How to tell if a product key is 32 or 64 bit

tmgordon

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Jun 7, 2011
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I am trying to figure out if this computer came with 32 or 64 bit Vista. The HDD failed in this unit and the Dell recovery cd's were never made. Will a product key work for both 32 and 64 bit? My co-worker originally installed 64 bit on the new HDD because there is 4 gigs of memory in the system, but said the product key didn't work so it must be 32 bit. Is there a way we can tell by the product key itself what version it is? I can't believe dell would sell a system with 4 gigs and a 32 bit OS. The customer says they did not upgrade the memory in it. I have read that the product key should work on both versions, but I thought that was just with 7. Thanks for your help.
 
What disk did you use to install the system ? The product key is probably for an OEM version of the OS not a retail version. Could try to use the phone activation and see if the computerized system gives you a working response code to get it validated
 

TitusFFX

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Apr 14, 2011
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Dell use a unique product key and are assigned a code with a key OA which means Online Activation.
However, there is an exception to this. Due to the large amounts of fraud they were having of people reusing keys over and over they have disabled this feature and will require you to call them to activate them which is actually not that hard and takes only a few mintues.