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Windows 7: Can't activate windows 7

08 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
Can't activate windows 7

Hey guys n gals, my mom got a new computer few months back and it came with xp preloaded with the windows 7 cd in it(was a double bundle to upgrade if you wanted)

She really likes xp and doesn't welcome change much. So I decided to take the windows 7 cd to install on my computer but the cd key won't verify and keeps giving me the '3 days to activate' thing.

Is there any way for me to actually use windows 7 since its just wasted sitting there collecting dust, or is there some sort of key embedded on her motherboard to verify that THAT windows 7 will only work on THAT computer?

Thanks in advance.

Using an AMD Athlon Dual Core x64 4200+ 2.2ghz, 2.2 gigs of ram, radeon hd 4670, 300watt psu if any of this matters.

And if its possible for me to run windows 7 with that cd, how does my 2gigs of ram work into it? Would I be able to install the 64 bit version and actually play some recent games okay, even on low settings(like skyrim, BF3, etc?) it's an older computer but supports 64 bit vista, and the windows 7 upgrade advisor tool said everything was fine to upgrade.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64 Zorin OS 9 Core x64 Ubuntu 14.04 x64 Xubuntu 13.1 x64

It will run fine. If you have the Gigs, why not make a small partition of about 30 gigs or so, install 7 there, and test it out. But don`t activate it. That way you don`t have to get rid of your older system yet. Any questions, just ask. There is a wealth of knowledge here.

My bad, I re-read and saw you already put it on your pc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


or is there some sort of key embedded on her motherboard to verify that THAT windows 7 will only work on THAT computer?
You can only install to your MOM's PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1

Insufficient data.

What type of Win7 upgrade came with your mom's new PC? If it's an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) copy, it may not install on a different PC.

How did you install it? Even if it's a retail upgrade DVD, it is not intended to be installed on a system with no OS. There are ways to do that, though.

Doing a Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

As regards 64 bit, 2 GB of RAM is the minimum Microsoft recommends for a 64 bit installation. I've never tried that, but I expect that you'd be OK. You are aware, I hope, that a standard Windows installation DVD contains only the 32 or 64 bit version. You'd need to come up with a 64 bit copy, which is not all that difficult ( .iso links at mydigtallife).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP


It's possible an OEM Upgrade kit will only activate on the computer it came with. If it's an Upgrade version then it needs to have the workaround done after install to activate Upgrade if no OS is on the HD at install. If it's OEM version it will become locked to the mobo once installed and cannot be moved.

You can try Dual Booting with XP so your Mom can acclimate herself to a modern OS while getting all of the programs from XP up and running in 7. Then when the time comes we can help you remove XP.
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

Just wanted to let you guys know I went ahead and just installed the Windows 7 over my XP and it installed fine, kept all my old files in a new 'windows.old' folder(of course xp wasn't there but I can still access them) and I guess last time I tried to install W7 my key was typed wrong, as it worked flawlessly now.

I went ahead and made another partition and tried it that way, and it worked out that way too. Using W7 32bit as my hardware is a tad outdated and I read its better to go 32 that way, and 64 if your specs are more up to date. Thanks for all the fast replies and info, and I look forward to using Windows 7....just have to get used to it, nothing like XP =)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP


If you clean intstalled Win7 to another partition and still have the original XP drive which needs removing, then please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk management drive map with listings showing all columns - using the Snipping Tool in Start Menu. Screen Shots
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

Well I already saw that it worked out both ways so I got rid of the old xp part as I only have ~80gigs total of HDD space(yea i know) so a screeny isn't possible =(
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP


You said you installed over XP and then made another partition and installed again.

Do you still have two Win7 installations on the remaining HD as we can help you remove one and reclaim the HD space?

If in doubt post back a screenshot of Disk management.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

Yea I had the issue of reclaiming the 'unallocated' space that was my other partition but i figured out that I needed to expand my c: to take over that block. To think I've had such a small HDD(76 usable once its all said and done) and 10 gigs of that was on a separate partition.

But yea, I now have 1 partition of 76gigs, running only windows 7.

You guys are a ton of help, probably the most help I've had on any forum, so thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can't activate windows 7

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