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Windows 7: Windows 7 upgrade product Key invalid

26 Oct 2009   #1

windows 7
Windows 7 upgrade product Key invalid

Hi I have been trying to figure out why my windows 7 upgrade product key keeps saying its invalid but I think its because I did a clean install instead of doing upgrade and then clean so now I'm re downloading the windows 7 fromg digital river and trying to upgrade from windows 7 to windows 7 so that I can put in my product key in the upgrade part instead of the clean install part so I am wondering if that will work or will i run into problems already having windows 7 installed?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 x64

How exactly did you clean install? Did you wipe the drive prior to beginning the install?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #3
Microsoft MVP


Follow the steps in this tutorial for clean installing Windows 7 Upgrade. All of the activation workarounds are in the comments which are up to the minute.

Doing a Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

I am not sure why you are downloading the ISO or .exe again. Do you have a disk? If so just boot from it and follow the tutorial above, making sure your data is all backed up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Oct 2009   #4

windows 7

I dont have a disk I had to download it from the website and they gave me a product key and then I downloaded it and ran it and clicked the install botton and then it asked for upgrade or clean install and i selected clean install and it installed windows 7 and all my programs and files were taken out with the new operating system. I did back up my files before doing this but now windows 7 is working on my computer but i cant activate it because my product key is not working its saying invalid and now i need to re download the .exe file because i dont have a hard copy and the digital copy i downloaded before was wiped clean with everything else when i initially installed windows 7. now im going to try and re install windows 7 and do the upgrade option instead of the clean install and see if the product key works that way. I just wanted to know if this might work becuase i'm already runing windows 7 and i'm going to be upgrading to windows 7 if that makes sense.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #5
Microsoft MVP


If you did a clean install over your old OS then all of your files are saved in the windows.old folder in the root drive.

The in-place Upgrade option would only have worked had you chosen it from Vista OS. It reinstalls programs, files and settings and takes awhile. However, one of the fixes to get an OS to activate after clean install is to re-run the Upgrade (repair) install over the existing OS and then it should take the key upfront, or afterward in Computer>Properties.

You chose the Custom clean install which wipes everything and puts your files in windows.old.

My suggestion is to retrieve your Windows 7 installer files and if they are an .ISO, burn a disk and do a clean install from boot according to the tutorial in my earlier post. This is the cleanest possible install, and the activation workarounds given in the comments in the tutorial are all proven to work with no exceptions reported.

Or you can try the same activation workarounds from your current install to see if you get activated. Have you tried inserting your key at Computer>Properties link?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #6

windows 7

so do you think reinstalling the windows 7 and doing the upgrade option would work? it wont mess up anything by upgrading to windows 7 from windows 7?
I'm not computer savvy at all so I dont know exactly what I'm doing how do I get too the root file and how do i burn a .ISO disk. ALso I dont know what computer>properties link is. sorry I'm kind of just winging this because microsoft will not help me and I need to get this activated some how
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #7
Microsoft MVP


OK, it is too late to upgrade your Vista doing an in-place upgrade which reinstalls everything in the new Windows 7 since your VIsta is gone, right?

So now you are trying just to activate the Windows 7 you've got because otherwise it's okay?

If so, and you have tried inserting your Product Key when first asked by the installer, then made a second attempt by using the Activaton link on Computer>Properties page, and neither of those worked on this installation?

Then, yes, the next step to get activated is to do a Repair install, which with Windows 7 is a simple upgrade over the existing OS run from the desktop, by running the Windows 7 installer and choosing Upgrade.

WHile it is running, browse the comments in the tutorial linked above so you can see how others resolved this, following these same steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #8

windows 7

okay i found the windows 7 installer in the old files and so im running that now and its unloading the box so how i'm understanding it is that once that completes i run the installer and just press upgrade and follow the steps from there? that seems simple enough hopefully it works thank you so much for everything sorry if my questions were frusterating
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2009   #9
Microsoft MVP


Not at all. Yes, run the Upgrade which will make the installer see a qualifying OS underneath, which is apparently all it needs in certain cases, although many have installed from boot with Upgrade disk to formatted HDD.

Right now I am testing Upgrade clean install to zeroed HDD which erases all traces of underlying OS.

And there is a workaround for installing to a brand new HDD being given out by MS, so they are obviously cool with clean installs from boot with no previous OS, just an EULA that says there needs to be one available if the question ever arises.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2009   #10

windows 7 and arch linux

I have the same problem. I did a clean install using digital river, and now my window's 7 won't activate! Let me know if doing the upgrade from windows 7 works....
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 upgrade product Key invalid

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