Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Clean install of windows 7 with the pc's product key?


15 May 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Clean install of windows 7 with the pc's product key?

I am going to be setting up some new computers and I was wondering about product keys.

Every computer you buy comes with it's own product key for whatever version of windows you have installed (Windows 7 Pro, Universal, etc.).

It takes forever to uninstall everything they put on those computers so I'm planning on doing a Automated Installation using Microsoft's WAIK.

I was wondering if I could create a new image from a Windows 7 Install disk (in this case Windows 7 Pro) with all the customizations I plan for it (specific installed software and system preferences) for installation on the new Lenovo computers and then use the product key that came with those computers to activate the installation.

I fear that the key is one issued directly to the OEM (in this case Lenovo) and is special only to them - can't be used on commercial or even OEM Windows 7 install disks.

Thanks in advance for your help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 May 2010   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I am not 100% sure what you are trying to do. But the product keys come with the installation disk and that is the key you have to use for the installation. The product key that came with your lenovo system is specific to the OS that is installed on that lenovo system. It is an OEM key and cannot be moved to another system nor can it be applied to another installation disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 

whs,

That answers my question - I'll have to image the actual computer after uninstalling all the extra stuff Lenovo likes to put on there.

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


15 May 2010   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Yes, imaging is a good way to conserve the system at a certain state. I use free Macrium for imaging (it is easy to use, fast and reliable) but any other good imaging program will do. If it is only a one time image, you can consider to image on DVDs - you will probably need two DVD-R's. Else a big USB stick or a folder on an external disk will do too. For space, figure that the image will take about 55 to 60% of the amount of bytes (with default compression) that you have on your OS disk. Do not forget to burn the imaging program recovery disk which you will need the day you want to pull the image back in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2010   #5

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

tapad,

IDK whether i understood your question 100%, but a few things:

1) Every computer (lenovo or any other brand) that comes preinstalled with Windows 7 is preactivated by the OEM at the factory by deploying an image across multiple computers. The keys used to activate such installs are called SLP keys and they work in conjunction with the right bios table and oem certificate. So, E.g., take a Lenovo computer that came with Windows 7 pro preactivated. That computer was activated by achieving the right combo i.e. Windows 7 pro SLP key + lenovo cert + lenovo bios SLIC table, a process that is done routinely by OEMs. The same key is deployed across millions of computers, it is not the key that you see on the COA sticker.

2) So whatever image you deploy, you'll need to incorporate the right cert and key. An image prepared from a lenovo specific install disk will have the right key and cert and will successfully reinstall and activate Windows 7 on a computer which came preactivated but not one prepared from a generic Windows 7 key. Let me add that SLP keys are edition specific and not vendor specific and are also in the public domain. The cert though is vendor specific. However, both are in the public domain and easily accessible.

3) I DO NOT ADVOCATE PIRACY. So please make sure that you deploy custom images only for computers that you have a valid windows license for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Any factory OEM Windows 7 Product Key can be used to clean reinstall Windows 7 using your own clean copy of the installer.
All installers starting with Vista are the same whether OEM or Retail - you only need to unlock all versions which can be done with this tool: Create Windows 7 Universal ISO With All Editions Selection On Install with ei.cfg Removal Utility My Digital Life

It may require a robocall during activation to sort the specific key from the batch key on the COA sticker.

The exception would be Enterprise version which uses Volume Licensing scheme.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2010   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Any factory OEM Windows 7 Product Key can be used to clean reinstall Windows 7 using your own clean copy of the installer.
All installers starting with Vista are the same whether OEM or Retail - you only need to unlock all versions which can be done with this tool: Create Windows 7 Universal ISO With All Editions Selection On Install with ei.cfg Removal Utility My Digital Life

It may require a robocall during activation to sort the specific key from the batch key on the COA sticker.

The exception would be Enterprise version which uses Volume Licensing scheme.
Greg, I have an OEM Windows7 installation disk (from NewEgg) sitting on my desk that I plan to install on my German Dell Desktop once I have figured out how to get my OCZ SSD into the box (there is no free bay). From what you are saying, with that tool I could install an Ultimate edition (although I bought it as Home Premium) using the same key. Is that correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

It will normally work unless there is a difference in the Language between the retail installer and the OEM Product Key's original install language.

The keys are language specific according to Kari. I believe he has also said that some factory OEM's can restrict or allow language variances.

Of course in Ultimate you get language packs so that may provide the variance and make it worth a try anyway.

I would check with Kari on this as he is the forums' top expert on language issues in Windows 7 licensing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2010   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You can install any Edition from the dvd - just remove the ei.cfg file , or toggle it with that app.

However, you can only activate the Edition you have the product key for.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2010   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

Si, quick question:

Will inserting another version"s Product Key upfront in a locked-version installer override the locked version and instead install that Key's licensed version automatically?

I think I saw you had mentioned this a few weeks ago, but may have misunderstood.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Clean install of windows 7 with the pc's product key?




Thread Tools




Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:24 PM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33