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When installing Windows 7 or Vista, does the language, version, architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) or source (OEM, retail, or MSDN) matter?

I want to remove my windows 7 genuine licence from one computer and install windows 7 on another computer using the same licence key. I know the licence is somehow locked to the hardware of the original computer - but is there a way to uninstall the windows licence, so it can be re-used, and locked to new hardware?

(The original PC will go back to XP)

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migrated from Dec 1 '09 at 19:08

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

marked as duplicate by nhinkle Jul 4 '11 at 6:34

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.

If it was an OEM license (came with the computer from the manufacturer) you can't do this. If it was a retail license (you bought it boxed from a retailer) then simply format the old computer, install it on the new computer. If it comes up saying it may not be genuine, there will be a phone number you can call which will get you to a rep. Explain to the rep and they will have you type in a new number.

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if it is a reatil copy, you are perfectly entitled to do this.

you may have to contact a Microsoft representative and explain the situation, should the activation fail.

while it is possible to backup and restore the Windows 7 activation files, you may end up with a 'stained' license, MS don't like tampering with the product activation.

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Try activating the license on the new computer. If activation fails, call Microsoft Product Activation (866-542-3062) or Customer Service (800-642-7676) and tell them you changed the hardware on your computer and it deactivated itself. They will re-enable your activation without grilling you with any questions.

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