Downgrading Vista Business OEM to XP Pro OEM, Possible?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Installation' started by chucky2, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. chucky2

    chucky2 Guest

    My uncles business has an old machine running XP Pro SP2 OEM that simply
    cannot handle old software anymore, so I'll be building him a new modern

    The problem is the software he needs to run doesn't run on Vista, it's a
    known issue.

    We'd like to buy Vista Business OEM for the new machine for future use (when
    the software finally works on Vista), but use his XP Pro SP2 OEM disk and key
    on the new machine, and also on the old.

    I know this is in effect using the same key on two completely different
    machines, however two licences have been purchased so I'd think this should
    be OK with Microsoft.

    Does anyone know if this is legit legally and if is, from a Windows
    Update/Validation point of view?

    Thanks either way!

    chucky2, Aug 28, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  2. No... not legal. Buy a second OEM copy of XP.... it's only $99.
    Build an XP system and there will be no driver or software issues.
    I'd wait until VISTA has been around for a while longer and is further
    de-bugged before committing.

    IMHO, you're better off running XP until VISTA is out of Beta, or as
    long as you don't care to have a user profile built on your machine's
    David Morgan \(MAMS\), Aug 28, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  3. chucky2

    John Barnes Guest

    If you have a second license you have a second key, use it. The license for
    an OEM product is tied to the computer it came on or is first installed on.
    Since the activation algorithm will be different for each machine,
    activation will be required each time the computer checks it, which isn't as
    often with XP as Vista, but do really want that? Buy another OEM product
    key or use the key that came with your second license.
    John Barnes, Aug 28, 2007
  4. chucky2

    Kerry Brown Guest

    Yes, that's possible and legal. Vista Business has downgrade rights to XP
    Pro. Even though you installed XP using a key from another computer the
    license is actually from the copy of Vista you have. You will have to phone
    in for activation of XP and explain that you are exercising your downgrade
    rights from Vista.
    Kerry Brown, Aug 28, 2007
  5. Interesting. You're saying that a VISTA license will activate XP ?
    David Morgan \(MAMS\), Aug 28, 2007

  6. So the actual VISTA key will NOT activate XP ?

    And if the key is used for such by phone, then VISTA can no longer be activated?
    David Morgan \(MAMS\), Aug 28, 2007
  7. chucky2

    John Barnes Guest

    No. You didn't say what 2 licenses you had. Kerry says you can downgrade
    with your vista license, so follow his advice.
    John Barnes, Aug 28, 2007
  8. chucky2

    chucky2 Guest

    Hey Kerry, Thanks!

    That's exactly what I was looking for!

    chucky2, Aug 28, 2007
  9. chucky2

    Kerry Brown Guest

    One thing I forgot to mention. If your OEM version of XP came is BIOS locked
    you won't be able to install it.
    Kerry Brown, Aug 29, 2007
  10. chucky2

    Kerry Brown Guest

    The XP install won't finish unless you provide an XP key. Keys are specific
    to the version, i.e. an OEM XP Pro US English key will only work with that
    exact version of XP.

    The Vista key never gets used or entered anywhere. If at some later point
    you wish to install Vista on the same computer it will work. The key point
    is that as you are using OEM software you can run Vista or a downgrade to XP
    Pro on that computer with that license. Keys are not licenses and vice
    versa. You have a license to run Vista business on that computer. Part of
    that license says that you can downgrade to XP Pro on that computer. You
    can't install XP Pro and Vista at the same. It's one or the other and only
    on that computer. My advice is to take an image of all the partitions on the
    disk and store it away for future use. Format the drive and install XP Pro
    using the key from the other computer. Phone to activate it and explain what
    you've done. It should be activated. If they won't point them to the link I
    posted. When you want to return to Vista restore the image you created. Note
    that the downgrade rights are very specific. You can only downgrade from
    Vista Business or Ultimate to XP Pro, Tablet, or Pro x64. You can't
    downgrade to XP Home or media Center. Nor can you downgrade from Vista Home
    basic or Premium.
    Kerry Brown, Aug 29, 2007
  11. chucky2

    chucky2 Guest

    Cool, thanks for that extra info...won't have that problem as the HP
    originally came with 98SE, XP Pro SP2 OEM full version was something I'd put
    on to gain stability, which worked.

    Thanks again for all the info, I think we're good to go!

    chucky2, Aug 29, 2007
  12. chucky2

    Pip Guest

    You should post how your experience goes with the activation. Microsoft's
    phone activation for downgrades has been "problematic" in the past. It would
    be good to know if it has gotten easier.
    Pip, Aug 29, 2007
  13. chucky2

    Geezersoft Guest

    I have been on the phone for over an hour so far. I am a microsoft
    registered partner and have logged an official complaint.

