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Legally downgrade Windows Vista Home OEM license?

I have a HP Probook 4410s laptop which couldn't boot and I did a clean install of the OEM Vista that came with the laptop. After everything was up and running, I was told by the user that it was originally XP.

Indeed, i later found the OEM XP as well. To complicate things, the sticker on the bottom of the laptop has faded and I cannot make out whether the key is for Vista or XP. I then tried to change the product key to the sticker key, but the system says it is invalid. Then again, I read that the sticker does nothing from some other forums.

I don't want to redo everything or go back to XP (yes yes, Vista worse than XP, doesn't matter) So is it legal given my situation? I don't understand why they would give 2 version of Windows for nothing.

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marked as duplicate by studiohack May 4 '11 at 3:12

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If you have access to the original invoice, check it for the Product Key -- some vendors document the Product Key on the invoice for the convenience of their clients. –  Randolf Richardson May 4 '11 at 2:36
    
@studiohack Sorry, but I didn't think my question is an obvious exact duplicate because I am refering to an upgrade from XP, not downgrade to XP. But it seems that mine turned out to be to be a special case where the computer is under the downgrade scheme, and thus rendering both questions identical. –  Jake May 4 '11 at 7:15

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is most likely due to the XP-downgrading process which likely is obsoleted.

From the Vista downgrading FAQ Website

Q. What are the end-user benefits of downgrade rights?

A. With downgrade rights end users are allowed to acquire Windows 7 or Windows Vista, but continue to use Windows Vista or Windows XP Professional respectively until they are ready to upgrade. When they are ready for Windows 7 or Windows Vista, they already have the license.

(Emphasis mine)

From the FAQ, I think they do allow restoration of vista when the user is "ready" to do so. To check whether the computer is from that particular process - ask microsoft... (eh...)

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ok.. got it, thanks. but, ask microsoft? if only they had a site to check serials... –  Jake May 4 '11 at 7:18

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