Using 32-bit license on 64-bit install?

Hey all--

I'm about to finish compiling the parts for my first build, and when it arrived yesterday, I realized that I had (stupidly) purchased the 32 bit version of windows 7 rather than the 64 bit, as I'd intended.  It's OEM, and from what I gather, Newegg is pretty strict about not accepting returns/exchanges for OEM copies.  I'd really hate to have to plunk down another benjamin because of a stupid mistake.  I'm working with more than 4 gigs of RAM, and with that plus generally wanting to be as future proof as possible, I'd really like to run the 64 bit version.

I've heard a few whispers around the internet that if I download one of the iso's of 64 bit Windows 7, burn it, and install from there, that the license key that came with my 32 bit copy should work for activating/registering the 64 bit version.  Is this the case?  Whether it is or isn't, any other suggestions as to how to resolve this little jam (like selling off OEM software, for example) would be much appreciated.  Thanks!
7 answers Last reply
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  1. OEM key can work on either version, just use the toll free activation telephone number.

    As for downloading an ISO, if you get it off M$, then your ok, elsewhere, thats up to you and you concience, just check the hash numbers incase it's been fiddled with.
  2. Thanks, that's very helpful! Just so I know I'm downloading from the most legit place, where would that be? Would it cost anything to download? I'm trying to avoid paying for this twice.
  3. Bassman885,

    The product key for your 32-bit version, as das_stig confirmed, will indeed be plenty sufficient for a 64-bit installation. The hardest part is finding a location to obtain an ISO image for said installation.

    Do you have a TechNet membership? You can download any ISO you want from there.

    Microsoft Windows Client Team
  4. das_stig said:
    just check the hash numbers incase it's been fiddled with.

    What do you mean check the hash numbers?
  5. From all the research I could muster up, it appears that what you purchased with the OEM copy is the key, not the media, so therefore, it appears as if the key can be used with a 64-bit or 32-bit install. However, how you obtain that image is altogether different.

    Technet or MSDN or the only options I know of where downloading would be legal, as long as it's your account.

    Otherwise, all other means to obtain an ISO image (without purchasing the media itself which would just give you another key) would be illegal.

    This is why I've stayed away from OEM. Too many gray areas and not enough options if you want to change your mind. Plus, it's tied to your one machine whereas the retail versions give you both versions (32-bit and 64-bit) and it's not tied to one machine. You can move it from machine to machine.
  6. Collie147 said:
    What do you mean check the hash numbers?
    "hash numbers" would be the same as checksum.
    It's a way of checking for transmission errors of a file sent over a network or the internet. If the checksum is known (usually posted by the file owner on the server where it's stored you can run a checksum program to confirm the file arrived without errors.

    What the checksum's can't always do is let you know that the file hasn't been tampered with or altered in a malicious way.
    Downloading ISOs from other than a secure and trusted source is an easy way to pick up any number of nasty viruses, Trojans or rootkits pre-installed.
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