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Windows 7: Employee used company's disk to install at home

19 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate
Employee used company's disk to install at home

Hi there,

I'm an IT Administrator for a large chain of companies, and I had recently purchased four Windows 7 Home Premium FULL disks and installed them onto four new machines. I left the install boxes on the desks for a couple of hours (something I'll never do again, even if I do trust those around), and upon returning noticed one was gone. As it turns out, one of the employees took it home when they got off and installed it onto their home computer. Now she's getting the notifications that her copy is not genuine, as I've already registered that activation code on the original machine.

My question is, can she simply purchase a new Windows 7 Home Premium UPGRADE version (and use that key to activate) from the local retail store, or does she have to purchase the FULL version since she used a full version disk to install?

I won't even entertain following any other methods that include less than EULA friendly methods, especially since the employee never should have took the disks in the first place.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 and MAC

No she can just have the KEY and it will solve it, no need to purchase the full Product
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP


Unless she has XP or Vista OS on hand to qualify for Upgrade version (which doesn't need to be installed but shouldn't be used again under the EULA) she would need to buy a full version license then change the key at Computer>Properties link, or run a Repair Install to fully reset activation, then insert key.

Repair Install
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate

I normally would be telling the owners about this, but she's been with the company for almost 20 years and it's not worth her possibly losing her job over.

As far as the key goes, she simply needs to enter the key into the "change product key" area when the OS pops up the "not geniune" bla bla screen. No re-installation is needed, I would think. So with this, will a simple upgrade key work to re-activate with? She had Vista previously installed, and did an upgrade install using the full disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP


Yes it should activate if in-place Upraded, or because the installer saw Vista when booted and passed flag to allow Upgrade version key.

If not it may require the Repair Install which fully resets activation.

Reinstall is not necessary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc

Buy a key

Call the appropriate number and the employee will be good to go

Microsoft Volume Licensing - Activation Centers
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Employee used company's disk to install at home

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