to downgrade despite being able to legally if your computer maker does not have win 7 drivers for the win 8.1 machine. (Most new machines do not)

    If you give us more details we may be able to help.


    Wanikiya and Dyami--Team Zigzag

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015 11:17 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, you can use the same product key with the 32 and 64 bit version of Windows 7, as long as its the same edition. So if you initially downloaded Windows 7 Professional 32 bit and decide to move to Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, you can use the same product key.

    Arnav Sharma | http://arnavsharma.net/ Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 12:14 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi, thank you all for your replies.

    Two more questions...

    1. I read in other threads that OEM licenses can be locked to a specific architecture/version. For example, I read that a preloaded (OEM) Win7 Pro 64 bit key will not work for a 32 bit install. Is this true?
    2. What about Win 8.1 Pro 64 bit to Win 7 Pro 32 bit downgrade?

    Thanks.

    Thursday, August 27, 2015 11:58 AM
  • For 1: this is incorrect. However, you do not have the right to reimage an OEM pre-installed OS. The only possible way you could put a 32bit OS on an OEM system that came with 64bit would be to acquire a 32bit recovery DVD from the OEM. I have encountered this situation officially, when a customer purchases a 64bit but needs a 32bit, they send the system back for re-imaging or purchase the 32bit recovery DVD... IF it is offered.

    Note that Windows 7 32bit does not always work correctly, nor is supported on modern hardware that have UEFI 2.3.1 firmware.

    For 2: I have not seen this offered before, however for an end-user Downgrade, you are allowed to do it. Downgrade rights do not use terms relating to architecture. For example, it specifically says you could downgrade from Windows 7 to Windows XP or Windows XP x64.
    http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/pages/downgrade_rights.aspx

    • Marked as answer by shodanshok Thursday, August 27, 2015 4:10 PM
    Thursday, August 27, 2015 3:07 PM
  • For 1: this is incorrect. However, you do not have the right to reimage an OEM pre-installed OS. The only possible way you could put a 32bit OS on an OEM system that came with 64bit would be to acquire a 32bit recovery DVD from the OEM. I have encountered this situation officially, when a customer purchases a 64bit but needs a 32bit, they send the system back for re-imaging or purchase the 32bit recovery DVD... IF it is offered.

    Note that Windows 7 32bit does not always work correctly, nor is supported on modern hardware that have UEFI 2.3.1 firmware.

    For 2: I have not seen this offered before, however for an end-user Downgrade, you are allowed to do it. Downgrade rights do not use terms relating to architecture. For example, it specifically says you could downgrade from Windows 7 to Windows XP or Windows XP x64.

    Extremely clear answer... thank you!
    Thursday, August 27, 2015 4:10 PM