32->64, 8.0 -> 8.1 (licence questions)

Tea

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Tannin has left me in charge of the shop again and the wholesale chain is out of stock of Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM product and I need stock ASAP.


Should I and can I -


(a) Purchase Win 8.1 OEM 32-bit (yes, they have stock) and install using normal 64-bit media but the product key from the new 32-bit DVD package?

or

(b) Purchase Win 8.1 32/64 upgrade DVDs and use those instead? (Most of the systems I'm doing at present are in fact upgrades from XP.) Upgrade packages cost $10 extra but I can live with that.

or

(c) Purchase Win 8.0 64-bit OEM on DVD, and use that product key with 8.1 64-bit install media?

or

(d) Purchase Win 8.0 64-bit OEM on DVD, install from that media, then tediously upgrade each one to 8.1 on-line?


Which of these are legal and work in practice? I know (d) is legit and will work but it's a nasty last resort. There must be a better way. All I want is to build/upgrade these systems with a legal copy of 8.1 but I need to do it soon and I can't wait 'till next month when the new stock arrives. I need to order tonight, so fast answers would be brilliant!
 

CougTek

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(a) should work. I did it many times with previous version of Windows (up to 7). I've installed both Windows 8 32bit and windows 8 64bit with the same OEM licence stick on laptops at work.

(b) doesn't work according to µsoft lawyers.

(c) not sure if it works. I've never tried to install 8.1 using an 8.0 key. It should work, but... I have a bunch of HP ZBook 14 that came with 8 Pro or 8.1 Pro pre-installed at work. I can try to install directly from media using the key instead of the SLIC to verify if both work with the same key. You should have your answer by the time you wake up tomorrow.
 

Mercutio

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I tried installing 8.1 from an 8.0 key and I wasn't able to do so. I'd be shy about handing out 32-bit media, if only because you know sooner or later, someone would actually use it. If you aren't giving people the discs, that's a good choice.

Option (d) is still on the table. It is tedious but I'm pretty sure there's an offline installer for it. At least you don't have to wait for a zillion updates to download.
 

Tea

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Brilliant Coug!

(a) Oh .. I just realised - they are out of 8.1 32-bit as well. I thought they had it but it turns out to be 8.0 32-bit.

(b) Surely this would be legal for actual upgrades though? What else is an "upgrade" Windows for?

(c) That would be great, Coug. (Actually, I have a vague memory of trying 8.1 OEM on an 8.0 product key and it didn't work, but I'm not sure if I'm remembering it correctly. I can't try it for myself now 'coz I only have 8.1 keys in stock.)


Merc, I jumped for joy when I saw the off-line installer. Trouble is, it isn't what you'd think it is. It is an installer for something called "Windows 8.1 Update" which is an update for Windows 8.1. It is a sort of more-than-normal-Patch-Tuesday Windows Update update but less than a service pack. Call it a service packlet, or Windows 8.11 maybe. Windows 8.1 is a pre-installation system requirement. If you have automatic updates switched on and 8.1, you've already got it. If you are running Win 8.0, you need to go to the MS $tore and get the 8.1 upgrade first. (Yep, I agree. How weird and stupid is their name for it?)

WTF? I can always just install 8.0 and let the systems waste half a day and untold bandwidth getting 8.1 from the $tore. Seems like a very primitive way to do it though.

Oh, media won't be a problem. Very few of my customers will want to reinstall for themselves (they bring it to me) and I know which ones are which.
 

Tea

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More detail here: http://superuser.com/questions/650019/how-to-use-windows-8-1-rtm-with-8-0-key/650055#650055 Worthwhile reading it, but the short answer seems to be "just waste the time and bandwidth at the MS $tore". What a stupid way to run a software company!

PS: how can the biggest computer wholesaler and distributor in Australia (a country the same size (population-wise) and with the same standard of living as California - i.e., 20-something million) not have any stock of Windows? Surely this is something you should never run out of?
 

