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Windows 7: Giving Laptop To Sister Without A Key?


18 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack Upgrade 64 bit
 
 
Giving Laptop To Sister Without A Key?

I have a laptop I want to give my sister, and I would like to pre-install Windows 7 Home Premium from from my Family Pack Upgrade. Here is what I want to do and I'm hoping someone can tell me if it's possible.

I have the 3 licenses from my Family Pack in use on my own machines. I would like to perform a clean install on the laptop I intend to give to her using the my Family Pack media. When the time comes to enter the product key, I intend to NOT enter a key and deselect the activate Windows when I go online box. As soon as the installation is complete and everything is running properly, I will then navigate in REGEDIT to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/MediaBootInstall and change the value from 1 to 0. Then, from the Command shell as Administrator, I'll run slmgr/rearm to authorize the UAC, allowing Windows to be activated in 30 days.

I'm hoping that I can give her a good-running laptop and let her purchase her own license. During previous activations, I recall seeing an option to purchase a key online. When she gets the machine and attempts activation, can she just simply purchase her own, new key online during the activation process? Could it be just this easy?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Feb 2011   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You are going thru an awful lot of trouble for nothing. Since you want your sister to buy a license in 30 days, why don't you have her buy e.g. an OEM license for $95 right now and install with that. E.g. this one: Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - Operating Systems
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack Upgrade 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
You are going thru an awful lot of trouble for nothing. Since you want your sister to buy a license in 30 days, why don't you have her buy e.g. an OEM license for $95 right now and install with that. E.g. this one: Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - Operating Systems

You're probably right about the extra trouble, but she won't want to install Windows herself and I can't afford to buy her a copy, at the moment. Also, when I go to see her, I'd rather visit the family, than sit around watching progress bars. If she just whips out her Visa card to buy a license during activation, we should be done with everything in 15 minutes and we would have the rest of the day doing other things. That is, if I can really do it this way.

I swore off OEM licenses years ago and won't buy one unless I'm forced into it with the purchase of a new machine. I sure don't want to give her a 3 year old machine and stick her with an OEM copy of Windows, just in case the motherboard dies. If that happened, I'd want to install the newest motherboard possible and still have a useful Windows license, so something retail would be a better choice.

My desire is to completely prepare the laptop without a key, perform all the updates, work out any bugs and install the applications she needs while I have time at home, hence the question.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Feb 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Hmm, I hear what you say although I still think you are taking a detour. However, if you do not activate the system, you can run for 30 days without any tweaks.

Regarding the OEM option (which is the cheapest option)
1. Did you ever change a mobo on a laptop. It is not obvious. I just had one changed last week under warrenty in my house by a service technician. That was quite a job. It is a Sony Vaio laptop.
2. Even when the mobo dies and you install a new one, Microsoft will reactivate the OEM system. Takes one call.

Just a thought.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack Upgrade 64 bit
 
 

I've upgraded 5 or 6 HP Pavilion AMD-powered dv6000 and dv9000 laptops to the last motherboard version that includes discrete graphics (Southbridge) with HDMI. These laptops are a dime a dozen in broken condition, since the Northbridge GPU so often fails from the foam TIM's allowing the nVidia chip to overheat. The discrete graphics HDMI motherboard is cheap and easier to find than the de-featured mobos that most were equipped with. However, that motherboard is different enough that Windows always triggers a re-activation and technically the OEM OS license is no longer valid. In order for the OEM copy to be truly legal, the replacement motherboard must be exactly the same part number. I've been burned before with OEM Windows and just prefer retail copies that allow me to change laptops like my socks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I'm pretty sure that WHS is correct, if you call up Microsoft on the phone and tell them that the motherboard died and you replaced it with what was available that they will reactive your OEM copy. But if you buy a whole new machine and assemble a completely new computer, that is something entirely different.

OEM licenses fit their intended purpose well and save you money. They are about 1/2 the price of the retail license. So, unless you move to a third machine, you don't always win with the retail copy.

You certainly can install with your media and not enter a license key. Have her then purchase a key and input it. That will work just fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2011   #7

windows 7 RTM
 
 

If you want to do your sister a favor, why not just buy the OEM version and complete
the gift.

This would be a nice thing to do and no doubt it will reward you in the future far more than the $95.00 cost.

After all She is your Sister and will always be your sister.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2011   #8

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

And 95 bucks is food for a few days...

If you don't have it, you don't have it. Sister or not
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack Upgrade 64 bit
 
 

I guess no one here actually knows what happens at the point of activation where you are given the option to buy a license online. Since no one has experience clicking that particular button, I suppose I'll just reset the OOBE and try it out myself.

Thanks to all for their encouragement to just go buy an OEM copy to complete the gift, but I just don't have the money. I suppose I must explain in detail why I can't just throw down $100 for a license to give my sister a proper gift.

It's embarrassing to tell everyone, but I lost a great job of many years when the company closed down last November. I had to take a crappy job just to feed my family. I have an income that is about 20% of what I was making last November. I have a family to support and an 80% pay cut has demanded I watch every penny. My sister works for the government, so she has money to burn. Thanks electrotune 1200 for 'getting it'.

Hopefully, this is enough information to shift the advise I receive here from, "why don't you just buy a license for her" to what happens when the OOBE gives the option to buy a license online.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

If you can't part with one of your Family pack keys (now on sale for $129 newegg and Amazon) then put this on her desktop and have her run it every 30 days for up to 120 days or until she buys her key: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...-120-days.html

Or install TeamViewer to do it for her.
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 Giving Laptop To Sister Without A Key?




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