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Solved If I upgrade to Win 8 can I use my Win 7 license on another computer?

CalBear

New Member
Member
I understand that upgrading from Win 7 to Win 8 will keep all my installed programs, no re-installs needed. That sounds really good. Can I then use my Win 7 license key to install Win 7 on an XP computer? They are both Dell computers which probably doesn't make any difference one way or the other. The XP computer has plenty of power as I used it to run the preview version of Win 8.

My guess the official answer is "no". However, things aren't always restricted to the "official" way of doing things.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Dual Win 7-8 64-bit
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Studio XPS8100
    CPU
    Intel Core i5 3.2 GHz
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 260
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Dell 24" LCD
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1200
    Hard Drives
    900GB and 1.5TB
    Keyboard
    Dell USB
    Mouse
    Dell Optical
    Internet Speed
    10 Mb/s down 1.5 Mb/s up
    Other Info
    I worked my up from a virtual machine, to a slow 32-bit celeron and now two monitors on my XPS8100. Works great!

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Hello Dave,

Technically you are able to if Windows 7 was retail and not OEM, but doing so would violate the EULA of the upgrade Windows 8. Part of the discount for the upgrade Windows 8 is to no longer use the say Windows 7 you are upgrading from. :(
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G7 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Mystere

Power User
VIP Member
Power User
It depends on a couple of factors:

a) was your windows 7 license an OEM license or a retail license
b) is your windows 8 license an upgrade license or a retail license?

If your windows 7 license is an OEM license, that means it's licensed to the machine it came on and cannot be transferred to another machine.

If your Windows 8 license is an upgrade license, then you are upgrading your windows 7 and it cannot be used on another computer.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    CPU
    Intel i7 3770K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z77X-UD4 TH
    Memory
    16GB DDR3 1600
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GTX 650
    Sound Card
    Onboard Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Auria 27" IPS + 2x Samsung 23"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440 + 2x 2048x1152
    Hard Drives
    Corsair m4 256GB, 2 WD 2TB drives
    Case
    Antec SOLO II
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
    Mouse
    Logitech MX

Mustang

New Member
Member
It depends on a couple of factors:

a) was your windows 7 license an OEM license or a retail license
b) is your windows 8 license an upgrade license or a retail license?

If your windows 7 license is an OEM license, that means it's licensed to the machine it came on and cannot be transferred to another machine.

If your Windows 8 license is an upgrade license, then you are upgrading your windows 7 and it cannot be used on another computer.
That's exactly what I was told by Microsoft Australia.

I have Win7 Ult Retail, and even though it comes with 32 & 64bit discs, I can only have it running on one machine with either 32 OR 64bit but not both on separate machines. I also asked M$ if I could load the 32bit version on my main machine, then remove the HD and keep it as a ready to go back up, and load the 64bit on a different HD in the machine. So effectively I would only ever have one version running. They said they'd get back to me on that one, but haven't had a reply as yet.

If I upgrade to W8 over either the 32 or 64bit then then that W7 licence cannot be legally loaded on any other machine.

However, if you've got either XP or Vista that you don't use, you can upgrade W8 over either of those, and keep your W7 as main OS on your main machine.

To keep up to speed I will probably buy the $40 W8 upgrade, and load it over either XP or Vista on my backup machine, as a virgin installation. I'll do this in the hope a SP may come out with the well documented options I want in W8. But if M$ stay on the set path they're on now, would eventually have to consider whether to use work arounds to get it like W7 on desktop UI, or wait for W9.

One other small point. You're not locked into W8 if it doesn't turn out to be what you wanted. You can format you HD to remove W8 and reinstall W7, as long as it's the same machine for OEM W7. So at $40 W8 isn't a bad gamble.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7 Ult Reatil & Win 8 Pro OEM
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Built as DIY
    CPU
    6 core 12 thread & 4 core
    Motherboard
    Inel Extreme & Intel standard
    Memory
    12GB & 8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    3 top end SLI linked & onboard
    Sound Card
    In built in graphics card & onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24 & 23 inch Samsung LED backlit
    Screen Resolution
    High def
    Hard Drives
    Corsair Force 128GB SATA3 SSDs in each machine. Plus several external USB3 and eSATA spinner HDs

