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When reinstalling Windows 7, does the language, version, architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) or source (OEM, retail, or MSDN) matter?

This is a pretty basic question sorry but I've looked in the 'related questions' and couldn't find an answer.

When Windows 7 came out I bought a copy of Home Premium, the retail box with both 32 and 64 bit versions, to install via Boot Camp on my macbook. I've just got a retail (32 and 64 bit) copy of Windows 7 Ultimate that I'd like to install instead-of/over the Home Premium version and it struck me that I should, at least in principal be able to install the Home Premium version on my son's machine - is this the case and if so is there anything I should do first or once they're installed to let MS know I'm being a good guy about this?

Sorry it's such a dim question but I'm a serverfault guy really and know very little about Windows. Thanks.

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marked as duplicate by nhinkle Jun 28 '11 at 1:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You are allowed a certain number of activations (unfortunately I can remember or find that number) and as long as you only activate it on one machine at a time you should be OK.

The answers on this Microsoft Answers thread would appear to support that view.

The answers on this other thread give some more information - you might have to call up to do the reactivation.

But I'd try installing and using Ultimate first before installing Home Premium on the other machine. As Windows "phones home" this might remove the association between Home Premium and your original hardware so that the activation on the new hardware can proceed without manual intervention. However, this is supposition on my part based on this comment:

If an inadequate amount of time has elapsed since the most recent installation/activation using that particular install key code then, in your new intall, automatic activation is likely to fail.

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In addition to that. I would give Microsoft a call. They will be able to answer all your questions. especially since you just purchased it. They will even walk you through it on the PC. And you wouldn't want to "waste" an activation if you don't have to. – Kelbizzle Jan 30 '10 at 18:56
Perfect answers guys, thank you very much indeed - I can only hope to respond as fast and well as you have if you ever need some serverfault type help :) – Chopper3 Jan 30 '10 at 19:01
+1: And if automatic Internet activation fails, just call the number it suggests and they'll help you out. As long as what you're doing is legit, they'll have you activated in like 5 minutes. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 30 '10 at 19:02

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