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

I've got Windows 7 Home upgrade and it came with both 32bit and 64bit upgrade/install disks.

Can I install both as a dual boot and for this to be legal on one license, given that I'm only using one at a time?

The reason why I want this is that I have an old Yamaha SW1000XG sound card that has drivers that work fine on 32bit Windows 7 but none for 64bit. I want to run some heavy weight Adobe programs that recommend/require 64bit. So I dual boot into the OS depending on what I want to do on a day.

I believe the answer to my question is no, I can't -- and this answer comes from a fairly authoritative source: A Microsoft Most Valued Professional / Representative: http://social.answers.Microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7install/thread/e5099d54-3d67-48c3-a77e-8a3ca1b2c994

"Please note, you can only have 1 activated license, if you need to use both, you will need have both licensed separately, cannot use the same key. "

But, given that I've had earlier experiences of mixed advice from major companies, I wonder if anyone can confirm this with me by providing other credible sources too.

Alternatively are the terms clear enough on the EULA for me to work this out for myself?

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marked as duplicate by nhinkle Jul 4 '11 at 6:32

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I downloaded the license terms for Windows 7 Home Premium from here. Under section 2.a ("One Copy per Computer") it reads:

... you may install one copy of the software on one computer. That computer is the “licensed computer.”

That is straight forward in my mind. You cannot install a 32-bit and 64-bit version on the same system using the same license key.

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+1 beat me to it, was just looking for a copy of the license to back up me to say the same thing. –  DMA57361 Aug 31 '10 at 12:56
    
+1 and marked as answered. Confirms it for me. Just what I needed to know. My next steps therefore would be to buy a 2nd OS as a full-install so I can run the 2 as a dual boot. –  therobyouknow Aug 31 '10 at 13:42

You should realize that if it's an upgrade then you will not be able to do a fresh install of the PC. You will have to have a valid install of a previous windows and then install on top of that. I actually bought the upgrade and decided to install as a fresh install, it installed, but states that the PC is not activated.

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I've used several upgrade editions and have never had a problem performing a clean install. –  firedfly Aug 31 '10 at 13:27
    
+1 firedfly. I've never had a problem with performing a clean install. To be precise: you do have to have the OS you are upgrading from already installed BUT the upgrade procedure did allow me wipe/delete partition/install cleanly the new OS. I tried to run the upgrade without the prior old OS and it didn't activate. So yes you need the old OS first for the upgrade to detect it but after that, the upgrade will allow you to install clean. –  therobyouknow Aug 31 '10 at 13:41

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