Upgrade path Vista Home --> Business

Posted on 2009-02-18
Last Modified: 2013-11-05

I'm sure this has been answered before somewhere but I would like some direct answers to this particular question. I have a bunch of systems that have been shipped from manufacturer with Vista Home whatever 64bit. I assume these are OEM licenses.

I need to get these systems running Vista Business, 32-bit. Firstly, checking this page out it would appear this is a valid (licensing) upgrade path - . I cannot see anything saying I cannot upgrade from a 64-bit OS license to a 32-bit one, but confirmation would be nice.

Second - the last I remember using an upgrade CD, it just asked me for the previous OS's key to allow me to continue with the install. Is this still the case? Buy an upgrade CD, reformat (can't go from 64 to 32-bit now can I?), type in the previous license key, then the new one and bob's yer' uncle.

Question by:Rowley
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    Accepted Solution


    As you are aware you cannot do a typical 'upgrade' installation which changes the architecture of the Operating System. In other words, you can't 'upgrade' 32-bit to 64-bit, or vice-versa. You have to do a clean install.

    Unfortunately, I believe Microsoft have removed the 'insert an old OS CD' feature from Vista's Upgrade media. In other words, you have to have a base, licensed Operating System installed on the machine which you then execute the Vista upgrade from.

    I would suggest you contact Microsoft directly about this, since there are ways around it, but they are questionable in terms of whether they are permitted under the EULA, and I am therefore not permitted to post them here. Microsoft may tell you one of these ways - and at the same time, they'll be able to confirm the licensing implications.

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    Expert Comment

    You cannot go from Vista Home anything to Vista Business. You can however go from Ultimate to Business. tigermatt is also correct that it is not possible at this time to "upgrade or downgrade" a 32 bit to 64 or vice versa for that matter. Not even with XP. If you wish to go from 32 or 64 bit Vista Home "" to Business then it is a new purchase, clean install. There are no work arounds or tricks, sorry.
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    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks guys. I've mailed MS direct, see what they say.

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