32 bit Windows 7 Ultimate for HTPC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 02:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Would there be any issues using the 32 bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate for an HTPC?

The reason I ask is that I have a 32 bit OEM (system builder) Windows 7 Ultimate install DVD with a product key that has not been used.

But I also have the install disc for my PC where I installed the 64 bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate.

Is it possible that I could install the 64 bit version using my 64 bit install DVD using the product key that came with the 32 bit version?

If the 32 bit version were an updated SP1 version would that make a difference? Where the 64 bit install DVD was the original release?

I also have a pretty powerful HTPC build that I have 8gb of ram for. But I only plan on running XBMC, SAB, Sickbeard. My son would love to run some games on it though too. I'm not sure if XBMC, Sab, Sickbeard are 32 bit programs or would benefit from more than 4gb of RAM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 06:25 AM
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I don't think sp1 makes any difference. I think some keys are good for both 32 and 64, so you could give it a shot. Try to activate before installing updates, saving time in case it doesn't work.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 09:25 AM
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You can grab a SP1- ISO from digital-river.

http://www.mydigitallife.info/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-from-digital-river/

You then activate with the key tha tyour have; pre or post SP1 shouldn't matter.

It is really nice to have a clean install without the bloat..
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 09:39 AM
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A product key is valid for either 32-bit or 64-bit (but not two installations at the same time, obviously). This applies both to the retail and OEM channels, although the system builder's pack only ships with one physical installation medium, and the inclusion (or not) of a service pack doesn't make any difference.

As long as the version is Ultimate in both cases, you shouldn't run into any issues using your 32-bit OEM product key with the 64-bit disc. Or better still, grab an SP1-inclusive 64-bit ISO from Digital River as suggested above. smile.gif
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been searching today, and thought I'd heard this before also, and the consensus seems to be that the product key can be used on either 32 or 64 bit.

If this is the case then why do retailers charge 10 bucks more for the 64 bit version disk?
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g725s View Post

I've been searching today, and thought I'd heard this before also, and the consensus seems to be that the product key can be used on either 32 or 64 bit.
If this is the case then why do retailers charge 10 bucks more for the 64 bit version disk?
Because they can?
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g725s View Post

I've been searching today, and thought I'd heard this before also, and the consensus seems to be that the product key can be used on either 32 or 64 bit.
If this is the case then why do retailers charge 10 bucks more for the 64 bit version disk?

Is that true for all versions? Some boxes come with disks for both 32 and 64 bit, and a single key that obviously works with either one. But other packaging includes only a single version (such as the OEM packs). Are the keys in those packs also good with both versions?

I ask because I don't know. I just wonder if the answer is "sometimes" it can be used on either rather than "always".
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, one thing I want to be sure about. I'm getting here that the key can be used for either 32 or 64 bit.

But does it matter if the Disc I have for the 64 bit version is a FULL Retail disc, and the Key came with an OEM (system builder) 32 bit disc?

And also one question that has not really been answered here for me. Seeing that I want to run XBMC, SAB, And Sickbeard what ever else I'd want to run on a killer HTPC what limitations might I have with a 32 bit OS? Assuming I cannot use the 32 bit product key with a 64 bit install.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 02:15 PM
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"highly likely"
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

"highly likely"

which question are you referring to?
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g725s View Post

OK, one thing I want to be sure about. I'm getting here that the key can be used for either 32 or 64 bit.
But does it matter if the Disc I have for the 64 bit version is a FULL Retail disc, and the Key came with an OEM (system builder) 32 bit disc?

No, it doesn't matter, I've done exactly that plenty of times - upgraded* a system from 32-bit to 64-bit using a Digital River ISO (which is identical to the retail disc), using the OEM product key on the PC's CoA sticker.

*when I say "upgraded" I should be saying "formatted and reinstalled," as you can't do an in-place upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by g725s View Post

And also one question that has not really been answered here for me. Seeing that I want to run XBMC, SAB, And Sickbeard what ever else I'd want to run on a killer HTPC what limitations might I have with a 32 bit OS? Assuming I cannot use the 32 bit product key with a 64 bit install.

The main limitation of a 32-bit system is the maximum 4GB address space, which means in practice you'll only have around 3.25 GB of available RAM in total. It would probably still be enough for regular HTPC duties, but really there's nothing stopping you installing the 64-bit version, so you might as well just do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Is that true for all versions? Some boxes come with disks for both 32 and 64 bit, and a single key that obviously works with either one. But other packaging includes only a single version (such as the OEM packs). Are the keys in those packs also good with both versions?
I ask because I don't know. I just wonder if the answer is "sometimes" it can be used on either rather than "always".

Yes, a product key is valid for both, even for OEM versions (that includes factory preinstallations as well as the system builders packs). You'll have to source the alternative installation media yourself, but it will accept the key and activate fine, provided the version is like-for-like (HP, Professional, Ultimate or whatever).

If for some reason you can't get hold of the alternative disc for your own particular version, you could use the ei.cfg removal utility to convert any Windows 7 disc image into a "universal" installer, which prompts you to enter the version for which you have a product key (like in Vista).
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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excellent, thanks for the detailed response.
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 07:24 PM
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If you do not have a CD you should be able to download windows-7

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/shop/download-windows-7
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