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Windows 7: Product activation on a replacement PC

29 Nov 2011   #1
johne53

Windows 7
 
 
Product activation on a replacement PC

At the beginning of 2010 I bought myself a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. I can't remember precisely when I activated it but around March or April 2010. It was activated on a 32-bit machine.

I now want to buy myself a 64-bit machine. I've heard that after a certain period of time I can re-install onto a new PC but I don't know exactly what the allowed time period is. I'd like to contact Microsoft to find out my exact activation date.

Does anyone have a low cost telephone number for Microsoft in the UK? There seem to be loads of companies offering premium rate phone numbers for "Microsoft Support" but when you look a little deeper, they're nothing to do with Microsoft!!

The booklet that came with Win7 lists a couple of freephone numbers - but only for the US and Canada.

Also, what's the allowed time period for re-installation onto a new PC?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Nov 2011   #2
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

There is no time restriction.
Note, however, that
1) if it's an OEM copy of Windows, it cannot be transferred to a new machine. OEM Licenses are locked to the first motherboard on which they are activated

2) You will almost certainly have to activate by telephone.

Look in the Reading phone book (use Yell.com) for MS's usual UK contact details.
for Activation, the activation wizard will supply an 0800 number for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #3
johne53

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for the prompt reply Noel. No, it's not an OEM copy. It's the full version. I suppose I should have made a note of the 0800 number at the time but I didn't think of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Nov 2011   #4
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

Doesn't matter - you'll see it againwhen you get to activate the new system
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #5
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johne53 View Post
I've heard that after a certain period of time I can re-install onto a new PC but I don't know exactly what the allowed time period is. I'd like to contact Microsoft to find out my exact activation date.
You won't be able to get that from them without the original activation information, because all of that is tied to the machine hash, and if you can't provide that then MS won't be able to look it up. It doesn't matter, however, because (assuming you uninstalled it from the old machine, or the old machine went to the scrap heap and is no longer usable) you can reinstall retail copies and re-activate as often as you'd like, as long as you only have it installed and activated on one machine at any one time. If there's an issue with online activation you will have to call the number that comes up during the activation wizard sequence, but you can reinstall on a new machine if the old machine is no longer able to run Windows 7 (either dead or you uninstalled/flattened the old installation).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #6
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

If you uninstall Windows 7 on one computer, and then reinstall it on another you need to follow these instructions:

Click the Start button and in the Search box type in: slui.exe 4

Press Enter and choose your country from the list then follow the instructions for telephone activation at no charge.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #7
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cluberti View Post
You won't be able to get that from them without the original activation information, because all of that is tied to the machine hash, and if you can't provide that then MS won't be able to look it up. It doesn't matter, however, because (assuming you uninstalled it from the old machine, or the old machine went to the scrap heap and is no longer usable) you can reinstall retail copies and re-activate as often as you'd like, as long as you only have it installed and activated on one machine at any one time. If there's an issue with online activation you will have to call the number that comes up during the activation wizard sequence, but you can reinstall on a new machine if the old machine is no longer able to run Windows 7 (either dead or you uninstalled/flattened the old installation).
Pardon?

With a Retail License there is NO problem whatever with moving the license from one machine to another - but such a move will almost certainly require telephone activation so that MS can put overrides into the activation/validation system.

I've already explained the requirements to the OP - and he has acknowledged them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #8
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Well, actually you can usually get internet activation to work if it's anywhere near 180 days after the last time it's checked in, and I've had it work about 40 days afterwards. It will eventually not work at all, but I've never had to phone to activate when moving an install. Getting Microsoft to give you your activation information won't be possible, though, hence my post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #9
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cluberti View Post
Well, actually you can usually get internet activation to work if it's anywhere near 180 days after the last time it's checked in, and I've had it work about 40 days afterwards. It will eventually not work at all, but I've never had to phone to activate when moving an install. Getting Microsoft to give you your activation information won't be possible, though, hence my post.
That is total hogwash.

1) XP used to have a 120-day threshhold on system upgrades - that hasn't been the case for either Vista or Win 7.
2) While the Activation servers may have a refresh date, ALL activation and validation for ANY Key is available at need to the Acitvation operators (although this may be restricted to 2nd-level support).
3) ANY Win 7 install which goes out of 'hardware complince' will require re-activation. Occasionally, this may work by Internet, but most of the time, it will require telephone activation.
4) There is NO problem about MS transerring the activation to new hardware, so long as they don't think you are lying to them. - that's one of the reasons that Retail versions of Windows are more expensive than OEM ones.
5) there IS a threshhold for the number of internet activations of any given Key - which MS will not publish - but this is simply an administrative thing, and telephone activation is still available thereafter for the life of the Key (which is perpetual).


If you know different, please quote your source.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2011   #10
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NoelDP View Post
3) ANY Win 7 install which goes out of 'hardware complince' will require re-activation. Occasionally, this may work by Internet, but most of the time, it will require telephone activation.
If you're changing hardware that frequently, yes - however, assuming you don't do this more than twice in approximately a year, the internet activation should work.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NoelDP View Post
4) There is NO problem about MS transerring the activation to new hardware, so long as they don't think you are lying to them. - that's one of the reasons that Retail versions of Windows are more expensive than OEM ones.
Correct, and I've not said anything different than this.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NoelDP View Post
5) there IS a threshhold for the number of internet activations of any given Key - which MS will not publish - but this is simply an administrative thing, and telephone activation is still available thereafter for the life of the Key (which is perpetual).
Again, you are correct, and I've not said anything different than this.

I'm not sure why you're so combative here. You're reading more into my post than is really there, it seems - I haven't contradicted you at all, at least not that I can see. Oh well, it's the internet - text doesn't have the same effect as communication in person, so maybe this is just wire-crossing.
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 Product activation on a replacement PC




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