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Windows 7: Does a UEFI Installation affect Windows Activation?

23 Dec 2014   #1
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 
Does a UEFI Installation affect Windows Activation?

I own a family 3-pack of Win7 Home Premium. I have installed this OS 6 or 7 times using the 3-pack product key (only 3 PCs ever have it running - old PCs get retired and new PCs get a clean install).

Activation has always gone as expected. The first 3 times were very easy over the internet. The next few times it required a call.

The last 2 installations were made on new systems with UEFI BIOS. I installed using an EFI ready USB stick and in UEFI mode at boot.

The Activation on these two installs was convoluted.

First, trying to activate over the internet returns an error message that basically says I can't use upgrade media to do a clean install. (This message has never appeared before that I recall).

Then, once that method has failed I do not get any option to use telephone activation. I have to type in option 4 in a slui.exe run to get the phone number.

Normal telephone activation does not go as usual. The installation string does not work (as normal), but I eventually get to the operator. But the operator cannot generate a validation key as usually happens.

The operator then checks to see if my product key is valid (it is), then sends me off to an Activation Technician.

The tech then needs to take remote control of my desktop. He tries everything I have already done (same results), then tries typing in an override code (that fails), then after some time finally comes back and types in a new Activation Key in the nine boxes. It takes a restart, and a new override code, and then it finally activates.

This process seems awfully time wasting - especially for MS.

I'm wondering if this issue could be related to the fact that these are UEFI installs.
Or is it just a function of my using this key to do so many clean installations?
What do you think?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Dec 2014   #2
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

This is perfectly normal
The Family Pack Keys are UPGRADES - and theoretically require a pre-existing installation of an activated Windows before allowing the install.
In fact, Windows will allow an installation without the prior one - BUT there is a tag which tells the Activation request that the machine was Clean-installed. This in combination with the Upgrade Key is what leads to the failure to activate.

There are at least three workarounds to this - the ONLY one which MS support is the double-install method.

Clean Install Windows 7 with Upgrade Media | Windows 7 content from Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2014   #3
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Thanks for that info Noel. Makes sense.

The thing is the sudden change on these last 2 builds. Where telephone activation is not an option, and it requires a tech to get it activated. There is a noticeable difference in the process.

Granted, my last install on this product key was in 2012, and these last 2 were in Nov and this weekend.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Does a UEFI Installation affect Windows Activation?




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