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Can Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit retail full install be used with Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit Upgrade license key?

I bought a Windows-7 32 or 64bit Home Premium Upgrade DVD (upgrade from Vista). I complete the installation upgrade of Windows-7 32 bit Home Premium doing the following:

  1. Install Windows 32bit Vista Basic DVD.
  2. Use Vista serial product license key/COA
  3. Install Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade (using the 32bit DVD, not the 64bit edition DVD, can only use one or the other)
  4. Install of Windows 7 Home Premium checks for Vista already present and then once found OK offers the option of complete clean install, i.e. wiping the drive first.
  5. Use Windows 7 Home Premium License product serial number license key/COA
  6. All OK - valid install upgrade path

But, if I ever need to do this again, for quickness, I'd rather just use a full retail (non-OEM) Windows Home Premium 32bit install DVD from scratch and type in the Windows 7 Home Premium License product serial number license key/COA. Can I do this?

Done some searching already but the results are mixed up with OEM installs so not clear if I can or not, e.g.:

This one is closest, but does it apply to my specific question too:

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There is no difference between the license keys. –  Ramhound Dec 8 '11 at 17:23
    
@Ramhound - that is what I am hoping: so that I can use a full retail Windows 7 install DVD (i.e. NOT an Upgrade version and NOT an OEM version) BUT using the COA product license serial number key that came with the Upgrade DVD. That was my question. Thanks for your time so far. –  therobyouknow Dec 8 '11 at 23:37
    
The idea being that if I have to re-install, I only need to use the Windows 7 full retail edition for the installation instead of installing Vista first and then the Windows 7 Upgrade. –  therobyouknow Dec 8 '11 at 23:39
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I just went through this last night on a fresh hard drive, and Windows 7 won't let you install an Upgrade version unless it detects a valid previous Windows install. There's a "workaround" for this by simply installing Windows 7 once (don't enter a product key when prompted), reboot, and then re-install again over the existing install, this time entering the product key. This avoids the "invalid product key" error you'd otherwise get from the first install on a clean drive.

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What about using a full retail Windows 7 install DVD (i.e. NOT an Upgrade version and NOT an OEM version) BUT using the COA product license serial number key that came with the Upgrade DVD. That was my question. Thanks for your time so far. –  therobyouknow Dec 8 '11 at 23:36
    
I'm fairly certain that will not work (but cannot say I have tried). –  Garrett Dec 9 '11 at 1:03
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Upgrade keys are different than full version keys, it won't work. –  Moab Dec 9 '11 at 1:38
1  
Yes I have tried, why would MS allow you to buy a discounted product key and use it for a full price software? If this was allowed most would buy the cheaper upgrade product and then use that key to install the full product without having purchased the previous qualifying OS. –  Moab Dec 9 '11 at 17:00
1  
@Moab Agreed. (more text) –  Garrett Dec 9 '11 at 21:41
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