What version to buy???

I have been kicking the idea of upgrading to Win7, but can't get a handle as to what I need to buy. I miss the old days. One box for all your needs. Now I don't know if I need OEM, retail, upgrade, family pack :confused:.

A little background. I have three systems A,B, and C. I want to put Win7 Home prem. 64bit on all.
System A is a desktop running 32bit XP home.
System B is a laptop running 32bit Vista.
System C is a laptop running 32bit Win7 home prem.

Is there one Windows product that will satisfy my needs?
Thank you for your help.


Senior Member
First thing to ask, are all 3 64 Bit compatible? One method is to check Control Panel, Device Manager:


Or you could check with each PC manufacturer specs for this info.

If the Win 7 laptop came pre-installed with Win 7 HP 32 Bit, it is most likely an OEM key. You will not be able to use this key with a 64 Bit installation. I almost suspect this PC may not be 64 Bit compatible as most PC's that are 64 Bit compatible will have 64 Bit Win 7 pre-installed. If it is an upgrade, then the retail versions of Win 7 have both 32 Bit and 64 Bit available.

MS does have (or did have) a 3 pack retail version available. Check for this.

The only other consideration, Win 7 HP is not compatible with XP Mode. You must have Pro edition or higher. This limitation can be overcome with any number of 3rd party VM's. Also Win 7 HP does not have Bit locker available if this might be a consideration for you.

My laptop has Win 7 Ultimate, my wife's has Win 7 HP. For my purposes at home either would have worked. I have Ultimate only because my wife qulified for Ultimate discout through the university she works at.

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Thank you for your input. I see there is no short solution to my upgrade plans. By the time I figure out what OS I need, what VM to purchase and how and what files and programs I might lose, I might just go and buy three new systems. It might come out cheaper in time and money or I'll just switch to Apple LOL.


Senior Member
It is possible none of the systems is 64 Bit compatible. Many older systems (XP and Vista) were not. Those that were usually were installed with 64 Bit OS's. That would be the first thing to check. I would also run the Win 7 Upgrade advisor and pay a visit to the Win 7 Compatibility Center before making your final decision.

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