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Windows 7: Preinstalled activation key question

18 Feb 2014   #1
eagle3ye

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
Preinstalled activation key question

Hello,

I have a notebook that came preinstalled with Windows 8. I recently had to send it in for service regarding a power issue. I wiped the hard drive before shipping it out and just got it back a few days ago. Per protocol, the service center reimaged my hard drive with the factory standard OS. What I find odd, though, is that I checked the activation key with third party software, and it's different from the one that was on the computer when I first bought it.

My question is, what happens to my old activation key? Does Microsoft "think" it's still activated on my notebook?

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Feb 2014   #2
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Welcome
I do not think it matters what Microsoft thinks. If you buy a computer with Windows installed, you must use it only on that one computer. It cannot be used on any other computer. So bottom line, installed or not installed, you or no one else will be able to use it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2014   #3
eagle3ye

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

That makes sense. So theoretically, if I bought an OEM version of Windows 8 core and installed it on a different computer and used that old activation key, it wouldn't activate? Could it be, too, that the computer manufacturer assigned that old key to someone else?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Feb 2014   #4
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

How to Tell ? Hardware

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Microsoft
Reinstallation media, sometimes called a recovery disc, is typically included with a new or used PC purchase. Because the software is already preinstalled, the reinstallation or recovery media is provided so that you can reinstall or recover the software if it stops working properly. Recovery discs are not licensed to be sold separately from the PC they were shipped with; if you try to install software from a recovery disc on a PC other than the one it was originally shipped on, you may not be able to activate and/or use it.

Note: For some PCs, the recovery media might be installed on a separate partition on the PC’s hard drive itself. Refer to the documentation that came with your PC to find the appropriate reinstallation/recovery solution.

Where is my Windows 8 Product Key, and How Can I Tell That My Windows 8 Installation Is Genuine? | Dell US

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dell
Where is the Windows 8 Product Key?


Factory-installed Windows 8 computers differ from previous versions of Windows. Previously, the Product Key for Windows was attached as a label on the computer so that, in the event that the computer required reinstallation, the key could be referenced for activation.

For Windows 8, the Product Key is "injected" onto the computer motherboard at the factory, and the installation and activation processes refer to the BIOS of the computer to verify authenticity and activate Windows. No Windows Product Key is otherwise provided or needed by the customer.

The above is the same for all OEM manufacturer's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2014   #5
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

The old OEM key is not given to someone else. It is tied to your machine. You can always use it (but would not want to) to reinstall on your computer. If you bought a install DVD. It can be used on one machine at a time. The OEM can only be used on your machine. Trust me they know, when its used on another machine. You will be slowly deactivated, after a month it would be gone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2014   #6
eagle3ye

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Okay, this all makes sense. Suppose I want to install a clean version of 8 core on my notebook using an OEM installation disc and the key I extracted from the Bios - would this activate? I'm using the same version of Windows 8 and the product key shipped from the manufacturer. The only difference is it doesn't include the manafacturer's preinstalled software and HDD recovery partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2014   #7
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

It should. The version that you have now, cannot be used elsewhere, however
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