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Windows 7: I can't use any Win7 CD to reload the OS?

13 Jun 2011   #1

Win 8.1 Pro
I can't use any Win7 CD to reload the OS?

Hi all. Long story cousin's hard drive failed. Installed a new hard drive & wrote down the Win7 product key that appears on the sticker (the sticker is worn, but I'm confident I have the right key).

Since I don't have her Win7 CD, I used mine. Win7 is not accepting her product key, though.

Is this because I am using my own Win7 CD? Isn't it in fact possible to install Win7 using ANY CD?

Thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Jun 2011   #2

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

They have to be the same version & same 32bit or 64bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

As DocBrown said, I think that the problem is that her product key is not for Windows 7 Home Premium, which I presume is the edition of the installation disc you are using.

I am pretty sure, but not completely sure, that a product key can be used for both 32-bit and 64-bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Jun 2011   #4

Win 8.1 Pro

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
They have to be the same version & same 32bit or 64bit.
Her PC came with Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
I am using my Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit CD - the only difference being that I purchased it with a student discount.

So, it ought to work.

If anyone has any tricks to suggest, I'd appreciate it. I have to get this PC on a plane next week.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2011   #5

Win 8.1 Pro

MS support gave me a number to call tomorrow (800-642-7676). They may help me get Windows activated (crossing fingers).

Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2011   #6


YOu may not have the exact digits typed in, or copied down. Always audit the HD to read the key using Belarc Advisor first if there's a question.

Other than that it should work. You don't need the Upgrade verison workaround for an OEM install, and youre using the same version retail installer. Keep trying the key.

If you have a windows.old folder in C root you can even roll back to the old install to audit the exact key from HD using Belarc. How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder

Let us know if MS will help, or refers you to her OEM which prob won't support a clean reinstall. The normal procedure is they verify the key, then if its retail refer you to tech support to get it activated one way or another, but if it's OEM they can refer you to maker.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2011   #7

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

The student discount disk is an Upgrade disk. If you performed a clean install with it, you may need the workaround as described in this tut.

Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

Second, the COA key (sticker key) often refuses online activation, so try the phone activation method.

Activate Windows 7 by Phone
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


What is the make & model?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2011   #9

Win 8.1 Pro

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
YOu may not have the exact digits typed in, or copied down.
You guys were right. The Win7 sticker was a bit worn, and I had one digit wrong.

In case anyone else has this issue, don't get bounced around at Microsoft Support like I did. Call 800-642-7676 (their new number) or the number I originally called (800-936-5700) -- they will remotely connect to your PC to resolve the issue. And, most importantly, they are very familiar with Windows product keys.

Thanks again, guys!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 I can't use any Win7 CD to reload the OS?

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