PDA

View Full Version : 64bit or 32bit from COA sticker?


ell
09-13-2011, 02:34 AM
Hi, I have run across this several times and usually just guess with a vista machine with a dead hd I'm replacing. Is there a way to tell of the coa is from a 64bit or 32bit version of vista? I usually just guess and hope I don't have to reinstall the other version. Dell I can usually use the service code, but others its a guess.:confused:

Xander
09-13-2011, 02:53 AM
Excellent question. I've been hit by this a couple of times, too.

The amount of RAM gave it away once but only once. :/

glricht
09-13-2011, 03:40 AM
I'm don't believe you can tell simply by the COA. If you buy a Win 7 install, the box comes with both a 32-bit DVD and a 64-bit DVD, but only a single COA.

ell
09-13-2011, 03:54 AM
Excellent question. I've been hit by this a couple of times, too.

The amount of RAM gave it away once but only once. :/

You mean 4+ gb usually 64bit?

Martyn
09-13-2011, 03:54 AM
If the client does client doesn't know 32 bit goes on.

ell
09-13-2011, 03:57 AM
If the client does client doesn't know 32 bit goes on.

so the key will work with both versions?

Martyn
09-13-2011, 03:59 AM
No idea but that is my thinking. I've not had the situation yet.

Xander
09-13-2011, 05:04 AM
You mean 4+ gb usually 64bit?Yup. :)Filler Filler Filler

comprx
09-13-2011, 05:13 AM
so the key will work with both versions?

Yes the key will work with either 64 or 32. This is the case with both Vista and 7

joydivision
09-13-2011, 10:05 AM
Yep the COA works with either, the licence is for one copy of that version of windows, it doesn't matter which version.

Slaters Kustum Machines
09-13-2011, 02:10 PM
Yep the COA works with either, the licence is for one copy of that version of windows, it doesn't matter which version.

What if you put the opposite version on from what the key was used to activate? Like the customer had Win 7 HP 32 bit and you install Win 7 HP 64 bit, would you have any activation problems since the product key was in use?

Vicenarian
09-13-2011, 02:44 PM
Something to keep in mind:

Even though the COA will activate using either x86 or x64 based installation discs, OEM drivers/software may not be available/complete for anything but the stock OS.

Case in Point: I know with an Acer I'm currently working on, it originally came with 2GB of memory (and thus ran vista x86), but the owners later upgraded it to 4GB memory. I thought about reloading x64 for them, but the fact is, Acer doesn't offer some of the preloaded software for Vista x64.

Encrypted Existence
09-13-2011, 03:23 PM
What does "COA" stand for? Thanks.

Slaters Kustum Machines
09-13-2011, 03:28 PM
Certificate of Authenticity


Edit:It's the sticker with the product key on it.

Encrypted Existence
09-13-2011, 03:53 PM
Thanks chevyss...yet another acronym.

joydivision
09-13-2011, 04:35 PM
As a rule with Vista, I always install the 32-bit version, unless I can be sure it did originally have the 64-bit version.

xxsilk109xx
09-13-2011, 07:13 PM
My experience is that the key has nothing to do with the fact of 32 or 64

I have will install a 64 bit if the pc has more than 4gb of ram, because only a 64 bit system can see that, so obviously it came with it unless the person has upgraded the ram themselves..

jmatt
09-14-2012, 05:20 PM
I hate to necro an old topic, but are you guys speaking specifically about a retail version of the software? My tech tells me that when using the OEM sticker activation key, that it is specific to either 32 or 64 bit -- and I've seen it.

We just loaded 64 on a box (since it had a 64 bit processor) and the key would not activate it. We then loaded 32 and it worked. Now, this makes sense for OEM machines that are a few years old, since back then Windows 7 64 was more expensive the 32.

So back to the original question: Is there anything on the activation sticker that will indicate whether if it is 32 or 64?

PCX
09-14-2012, 05:26 PM
What if you put the opposite version on from what the key was used to activate? Like the customer had Win 7 HP 32 bit and you install Win 7 HP 64 bit, would you have any activation problems since the product key was in use?

