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Windows 7: 3 day activation extension possible for swapped machines?

23 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 
3 day activation extension possible for swapped machines?

Looking for fall-back procedure; not a "real" problem right now. I have 2 Asus laptops with the same motherboard, #1 was preinstalled with Windows 7 Home, #2 was preinstalled with Win8. I have clean-installed Windows 7 Pro on #2 & activated it. If #1 gets sick and needs to be sent for repair, I'd like to be able to move the #1 drive to laptop #2 and use it until #1 laptop returns. Then I'd return the #1 drive back to its home and resume using #2 laptop with its Win8 or Windows 7 Pro. As a test, I moved the #1 drive to #2 and all seems well except that there's a 3 days to auto-activation. That's probably not enough time for a repair, so my questions are: 1) is there a way to extend the 3 day to something like 7 or 30? 2) what happens if the auto-activation happens with the #1 drive in laptop #2? Will I be able to reactivate #1 when the repair is done? I'm assuming none of this will any affect on my legal, activated Win8 and Windows 7 Pro on #2.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Mar 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

You want to be VERY careful trying something like that.
OEM licenses are locked to the first motherboard they activate on - and cannot normally be moved. (MS appears to be enforcing this again now, after a few years fairly lax control)

With Windows 7, once you go out of grace period, the penalties are relatively minor - mostly consisting of black background and the on-screen notification.

The best thing to do is to ensure that you are still using the OEM_SLP Key (run MGADiag to check) with which it came pre-installed and just let it go out of grace, and do NOT attempt anything fancy in terms of activating or attempting bypass activation.

So long as it's no more than 30 days, even MSE will continue working - after that, it will shut down (with warnings)

Once it's back in the proper machine, you may need to simply validate at www.microsoft.com/genuine/validate or (at worst) apply the COA Key, to get back to a genuine status.

If the COA Key is in place already for whatever reason, then so long as you don't allow the system to activate, you should be OK (but if the motherboard has been replaced then all bets are off, although it should be a case of using telephone activation rather than anything else).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2013   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

#1 is a preinstalled Windows 7 Home and comes up as Activated on first use. Really just trying to find a good plan of attack if #1 gets sick because it's a "work", desktop-replacement machine. Caused a real problem when the last laptop in this role got ill - and that was just on XP.

Maybe I should test by restoring a #1 backup onto #2 and waiting 4 days & see what happens - with web access off, of course. Can't see the temp replacement really lasting more than a week; either it's going to be something simple or the mb is going to have to be replaced with a duplicate. In the later case, I would expect that a phone call should take care of the activation since the "new" mb is a "repair"... At least I hope so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Mar 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

I don't know what Asus are like in terns of repairs - but when I had to send an Acer back to Dixons for repair, they sent it to Germany, and it came back with the wrong problem fixed, and the wrong OS on it - it was 8 weeks in all, and I ended up with a refund/replacement rather than the original machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2013   #5

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Why should it be easy when it can be hard?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2013   #6

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Just had a thought; would this work? If I did an Anytime upgrade on #1 Home to Pro, could I restore the #1 drive to laptop #2 and change the Activation key to the #2 Pro's license? Then, when #1 was fixed/replaced, return the #1 disk to laptop #1 and restore #1's Activation key? Of course, if #1's mb was replaced, it'd be a phone call like before.

Another alternative would be to put Home on #2 instead of Pro (it's not activated yet); possible to do the same license swapping then? I put Pro on #2 only because I had already purchased a copy. Not on a domain; having Group Policy Editor & Remote Console would be nice, but not essential.

Edit: I know it sounds strange, but I'd purchased a couple of Anytime upgrades and Windows 7 Pros when they were on sale at NewEgg a year or so ago & haven't yet used them. Actually have plans now, but this laptop licensing thing has me reconsidering.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2013   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

No - that would be OK on the way out, but when the upgraded system went back to the original one, you'd be unable to input the Upgrade key (unless it was a Full license, rather than an Upgrade)

As I say, you'd be best just living with the non-genuine problem rather than messing about with reactivations - unless all Keys involved are Retail ones.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2013   #8

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Maybe I'm being dense, but since it says "auto activation in 3 days", it doesn't sound like I'll have a chance to be "non-genuine" unless there's a way to turn off the "auto". I'm assuming "auto activation" means either I'll be forced to buy a Home license at full price from Microsoft or that I'll have to attempt to transfer the #1 license to #2 as a "repaired motherboard" via phone call. Neither option is desireable since using laptop #2 is only meant as a short term, "quickie" solution.

So buying an OEM Home license for #2 and using that on the (preinstalled Home) #1 drive while it was in laptop #2 wouldn't work? I thought that would have the best shot at being as close as I could get to staying "legal" and being able to do an "instant recovery". Isn't there ANY way to make use of redundant hardware to deal with hardware failure?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2013   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

If you leave the OEM_SLP Key there, then it cannot be activated by normal means and so is safe
That's why I'm a little wary of trying it if the COA_SLP Key is in use.

When activation fails, the system drops into a non-genuine state but pretty much continues to work as normal (apart from the nag, and the black background)


Basically, you need to use good backup procedures more than anything else , for disaster recovery - there's always the chance that it's the hard drive that will go rather than the motherboard (in fact it's much more likely, in a laptop!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2013   #10

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

I agree backup is essential, but with a hard disk or SSD failure, you can just restore the last backup & you're ready to go. Motherboard failure is another story and sadly, with laptops, I've had a couple of motherboard failures but no HD problems. So I'm trying to plan ahead as much as possible while I'm building these systems now, particularly since I'm the user of laptop #2 but not #1; I just get the headaches if it fails. And it's always at a critical time when I don't have the time to rebuild a system. <g>

I do appreciate your hand-holding.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 3 day activation extension possible for swapped machines?





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