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Windows 7: Can a Windows 7 retail key be used to activate an OEM installation?

16 Dec 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Can a Windows 7 retail key be used to activate an OEM installation?

I have an OEM installation disc of Windows 7 from CyberPowerPC that includes Windows 7 Home, Pro, and Ultimate. I have an OEM key for Windows 7 Pro (since that is the only OEM version of Windows 7 Microsoft allows for new PCs any more).

My question is, if I purchase a legitimate copy of Windows 7 Ultimate - retail version - can the product key be used to activate an OEM installation of Windows 7 Ultimate.

Bonus question: Can I use the Window 7 Ultimate retail key to upgrade my OEM copy of Windows 7 Pro via the Windows Anytime Upgrade feature?

The only other post I found on this matter was Can You Install OEM Windows 7 and use Retail Product Key and I need a little more reassurance, if any knows.

Thanks for your time!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Dec 2015   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1

You should not have any problems, providing you make sure you install Windows 7 Ultimate & you have a retail Windows 7 Ultimate activation key. You cannot use the Ultimate key for other versions of Windows such as Home Premium.

The answer to your bonus question is, you can only use your retail Ultimate key to activate ONE installation of Windows 7 Ultimate at any one time, so if you have already used it once you cannot use it again until you remove the original installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2015   #3
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Lots of luck finding Windows 7 Ultimate Retail that is legal.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Jan 2016   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I was able to find a legit copy of Windows 7 Ultimate on eBay and activated it with no issues. So I can confirm you can use a Retail key on an OEM installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2016   #5

Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate (64-Bit) Retail, Windows 8.1 Pro (64-Bit) Retail

In Windows XP if you wanted to activate an OEM version you needed an OEM disc and OEM key. In Windows 7 it's a little easier as you can install using either an OEM or Retail disc. It's the key that determines the type (OEM or Retail) anyway.
I've activated both Retail and OEM versions of 7 using the same Retail disc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can a Windows 7 retail key be used to activate an OEM installation?

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