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Windows 7 and Vista Activation FAQ: How do language, version, 64-bit or 32-bit, and source affect ability to install and transfer Windows licenses?

Recently my hard drive was corrupted on my laptop with 32-bit Windows 7 pre-installed. I heard you can re-register the serial keys to work with a new computer, erasing it on the older one, however I wish to upgrade to 64-bit Windows 7 in order to accommodate for more RAM expansions (aiming either for 8 GB or 16 GB). Is there any way I could do this without buying another OS?

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marked as duplicate by Indrek, nhinkle Oct 18 '12 at 0:32

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.

    
Duplicate of superuser.com/q/303136/108226. From the accepted answer: "You are free to switch between a 64-bit and 32-bit version of Windows at any time. This requires a reinstall, but you can use the same license key." –  Indrek Oct 18 '12 at 0:18
    

1 Answer 1

There are two important points:
1) Microsoft sells window keys which you can use to install either a 32bit windows or a 64 bit windows, using the same key.
2) OEM vendors (likely what you had pre-installed) come with keys which might only be useful for that specific version.

Without knowing what you had pre-installed there is no way we can guarantee that it will work. However if you already have a broken installation then I recommend making a backup of all data which you want to keep, getting a 64bit windows install disk (e.g. download the iso from digital river), and just trying it.

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