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Windows 7: Is this possible? Switching computers

07 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
Is this possible? Switching computers

I am slightly confused if this would work out.
Right now I am running Windows 7 Home Premium on my primary computer, which was done as an upgrade from windows XP.
I have since purchased another copy of windows 7, this time the Professional edition, for another PC.

What I would really like to do is this:
Install my new RAID system in my current primary computer, do a clean install of Windows 7 PROFESSIONAL(not the version that is "married" to that motherboard currently"), activate that and leave it.

Upgrade another computer(on which i have only XP installed currently) with the windows 7 HOME PREMIUM edition.

My reason for this is that I have come across various applications that would probably benefit from XP mode. If it is truely not possible to do then its no big deal, but it would just be nice if i could.

If that doesn't work out, how do i go about doing a fresh install when my new hard drives arrive? can I just install it and then enter the activation code since all of the hardware will stay the same?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Feb 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I see no problem with what you are planning - except that you will lose the Windows 7 that you upgraded from XP because that is tied to the mobo. If you want to reuse that same upgrade disk for your second system, you will have to talk to MS and ask them to deactivate the current one - else it will not activate. Given that you bought the professional edition, they may do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP


Do you want to move your current Windows 7 HD to the other computer to see if it will run and reactivate? This is sometimes possible. Start it up and see it switches out all of the drivers (requesting several restarts) and the performance is then good. Some have even reported that they didn't have to change out the activation key, but since the hardware has changed, it is best to reactivate at the Computer>Properties activation link to Change Product Key. Just reinsert the Product Key to see if it will activate - if not, make the robocall to MS which deactivates the key on old hardware and activates on new.

if you must clean reinstall to the new computer, you might need to do the workaround given here: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version. You do not have to reinstall XP to reinstall Windows 7 as an Upgrade version, just use the workaround.

Any retail version which is not OEM can be moved to the computer of your choice whenever you wish; it just can't be on more than once computer at a time. This is why there is a robocall to MS: it deactivates the key on the old hardware and activates it on the new.

In your case, if you are fortunate to have the old HD with Windows 7 start up in the new computer, you have effectively reinstalled it on new hardware. You don't need to tell MS you moved the HD. I doubt you'll even have to talk with a person, just make the robocall. Again, others have said they didn't even need to reactivate but that is a bit hard to believe.

Finally, if you need a sure way to reset activation on an installed Windows 7, you run a Repair Install. I have only had to do this once in about a dozen times of successfully moving HD's and changing the key at Computer>Properties link.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium

Ok, which option in that link would I have to use? From reading it I would assume I should try to do option 1 first, then if that doesn't work, I should use the workaround. Will I need my windows xp key to do this installation?

As for moving the hard drive, no, i have not built the new computer yet but once it happens I would think I can just do the re-installations again. Just to clarify, I am using student edition upgrades of Windows 7, both the pro and home editions, would microsoft let me do the whole home/pro switchover once i get the other computer set up?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP


You do not need Win XP installed or the key to use the Upgrade version. Just use the workaround if necessary.

If you have retail Windows 7 Upgrade versions which are not OEM version, then you can move them as you wish.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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