No activation problems. The COA is not specific to architecture type. When ever we get a reinstall in, we always upgrade to 64bit if the computer can support it. There is very little to no issues with the 64bit versions of Windows and in most cases, it can only benefit the customer, especially if they ever do want to upgrade the memory.

As for recovery media, we don't use them unless we have too . . . Even if we do, we always remove the trashware that comes with it.

NYJimbo
09-14-2012, 05:48 PM
IWe just loaded 64 on a box (since it had a 64 bit processor) and the key would not activate it.

Did you try the phone activation ? Many times when I reload windows it will fail the COA but the robot guy on the phone always gets me hooked up.

jmatt
09-14-2012, 06:08 PM
Did you try the phone activation ? Many times when I reload windows it will fail the COA but the robot guy on the phone always gets me hooked up.

Hmmm.... One big problem we're running into is that we get OEM machines and reload them with retail disks. We thn try to activate them with the OEM activation key from the sticker on the machine. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'll have to try the phone activation, thanks.

PCX
09-14-2012, 06:20 PM
Hmmm.... One big problem we're running into is that we get OEM machines and reload them with retail disks. We thn try to activate them with the OEM activation key from the sticker on the machine. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'll have to try the phone activation, thanks.

Yeah, that is going to be a big waste of time. Get some OEM disks for your reinstalls and that should fix your problem. Also, in the rare case that you having activation problems, activate by phone as Jimbo has already suggested.

andcorptech
09-14-2012, 11:06 PM
What if you put the opposite version on from what the key was used to activate? Like the customer had Win 7 HP 32 bit and you install Win 7 HP 64 bit, would you have any activation problems since the product key was in use?

Doesnt matter as far as MS are concerned. I have had to reinstall a few clients with 32bit after the bought machines with 64 installed and their apps wont run. I called MS the first time I had to do this and as far as they are concerned as long as they key is only used on that PC they dont care if its 32 or 64.

rudger
09-16-2012, 11:58 AM
My rule of thumb is I always install Vista x86 unless I know it originally came with Vista x64. with windows 7 I check how much memory is installed if it is 2gb or less I recommend a memory upgrade (if the machine is capable), if the customer accepts I put on x64 if the customer does not want the memory upgrade I install x86.

I have had the same problem as Vicenarian only with a Packard bell PC 4GB ram with 32bit Vista but a bit of digging online I found it was a re-branded Acer and I found the drivers on the acer website which avoided another reload

JustInspired
09-16-2012, 12:46 PM
My rule of thumb is I always install Vista x86 unless I know it originally came with Vista x64. with windows 7 I check how much memory is installed if it is 2gb or less I recommend a memory upgrade (if the machine is capable), if the customer accepts I put on x64 if the customer does not want the memory upgrade I install x86.

+1 for this method.

You are right about Packard Bell; Acer bought them out not long ago and a lot of the hardware is now the same.

d0m0
09-17-2012, 08:56 PM
Doesnt matter as far as MS are concerned. I have had to reinstall a few clients with 32bit after the bought machines with 64 installed and their apps wont run. I called MS the first time I had to do this and as far as they are concerned as long as they key is only used on that PC they dont care if its 32 or 64.
I have a similar experience wit M$

Bashfu11
10-04-2012, 07:49 PM
In my experience with Vista it is NOT both, that being you are limited to one or the other but the COA does not tell you which it is. I have pulled my hair out countless times in this situation. And although I cannot say this is the case with all licenses, I have run into this and noted several times that the CoA was limited to one specific architecture. Perhaps they changed this in the latter stages of vista, but ALL of the vista COAs I have dealt with are limited to one architecture, but it doesn't tell you which. (I operate out of canada, not sure if this matters)

With windows 7 you can install either x86 or x64 operating system with any given COA. Perhaps not the case universally, but I have never seen a win 7 license limited to one architecture. I bought a Windows 7 x64 ultimate OEM and I can activate using x64 or x86. Same goes for every system I have worked on from our customers. Using integrated recovery solutions often times it allows you to pick which arcitecture you want to recover to. (Acer erecovery etc.)