Chewy509

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Others have pretty much answered the questions...

32bit and 64bit keys with Win7 and above are interchangable. (This may have applied with Vista as well, but unsure). XP x86 and XPx64 were two distince licenses and can't be shared between 32bit and 64bit editions. (XP x64 was closer to Win2K3 server than XP).

The key can only be used for the exact version, eg a 8.0 key can only be used when installing 8.0, this AFAIK has been the case from Vista times. eg, if your key is Win7 RTM, then it won't work if you use Win7SP1 media. The same applies in 8.0, 8.1 and 8.1u1. (As you already know). However, you may be able to install with 8.1 media, use a 8.0 key, and call Microsoft for a phone activation. (Depends on the person you get, but most will do the activation for you).

(b) Surely this would be legal for actual upgrades though? What else is an "upgrade" Windows for?
Upgrades on OEM License installations can only be performed on to the same machine to which the OEM version was installed/licensed**.
Upgrades on Retail License installation can be performed on new hardware, as the original Retail license is not tied to hardware. You are free to move you Retail license to new hardware as you wish, as long as the installation is removed from the old hardware.

** Now what consitutes original hardware, IIRC this has varied over time, but the general consensus is that OEM licenses are tied to the motherboard and 2 other bits of hardware in the original machine, eg, CPU and video card, or CPU and HDD, etc. But the OEM license for the version you are installing should detail this.

As for providing media, this depends on your system builders agreement (if you have one). Some are required to provide physical media (typically smaller shops), others are only required to provide either a, soft copy (as in recovery partition, etc) or a support service to get a copy of the media. (eg your big OEMs, like Dell, HP, etc).
 

mangyDOG

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Hi Tea,

I have two 8.1x64 Home OEM and one 8.1x64 Pro OEM packs in stock if you need some today. DickerData, Ingram Micro and Synnex all have stock if you have accounts with them.

Cheers,
mangyDOG.
 

Tea

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Cheers, Mangy One. Ingram Micro say they have no stock till the 4th August, hence this thread. I closed my accounts with the other two a few years back. Hell, I barely use the IM account these days for anything much other than Thinkpads and sometimes hard drives; I nearly always buy everything from a small Melbourne wholesaler who is great to work with and actually knows who I am when I call. He's on holiday in Europe right now, and although he sent me a whole stack of stuff before he left (which was nice of him, he said "here, have a few weeks worth of stock, the common stuff you sell all the time, pay me whenever") I've been very busy and sold the lot already, and had to resort to Ingram Micro for CPUs, RAM, Windows, motherboards and hard drives. (Asrock main boards instead of MSI or Gigabyte. Oh well, I guess they'll do.) I'm still OK for cases, which is good 'coz you really need to see an in-the-flesh sample of a case before you buy any quantity of them and the freight kills you if it's coming ex-Sydney.

No matter, I only ordered a couple of the Win 8.0 and 3 x Win 7 and I still have one 8.1 in stock, so they should tide me over till my man gets back and/or IM get stock back in. But thanks for the offer! I'll call you if I need to.
 

CougTek

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I've had a quite busy day at work and completely forgot about this. I wouldn't have had the time to try anyway. Not sure I'll be able to try it today either. Sorry.

As others have pointed out though, it would almost certainly have been a waste of time.
 

Tea

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No worries, Coug. Not necessary now, Merc has provided the answer and - I hate to admit this - I can now remember finding out that exact same thing for myself by experiment back when 8.1 came out. First thing I did was try using an 8.0 product key, and it wouldn't take it. Then a few months went by and I completely forgot about it until this thread gradually brought the memory back to life.

I seem to be having a small senior decade.
 

Mercutio

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As far as I can tell, I can't even get a WSUS or SCCM package for it as a non-volume customer. When I deployed it in my classrooms, I just pushed out a new image, but looking at the updates I can authorize, it doesn't appear to be classified that way.
 
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