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Windows 7: At what stage of hardware upgrade does licence become invalid?

03 Apr 2012   #1
abandonhope

win7 home premium family pack
 
 
At what stage of hardware upgrade does licence become invalid?

My kids are going down the route of basically 'pimping' the machines and on one of them they are getting a license invalid message. This popped up yesterday but nothing has been added or updated since before Xmas.
We have 5 computers in the household all running Win7 3 individually purchased box editions & 3 on a windows home premium upgrade pack fro original win xp.
on my sons machine I think the only original parts are the case DVD, Processor and HD.
hence my question: At what stage of hardware upgrade does license become invalid?
Also when a new Installation is installed is it OK to keep it for the Owner or is it linked to any specific 'part' of the machine.
bear in mind these are kids and we are not rich enough to keep buying new licenses BUT I do not want to encourage they to do what everyone else seems to do and buy cheap pirate versions


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Apr 2012   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi,

The only time you will have licence issues with hardware is with an OEM licence - usually this happens when the motherboard is changed. Is this the one with the non-validated licence?

Speaking under correction, I recall reading that there is actually a limit on how many times you can install a retail (boxed) licence, but I believe that this quite easily fixed by contacting Microsoft to request a telephone activation. NoelDP is far more knowlegable on this item, so I'll ask him to visit this thread and offer some advice.

In the meantime, please run this tool on the licence that is reporting as not valid, then copy and paste the contents in your next reply (ignore any messages). This will help us diagnose the non-valid issue:

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

Regards,
Golden
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03 Apr 2012   #3
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

As Golden says, with pre-installed (OEM) Windows installations, the only restriction is the motherboard. If that is changed, the OEM_SLP License becomes immediately invalid, and will request activation for 3 days - at which point the installation will be declared non-genuine. It *may* be possible to get around this by using the COA Key, but this will depend on the history of that Key - if it has EVER been previously activated, then it cannot be moved from the motherboard on which it was activated.

Please post an MGADiag report - as Golden says, it will allow us to check a large number of factors which may cause a non-genuine notification, not merely a hardware change.
To properly analyse and solve problems with Activation and Validation, we need to see a full copy of the report produced by the MGADiag tool
(download and save to desktop - http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 )
Once saved, run the tool.
Click on the Continue button, which will produce the report.
To copy the report to your response, click on the Copy button in the tool (ignore any error messages at this point), and then paste (using either r-click/Paste, or Ctrl+V ) into your response.
- **in your own thread**, please
Please also state the Version and Edition of Windows quoted on your COA sticker (if you have one) on the case of your machine, but do NOT quote the Key on the sticker!
How to Tell - Home
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05 Apr 2012   #4
abandonhope

win7 home premium family pack
 
 

Thankyou for your replies. A bit of digging seems to have found the cause of the problem. the key my son is using is for a Family Pack upgrade pack we installed on the 3 kids systems. This is the first time he has actually preformed a clean install as he has kept his old HDD with the op system all the time. Now he wants to dump the HDD as his new MB only has SATA but the key will not work with a clean install !
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05 Apr 2012   #5
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi,

What did you originally upgrade from, and also....is this an OEM machine he is attempting the clean install on?

Regards,
Golden
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05 Apr 2012   #6
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
Hi,

The only time you will have licence issues with hardware is with an OEM licence - usually this happens when the motherboard is changed. Is this the one with the non-validated licence?

Speaking under correction, I recall reading that there is actually a limit on how many times you can install a retail (boxed) licence, but I believe that this quite easily fixed by contacting Microsoft to request a telephone activation. NoelDP is far more knowlegable on this item, so I'll ask him to visit this thread and offer some advice.

In the meantime, please run this tool on the licence that is reporting as not valid, then copy and paste the contents in your next reply (ignore any messages). This will help us diagnose the non-valid issue:

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

Regards,
Golden
Golden, if it is a retail licence you can install the software on another computer providing you have removed it from the old one first.

The first time it's installed on the new computer it will require activating, which is easily done via a robocall to Microsoft.

