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Windows 7 Licensing

I two copies of WinXP - the Home version that came on my Dell desktop & an OEM WinXP Pro I replaced it with.  Therefore, both of these versions of XP have been activated with my Dell.

I have a new intel-based Mac 7 on which I'd like to install Windows 7.  (I have installed a program called Parallels that allows you to run Windows on this Mac).  

When I install Windows 7 on my new Mac, can I use either of my WinXP versions if the installer asks for a previous version's Product Key?  How does the upgrade version know if you have an earlier Windows version?
1 Solution
You "technically" should use the XP Pro version for all legal purposes. The Dell OEM license cannot be transferred.
Now, in reality, Windows 7 does not check......
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
In my experience with upgrades, Windows or the application merely wants to see the CD. So when you install Windows 7, it will want to see the CD for authenticating the upgrade. Give it the OEM CD and I think it should work.  ... Thinkpads_User
I'm not an license expert but for me the situation is this. You bought a Dell laptop with XP home so you can only use it on this laptop. When you bought a OEM XP Pro you had to buy it with a some other hardware. You cannot buy and use OEM XP you use it with hardware element that you buy or with a computer that you manufactured. So for example if you bought this OEM with a USB mouse and you use it with your Mac then I would say it is ok. If you bought this XP PRO from Dell as an upgrade then you cannot use this serial number on Mac to install XP or 7.

As for the second part of your question, upgrade paths from XP to 7 are possible but you have to make a clean install - as you probbably did. How does the upgrade version know that you have an earlier version? Probably it has hard coded serial numbers of XP versions or an mathematic algorithm that generates the numbers. When you enter the number it also generates the numbers somehow and compares the two.

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leslieinva: In case I was not clear above (I might have confused you): both versions of Windows you own are OEM. Nevertheless, the one that came with your Dell (Home)... Cannot be transferred. It is not legal.
The one your purchased later.... The XP Pro, would be your legal justification of using the upgrade. Again.... Windows 7 does not check...
if you got the windows 7 or windows XP with your dell computer then you will not be able to use it with your mac.  the ones that come with dell computers are special and check to see if they are being installed on a dell machine.

as for the upgrade.  Windows 7 does not ask you to check for a windows xp key.  It bases its upgrade on an previous version installed and checks for existing certain files.
also windows 7 will not upgrade from windows xp either.  only vista so you can not upgrade from windows xp to windows 7.  You either need to purchase windows 7 oem or windows 7 full version.
kamsuj: a few years ago some vendors argued in court that you could use an OEM version as long as you were building a computer and they argued that even "Adding a mouse" was considered building...... I don't know who won.... but the licenses were accepted.
dauman: this is not entirely accurate. Windows 7 has an upgrade scenario for XP. It uses the Easy Transfer wizard to migrate some of your files and settings to an external location. After this, it allows you to do a clean install.
If you do not want to migrate any files.... it still allows you to install and activate. See attached pdf.

I myself would consider contacting Microsoft as you will be getting your answer "straight from the horses mouth".
Here is the Official Tutorial from Microsoft on how to do the Upgrade from XP to Windows 7.... Notice how it does not check at any point if you have or not the previous version....
People are very angry at Microsoft for the Vista fiasco...many....bought new computers with XP to avoid Vista..... Microsoft would have had a big problem in their hands if they did not allow you to upgrade from XP....
On the other hand... there is the technical aspect where so many things have changed that it would make it impossible for you to directly upgrade successfully which is what they tried to pull with Vista...

I believe that you'll just have to insert the disc, to prove that you own it.

Good luck and hope you enjoy 7!!
You should try both and one will work
leslieinvaAuthor Commented:
I discovered that I could buy a Windows 7 OEM for less money than an upgrade, so I did that instead.

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