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Windows 7: Activation Key and Downgrade Questions

21 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Activation Key and Downgrade Questions

I have a couple of questions that I'd like to get some advice on.

One of my computers has Windows 7 Ultimate with a TechNet product key. I will eventually sell or give this particular computer to someone else. When that day comes, I'd prefer to avoid a reinstall of the OS. So...

Q#1: Can I simply change the existing TechNet Product Key to an unused retail key using the "Change Product Key" option under System in the Control Panel? I.E., will that take care of all the required legalities and keep the Microsoft servers happy? (This seems pretty straightforward, but I've just never used it or heard about its use.)

Q#2: What if a buyer only wants to pay for the Home Premium version? Is it possible to downgrade a Win 7 installation (the reverse of the "Anytime Upgrade"), or is a reinstall the only way to get there?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2011   #2

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

1) Yes, you can just change to another valid retail key, activate and that'll be fine.

2) Theres a trick to downgrade which involves modifying a couple of entries in the registry, then doing an upgrade install with a lower version. But the system must be reactivated so you'll need a win7 home premium key.

Hack to In-Place “Downgrade” from Windows 7 Ultimate or Professional to Less Premium Editions My Digital Life
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Hey, that is a great tip! I really didn't think it would be possible. And, yes, I meant to say in my assumptions that the buyer, not wanting to spring for Ultimate, would instead provide a valid retail key for Home Premium.

Thanks; I guess I'm covered for not having to do a reinstall regardless of how things go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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