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Windows 7: So i installed windows 7 on my comp and i want to buy

22 May 2010   #1

windows 7
So i installed windows 7 on my comp and i want to buy

Ok basically, story goes i used to have vista on my desktop and i had to reinstall windows

A laptop i bought conveniently had a windows 7 CD so i used that to install windows on my desktop 30 days ago
Now im getting genuine nagware complaining at me so i guess its time to actually pay for this software

I live in the UK, im a uni student at southampton, and i have acess to a maestro debit card aswell as paypal/moneybookers to pay

A few questions

a> my laptop didnt have any kind of sticker or anything with a product key on it - i assume that nowadays windows is coded to be liscenced via the hardware (am i right)? What happens if i reinstall windows in the future on my laptop using that CD? Will i have to pay again? What happens if i format my laptop or anything like that?

b> what about if i decide to change some of my hardware on my desktop? If i pay for windows how am i going to be able to prove ive bought windows?

c> What is my best option for buying windows right now? Annoyingly their website doesnt accept maestro - money isnt too much of an issue but i would like to get a decent deal regardless (any discounts availiable for uk uni students?)
Ideally i would like to buy it online so i can get a product key or something and just use that whenever i install windows on this desktop (because i usually reinstall every now and then and i also might be formatting my hard drive every now and then also) - is there such an option

d> when i first installed windows on my desktop, it didnt ask for a product key or anything - whats up with that? Does windows 7 not use product keys? If i get a product key, how on earth am i going to enter it?

e> what happens if i don't validate? Atm i got a black desktop but what other functionality is going to disappear?

Thanks so much for any help you guys can give me i really appreciate it!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Your laptop has a preinstalled OEM OS that cannot be transferred to any other system. But you can reinstall it on the same system. If you want to know the product key, use this program (works for Win7 too): Windows Vista Key Finder – Find Windows Vista product Keys | Portable USB Pen Drive Applications

For your desktop you will have to buy a seperate license. I recommend you buy a boxed version (not downloaded) so that you have the installation disk.

e) if you don't validate, it will stop working - it's that simple.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2010   #3

windows 7

Is there a way i can buy windows without having to reinstall everything?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 May 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/x86 Windows 7 Pro x64/x86 Windows 7 Home Premium x64/x86

First you get a legal product key.
Go to your PC and right click on computer in the start menu.
Go to the bottom of the page and select "change product key".
Enter your new product key and reactive.
Your done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2010   #5

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

One other thing if you do go into the limited functionality mode, due to not having a licenced version the system will prompt you to "get genuine", this option will allow you to purchase a license online.

Also as you are in full time education check with your tutor about any special deals available to you as a student, this may save you some money
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2010   #6

Win 7 Ultimate 32bit

Please keep in mind that if you installed an OEM version (licensed for specific system) and it allowed installation on the non-licensed system (normally does not, to my knowledge), and you purchase a retail key,, it is highly unlikely that the key will work.

you can not purchase an OEM key for the other system. You will have to purchase a retail license and probably reinstall windows.

You can always try it, but don't be surprised if you need to reinstall. Just the way it is.

You should be able to use the "Get Genuine" as barman has stated. And maybe not have to reinstall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/x86 Windows 7 Pro x64/x86 Windows 7 Home Premium x64/x86

It's possible reintalation may be required...but I doubt it. Product keys are preatty universal. Don't ask I will not tell how I know but his install will be fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2010   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


As you are Uni student go to this link:

Microsoft UK Education - Home - Ultimate Steal
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP


The OEM and retail installers are both the same starting with Vista. As you used an installer for one version of Windows 7, i.e. Home Premium, Professional, etc, you can insert a Product Key for that version only.

If you need to change the installed version, there is a workaround - ask back.

Since you had Vista you are entitled to use Win7 Upgrade version which is considerably cheaper, but you will need to first run a Repair Install to enable the use of an Upgrade version key. There is also a registry workaround given here: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

Once you run the Repair Install or do the Registry workaround it will accept the Upgrade Product Key.

I would buy the Student Version which is still available in some countries for a steep discount. It might also be full retail version so you don't have to do one of the workarounds.

As for Vista, you can either order the Recovery Disks for your model computer, or locate a Vista installer if you ever want to reinstall using the Product Key stickered to your computer.

There is a tool to unlock all versions in any installer for either Vista or Win7 here:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/x86 Windows 7 Pro x64/x86 Windows 7 Home Premium x64/x86

Is that registry work around to full install with upgrade key still being used?

I thought that was trashed back in 09 when it was found out that it wasent needed.

Go through a lot of trouble for nothing with that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 So i installed windows 7 on my comp and i want to buy

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