On another note Vista CoAs on toshiba laptops will not allow you to install using OEM media sometimes. I have see this several times. With Windows 7 though this is not the case.

I cannot prove or provide sources for this info, this is just based upon my experiences. I do not think it is true that Vista COAs allow installation of either architecture however.

PCX
10-04-2012, 09:29 PM
In my experience with Vista it is NOT both, that being you are limited to one or the other but the COA does not tell you which it is. I have pulled my hair out countless times in this situation. And although I cannot say this is the case with all licenses, I have run into this and noted several times that the CoA was limited to one specific architecture. Perhaps they changed this in the latter stages of vista, but ALL of the vista COAs I have dealt with are limited to one architecture, but it doesn't tell you which. (I operate out of canada, not sure if this matters)

With windows 7 you can install either x86 or x64 operating system with any given COA. Perhaps not the case universally, but I have never seen a win 7 license limited to one architecture. I bought a Windows 7 x64 ultimate OEM and I can activate using x64 or x86. Same goes for every system I have worked on from our customers. Using integrated recovery solutions often times it allows you to pick which arcitecture you want to recover to. (Acer erecovery etc.)

On another note Vista CoAs on toshiba laptops will not allow you to install using OEM media sometimes. I have see this several times. With Windows 7 though this is not the case.

I cannot prove or provide sources for this info, this is just based upon my experiences. I do not think it is true that Vista COAs allow installation of either architecture however.

Sorry, but you must be doing something wrong. We do tons of hard drive replacements and reinstalls and on 99% of ALL the computers running both Vista and 7, we upgrade to 64bit. A great majority of computers that come with Vista comes with the 32bit architecture, and as long as the CPU can handle it, it gets a 64bit upgrade.

Also, I have never had an issue with Toshibas either, and their hard drives get replaced more often than any other brand.

Unless you are using a retail disk instead of OEM, you should not be having this many issues. As already mentioned before, if you are having issues, then activate it over the phone.

Xander
10-04-2012, 09:32 PM
Another thing worth mentioning is, with brand name models, is to check what it was sold with. The product page will often tell you if it came with x86 or x64 and, if it doesn't say, you can fairly safely assume it's 32-bit.

FoolishTech
10-04-2012, 11:23 PM
I can't believe this thread is still around.

As stated by another in this thread, I personally put on whatever the PC will handle comfortably, (reserving x64 for a minimum of 3GB or better, and naturally I wouldn't put 32bit on a 4GB system.)

Also, there is NO way to tell the architecture by the product key, because there is NO difference between a product key for x86 and x64, they use the SAME key. Yes, even on Vista. Never seen any issues with this in my years... Maybe it's because I'm in the US, or maybe it's because I install during the right phase of the moon I dunno.

angry_geek
10-04-2012, 11:43 PM
I can't believe this thread is still around.

As stated by another in this thread, I personally put on whatever the PC will handle comfortably, (reserving x64 for a minimum of 3GB or better, and naturally I wouldn't put 32bit on a 4GB system.)

Also, there is NO way to tell the architecture by the product key, because there is NO difference between a product key for x86 and x64, they use the SAME key. Yes, even on Vista. Never seen any issues with this in my years... Maybe it's because I'm in the US, or maybe it's because I install during the right phase of the moon I dunno.

Agreed. I have never seen vista or 7 care what architecture I'm installing. In fact, I remember, before vista was officially released, this was even in a technet bulletin listed as one of the new features.

valramz
10-05-2012, 02:56 AM
That's right. Since Vista, product keys are for both architechture. Since you are replacing the hard drive, you might get into trouble with the activation/license because some are SLP keys which means they can only work on a specific hardware component. Activating by phone usually does the trick.

JustInspired
10-05-2012, 06:57 AM
Same here. Most Vista boxes or packs came with two install discs, one x86 and one x64. Same COA for both.
If I cannot see the old install of Windows to see if there are two program files directories or other means to determine what version, I usually go by how much RAM is installed, CPU etc. Most of these end up being x86 installs though.