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Windows 7: Are product keys usable on both 32 and 64-bit Windows 7?

18 Sep 2012   #1
T0M95

32-bit Windows 7
 
 
Are product keys usable on both 32 and 64-bit Windows 7?

I've used the product key in the box to activate my 32-bit Windows 7 Home Basic, but I now want to install the 64-bit version. Will it ask me for the product key again? If so, will I be able to use the same one? I don't want to install 64-bit, have it not work, then be unable to use anything I purchased. I'd like to not brick my system.

Thanks guys.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Sep 2012   #2
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Tom, and welcome to Seven Forums.

A product key number for Windows 7 can be used to activate both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Only one can be installed and activated at the same time though.

Since you installing 64-bit on the same system to replace the 32-bit installation, you are fine. The 64-bit will also require that you have a 64-bit CPU, and to use 64-bit drivers for your devices as well.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2012   #3
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi TOM95,

Yes, you can install either the 32 bit version or 64 bit version and use the same key to activate.

If you want to change over from 32 bit to 64 bit, you have to necessarily do a clean install and therefore activate your Windows afresh.

If you had purchased a genuine Windows retail / OEM system builder pack, you should have no problems activating Windows on the same machine any number of times - but too frequent activations in a short period may necessitate a phone activation.

Having said that, if you want to try the 64bit, you can install and use it for one month without activating it. That should give you enough time to decide whether you will continue with it or change back to 32 bit.

If you want to avoid a fresh activation if you decide to go back to 32bit, you can take an image of your 32 bit installation, save it to an external media and restore it anytime later. No fresh activation wil be required.

There are also programs that can backup and restore the present activation only (without imaging the whole system drive) but you may have to do a google search on your own. ( IMO, restoring the whole system image with activation data or backing up and restoring only the activation data makes no difference as long as one has a legally valid licence and takes the backup and restores it on the same machine.)
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 Are product keys usable on both 32 and 64-bit Windows 7?




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