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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?

I've just got a new laptop with Windows 7 x86 Home Premium installed, however I ideally I'd like to be running a 64-bit operating system:

  • Is my Windows license key "generic" (in that it entitles me to install either a x86 or x64 edition of Windows), or does this licence key specific to the x86 version of Windows?

  • Is there any way of me installing and running Windows 7 Home Premium x64 using my x86 license key?

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marked as duplicate by nhinkle Jun 28 '11 at 1:10

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.

Is there anything else I can provide to get this marked as answered? – James Watt Jul 28 '10 at 0:16
@James - Sorry, I haven't had a chance to actually try this out yet and I don't like to accept answers until I've proven that they do the trick - don't worry, I will mark it as answered eventually! :-) – Justin Aug 2 '10 at 0:42
Did this work eventually? I see the answer is not still accepted, therefore I am still unsure if one can rely upon this. – Suma Mar 1 '11 at 8:24
OP just can't be bothered to mark this answered. It does work fine, I do it constantly. – James Watt May 9 '11 at 15:39
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Yes your Windows 7 key works for both x32 and x64 versions of Home Premium.

Source: Microsoft eOpen only provides 1 key per purchase, regardless of how many computers you have or which architecture (x32/x64) you are using. Furthermore, Microsoft TechNet subscribers get 10 keys for each flavor of Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, etc.) These keys can be used to install on either architecture.

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Just as an additional note.... It only works within the same class... A "Retail Home Premium" key will only work on "Retail Home Premium", not on "OEM Home Premium", "Retail Ultimate", etc... – Andrew Moore May 2 '10 at 18:16
@JamesWatt: There is one cruel exception. OEM version are sold seperatly for 32 OR 64 bit and officially not allowed to be changed btw. 32/64 bit. – Offler Jul 2 '13 at 13:00

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