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Windows 7: Microsoft says I've activated my Windows 7 license too many times.

19 Aug 2016   #21
Wartweasel

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Barman,

Thanks. You answered the questions that I was just getting ready to ask. I assume that if I buy an OEM version of Windows 7 that it can only be installed on one computer, but it could be installed multiple times on that same computer. Is this correct?

Just by way of getting myself educated, perhaps someone can shed some light on how this problem happened to show up if I explain how I've used this software.

Last year I wanted to put together a new computer, so I bought all of the parts including an ASUS B150M motherboard that had USB 3.0 ports on it. The ASUS documentation stated that in order to use the USB 3.0 interface with Windows 7, it was necessary to create an ISO file using the original Windows installation disk and the ASUS DVD that came with the motherboard, and use the ISO file to do the Windows 7 installation. I had never heard of an ISO file before, but I went ahead and created it and then tried to install from it. Obviously, it didn't work since I later found out that the ISO file is used to burn a real install disk.

Since the ISO file didn't work for the install, I decided to see if I could just install Windows 7 from the original installation disk. It installed okay, but of course, there was no USB 3.0 support. I also did not get a message that the software was not genuine. So this was Activation #1.

Finally, I decided to look up what an ISO file was, and then realized that I needed to use it to make a real installation disk. So I did that and then used it to install the modified Windows 7 OS. This worked, but I got the message that the software was not genuine. So this was Activation #2.

One of the guys on the Bleeping Computer forum said that he had seen a similar problem when Windows 7 was installed on top of an existing copy of Windows 7. He suggested that I wipe the HD clean and start from scratch. I did this and the modified Windows 7 installed and activated properly with no "not genuine" messages. And this is the way that I've been using it for over nine months. But this was Activation #3.

I read yesterday that Windows and MS do a check about once a month to see if the software on the computer is still genuine. If this is true, I can't figure out how it took nine months for MS to detect and notify me that the software is not genuine. If anyone has any insight into that, it might give me some leverage if I go back to Microsoft and try to sweet talk them into giving me another license.

Does anyone know how many times I should be able to activate a Retail license before MS cuts me off?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Aug 2016   #22
Wartweasel

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I just looked into the Properties section of Computer to see what the status of activation was. I noticed that under the Windows Activation section was the statement: "2 days until automatic activation. Activate Windows now." I don't know what "Automatic Activation" is. Has anyone run into this message before?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2016   #23
townsbg

Windows 7 pro 64-bit
 
 

Automatic activation means that Windows will connect to the activation servers and attempt to activate which in your case your be rejected since the key has been flagged as pirated. You likely aren't the only one experiencing this. Anyone that purchased that serial number is now or will be looking at activation issues. Pertaining the 9 months, it could have only been recently that the serial number was red flagged.; that's not something that we can know. As for reactivating an OEM license on the same computer, if done too many times (and I don't know how many or the frequency) the activation servers might reject an activation over the internet in which case you would be given a phone number to call and work that out. On the phone you would likely be dealing with a computer and would enter in a long series of numbers and would get back a long series of numbers or letters to enter to complete activation. Your only issue would be if you try to activate an OEM license on another computer. Because of that you might consider buying a few copies if you think that you will in the future be needing to install 7 on another computer, because you might be able to buy copies from Newegg now but eventually you won't be and you will only be able to get one from private sellers on amazon, ebay, or some other auction site where you will have the risk of buying a pirated or over used key. That is how it has gone with all previous releases of windows and I'm sure that it will happen sooner rather than later. If you look you will find that you can only buy copies of Vista or XP from private sellers and the same will soon be true of 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Aug 2016   #24
Wartweasel

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Townsbg,

What you said may well explain my problem of the "Not Genuine" message showing up after 9 months. If the seller that I bought my copy of Windows 7 from sold the same key to multiple customers, then perhaps one of them recently activated their copy of Windows 7 and pushed the count to the limit. So when my system did its usual check to see if the OS is still valid, it found that the key had been blocked and I started getting the "Not Genuine" message.

I really hate to spend $140 just to get a key to use software that I have already paid for, installed, and used but as you suggested, it may be the only way to insure that I won't have a problem down the road. Or maybe Microsoft will sell me a new license to keep my computer going. And I guess that I can still pursue a refund from eBay to at least recoup my losses up to this point.

Thanks, everyone, for your time and assistance in addressing this problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2016   #25
townsbg

Windows 7 pro 64-bit
 
 

I understand your predicament and I really hope that you can get your money back however neither ebay nor Microsoft are required to accommodate you. We cannot know what caused Microsoft to flag that key. It might have been too many activations or someone might have contacted them pertaining it. That's why you have to be careful when purchasing Windows. If you can't get your money back and don't want to buy it again then you can go with a free alternative such as Linux.

From what you described of the disk it sounds like it might have been created using lighscribe. A real Windows disk is more distinctive than you described. It contains holograms that I doubt can be replicated by a Windows pirate. It most certainly won't be easy. If you buy a copy from Newegg you will know what I mean. Even if you purchased a legit copy of Windows from a private seller you still wouldn't know for sure that they hadn't used it. If nothing else I am sure that this is a lesson learned for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2016   #26
Wartweasel

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Too bad that some lessons have to be learned the hard way. But on the other hand, those are the ones that you don't forget.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2016   #27
Wartweasel

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Okay. I finally called Microsoft and asked them if I can buy another license key for Windows 7 Pro, preferably a key that will allow me to move the OS to another computer in case this one dies or I want to upgrade. I was told that Microsoft was no longer selling license keys for Windows 7.



So my wife overheard the conversation and said, "Why don't you call one of the computer repair shops and see if they can get a key for you?" Yep, I called the Computer Emergency Room and the tech told me that he would order up a copy of Windows 7 and he would have it in a couple of days. He told me that I could move the OS to other computers if necessary. Cost was $115, which is still cheaper than buying a retail copy of Windows 10. Hopefully, I'll be back in business from here on out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2016   #28
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

HI,
After it's installed and back home run this
Windows Genuine and Activation Issue Posting Instructions

I doubt it will say retail and more likely to say system builder
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2016   #29
townsbg

Windows 7 pro 64-bit
 
 

I hope that it isn't pirated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2016   #30
Wartweasel

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

As far as I know, they are buying it from a reputable supplier. The repair shop is a legitimate company, not a couple of guys who fix computers in their spare time.

Still, I'll run the check that ThrashZone suggested above and if anything looks suspicious, I'll be talking to them again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Microsoft says I've activated my Windows 7 license too many times.




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