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Last month I upgraded a computer from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Now the last week I bought a new computer that had Win 7 installed.

Can I downgrade the previous computer back to Windows 7 and upgrade the new computer to Windows 8 with same Windows 8 license key without any licensing hassle?

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This is covered in the Software Licence Terms (you have read these haven't you!) Or see W8 Pro can be downgraded to W7 Pro - but you can't reuse the licence key on a different PC. – pnuts Nov 26 '12 at 13:36
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sorry, you can't do that due to the OEM EULA.

The OEM license is bounded to a specific PC, and when you upgraded the first Windows 7 PC to Windows 8, you bounded your Windows 8 Pro upgrade license to a specific OEM licensed PC. This means that you can't legally transfer the Windows 8 Pro upgrade license from a PC to another.

But this does not means that you can't successfully activate Windows 8 on the second PC... it will probably fail the online activation, and Windows will redirect you to phone activation. There an operator (or a recorded voice) will ask you on how many PCs this copy of Windows 8 is installed. If you answer "one" they will give you an activation code. This seems a "legal loophole", since the EULA states that you can't transfer licenses, but the activation service seems to allow that... Of course, remember that you have to restore Windows 7 on the first PC (you can't uninstall Windows 8, you have to do a clean install of Windows 7 using the OEM DVD provided with the PC).

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From your description it looks like technical loophole not legal one - i.e. how to get activation not how to install without breaking EULA. Could you clarify? – Maciej Piechotka Nov 26 '12 at 11:44
@MaciejPiechotka: IHMO it is a legal loophole, because it is Microsoft itself that, to allow you an activation, don't asks if you are trying to transfer the license to another machine. Microsoft asks you explicitly on how many computers that license will be effective, and that's all. – Wizard79 Nov 27 '12 at 15:07
Just because they don't institute draconian measures to enforce it doesn't automatically mean it's a legal loophole that allows you to defy the EULA you agreed to. If you do it and deliberately fool them, it might very well work but it still is illegal. – Karan Nov 27 '12 at 21:00

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