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Windows 7: Reformat Question


10 Aug 2011   #1

windows 7 pro 64
 
 
Reformat Question

Hi, I built my own PC and bought a copy of windows 7. The question is.........

I now wish to reformat my PC but was wondering...... how windows will know??, or will it know??, or is there something i need to do to make windows/my pc recognize that this windows copy is registered to this PC.

I am asking this as all previous computers i have owned have been pre built and come with a re format partition or whatever, thus i never questioned the reformat action before.

Hope my question makes sense at least to someone! Thanks.

(windows is activated and is genuine)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by enjoi1011 View Post
Hi, I built my own PC and bought a copy of windows 7. The question is.........

I now wish to reformat my PC but was wondering...... how windows will know??, or will it know??, or is there something i need to do to make windows/my pc recognize that this windows copy is registered to this PC.
If you're really starting from absolute scratch... empty hard drive, brand new Windows 7 install, etc., then you have no worries.

During the Windows 7 installation you'll be asked to enter the "product key" which is on the retail Windows 7 packaging. This will be retained, along with a full scan of your entire computer to detect its physical hardware characteristics.

After the install and when you first come up under Windows 7, you'll be directed to the "activation" process to connect to Microsoft and register your setup. Everything that had been entered and detected automatically will be sent to activate your system, and you're now off and running as a legitimate user.

If you ever do make minor hardware upgrades there will be no issue. This is understood, and does not invalidate your setup. Even if you reinstall Windows 7 from scratch again, since the hardware has not changed your re-activation with the new install will also go without a hitch. No problem.

If you ever make some major upgrades (like new CPU or motherboard) and reinstall Windows 7 from scratch, there is a remote possibility you will be "bothered" by the related activation process (I actually think you can use your retail copy of Windows 7 on 2 machines(?), but I may be wrong here). But usually, there's no problem even with such a significant upgrade. Again Microsoft anticipates these kinds of user hardware changes.

But after a certain number of Windows 7 reinstalls, you may finally be nagged as "too many activations". You will be then shown a telephone number to call Microsoft with, and you can get them to remove the old activation entry and accept the new activation entry (using something called a "product id" which they'll dictate to you for entry into the onscreen dialog to accept it), and you're home free.


Of course, this assumes a "retail" copy of Windows 7. If you bought an "OEM" copy of Windows 7 then you're absolutely tied to just one and only one physical machine. An OEM copy of Windows cannot be re-used on a second machine, and a complete replacement (e.g. new CPU and motherboard) may be seen as such.

But if you have a "retail" Windows 7 installation DVD, you're set.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

What version of Windows 7 appears on the COA sticker with Product Key?

You can activate Windows 7 on the same hardware as often as you want. If it's retail and any version except OEM it can migrate to the machine of your choice.

If it's Upgrade version there must be a qualifying XP or Vista which came with the machine or is a retail copy not being used elsewhere. It doesn't have to be installed: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

The most fundamental rule of all though is that each license can be installed only on one machine at time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Reformat Question




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