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Windows 7: Tower with Vista and Win 7 Sticker, not sure if w7 is full or upgrade?

14 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
Tower with Vista and Win 7 Sticker, not sure if w7 is full or upgrade?

I was given a Gateway tower that has a bad hard drive in it, on the back it has the vista sticker with product key but it also has a windows 7 home premium oem software sticker with a product key.

She said she couldn't remember if it was an upgrade or total reinstall of new win 7 but she hated vista so a local shop installed win 7 for her, but she said she swore she never got a disc of vista or the win 7.

She bought a new pc and the subject of computers came up, she knows I tinker with computers and said she wanted it gone, I of course said sure I can always use it for parts, first thing I did was tested hard drive thinking I could at least give her some of her data back pics and such, but it's dead click grind heated right up, toast, but figure if i stick a new drive in hey maybe I can use this for my kids or something.

I just don't know if it was a gateway vista pc that was upgraded with win 7 or if the win 7 was installed after totally removing vista as a new fresh install.

I know MS has a place to download iso images of the os to use with my own product key here correct? If I do this can I just reinstall and use that product key legally?

The product sticker says nothing about it being an upgrade or anything just says windows 7 home premium oem software, and nothing within this pc would be changed motherboard or anything, just a new hard drive to replace the dead one.

Just figured if anyone knew it would be you guys, do windows upgrade versions come with a sticker and if so do they say upgrade? Also is this ok/legal to even do or should I just scrap it for the parts I can use?

Doesn't seem too bad machine specs wise would be nice for my 5 yr old to do and stuff on vs my computer hehe.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 May 2014   #2

Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit

Well; as long as it has a windows 7 sticker with product key on it you should be good. If I were you i would ask her if she can somehow get the disc from the place that installed windows 7 for her. That way if you need to you can reinstall it as a complete install if you need to. Its always good to have the disc for the operating system if you need to use it again to reinstall etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2014   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Pro 64 SP1

windows 7 home premium oem software sticker
That particular statement would tell me it is a clean installed OS, and they did the correct thing by putting that sticker on there.

Here is the links for the install ISO's,

Windows 7 Direct Download Links, Official Disk Images from Digital River

It's legal to reinstall using that product key.

It wouldn't say OEM if it was an upgrade, as far as I know. Someone may come along to dispute that though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 May 2014   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium

Thanks guys, I will give it a shot, might be something else wrong with it too who knows but at least I know so far the drive was shot (plenty of those around though), I have no idea if this was 32 or 64 bit but I will burn both iso's and try the 64 bit first.

I checked gateways site and found drivers but they say for visa 32 or 64 bit, that might be a problem hummm
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2014   #5
Microsoft MVP


Yes if the stickers says it's OEM then you can Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 providing the Product Key is readable, whether it's Factory OEM or retail Builder's OEM. Even if it were Upgrade version the qualifying OS doesn't need to be installed.

In the rare case that the Product Key is rejected during install just leave it blank, then afterwards do Option Three from Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version to activate Windows 7 Upgrade version on a new or cleaned hard drive.

If it's 4gb or less RAM I'd use 32 bit for best performance. Follow the steps in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 particularly as they pertain to drivers which are handled differently in Windows 7 than in XP. There are rarely issues with drivers as most are supplied during the install or immediately afterwards via Windows Update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2014   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Pro 64 SP1

Vista drivers should work, you may have to use compatibility mode.

Compatibility Mode
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2014   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16

The key is good for 32 and 64 bit, if you have a 64 bit capable cpu, install 64 bit, this is what I do regardless of how much memory you have installed now, you can always add more later

As Derek says, Vista drivers will work fine, they are really the same thing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2014   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium

Not sure if this will take 32 or 64 bit os, but I downloaded both figure i will try the 64 if it doesn't fully install or work right I will check the 32 bit version... I can't get this dead hard drive to do anything, in linux, bios, windows using easus it just clicks and grinds (physical issue) or I would just check what they had on it that way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2014   #9
Microsoft MVP


Look inside at how much RAM is installed. If it's less than 4gb I'd use 32gb for best performance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2014   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium

The unit has 4 gb of ram in 2 of the 4 slots, so there is room for expansion it appears.

The iso for 64 bit finished before the 32 iso so I figured well let's try it, I gotta say windows loaded faster on this than any other machine I have installed it on! I think it was like 25 mins or so I was shocked, this morning I did about 150 windows updates to it, so far not a single hiccup, I know most of the time when I reload something fresh without the maker discs I have to load in a list of drivers, but even on gateways site there aren't too many really to load very generic offerings of card reader ethernet etc.

Are there any good web based free driver checker/downloader tools since I don't actually know what all this will need drivers wise (altho everything seems to be working) I saw a few of the windows updates included stuff like ethernet, graphics and audio updates too...

Figure honestly since this was so easy to fix and I had a spare drive in a STACK of drives (nothing i needed) I will give them a call and see if they just want it back for themselves, but it sure did seem to pop right back up and work great here once I just put a new drive in and reinstalled windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Tower with Vista and Win 7 Sticker, not sure if w7 is full or upgrade?

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