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I have a LEGAL OEM Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit DVD (with original/unshared serial sticker) that I'm no longer using since I moved to Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. I wanted to reuse my Vista in a Virtual Machine on the same PC as my Windows 7 to test apps on "legacy" Windows. To do so I use the latest version of Microsoft Virtual PC. Unfortunatly I can't install Vista since the virtual machine isn't recognized as 64-bit...

  • Is there a way to download a Vista Ultimate 32-bit ISO from Microsoft since I legally own a 64-bit OEM?
  • Will my Vista Ultimate 64 OEM will work with a Vista Ultimate 32 OEM?

I know since I use OEM I can't have support from Microsoft (they told me to call my system builder - which is me).

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Windows virtual PC doesn't support x86_64 at all, and it lags much far behind other virtual machines on features and performance. You should use VirtualBox or VMWare player/server instead, totally free. Or if money is not a problem then VMWare workstation is a good choice –  Lưu Vĩnh Phúc Sep 24 '13 at 5:14
    
@Lưu Vĩnh Phúc Yeah I know I switched to VirtualBox a couple of months ago. –  AlexV Sep 24 '13 at 13:49

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Is there a way to download a Vista Ultimate 32-bit ISO from Microsoft since I legally own a 64-bit OEM?

in a word, no.

I can't install Vista since the virtual machine isn't recognized as 64-bit

you can use VirtualBox instead, it supports 64-bit guest operating systems.

that said, it's probably not legal to do so, since your OEM license is tied to the physical hardware and using a virtualized machine is a different computer, technically speaking ... but then, i'm not a lawyer :)

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Bleh. There is times I just hate you. I don't answer for months and then you beat me by 38 seconds :P –  Diago Jan 9 '10 at 22:32
    
Since all my Virtual machines are on Microsoft Virtual PC I will stick with this VPC... I know it's really not the best. But I'm fine with that for now. –  AlexV Jan 9 '10 at 22:32
    
You can use all of them as is within VirtualBox. It natively reads Virtual PC and VMWare Virtual HDD's without any conversion neccessary. –  Diago Jan 9 '10 at 22:33
    
yep, VPC virtual hard disks work just fine with VBox ... probably because InnoTek (the makers of VirtualBox) played quite a significant role in the development of MS Virtual PC. :) –  Molly7244 Jan 9 '10 at 22:37
    
I ended up as downloading a 32-bit untouched ISO and used my legit key with it. –  AlexV Jan 11 '10 at 13:22

If you have access to the Microsoft download site for System Builders you should be able to download the 32-Bit version without a problem. If it is a purchased copy then your out of luck, and will most likely need to order a new copy from your supplier.

The Vista keys for 32-Bit and 64-bit are the same per edition, so your key will work irrelevant of the architecture. Currently the same rule applies to Windows 7.

Safe yourself a lot of heartache and simply download and use VirtualBox. It happily supports Windows Vista 64-Bit in a Virtual Machine and is also provided free of charge.

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How do you get access to the Microsoft download site for System Builders? Is it for enterprises only? –  AlexV Jan 9 '10 at 22:34
    
If your a registered System Builder with MS it is part of your yearly fee you pay as a Builder. So yeah, it would be enterprise only. –  Diago Jan 9 '10 at 22:36

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