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Windows 7: Making an Illegal 7 Legal

22 Nov 2011   #1
Tequila 711

Windows 7 32 bit
Making an Illegal 7 Legal

About a year ago we bought a HP laptop from someone on Craigslist with Windows 7 Ultimate on it. The original Windows version that the laptop was shipped with was Vista it still has that sticker on it. The guy met us in a parking lot, that should have tipped me off to something, anyway I gave him the money, he gave me the laptop and I thought all was well. He said that he couldn't find the installation disks but would look. The next day when my wife turned on the computer it said that this copy was not legal. To make a long story shorter, the computer works fine other than every time you turn it on it reminds you of the illegal copy. So to make everything legal I purchased a 3 copy family pack of windows home premium. I installed it on my laptop that had Vista but was now wondering if it will let me install on my wife's with the illegal version. Any ideas or info would be appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

If you bought a three pack, then yes. You should have gotten the install media, or else you can download the .iso file legally, and then just use one of your three license keys (not the one you already used) for your wife's computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Make sure you clean the HD drive first, follow this tutorial:
SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
Than install Windows 7, follow this tutorial:
Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Nov 2011   #4

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Tequilla 711, and welcome to Seven Forums.

I would be a bit worried if the laptop may be stolen as well.

Yes, could just run a clean command on the laptop's HDD to wipe it clean, then do a clean install the Family Pack Windows 7 on it as the 2nd copy and activate it.

Clean Install Windows 7

Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

Hope this helps,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #5
Tequila 711

Windows 7 32 bit
Nothing much works on screen after Windows 7 install

I have a Compaq Presario laptop that was working OK until I installed a Windows 7 upgrade the other day, had Vista before the upgrade. Actually it even worked with Windows 7 for part of a day, but after the inevitable updates after the install now the computer is as good as a 7 pound rock. Right now I am in "safe mode" or I wouldn't be able to do squat. When Windows starts normally it looks OK after the start up until I try to do something ..... anything. If I click my mouse over any Icon I just get the little circle swirling about until the second coming. None of the browsers work, I can't even shut it down ..... the mouse moves and clicks but nothing works when I click on it. Alt control delete, Nada, that doesn't work either. I have to unplug the power cord and pull the battery in order to shut it off.

So obviously it has to be something that is loading at normal start up that is screwing the whole thing up, but as you can see from my desperation I am not geekie enough to figure it out. I am sure there is a conflict but have no clue where to look or even how to begin to try and figure it out. HELP!

I also did a system restore in safe mode to see if that would help ...... nope. So I hope someone can help me turn my rock back into a computer. Thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

If you did an upgrade install, you should expect problems. Try a clean install - but make sure you save your data first. Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #7
Tequila 711

Windows 7 32 bit
Qualifying Previous Version Of Windows

So looking at your link that you provided its says that I need a qualifying version ..... which I had until the upgrade. My laptop had Vista as I said in my post, but I bought this computer used and never had disks, only the vista that was on the laptop when I bought it, so if I do a clean install will it not ask me for my prior product key or prior qualifying version. All is now lost except for the copy of windows 7 that is not working since the upgrade removed Vista. Also since I bought a family 3 pack upgrade, will it see a clean install as the 2nd of the three installs ...... will I lose the right to install it on one of the other 2 computers I had planed to upgrade?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #8

64-bit Windows 10 Pro


If you follow the steps in the tutorial below, it will not need Vista to be previously installed, or for you to enter anything for Vista.

Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

The family pack will still see it as the 1st installation since it's on the same computer. You are able to install and activate on 3 "different" computers with a family pack. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #9

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit

Just on a side note - anytime your PC freezes completely, you can force it to power off by holding the power button down for 4-5 seconds. It's not necessary to disconnect AC power and eject the battery, plus it'll be easier on the motherboard and other components inside.
Thought I should mention that. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #10
Tequila 711

Windows 7 32 bit
Power off button doesn't work either.

Like I said, I get a pretty desktop picture and icons but nothing works properly. Actually not at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Making an Illegal 7 Legal

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