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Windows 7: Win7 Re-Activation/Re-Validation with Hardware Changes?

31 Oct 2009   #21
harpua

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wutzup View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by harpua View Post
I've been cloning my Win 7 hard drive and swapping disks with no reactivation required. The hard drives are the same except for serial number, however, but I don't think that makes any difference. I don't think a hard drive change is enough to trigger a need to reactivate.
Can you tell me what cloning software you used?
I used Acronis True Image 2010 with XP for years and no problems with Reactivations even with different make and size hard drives.
But with windows 7 Pro Upgrade version, I am having Reactivation issues even when I am restoring it to the exact make, model and size hard drive. I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong. (I posted exactly what I did in one of the post in this thread) Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks.
I usually use Acronis but I clone, using the clone wizard which is found under "tools & utilities" in Acronis 2010 and, I believe "Disk Utilities" in prior versions. Although I also routinely make image backups that would have to be restored, I do not use them to restore my system unless I have no other choice. Clones are not compressed and they do not have to be "restored." You simply swap in the clone and the computer usually doesn't seem to notice the difference, except Windows Update will reapply any updates that were missed since the clone was made.

A clone is truly an identical sector by sector copy of everything that was on the source hard drive. If using the same hard drive make & model, I believe the only thing that would be different would be the serial number of the hard drive.

Interestingly, I finally did get asked to reactivate for the first time when I installed some hard drive related updates (involved a driver) from my computer manufacturer. A simple click and it was reactivated painlessly.

Since I have Technet, I have a copy and key for the Enterprise version. If I continue to have any issues with activation, I'll probably give the Enterprise version a try. I wonder if there is a way to upgrade to that, or could I simply change the product key?


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31 Oct 2009   #22
seekermeister

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

The only thing that I can say, is that I installed W7 and activated it before reconnecting 3 other HDs, and it didn't give me any problems about reactivating.
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31 Oct 2009   #23
harpua

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)
 
 

Because you didn't move the system disk.
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31 Oct 2009   #24
johnwillyums

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I can't really help with the op's problem but from what I gather from the posts you can only restore a disk image of your install to the same hard drive you took the image from.
Have I got that right?
Surely one of the primary reasons you might wish to do this would be in the event of a hard drive failure?

Don't make sense
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31 Oct 2009   #25
harpua

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)
 
 

No you can restore to any drive that the data will fit on. The only issue is you "might" be asked to reactivate your copy of windows, which so far only seems to involve a mouse click or two. You don't even need to re-enter your product key, unless you want to change to a new one.
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31 Oct 2009   #26
AME

7ProX64
 
 

Did you try the Back up feature included with Windows 7? I have used it to restore my hard drive (format HDD first) many times without the need to reactivate.
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31 Oct 2009   #27
wutzup

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AME View Post
Did you try the Back up feature included with Windows 7? I have used it to restore my hard drive (format HDD first) many times without the need to reactivate.
Thank you for your post.
When I restore to the same hard drive, I don't have any problems, and I don't have to activate my copy of Windows 7 pro again.

Did you restore to the same hard drive? If you restored to a different hard drive in the same computer and didn't have to reactivate, I would really appreciate to hear the steps that you took. Thank you.
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01 Nov 2009   #28
bobtran

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by s0me0ne View Post
I've upgraded RAM, Graphics Card, HDDs, PCI Cards and never got reactivation in XP, from what I know XP should only ask if the CPU or Motherboard changes.
I've change CPU's a number of times in my Dell laptop and never had to re-activate XP. Changed Ram, Drives, LCD, NIC card, everything but the MB.

Same for Vista x64 and Win7 x64 RC. Now on RTM but I assume it will be the same. Change a Motherboard and you will most likely need to reactive.

I have read somewhere (don't remember exactly where) that Windows scores (Not sure if scores is the correct term) your changes and that if you don't make too many changes in too short of time re-activation will not be an issue.

I can't guarantee it but this has been my experience.
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01 Nov 2009   #29
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

This thread is getting really confusing because folks are mixing different kinds of licenses and machines.

For example, with an OEM-preinstalled version (e.g., Dell), the activation is tied to the BIOS on the motherboard. So, of course you can swap out anything but the motherboard. That's to be expected.

With retail licenses, you can make several changes and STILL not have to reactivated. Don't know the exact number because reports have varied -- probably due to the degree of changes each time.

With store-bought OEM licenses, you're only supposed to get ONE activation, and if you change even the hard drive (and ONLY the hard drive), you will have to reactivate. At least, that's the theory; in my experience, the practice is somewhat different.

In my case, I had two store-bought OEM licenses with Vista (yeah, I know, not the same as Seven). In one case, I changed only the hard drive (single drive in a laptop), and had to phone MS to get it reactivated. So, saying that changing only a hard drive will NOT require reactivation is not necessarily true.

In the other case, I change the system hard drive, and did NOT have to reactivate. The online activation worked without a problem.

The differences? The forced-reactivation version was Business; the auto-reactivation version was Ultimate.

So, as others have said, maybe Ultimate gives you more flexibility in activations.

So, I'm saying in a roundabout way, that I don't believe that we predict with 100% accuracy whether or not every single change will or will not force reactivation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Nov 2009   #30
wutzup

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
This thread is getting really confusing because folks are mixing different kinds of licenses and machines.

For example, with an OEM-preinstalled version (e.g., Dell), the activation is tied to the BIOS on the motherboard. So, of course you can swap out anything but the motherboard. That's to be expected.

With retail licenses, you can make several changes and STILL not have to reactivated. Don't know the exact number because reports have varied -- probably due to the degree of changes each time.

With store-bought OEM licenses, you're only supposed to get ONE activation, and if you change even the hard drive (and ONLY the hard drive), you will have to reactivate. At least, that's the theory; in my experience, the practice is somewhat different.

In my case, I had two store-bought OEM licenses with Vista (yeah, I know, not the same as Seven). In one case, I changed only the hard drive (single drive in a laptop), and had to phone MS to get it reactivated. So, saying that changing only a hard drive will NOT require reactivation is not necessarily true.

In the other case, I change the system hard drive, and did NOT have to reactivate. The online activation worked without a problem.

The differences? The forced-reactivation version was Business; the auto-reactivation version was Ultimate.

So, as others have said, maybe Ultimate gives you more flexibility in activations.

So, I'm saying in a roundabout way, that I don't believe that we predict with 100% accuracy whether or not every single change will or will not force reactivation.
Thanks Mark:

Your post makes a lot of sense. I have the windows 7 Student Upgrade version from Digital River. Perhaps the Full Version of Windows 7 Ultimate would provide the most flexibility relating to ACTIVATION. Thanks.
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 Win7 Re-Activation/Re-Validation with Hardware Changes?




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