    For something that should be very straight forward, MS have really let us
    down here!!

    I have 18 of these to do for a customer and i am still on my first!!!
    Geezersoft, Sep 4, 2007
  14. chucky2

    Pip Guest

    Ouch, I figured this was still a royal pain. I have 61 PC's and 7 laptops to
    order. I'm debating whether to just buy them with XP and forgo this complete
    Vista downgrade nightmare. Did they let you activate all of your systems at
    once, or do you have to call separately for each one? I know I sure as heck
    am not calling them 68 times.
    Pip, Sep 4, 2007

  15. Buy the PCs with XP or build them yourself and install XP.... it will be on the
    retail shelves for some time to come. Demand XP from the laptop builder
    or try a different builder until one will accomodate you. This is not that
    difficult.... if you don't want VISTA (and I can't blame you), then don't buy
    David Morgan \(MAMS\), Sep 4, 2007
  16. chucky2

    Pip Guest

    The problem really is our applications simply won't work on it yet. This is a
    common issue with many companies. I'd stay with XP forever if it were up to
    me, but eventually, someday, the company will have PC's running Vista. Anyone
    that's lived though a supporting a mixed environment knows what a joy it is.
    I'd like to have the ability a year from know to go to Vista, once SP1 for it
    is out, and our apps are compatible. This is the central purpose of MS
    downgrade rights. Too bad they make it such a pain in the arse.

    And there's no way I'm signing up to be complete hardware tech support for
    61 office PC's by building them myself. That's the job of the Dell on-site
    tech, and he can have it.
    Pip, Sep 4, 2007
  17. It would appear that MS is making certain that VISTA does not go the way of
    Millenium Edition by saturating the OEM marketplace in a big way. It's an
    NT -and a specialized one at that- OS, and there were 4 service packs for
    WIN2K before the bugs were adequately addressed.
    Indeed... but from reading below, isn't that a job for the DELL tech ????
    What kind of "hardware" do you need that isn't either built onto current
    motherborads or isn't plug and play? Either it works or it doesn't... if the
    latter, it get replaced. How long is your Dell 'on-site' tech support... one

    If you were in my market, I'd offer to build and support 61 PCs at probably
    65% of the cost of a Dell package... but that's just my humble ego. ;-)

    IIRC, Dell is one of the few that offer XP systems, so I think you're in good
    shape... just pay the blanket upgrade fee at the appropriate time. (Which
    might be both further off and less expensive than you imagine).

    VISTA, IMHO, is the next thing to the human implanted chip, in-so-far-as
    building reportable profiles on its users. It might not last. Although it has
    already outlived M.E. for retail shelf life, there's still a chance that it may
    not make the grade... though you're probably correct in assuming that it is
    here to stay.

    Personally, I stayed with 98SE and 2K until just two years ago.. and now that
    I'm getting a grip on controlling XP instead of being controlled BY it, I'm coming
    no closer to VISTA that I have already been by experimenting with two of the OS'
    for 29 days each. It ain't ready for 'prime time' and I don't know a serious tech
    (or even too many PC salesmen) that will tell you otherwise. <g>

    Cheers & good luck,

    David Morgan \(MAMS\), Sep 4, 2007
  18. chucky2

    ndy Guest

    I also have same issue.
    I contacted Microsoft, Dell, and HP.
    I got same answers. Use a XP Pro OEM key that cannot be activated anymore
    (previously activated on other machine), so when you click activation, XP
    prompt and you to call MS activation center.
    I am suppose to "the OS will prompt the customer to call the Activation
    Support Line and explain the circumstances to the Customer Service
    Representative. Once it is determined that the Vista Business or Ultimate
    license is valid, the Customer Service Representative will manually activate
    Windows XP".

    Ya, right. Activation center told me I still need valid XP Pro OEM key and
    they did not even want to know my valid Vista Business key. Maybe activation
    center is not up to date with MS downgrade rights policy. I yelled at them
    and at the end I got SP Pro activated. They just want to deal with me

    I contacted Dell and HP again. Will see what they have to say.
    ndy, Oct 16, 2007
  19. chucky2

    ndy Guest

    I really like to know if anybody actually tried this method.
    I was told same thing by HP, Dell and MS representitives.

    I installed XP pro on Vista Business sticker workstation. I used old XP Pro
    key to installation and click on the activation key, which failed as
    expected, and called activation center as stated in the Vista downgrade
    right's policy.

    Lady at activation center naver heard of it, insist I need a valid XP key.
    I even told them MS web site has information on how to down grade. At the
    end she gave me a activation ID and try to get rid of me.

    I really want to hear if anybody actually try the doengrade activation.

    My division activate about 100 XP Pro a month to sent to customers.
    ndy, Oct 16, 2007
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.