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Windows 7: Quick Product Key

03 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Ultimate 64-Bit, Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, Windows XP
Quick Product Key

Hello. I have a quick question that pertains to product keys.

I currently have Win7 installed on my computer. However, I was thinking about re-installing it. That is, I want to wipe my drive and start again (this I know how to do). However, will I be able to use the same Product Key again? I assume so. Yet, I suppose my real curiosity is, how does MS know that I'm not just putting Win on another machine and just re-using the key?

Just building my general knowledge base! Thanks SevenForums!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install

If you want instructions on how its done just post.

Yes you can reinstall either upgrade or full retail

If you want updates etc, they will know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 8 Pro

You can use the same product key multiple times. If you have a retail Windows disc you are allowed 1 Key on one machine at a time. If you uninstall the retail Windows from that particular machine it can be installed on another.

OEM Windows will only install on one machine period. The OEM key is linked to your motherboard at activation. No swapping from one PC to another with an OEM key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Though re-installing on the same machine as the OP asked should succeed with retail or OEM... Just don't replace haldf the hardware inbetween
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Yes, you can re-use your key. If used on the same computer it's straight forward, no problems. If used to activate Windows on another computer, activation might need to be done over the phone but it's still a piece of cake. Here's one story about phone activation.

Re-activating Windows on another computer kind of deactivates the former installation, which causes unpleasant "You are running non-genuine Windows" surprises.

Activation information sent to Microsoft contains enough information about your computer and hardware setup to identify the computer. That is why a major change in your hardware, especially when using OEM install media, causes a re-activation request.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Quick Product Key

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