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asugri

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Is it possible to change Vista Ultimate 32-bit to Vista Business 32-bit?

It is a long story.  May jump to the last paragraph if you like.

We got a SONY VAIO laptop running Vista Business 32-bit and
its hard drive got screwed.  Purchase a new hard drive but
restore DVD does not recognize the drive.  The reason seems
to because the drive comes with two partitions.  One is small
(about 10 GB) and restore CD gets to that partition all the time
and the restore process show error.

I was hoping to install Windows first and then running the
restore CD will detect the drive.  Got a Vista Ultimate 32-bit
CD from Dell and install it.  Unfortunately restore CD still
cannot proceed (same error).  Planning to stay with Vista Ultimate
but now the laptop says Vista is trial version and asks for
Windows key.   Providing legal Vista Business 32-bit key from
the back of the laptop did not help.

Now I found a Vista Business 32-bit CD from Dell.  Is it possible
to make current Vista Ultimate 32-bit to Vista Business 32-bit?
Hopefully I can activate with the legal Vista Business 32-bit key.

Any opinion is very much appreciated.
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asugri

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Try to 'upgrade' from Ultimate to Business using Business CD, but the upgrade option is grayed out.
@asugri - Thanks and I was happy to help you with this.  ..... Thinkpads_User
Sorry, but I wonder if you used a Vista Business Setup DVD with SP2 or without (or with SP1). Without SP2, it won't work as I told you, at least not if your ultimate version was on SP2.
Hi.

Just for the record... I took the time to look into downgrading and downgraded from vista enterprise to business some moments ago, ultimate will work, too. Why your "upgrade" option was greyed out: MS does not want this. But it's technically possible and without problems. A registry edit is required:
From:

hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\EditionID = Ultimate
hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\productname= Windows Vista Ultimate

To:

hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\EditionID = Business
hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\productname= Windows Vista Business

Afterwards, no problems downgrading using the in-place-upgrade as described. Since I used another downgraded installation for years, I can confirm that there are no problems of any kind afterwards. If however you have already used Ultimate features like bitlocker or language packs, you will need to remove them, first.