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Windows 7: Reformat Question

10 Aug 2011   #1
enjoi1011

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
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (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 Win7 install, etc., then you have no worries.

During the Win7 installation you'll be asked to enter the "product key" which is on the retail Win7 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 Win7, 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 Win7 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 Win7 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 Win7 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 Win7 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 Win7. If you bought an "OEM" copy of Win7 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" Win7 installation DVD, you're set.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Aug 2011   #3
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

What version of Win7 appears on the COA sticker with Product Key?

You can activate Win7 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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