Upgrade Vista 32-bit to 64-bit


R

richk

I know that retail versions of Vista Ultimate come with media for both
32-bit and 64-bit installation and that the same product will work for
either.

Machines that are purchased with Vista pre-installed come with either 32-bit
or 64-bit versions, but there is no way to change from a 32-bit version to a
64-bit version, ever if you have 64-bit hardware. The COA on the bottom of
the machine says Vista Ultimate, but does not say 32-bit or 64-bit.

I have been told that you can reinstall Vista onto machines that originally
came with OEM versions of Vista using retail media and activate using the
OEM-supplied product key. (This is different from XP, where retail disks
will not activate using OEM product keys)

My question is whether I can install Vista Ultimate from a retail 64-bit DVD
(that is licensed onto a different machine) and activate using the OEM key
and whether or not Microsoft thinks this is a legal use of their product.
 
Ad

Advertisements

C

Carey Frisch [MVP]

OEM product keys will only work with
OEM installation media and not retail media.

--
Carey Frisch
Microsoft MVP
Windows Desktop Experience -
Windows Vista Enthusiast

---------------------------------------------------------------

I know that retail versions of Vista Ultimate come with media for both
32-bit and 64-bit installation and that the same product will work for
either.

Machines that are purchased with Vista pre-installed come with either 32-bit
or 64-bit versions, but there is no way to change from a 32-bit version to a
64-bit version, ever if you have 64-bit hardware. The COA on the bottom of
the machine says Vista Ultimate, but does not say 32-bit or 64-bit.

I have been told that you can reinstall Vista onto machines that originally
came with OEM versions of Vista using retail media and activate using the
OEM-supplied product key. (This is different from XP, where retail disks
will not activate using OEM product keys)

My question is whether I can install Vista Ultimate from a retail 64-bit DVD
(that is licensed onto a different machine) and activate using the OEM key
and whether or not Microsoft thinks this is a legal use of their product.
 
C

Colin Barnhorst

I do not think you can use the OEM pk with retail Vista. Since an OEM x86
edition does not entitle you to anything but the x86 version of the media as
you say, I think the OEM pk will only work with the software supplied.

The retail EULA does specify that you may recieve both the x86 and x64 media
and may use either with the retail pk, as long as you are only using one.
No such provision is made in the consumer_oem EULA at
C:\windows\system32\license.

What is supported is migration from x86 OEM to x64 retail using an upgrade
edition product key (or of course, a standard pk). When you purchase a
retail upgrade edition you get the x86 dvd in Vista Home Basic, VH Premium,
and Business. There are instructions in those boxes for getting the x64 dvd
for $10 shipping and handling. It takes about a week. You get both dvds in
Ultimate. I take it that you are upgrading from x86 Ultimate to x64
Ultimate so the box would contain both regardless of whether you buy an
upgrade or standard license.

There is no upgrade media for Vista, only upgrade product keys. All retail
32bit dvds are alike and all retail 64bit dvds are alike. Not so with OEM
media.

When you upgrade to x64 you have to boot the computer with the x64 dvd,
enter the upgrade product key, and then Setup determines that you have
Windows on the computer that is eligible for the upgrade license and lets
you continue. The OEM product key should fail. I think it would tell you
that 'the product key you entered cannot be used with this copy of Windows'
(or something close). Nothing is preventing you from trying if you can find
a retail dvd since the pk is entered long before any changes are made to
your computer.
 
P

Patrick Keenan

richk said:
I know that retail versions of Vista Ultimate come with media for both
32-bit and 64-bit installation and that the same product will work for
either.

Machines that are purchased with Vista pre-installed come with either
32-bit or 64-bit versions,

That's really not a valid generalization.

In other words, many systems that come with Vista pre-installed are limited
to one version or the other. 64-bit is *not* always a choice.
but there is no way to change from a 32-bit version to a 64-bit version,
ever if you have 64-bit hardware.

For which there may be no 64-bit drivers...
The COA on the bottom of the machine says Vista Ultimate, but does not say
32-bit or 64-bit.

I have been told that you can reinstall Vista onto machines that
originally came with OEM versions of Vista using retail media and activate
using the OEM-supplied product key. (This is different from XP, where
retail disks will not activate using OEM product keys)

My question is whether I can install Vista Ultimate from a retail 64-bit
DVD (that is licensed onto a different machine) and activate using the OEM
key and whether or not Microsoft thinks this is a legal use of their
product.

I would be surprised if you could. You pay less for OEM versions partly
because of the reduced feature set, and in this case, the feature in
question is the 32 or 64 bit selection.

This goes right back to the issue of available drivers; if the OEM is only
doing 32-bit, they may simply not have 64-bit drivers available, and it's
seldom a positive experience to proceed with the install in the absence of
correct drivers.

And not all systems that are available with Vista come with 32 or 64 bit
versions. This system, for example, is not available in 64-bit Ultimate,
though Ultimate is an option.

That said, contact the OEM and see if they have a reinstall DVD in the
64-bit version. The change from 32 to 64 requires formatting, anyway. If
they have this, it's going to be the least expensive route to a legal and
fully functioning install, as it will have the drivers you need.

HTH
-pk
 
C

Colin Barnhorst

You may be misreading richk. He is correct.

Patrick Keenan said:
That's really not a valid generalization.

In other words, many systems that come with Vista pre-installed are
limited to one version or the other. 64-bit is *not* always a choice.
 
R

Richard G. Harper

The only option you have is to contact the computer manufacturer and see if
a 64-bit version of Windows is available from them, and if so at what cost.
There is no other solution to your request except to buy a full retail
license and go through the trouble of installing it and all the drivers
you'll need.
 
Ad

Advertisements

C

Colin Barnhorst

He does not need a full retail license. He can do what he wants with an
upgrade license.

Richard G. Harper said:
The only option you have is to contact the computer manufacturer and see
if a 64-bit version of Windows is available from them, and if so at what
cost. There is no other solution to your request except to buy a full
retail license and go through the trouble of installing it and all the
drivers you'll need.

--
Richard G. Harper [MVP Shell/User] (e-mail address removed)
* NEW! Catch my blog ... http://msmvps.com/blogs/rgharper/
* PLEASE post all messages and replies in the newsgroups
* The Website - http://rgharper.mvps.org/


richk said:
I know that retail versions of Vista Ultimate come with media for both
32-bit and 64-bit installation and that the same product will work for
either.

Machines that are purchased with Vista pre-installed come with either
32-bit or 64-bit versions, but there is no way to change from a 32-bit
version to a 64-bit version, ever if you have 64-bit hardware. The COA
on the bottom of the machine says Vista Ultimate, but does not say 32-bit
or 64-bit.

I have been told that you can reinstall Vista onto machines that
originally came with OEM versions of Vista using retail media and
activate using the OEM-supplied product key. (This is different from XP,
where retail disks will not activate using OEM product keys)

My question is whether I can install Vista Ultimate from a retail 64-bit
DVD (that is licensed onto a different machine) and activate using the
OEM key and whether or not Microsoft thinks this is a legal use of their
product.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top