Using a product key on a different version of Vista?

By Will_m ยท 11 replies
Feb 7, 2008
  1. Hi there, I have installed on my laptop Windows Vista Home Premium, unfortunately it came with loads of trial software and other stuff I didn't want. I am currently running around 80 processes just doing nothing!

    I would like to do a clean install only I don't have a Vista install disc. My friend has the disc for Vista Ultimate Edition, would my product key work for this version as my current Vista is the Home Premium Edition. Also would a 64 bit version be better for me and would would this work with my product key?

    Many Thanks,

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523


    your product key can ONLY be used for 1 Windows version
  3. Will_m

    Will_m TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 77

    Thanks, I shall try and find a Vista Home disc then! Doe this also mean I wouldn't be able to use a 64 bit version with my existing product key?

  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    That's right

    Microsoft wants your money

    Each individual version requires one product key, that cannot be used on the other versions.

    Yours works on Home
    (By the way is that Home Upgrade or Full version ? As they both use different keys !!!)
  5. Will_m

    Will_m TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 77

    I'm not sure, the OS was already installed on the laptop when I bought it, the laptop is an HP Pavilion DV series. It came with the option to install the OS from the back up partition but I'm guessing as it's a full re-install it would still have all the crappy software with it?

  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I think you are better off with the restore partition and all the crappy software.
    That way you have all the drivers installed, and all the extra Hp menus (all over the place !)

    Then over a few hours (!) you can slowly needle through it and un-install what you don't want, and also the thousands of other memory resource startups !

    HEREs an excellent page on Startups.
    And going to Google you'll find thousands of quality Vista tweaks (too many to mention)
  7. Will_m

    Will_m TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 77

    Thanks for the info Kimsland, I shall bear it in mind and the page on start up processes look really good although it doesn't appear to be for Vista.


  8. mickzer

    mickzer TS Rookie Posts: 101

  9. allmightypuff

    allmightypuff TS Rookie Posts: 37

    thats not exactly correct. although thats true if ur trying to use your friend disk with your key, or ur friends key for ur disk, if u install their disk with their key, it will work, the only thing is that when its time to register and activate windows, you will have to use their EXACT registration info they entered when they installed it. in my experiance, sometimes you will have to call a number to activate, then i just say, my hd crashed and had to reinstall, or something like that. iv never had a problem with this, and right now there are about 30 pcs iv built that all have windows installed from the same disk.
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Actually it 'may' work if your friend has Vista Ultimate OEM. The key is the OEM part, because the Vista disks actually have all the versions of Vista for that architecture (32bit dvd has all the versions except the 64bit ones) and you are asked which one you purchased. So if you choose Vista Home Premium and use your OEM key it should work.
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    No allmightypuff, that won't work (depending on what "work" means)

    If you use anyones key on multiple installs, this will cause MS genuine error message, either on update of SP1, or sometime into the future. And it's against MS EULA.

    The real concern is that if you presently are not receiving these messages (similar builds and hardware) then you WILL receive them one day, maybe on SP2 (if that ever arrises) or on any number of Windows security updates (that automatically download) or manually by the user.

    The even gigger concern, is that minimum 29 users, will have this big message on their screen one day, Non Genuine; and they will ALL come back to you. If you charged them for your service, then you will legally be required to pay 29X Product key licences (as there are a whole range of Vista, it's hard to tell how much) But it's likely to be around $10,000.

    Each version of Windows requires one key (that part is agreed)
    But, each computer requires one Certificate of Authenticity sticker, stuck on the side. Without this, it's not legal. (there are more requirements too)

    Do Not advise people on installing Windows illegally.

    And stop and think, or maybe state you under costed, or something, and remove Windows from those computers

    SNGX1275 did you read the post ?
    Actually I just re-read "and use your OEM key it should work" so SNGX1275, please disregard, did you read the post
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    lol, yes, I'm pretty sure I understood everything and made an informed reply that covered an idea previously not brought up in the thread, perhaps because either nobody has actually installed Vista themselves that had answered so far, or perhaps they just forgot that the dvd can install basic, home premium, and ultimate.
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