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Windows 7: Windows 7 license swap

24 Jul 2010   #1

Windows 7, XP MCE and Vista
Windows 7 license swap

I've got Home Premium installed on my main PC, and Vista on my wife's laptop.

I was going to buy a full retail copy of Home Premium again (cost is about 4 more than buying the upgrade) and doing a fresh install onto my wife's laptop to get us both onto Windows 7 (Vista has been driving us both mad of late).

BUT, I was thinking that I could buy a copy of Ultimate, upgrade the main machine (via either the 'change product key' or 'Windows Anytime Upgrade' dialogs) using the Ultimate license key and use the Home Premium license to then install Win 7 Home Premium on the laptop (using the Home Premium disc - I know you can't install from the Ultimate disc using the Premium license).

Is this possible? Will I get conflicts?

I don't want to upgrade the main machine to an Ultimate license and then be told that my 'product key is in use' or similar when I try to install Premium on the laptop using the old license from the main machine.

I'd rather not do a reinstall of the main machine as its dual boot with XP and has a number of progams that will take an age to install and get back to working the way I need them to.

Thanks in advance for any help/advice!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jul 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

1) Depends on what version of Home premium is installed on your main. If its OEM, then legally the license is tied to that machine and cannot be transferred. If its retail (if you bought a packaged disk from a store), then you can uninstall from the main and install on the laptop.

Theres a possibility, though a small one that activation may fail on the laptop because of the hardware change. In that case, you'll need to call MS and explain that you're using the license on one machine only. Its not a big deal.

2) All Windows 7 disks are identical, its just a file called ei.cfg in the Sources folder at the root of the dvd that tells the disk what version will be installed by default and thats the label that the disk gets. You can open the disk in an app like Poweriso and delete ei.cfg, that'll convert it to a Universal disk. When you boot from it, you'll get an option of which version to install.

But keys are SKU (edition) specific. You cant use a home premium key on Ultimate or vice versa.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 7, XP MCE and Vista
Windows 7 license swap

Hi Bill2,

Thanks for the reply.

Main machine has a full retail version of Home Premium running, which is why I thought the swap might be possible.
I purposely bought the retail full version for the main machine, knowing I could then use the license should I build a new computer and revert the main machine to just running XP again, rather than dual boot as it does now.

Yes, my concern was getting a failure on the laptop when using the Home Premium license on it, having 'upgraded' the main machine to Ultimate using the new retail Ultimate version license key.

So, I guess the next question is:

Has anyone given this kind of swap a try yet and have they had any problems?

Don't mind being the first to give it a go, but I'd rather know if someone else has tried (and failed/suceeded) already!

Cheers all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

Upgrading a retail version doesnt make the underlying OS "Upgrade". As long as you have 2 computers and a full retail copy (not upgrade, not OEM) each of Home Premium and Ultimate, you can install whichever copy on whichever computer. Retail versions are completely swappable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7, XP MCE and Vista
Windows 7 swap

Thanks Bill2,

I guess I'll be giving this a go in the near future then!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 license swap

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