Installing Win 7 Home Ed in place of Win 7 Pro - same Key?

  AroundAgain 21:01 15 Feb 2013


I have a friend's laptop which needs re-formatting, so I have a couple of questions which I hope you can help me out with.

Firstly, although it has a recovery partition, it seems some files can't be found, hence a re-format instead. However, it has no recovery disc, unfortunately.

So, can I use my own Win 7 Home Edition to install, using the laptop's Key which was obviously for Win 7 Pro? Or do I need to get hold of a copy of Win 7 Pro?

Secondly, once I've re-formatted, do I then need a disc with the drivers on, or will all that be on the Win 7 disc when I install the OS?

Thanks, I appreciate any help and advice


  xox101 22:31 15 Feb 2013

No you can't use the same key as they are two totally different versions of Windows 7. You need to get hold of a copy of exactly the same version of Pro that is on your friends laptop. 32 or 64 bit, retail or OEM. Magical Jellybean Keyfinder if you can get it installed can tell you which version of Pro is installed and Control panel/System will tell you whether it is 32 or 64 bit.

The drivers will have to be downloaded separately from the manufacturers site. The drivers can be installed once Windows is up and running unless you have either no working ethernet connection or wireless connection. In that case you will have to download those drivers on a different machine and use a USB stick to transfer them to to the driverless laptop.

You can also download a copy of Service Pack 1 from MS which will save a lot of time when installing the updates.

Make sure your friend has copies of any installation keys he needs for currently installed software such as Office.

You may be able to download a copy of Pro from and use the key on your friends laptop to validate it.

Otherwise google the laptop model for details.

  AroundAgain 23:03 15 Feb 2013

@xox101 - Thanks very much for the information.

I didn't think I would be able to install Win 7 Home Ed but I do have that disc!!!! I'll have to try to get a copy of W7 Pro. I'm pretty sure it is OEM, definitely 32 bit but it won't boot up now, since trying to do the recovery, so I can't check further. However, it does say Pro on the sticker with the Key so, unless there is more than one version ...

Also, thanks for the info re drivers etc and re SP1. That will help a lot.

Yes, once I get this up and running again, I will make a recovery disc for future times!!!!

Thanks very much, I appreciate your help

  lotvic 23:44 15 Feb 2013 link for official MS direct downloads from Digital River W7 iso ClickHere and scroll down to Panel for English(USA) W7 Media Refresh (SP1 U) (that's W7 with sp1 on)

  rdave13 01:14 16 Feb 2013
  AroundAgain 01:24 16 Feb 2013

Hi Lotvic

Thanks for your post. Guess what? It's a bit complicated and confusing for me!!! However, it's also rather late so I will take another look tomorrow.

In the meantime, though, would I be right in thinking the 'old' Win 7 Prof x86 SP1 would be appropriate, seeing as this machine was bought 2010 as far as I know. Or, would it be ok, and even beneficial, to download the U (media refresh). As you can see, I haven't a clue as to what the download comprises.

Also, am I understanding you correctly, ie that Win7 itself is actually in the download?

As you probably know, it's by doing all this stuff that we learn - but I have a LOT to learn so really value all the help you guys offer ;)

While typing this, I have read rdave's post - thanks very much

So, it seems to me that both of your links lead to the same source? I'll download tomorrow and see what happens. I can't boot up the laptop so, basically, not much to loose, eh?

Thanks guys. I'll update here once I've done that

Good night

  rdave13 01:31 16 Feb 2013

Same links but mine easier to understand... possibly.

  lotvic 12:00 16 Feb 2013

rdave13, yes agree, they are simpler as only English versions. Saves scrolling down page on Heidoc to get to pertinent version wanted.

  lotvic 14:10 16 Feb 2013

Be aware the .iso download is about 3GB. Once burnt to DVD boot up with dvd in tray to install W7.

note: if you want to look at contents of dvd - in another pc hold down the shift key on keyboard, keep it held down while you insert dvd, wait for dvd drive activity to stop then let go of shift key (this stops the dvd from autorunning) or you could just exit the dvd when the first menu comes up. (don't panic, it won't suddenly start installing by itself... first screen asks you what you want to do) You can then look at contents should you really want to via Windows Explorer.

  AroundAgain 19:15 16 Feb 2013

Hi I used F4 to try a complete restore and this time it worked, for some reason. So, I've now got Win 7 on the machine and it's running much better than previously, I have to say.


Having said that, I did download ISO and burnt to DVD, put it in the laptop but it wouldn't boot. I went into setup for a look around but decided it wasn't there. Was going to look in bios but that was when I decided to try the F4 option first, so I didn't actually get the DVD to boot it up. Does it sound to you that the machine might not have been set up to boot from DVD, do you think? Acaedemic but would be useful to know.

So, thanks to you all.

Now, I want to address the partitions, so will start a new thread for that. Hopefully, you'll be able to advise me, yet again. ;)


  lotvic 19:34 16 Feb 2013

You did use a burn program for .iso files didn't you? (and not just burn a dvd that has a copy of the .iso file on it). An .iso file is a compressed image and you need to burn with a program that will uncompress it first. Free ImgBurn is the usual choice

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