cluberti

Cat herder
VIP Member
Pro User
If you don't like Windows 8, the likelihood you'll enjoy Windows 9 does diminish. Given there are workarounds for those who absolutely must have a start menu, I think it's probably a better choice to upgrade to Windows 8, use the start menu workarounds as needed while you get used to the new Start screen, and keep Windows 7 as a backup just in case. Most people get new Windows installations on new hardware, and as we've seen over the past few days, hardware designed for Windows 8 is pretty nifty and takes advantage of some of the things folks using older Vista or Win7-era hardware (or older) will somewhat miss. I personally am not planning on upgrading any of my machines other than my laptop (for battery life and perf issues - much better than Win7 on same hardware - stopgap until I replace it) to Windows 8, simply because it's a good excuse to get new hardware designed for the OS. This wasn't a big deal from XP > Vista > 7, but 8 is a pretty decent shift in focus and design, so getting hardware designed for it seems a good excuse to upgrade this time.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 4790K @ 4.5GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus Maximus Hero VII
    Memory
    32GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GeForce GTX970
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Hard Drives
    1x Samsung 250GB SSD
    4x WD RE 2TB (RAIDZ)
    PSU
    Corsair AX760i
    Case
    Fractal Design Define R4
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15

johnpombrio

New Member
Power User
I have no idea what the official rule is but if you have a retail copy of Win7, you are usually able to use it with several Win7 updates (EDIT) without any problem. I would assume that this will also be the case when you use it for upgrading Win8. It should free up the win7 license to be used again.
I have a sneaking suspicion that any Technet or retail version will keep working unless you use it in many different locations (say another state for instance). that I think is the flag that MS uses.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit GA
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i7-4770K Haswell
    Motherboard
    ASUS Z87-PRO
    Memory
    16 GB of Corsair 1866
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTX 780
    Sound Card
    Cooler Master Storm Headphones
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 27 inch U2711 IPS
    Screen Resolution
    2560 by 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840 Pro 250GB SSD plus 2 3 TB drives
    PSU
    Corsair-750
    Case
    Corsair White Graphite Series 600T
    Cooling
    Corsair H00i Water
    Keyboard
    Corsair K90
    Mouse
    Logitech G9 Laser
    Internet Speed
    6.3 MBps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    MS

Mystere

Power User
VIP Member
Power User
I have no idea what the official rule is but if you have a retail copy of Win7, you are usually able to use it with several upgrades without any problem. I would assume that this will also be the case when you use it for upgrading Win8. It should free up the win7 license to be used again.
I have a sneaking suspicion that any Technet or retail version will keep working unless you use it in many different locations (say another state for instance). that I think is the flag that MS uses.

There's a difference between what is legal, and what will work. Yes, you can use a single copy of Windows 7 and upgrade multiple PC's to Windows 8 with it, but that would violate the license. It works, but is not legal.

We should not advocate illegal behavior.

Forum Rules - Please Read!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    CPU
    Intel i7 3770K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z77X-UD4 TH
    Memory
    16GB DDR3 1600
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GTX 650
    Sound Card
    Onboard Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Auria 27" IPS + 2x Samsung 23"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440 + 2x 2048x1152
    Hard Drives
    Corsair m4 256GB, 2 WD 2TB drives
    Case
    Antec SOLO II
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
    Mouse
    Logitech MX

johnpombrio

New Member
Power User
I have no idea what the official rule is but if you have a retail copy of Win7, you are usually able to use it with several upgrades without any problem. I would assume that this will also be the case when you use it for upgrading Win8. It should free up the win7 license to be used again.
I have a sneaking suspicion that any Technet or retail version will keep working unless you use it in many different locations (say another state for instance). that I think is the flag that MS uses.

There's a difference between what is legal, and what will work. Yes, you can use a single copy of Windows 7 and upgrade multiple PC's to Windows 8 with it, but that would violate the license. It works, but is not legal.

We should not advocate illegal behavior.

Forum Rules - Please Read!

Sorry! EDITED MY POST. I said that wrong. What I meant was that Win7 Retail usually allows you to reactivate Win7 on a computer after changing your computer or changing components of your PC (that is what I meant by multiple activations). One operating system, one computer. After you upgrade to Win8, you REMOVE the Win7 operating system from a computer. That SHOULD allow you to use the Win7 product key on another computer, again one computer, one copy of the Win7 operating system.
I highly doubt that you could buy multiple Win8 upgrades and use them with only one Win7 product key, and it would assuredly break the rules big time. NOT RECOMMENDED.

