Windows License Limitation for 32/64 bit

By Wesablo ยท 4 replies
Jul 20, 2011
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  1. Ok this may be a dumb question, but...

    Does anyone know if it's possible to install a Windows XP on 2 different computers using cds from the same box, but having one using the 64bit version, and the other computer using the 32bit version that came with it?

    I own 2 Windows XP discs, one is 64bit and the other is 32bit. I just installed the 64bit in my machine and upgraded from the 32bit, so now I have another comp hangin' around and I still have the 32bit disc which isn't being used. I want to set the leftover comp up with the 32bit version, but are the 2 versions of XP intertwined with a license or some sort of block that won't allow that?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Was the x64 disc an upgrade disc? I'm not even sure if they make (made) those or not, but if the x64 disc was an upgrade-only disc, the license prevents you from reusing your 32-bit XP in another computer.

    However, if the x64 disc is a full disk (OEM or Retail), your 32-bit XP license is no longer in use. You can install your 32-bit XP on the other computer, but when it comes time to activate it, you'll need to call Microsoft activation. When you talk to them, tell them the 32-bit XP license is not currently in use and you'd like to transfer it to a different PC... all should be fine.
  3. Wesablo

    Wesablo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Coool, yea I'm pretty sure they aren't upgrade discs. I got them from a friend actually so I'm not even positive they came from the same set, but they look exactly the same, same date and everything, but their Product Keys are definitely different. I don't know if that makes a difference. Either way I'll try it out and hopefully everything is good.
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    XP x64 and 32-bit use different product keys and there's no "universal" license between both versions... each requires a unique type of key.

    That means if you have two discs with two keys, then you have two licenses and can use them on two computers. If you only have one key between both discs, then you are missing your 32-bit key.

    I assumed you were reusing your existing key and disc (and maybe I'm still wrong) for your the 32-bit version of Windows that was installed before the upgrade.

    If you borrowed these discs from a friend, then you need to make sure the key that you have matches the type of discs you borrowed (an upgrade key, a retail key or an OEM key). You cannot use an upgrade key with an OEM disc for example, or a retail key on an upgrade disc... so before you try to install, you might want to figure out exactly what kind of discs you have (OEM, Retail or Upgrade) to work with and what kind of product keys you have (OEM, Retail or Upgrade).

    If you're "borrowing" product keys from your friend too, that won't work out so well, at least not legitimately. XP activation will prevent you from using a single key on more than one computer... so just a warning for you. I figure you're aiming to be legit though, since you asked in the first place. ;-)
  5. Wesablo

    Wesablo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Ah yea what you thought is what I meant, I have the Product Keys and all that I just wasn't sure if they were supposed to be the same.

    Thanks a lot, btw.

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