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Windows 7: Win 7 upgrade issues

03 Dec 2009   #1

Win 7 Professional 64-bit
Win 7 upgrade issues

Hey all,

This forum has a wealth of information & I really wish I'd read more of the info related to the different Win 7 versions before ordering the one I did, as I probably wouldn't be in my current predicament.
Here's hoping someone here can help as the MS people I spoke to were no help at all.

I purchased the student download edition of Win 7 to go with a new computer I'm building for myself for Christmas (didn't realise at the time all the limitations & complications involved with it being an "upgrade" version.)

When I finally figured out how to make an iso out of the files I'd downloaded I figured I'd go ahead & try it out on my existing machine (running XP 32-bit) so I could get familiar with the layout etc for when I would install it on my new pc.
That install went smoothly, and I think I activated the Win 7 install.
I've since found out that the key is restricted to one activation only?

Fast forward a month or so and I've built the new pc and went to install Win 7 on it.
It didn't accept my CD key on the initial install, so I left it blank then tried activating it once it was installed. No go.
Tried those workarounds (double-install & the registry edit) and still had no luck.

I'm assuming the reason for it not activating is that my key that I got with the download was already used to activate Win 7 on my old machine.

Is there some way I can "deactivate" that activation, so I can activate it on the new machine? That old machine is relegated to the junk pile in the garage, and likely won't ever be used again.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2009   #2

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1

There's no explicit deactivation. All that you're supposed to do is uninstall it from the old system.

You may have to activate the new install by phone. There are two levels of that: the first is fully automated. You ought to be able to get through that by supplying the right answer when asked how many systems Windows is installed on (one). If that doesn't work, you'll be transferred to a live Microsoft representative. Total time: 5-10 minutes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2009   #3

Win 7 Professional 64-bit

Does Windows have a specific "uninstall" option, or is it just a matter of formatting the drive?
I've uninstalled plenty of stuff using the add/remove software option from the control panel, but never thought of looking to see if Windows could be uninstalled from there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Dec 2009   #4

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro

Formatting would be the easiest way...if it still wont activate, call MS as advised....Good Luck...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2009   #5

Win 7 Professional 64-bit

Thanks for the advice. I imagine a call to MS will be in order.

Hopefully they will be more helpful than "Raj" who I spoke to the other night was!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2009   #6
Microsoft MVP


Did you buy an OEM version?

If not, then a full retail copy is fully migratable to the machine of your choice for life, but as long as it is on only one machine at a time.

So far the Upgrade seems to be migratable as well. But it could very well become locked to the underlying OS at some point in the future since the EULA says it replaces the underlying OS, and if the underlying license is OEM then it might not be migratable.

Your case falls somewhere in between since you used an Upgrade to install to formatted metal. MS was cooperating with the workarounds at first, even giving them out, but have issued several dire warnings that they need to be backed up with a qualifying XP/Vista. Maybe this is a first instance of the plan to enforce that?

There is no recognition of uninstall, however unless another key replaces the one that is on that particular MAC/hardware config in MS activation computers, then it requires a robocall to trade a series of numbers that deactivate it on the old machine and activate it on the new one. If you are elevated to a person, that is when they MIGHT ask for your prior qualifying OS, if they are planning to go that route.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2009   #7

Win 7 Professional 64-bit

Well this is odd.

I tried the auto-activate when I got home, and once again it didn't work.
However, when I chose the activate by phone option, it gave me the activation code after I'd put in my install code. Strange, as it's the exact same thing I'd tried the past few nights with no success.

Now off to copy all my pics, music from the old machine before I format it.

Thanks again for all the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2009   #8
Microsoft MVP


So they have the same level of automation as with XP/Vista: if they have no record of prior hardware config/MAC address being overwritten with a new key, then they assume it is possibly on more than one computer. This requires the robocall where they deactivate on old machine and activate on new one.

You think they could get the internet activation to do that, but there is some reason they want a phone call - maybe Caller I.D. in case it turns out to be heavily pirated key? But they have the ISP anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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