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Windows 7: uninstall/deactivate Windows key tutorial question

25 Jan 2014   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
uninstall/deactivate Windows key tutorial question

I followed this tutorial: Product Key Number - Uninstall and Deactivate in Windows
on my netbook so I can use the copy of Windows on my new laptop. Does using the command shown in the tutorial somehow send a "signal" to Microsoft letting them know the key was deactivated?

I had no issues in activating Windows on the laptop, I'm just curious.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2014   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Please notice, the below is just how I have understood this and how Microsoft phone support has it explained for me. It must not be factual information, however I have used this method successfully. I have had two times a situation where activation on a new computer has failed first but worked on another try when the key was first uninstalled on old computer.

First, be sure you are online. Get your activation ID on "old" PC with slmgr /dlv:
uninstall/deactivate Windows key tutorial question-2014-01-25_14h34_33.png
Now run the uninstall command with your activation ID on an elevated command prompt:
uninstall/deactivate Windows key tutorial question-2014-01-25_14h42_31.png
As far as I have understood this, running the uninstall command without activation ID only removes the product key from local Windows setup. To "release" the product key completely you need to add the activation ID.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2014   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

I ran the command without the activation ID. Afterwards I got the "Windows is not genuine" in the corner of the display. Shutdown the netbook and installed Windows 7 on the laptop, activated and didn't even have to call.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Jan 2014   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Usually a retail key has no issues when reused, even without uninstalling it on old PC first.

A true story: I had for instance a Seven Ultimate retail key reused countless times for various reasons, a lot of reinstalls as it was used on a test rig, then I decided to use it on a totally new self built PC.

Activation failed, automated phone activation likewise. After some 10 minutes or so getting no answer while waiting MS staff to pick up the call, booted the old PC and uninstalled the product key without activation ID. Again, activation on new PC failed, as well as the automated phone activation. Also this time after some 5 to 10 minutes waiting no human response from activation phone number, decided to call TechNet Subscriber support instead. A support technician could not help me with phone activation but suggested I would try to uninstall the product key on old PC with activation ID, wait half an hour or so and then try to activate the key on new PC.

This worked. It might be karma or coincidence or whatever, the main thing for me was that it worked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2014   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

Nice to know if I or another forum member has an issue.
Thanks Kari.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2014   #6
Microsoft MVP


Kari, were these TechNet subscriber keys? I recently talked with them and they are each five use keys that the agent thought could not be uninstalled. Once five uses are up they will issue subscribers new ones. Maybe you found the way.

As you note retail keys can be reinstalled as often as one pleases.

In the past I have come to believe that MS Activation servers have no way to know a key has been uninstalled or deactivated any more than they know the install's partition is deleted. It's only when the OS connects to clear activation that it has any such contact. So the key remains associated with the same hardware signature until it is overwritten during a reactivation on new hardware. In such cases a key questions is posed: "Is this copy of Win7 installed on more than one PC" to which one can only answer Yes to proceed.

There should be a way to find out for certain how this works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2014   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Kari, were these TechNet subscriber keys?
No, that's why TechNet support could not help me.

My example case as told was with a normal Ultimate retail key, the one I got as a present for organizing Windows 7 Launch Party back in 2009. I had a test rig where I tested various Audit Mode and sysprep scenarios, each time I returned to OOBE (as usual when exiting Audit to return to OOBE) it required product key and new activation.

Using the same key on a new PC meant I was trying to enter a product key which A) was still used on another PC, and B) had already been used and activated at least 15 to 20 times in quite a short period of time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2014   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

I did have to call Microsoft when I installed Windows 7 on my HTPC. I think it's because I never deactivated it from my gaming PC which I parted out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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