My Desktop PC has Windows Vista (64 Bit) on it, while my Laptop has Windows Vista Home Premium (32 Bit) installed. If I wanted to upgrade both to Windows 7, would I have to purchase both 32 and 64 bit versions? I would prefer to have the full install disc/s rather than upgrade discs, just in case I have to do clean installations in the future. I couldn't be bothered to sit and install Vista first and then Windows 7 upgrade discs. Thanks in advance.
Yes. For any Windows installation you pay for a licence. OEM will last as long as the PC does. Retail you can install on any PC but only once at a time. If the PC dies you can then install the retail Windows on another PC .
Windows 7 upgrade Family Pack, an additional drive and Acronis True Image was the way I went, Family Pack allows you to upgrade 3 computers, Acronis allows you to image the computers hard drives after installation and activation. This allows you to restore Windows 7 without having to reinstall Vista first.
From what I've read it's possible to install Windows 7 to a clean drive without Vista being installed, I haven't tried so I've no idea how easy it is to do.
I should have mentioned most people have one or two external USB hard drives already, you could even image the boot disk to DVD and the price of acronis will more than pay for itself over the years, if not in monetary terms then perhaps in sanity. At £134 the Family Pack is much better than £300 for two retail copies. Even if you're planning on buying a new computer I don't see much point in having retail as it would have Windows 7 installed anyway.
You would perhaps loose some features only available to Vista Ultimate, perhaps Bitlocker for instance, if upgrading to Home Premium. Just because you have Vista ultimate now doesn't mean you have to stick with it. If there are any features related to Vista Ultimate you can't do without then stick with Windows 7 Ultimate, it's your money and your decision.
I went from 32-bit Vista Home Premium to 64-bit Windows 7 so I can't be certain but I doubt if upgrading from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Premium would cause any compatibility issues, other than driver/hardware issues that you may have anyway.
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