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Windows 7: Is Windows 7 retail copy really for up to 3 computers?

18 Oct 2011   #1
WiL11o6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 
Is Windows 7 retail copy really for up to 3 computers?

I know this has been asked a lot, and I have googled a lot trying to find a real answer to this. I have the retail Windows 7 Home, and I have done numerous reformatting on my computer until I bought a new computer. I tried to use the same CD-Key, but it says it is an invalid product key.

I was thinking, maybe it's up to 3 installs no matter what computer, however, I have done more than 3 installs on my same computer with no problems with the product key. I have read that it's good for up to 3 computers, not 3 installs.

I'm just irritated that I spent $100 on a Windows 7, and I'm locked down to one computer, that I'm not even going to use anymore. I have my new computer built, it's just sitting here, but I have no OS to install it on since my CD key isn't valid.

Is there something I need to do to re-validate the product key?

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Oct 2011   #2
OldMX

Microsoft Windows 10 Professional
 
 

No, its for one computer "at the time", install it as many times as you want.

About the invalid product key on the new computer, call the activation center 01800etc and explain the situation, they'll generate a new hardware string code for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2011   #3
WiL11o6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 

Thanks, for the quick response, but I don't quite understand.

So what you're saying is, I need to get a new Windows 7 for my new computer? Or rather, I need to get Windows 7 off my old computer? When I tried to install on my new computer, my old computer was not on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Oct 2011   #4
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It's 1 copy of Windows 7 per computer. So, if you buy 3 computers and want to run 3 computers at the same time...yes...you need 3 copies and 3 licenses.

When you install multiple times to the same hardware, the activation usually works as the machine hardware hash matches. If you try a new computer a long time after loading to the first computer, it will usually work just fine. It a short while, MS will deactivate that first machine if it's still running. IF however you load to Computer1 on Monday and then 2 days later try to load to Machine 2, it will fail. If PC1 blew up and you had to get a new PC, you end up having to call MS and explain the situation over the phone and they will activate it over the phone for you.


Since you are "retiring" the old computer and won't continue to use it, MS should activate your new computer over the phone for you. You don't need to purchase a new copy of Windows7 or a new Windows 7 license.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2011   #5
WiL11o6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 

I see....thanks. Man these Windows 7 forums are super active, I get instant replies. Thanks! Now it looks like I need to buy another copy. =(


It's also misleading when people say, good for up to 3 computers....but not at the same time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2011   #6
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hello Wil1106, and welcome to Seven Forums.

If you purchased a Windows 7 Family Pack copy, then it could have it's product key (license) activated on up to 3 computers at the same time.

Otherwise, a retail copy can only have it's product key number activated on 1 computer. If you wanted to activate that number on another computer, then it will have to be uninstalled from any previous computer first as per the EULA agreement.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2011   #7
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by WiL11o6 View Post
I know this has been asked a lot, and I have googled a lot trying to find a real answer to this. I have the retail Windows 7 Home, and I have done numerous reformatting on my computer until I bought a new computer. I tried to use the same CD-Key, but it says it is an invalid product key.

I was thinking, maybe it's up to 3 installs no matter what computer, however, I have done more than 3 installs on my same computer with no problems with the product key. I have read that it's good for up to 3 computers, not 3 installs.

I'm just irritated that I spent $100 on a Windows 7, and I'm locked down to one computer, that I'm not even going to use anymore. I have my new computer built, it's just sitting here, but I have no OS to install it on since my CD key isn't valid.

Is there something I need to do to re-validate the product key?

Thanks.
At worst it may require a call to MS phone activation.

If it says invalid key, it may be the version is wrong, (ie an OEM key and a retail version of the OS).

North America : (800) 936-5800 (MS phone support)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2011   #8
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

No, just install it on your new computer and use the automated telephone activation wizard thus:

Click the Start button and type slui.exe 4 in the Search field then press Enter to bring up the Activation Wizard.

Use the drop-down list to choose your location then click Next.

Call the free telephone number and follow the automated instructions.

You'll be asked whether you are a home or business computer user and how many computers you have installed Windows on - one is the answer required.

You'll be asked to key in the Installation ID using your telephone touchpad, after which you'll be informed your request is accepted and the new Activation ID will be read back to you.

At this stage, my advice would be to write down the Activation ID first, and then enter it into the relevant boxes in case you need to activate in the future.

When you've entered the Activation ID into the wizard, click Next and Windows should activate.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2011   #9
WiL11o6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 

Thanks for the replies, the problem is not within trying to activate Windows 7. The problem is I cannot even get onto the desktop. I am stuck at the product key page, when I'm trying to setup my account log in name and password. It says invalid product key.

But it's already been answered I guess. I didn't buy the Windows 7 Family Pack, so I am only limited to one computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2011   #10
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

So, you intend to keep running the 1st computer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Is Windows 7 retail copy really for up to 3 computers?




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