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Windows 7: Windows 7 Ultimate Let me Activate on more than 1 computer?


11 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 
Windows 7 Ultimate Let me Activate on more than 1 computer?

Hello All --

I recently purchased a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade from my University who had them heavily discounted. I installed it on my first computer (which was running Windows 7 Home Premium) by doing a custom install (deleted all my partions) and it activated perfectly fine.


However, at the time, I didn't know that this upgrade was only for 1 computer at a time, so about 2 days ago I upgraded my laptop (second computer) using the same method as my first computer. I booted from the upgrade disc, selected custom install, deleted all the information on my hard drive, and proceeded to install. After installing, it prompted for activation, which worked perfectly fine.

I am now typing this message on my laptop (second computer) which is has windows 7 activated. My first computer is still at my university, and I am home for spring break so I will not be able to use that for a week or so.

I literally just found out that this upgrade can only work for 1 computer at a time and I heard that Microsoft will actually blacklist my first computer so that it is not usable anymore. Is this true? I am actually freaking out.. because that computer is my primary workstation and I need windows 7 to be working on it. Should I just uninstall windows 7 from this computer and install another operation system? Or is it already too late, my first computer is already broken?

Please, I need some advice.

Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Mar 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

When you buy software you are actually buying a licence to use the software rather than the software itself.

In your case your licence only covers use on one computer, but it doesn't preclude moving the software to another computer providing you remove it from the old computer first.

However, because you have used a custom install and activated the software on two computers, Microsoft's activation database will more than likely not discover this unless you use both computers at the same time.

As this is highly unlikely due to the distance between both computers you may not get nagged that your software needs activating or that you need to buy another licence.

All I will say is that to comply with Microsoft's EULA (End User Licence Agreement) for the upgrade you purchased you do need a licence for each computer if you are going to use both, which means buying another upgrade.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 

Hi --

Thanks for your response. So what do you suggest me to do going forward? Should I go ahead and uninstall Windows 7 from this computer and re-install my previous operating system? That is actually what I am planning to do right now, but I'm not sure if that is the best option to do.

If I connect both computers to the internet at the same time, will one of them get blacklisted and become unusable? If so, which one?

I also installed Microsoft Office 2010 on this computer (Also purchased as student discount). If I have to reinstall another OS on this computer (which will not be compatible with microsoft office), will that mean I have used one of my installs for office?

Also -- Why does Microsoft let you activate windows on another computer if you are only allowed access to 1 at a time? If they gave me a warning that this key was already used on another computer and cannot be re-used, then I would have not installed it. This just makes it more frustrating.

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Mar 2012   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You can take your chances, but it is better to play by the rules: "One license key for one PC".

You may be lucky for a while, but eventually big brother will catch up with you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2012   #5

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

Buy another copy from your University and use it's key on either of the machines. That should resolve the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

You own a retail copy of Windows 7 which can be migrated to any computer of your choice, but only be on one at a time.

In MS Activation Servers there is a hardware signature married to every Product Key, which is set up when you first install and activate. If you attempt to reactivate with a Key which already exists in their Server, it sees whether the hardware signature is substantially the same and, if not, asks the question "How many computers is this copy of Windows 7 installed upon?" to which you can only answer "One" to proceed.

This gives MS the authorization to overwrite the hardware signature for that Key so that when the previously activated Windows 7 connects to the internet and is not seen in the servers, it will require reactivation. At this point you can buy a new key and insert it.

It may take awhile, but two installations will not ride for long with both remaining activated by the same key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
 
 

Thanks for your responses guys,

So can I just buy another Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade disc with a new key from my university and it will be okay? Will I be able to just enter the new key into the desktop and have it activated that way? Will I have to completely re install windows on the computer or can I just re-enter the key?

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Was the key you activated on both installs Upgrade version?

If so then you can just insert the key at Control Panel>System Change Product Key link.

I would wait to see for sure which one deactivates first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jrw93 View Post
Hi --

Thanks for your response. So what do you suggest me to do going forward? Should I go ahead and uninstall Windows 7 from this computer and re-install my previous operating system? That is actually what I am planning to do right now, but I'm not sure if that is the best option to do.

If I connect both computers to the internet at the same time, will one of them get blacklisted and become unusable? If so, which one?

I also installed Microsoft Office 2010 on this computer (Also purchased as student discount). If I have to reinstall another OS on this computer (which will not be compatible with microsoft office), will that mean I have used one of my installs for office?

Also -- Why does Microsoft let you activate windows on another computer if you are only allowed access to 1 at a time? If they gave me a warning that this key was already used on another computer and cannot be re-used, then I would have not installed it. This just makes it more frustrating.

Thanks
If you don't want to spend any more money re-installing your old operating system would be a solution.

As far as I'm aware, you can install Microsoft Office Student Edition on two computers.

If you subsequently get told you've installed it on more than two computers just use the automated telephone activation service to activate it, and then uninstall the software from one of the older computers.

As for Windows, Microsoft's EULA sets out the terms and conditions for using the software and it does include a warning about unlicensed usage.

Trouble is, very few of us read it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2012   #10

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Was the key you activated on both installs Upgrade version?

If so then you can just insert the key at Control Panel>System Change Product Key link.

I would wait to see for sure which one deactivates first.
Not to hijack the thread, but...

I was surprised that the OP was able to activate Windows 7 on both machines, using a single key.

I dimly recall that in the old (XP) days, the activation server reset after a moderate period - I believe that it was 120 days. That's outside of what I'd call "recently".

I also recall that once activation was done, there were no circumstances under which Microsoft would revoke it. Microsoft might not permit actvation with that key again, but they wouldn't reach into your machine and deactivate an existing install.

The WGA bit is something else altogether. I'm hazy on whether a WGA failure would affect the operation of the PC, above blocking updates. (I thought that it would not, aside from nagging.)

Is there a brief, clear, and accurate account of these somewhere?

(I have a slight personal interest. My original upgrade licenses, purchased from the MS Store back in '09, were blacklisted last year. When I contacted MS, I was told that the licenses had been marked as "returned". No further explanation was forthcoming, but they gave me two new keys.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 Ultimate Let me Activate on more than 1 computer?




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