As for retiring the Win7 license after using it for an upgrade to Win8, I have yet to see any rules about that. If anyone sees MS verbiage about it, please post as it will affect a lot of people here. It might also be a mute point as MS may just turn the Win7 product key OFF after using it to upgrade to Win8.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit GA
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i7-4770K Haswell
    Motherboard
    ASUS Z87-PRO
    Memory
    16 GB of Corsair 1866
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTX 780
    Sound Card
    Cooler Master Storm Headphones
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 27 inch U2711 IPS
    Screen Resolution
    2560 by 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840 Pro 250GB SSD plus 2 3 TB drives
    PSU
    Corsair-750
    Case
    Corsair White Graphite Series 600T
    Cooling
    Corsair H00i Water
    Keyboard
    Corsair K90
    Mouse
    Logitech G9 Laser
    Internet Speed
    6.3 MBps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    MS

johnpombrio

New Member
Power User
Interesting. from the blurb about upgrading a newly purchased Win7 machine to Win8 for $14.99:
[h=6]Do I have to install the Windows 8 upgrade on the eligible PC, or can I install it on another PC?
[/h] The upgrade offer is tied to a Windows 7 PC purchased from June 2nd, 2012 through January 31, 2013, but you can choose to redeem the offer and install the upgrade on any compatible Windows-based PC with a qualifying base operating system.

So you can use the upgrade on another machine as long as it has a "Valid" OS INSTALLED.

https://windowsupgradeoffer.com/en-US/Home/Faq
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit GA
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i7-4770K Haswell
    Motherboard
    ASUS Z87-PRO
    Memory
    16 GB of Corsair 1866
    Graphics Card(s)
    GTX 780
    Sound Card
    Cooler Master Storm Headphones
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell 27 inch U2711 IPS
    Screen Resolution
    2560 by 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840 Pro 250GB SSD plus 2 3 TB drives
    PSU
    Corsair-750
    Case
    Corsair White Graphite Series 600T
    Cooling
    Corsair H00i Water
    Keyboard
    Corsair K90
    Mouse
    Logitech G9 Laser
    Internet Speed
    6.3 MBps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    MS

Mystere

Power User
VIP Member
Power User
As for retiring the Win7 license after using it for an upgrade to Win8, I have yet to see any rules about that. If anyone sees MS verbiage about it, please post as it will affect a lot of people here. It might also be a mute point as MS may just turn the Win7 product key OFF after using it to upgrade to Win8.

It's unlikely that MS would turn the Win7 product key off. Largely because some product keys are licensed for multiple installations, and I doubt MS would be able to accurately track any of this.

I can't find a copy of the Windows 8 Eula, but from the Vista EULA, and I would imagine Windows 8 has similar terms:

13. UPGRADES. To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for the software that is eligiblefor the upgrade. Upon upgrade, this agreement takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from. After you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    CPU
    Intel i7 3770K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z77X-UD4 TH
    Memory
    16GB DDR3 1600
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GTX 650
    Sound Card
    Onboard Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Auria 27" IPS + 2x Samsung 23"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440 + 2x 2048x1152
    Hard Drives
    Corsair m4 256GB, 2 WD 2TB drives
    Case
    Antec SOLO II
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
    Mouse
    Logitech MX

cluberti

Cat herder
VIP Member
Pro User
Correct - when you "upgrade", you're still using the previous Windows license to "license" the (much cheaper) upgrade license. In essence, they're both in use on that machine - you must ALWAYS have a fully-licensed product installed, meaning upgrades don't meet that critera (again, we're talking about legal here, not "works"). Upgrades consume the full product license "underneath it", so to speak. You need both on one machine for them both to be legal, hence if you want to re-use a Win7 license, you should instead upgrade over an XP install or Vista install and lose the use of that license instead.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 4790K @ 4.5GHz
    Motherboard
    Asus Maximus Hero VII
    Memory
    32GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GeForce GTX970
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Hard Drives
    1x Samsung 250GB SSD
    4x WD RE 2TB (RAIDZ)
    PSU
    Corsair AX760i
    Case
    Fractal Design Define R4
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D15

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