Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have my laptop which got Windows 7 64-bit OS. For development purposes I have installed Windows 7 32bit on VirtualBox on same laptop.

Is it possible to use same key for 32-bit OS on VirtualBox while having 64bit Windows on laptop?

share|improve this question
its not allowed to use the same key twice, let alone 64bit/32bit. – Sirex Aug 15 '12 at 6:35 – Mokubai Aug 16 '12 at 21:14
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Technically yes.

Legally no. You are breaking the EULA.

You can use the same key on 32 or 64 bit Windows of the same edition (e.g. Home Premium, Professional etc.). But, unless you have MSDN or similar, you are only allowed one installation.

share|improve this answer
I disagree based on experience: For OEM licenses, I cannot use a 64 bit key on a 32 bit version, and vice versa – Canadian Luke Aug 15 '12 at 6:49
@Luke - You should have no problems using an OEM key on 32 bit or 64 bit as long as it is another OEM disk of the same service pack level and you are using the correct edition.... The keys are interchangeable and fully legal. Sometimes there were big price differences and if I fully managed the IT in the company, I would purchase the other edition and use the key on my media - it works very well. – William Hilsum Aug 15 '12 at 6:58
I've had activation errors if I, for example, use the Windows 7 key on the side of a computer and install a 32 bit version instead of the 64. I see from the link below it doesn't matter, and MS is confirming it in that thread, so I guess I'm inforrect... And that's why I didn't downvote this answer – Canadian Luke Aug 15 '12 at 7:17
@Luke - Ok - that is a manufacturer locked OEM copy which is slightly different... e.g. if Dell, you should be able to use 32 or 64 bit dell windows disks, but you wouldn't be able to use Acer or generic OEM... – William Hilsum Aug 15 '12 at 9:26
@Luke - What you describe sounds like an issue that could have been solved if you called Microsoft or as William points out you were trying to use a Dell OEM key on a HP Desktop. Going forward with Windows 8, the key will actually be contained with the bios, so mistakes like that will be harder to have. It also means the key itself will be locked to the motherboard, its unclear, you likely simply get a new key if the motherboard is replaced by HP. – Ramhound Aug 15 '12 at 12:10

The answer is no, and you can't since:

You can't install 32 bit one computer and install 64 bit on another computer using the same key.

For your more reference

share|improve this answer
This answer is incomplete. You can do this its just not allowed. Which means the second copy would not be able to be activated so you would be better of using just a trial. Microsoft has FREE Windows 7 Virtual Machines on their website, they are all trials, and they outline how to use them. Its an attempt to offer ways to test your website against IE, because the virtual machines are listed by what IE is installed, of course you can create your own virtual machine with a Windows 7 trial on it also. – Ramhound Aug 15 '12 at 12:14
@Ramhound but the question is whether the key can be applicable or not? – BlueBerry - Vignesh4303 Aug 16 '12 at 4:26

You can absolutely do it, Since its on Virtual box.

share|improve this answer
Why does that make a difference? Does the Windows 7 licence specifically allow doing that? – Oliver Salzburg Aug 15 '12 at 9:56
This answer is incomplete. It would also be "possible" if you were running VMWare or Virtual PC built into Windows 7. What is possible and allowed by the license is entirely different. – Ramhound Aug 15 '12 at 12:12
The Windows licence specifically forbids using the use of one licence on two machines at the same time, that includes real and virtual machines. Just because the virtual machine is running on the same hardware does not matter as far as the EULA is concerned, what you are doing is illegal. – Mokubai Aug 16 '12 at 21:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .