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Windows 7: crash when using disk management to initialize and format new SSD

31 Jan 2015   #11

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64

Do you have a readable COA sticker on the PC ?
If you do, did you use the key on that sticker to try and activate Windows ?

Greg beat me to it with a more detailed explanation.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2015   #12


Unless you'd already done a Clean Reinstall Windows 7 on that PC then the key found by a keyfinder like Belarc cannot be used for reinstall because it is a mass activation key used at the factory. You'd need the key on the COA sticker, which Dell must provide for Windows 7 in order to legally pre-install it on their hardware.

I already explained in posts 6 and 9 that Dell provides a clean Reinstallation DVD with only activation and a logo included which could be ordered if for some reason the COA sticker was missing. But the first question to Dell should be why the COA sticker is missing since they are required under the EULA with MS to provide it.

Only Windows 8 has BIOS-based activation, never Windows 7.

I would call back Dell and ask them why there is no COA sticker as they are required to provide, that we are waiting to hear their answer so we can forward it to Microsoft if necessary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2015   #13

Windows 7 Pro (64 bit)

I must admit that when I read the text of the post (#12) in the email notification I thought "Wow...did I really completely miss reading earlier about the problem with Belarc only reporting the OEM key that doesn't work for Win 7 activation" and then saw your post #13...

I did not ask Dell about the missing COA because I didn't know to...perhaps I was naive in accepting the tech's word that with the new BIOS based key (which he did not mention only applied to Win 8).

However, I will do so. If I'm supposed to have a COA then I'd like to have it.

At this point, I suspect the fastest way to get up and running will be for me to wait for the Dell Reinstallation DVD and reinstall Win7 again, though if I can persuade them to give me a COA I'd be happy to go that route.

Thanks again for all of your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Jan 2015   #14


Is there any chance this was a Windows 8 machine on which they pre-installed Windows 7 for you by special order, since it is eligible for free Upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 7 on Professional version only?

That's the only way I can think of that Dell would represent that the OS is normally activated via BIOS, because it is normally shipped with Windows 8 which activates that way, and one must consult with OEM Tech Support to Upgrade to the alternative Windows 7 Pro.

If so then the Windows 7 key is to be provided by Dell.

I would still ask them to clarify. You want the Win7 Product Key but could settle for the Reinstallation DVD which includes auto-activation. Then after the Clean Reinstall Windows 7
save a backup image so you never need to reinstall again, just reimage C from the boot disk and stored image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2015   #15

Windows 7 Pro (64 bit)

This was not a special order. I was looking for a replacement Dell for my wife's aging machine, and because she's stuck with Win 7 at work wants to have a Win 7 machine at home. I looked at the Dell site and found XPS 8700 machines that said they came preinstalled with Win 8 and other identical machines (in terms of hardware configuration) that said they came preinstalled with Win 7 Pro. I simply clicked on the link for the Win 7 machine and purchased it. The fine print said that their would be a Win 8.1 recovery disk in the box, which there was, that could be used to upgrade to Win 8 later. There is a Pro Windows 8 sticker on the back of the Dell.

So, putting this all together I suspect that although there was no indication on the Dell site that there was anything particularly unusual about this machine you are probably right that this is Win 8 machine that was downgraded to Win 7 Pro through whatever mechanism Dell and Microsoft have arranged to do this. It never occurred to me to ask whether I'd get a COA because in the past with other Windows boxes I have purchased that was just part of the deal.

I will, indeed, make a backup image after the (hopefully successful) reinstall.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2015   #16


OK, Keep us posted as you go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2015   #17

Windows 7 Pro (64 bit)

Update: I received the Dell reinstall disk and was able to do a clean install of Win7 without a problem and with the OS preactivated, it seems.

Thanks to all who contributed to this pointed me in the right direction.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2015   #18


Glad to hear it.

Once you get it set up like you want be sure to save a backup image externally so that if it ever becomes irreparable you can reimage the HD in 20 minutes using the Win7 disk: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 crash when using disk management to initialize and format new SSD

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