Thereafter, if it is reinstalled on the new computer, activation will take place as normal.

As for a limit on further activations, like yourself, I'm not sure on that one so I'm sure Noel will put us right.

P.S. According to these FAQs there is no limit on future activations providing there is no hardware change, which is soon catered for with a call to Microsoft.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...sked-questions
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05 Apr 2012   #7
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Generally, once activation has occurred on a given machine, re-activationshould only need to take place if significant hardware is changed, or if the OS is reinstalled.
Where the re-activation is on the same hardware (i.e. give rise to the same Hash result), MS allows 5 reactivations, then requires a telephone activation. After that, the situation becomes complex - I am not sure whether the requirement after that point is for every activation to be by telephone, or whether it resets the counter (and if that is the case, whether it's the same for Retail and OEM)
There is also a time-factor involved - if many activations take place in a short period, the Key may get blocked at the server on suspicion of nefarious practices, and if that happens, it will take escalation to either unblock it, or be issued a new Key.
In theory at least there is no actual limit on the number of times you can activate a Key, providing you follow the licensing rules. I do know of Keys that have been activated well over 100 times that still function (most MS techs only have access to details of the last 100 activations - some may have more access - but the total count is available to them)

MS policy is never to re-issue keys - even if they are returned packages - to avoid any possibility of two people having the same one.

HTH?
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05 Apr 2012   #8
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by abandonhope View Post
Thankyou for your replies. A bit of digging seems to have found the cause of the problem. the key my son is using is for a Family Pack upgrade pack we installed on the 3 kids systems. This is the first time he has actually preformed a clean install as he has kept his old HDD with the op system all the time. Now he wants to dump the HDD as his new MB only has SATA but the key will not work with a clean install !
There is an interesting quirk of the Licensing rules that allows a change of the motherboard on an upgraded system, even if the original OS was OEM

You would need to do a clean install using the following advice...
Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

(My preferred method is the double-install - this is actually the one supported by MS)
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09 Apr 2012   #9
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NoelDP View Post
Generally, once activation has occurred on a given machine, re-activationshould only need to take place if significant hardware is changed, or if the OS is reinstalled.
Where the re-activation is on the same hardware (i.e. give rise to the same Hash result), MS allows 5 reactivations, then requires a telephone activation. After that, the situation becomes complex - I am not sure whether the requirement after that point is for every activation to be by telephone, or whether it resets the counter (and if that is the case, whether it's the same for Retail and OEM)
There is also a time-factor involved - if many activations take place in a short period, the Key may get blocked at the server on suspicion of nefarious practices, and if that happens, it will take escalation to either unblock it, or be issued a new Key.
In theory at least there is no actual limit on the number of times you can activate a Key, providing you follow the licensing rules. I do know of Keys that have been activated well over 100 times that still function (most MS techs only have access to details of the last 100 activations - some may have more access - but the total count is available to them)

MS policy is never to re-issue keys - even if they are returned packages - to avoid any possibility of two people having the same one.

HTH?
Hi there
After a Telephone Activation -- at least in My experience the "status" is set back to "Initial" so I assume the 5 activations count limit starts again from 0.

I've re-activated W7 twice on machines that I had to previously activate by phone.

I've been changing hardware quite a few times.

(I now use TechNet for testing stuff - this is a better route than using a "Retail Pack" for this purpose. Once I've got the configuration I want THEN I use the retail version).

Ms is quite reasonable with this type of stuff -- tell them EXACTLY what you need --and tell them honestly. They are experienced enough to detect "Porkies".

Cheers
jimbo
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09 Apr 2012   #10
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Ms is quite reasonable with this type of stuff -- tell them EXACTLY what you need --and tell them honestly. They are experienced enough to detect "Porkies".

Cheers
jimbo
Agreed - they are also (I think) helped by the fact that the activation code for telephone activation can be read (to an extent) on their end, to enable them to tell what media were used for the install, and some of the detail of the hardware.
This means that fibbing is not going to get you anywhere, anyhow.
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 At what stage of hardware upgrade does licence become invalid?




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