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Windows 7: Re-install over OEM activation?

26 Mar 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
Re-install over OEM activation?

I recently needed to completely reinstall Windows 7, but my laptop came with it pre-installed meaning that I didn't have a Windows 7 disc. So I just downloaded the ISO onto a disc, making sure it was the same version as the OEM (home premium 64-bit). It has installed fine, but when I try to activate it using the product key from the label on the bottom of my laptop it says the key is invalid. If I phoned Microsoft would they allow me to use that key? Also, have I done anything illegal by downloading the Windows 7 ISO and burning it to a disc? I mean, I technically already bought Windows 7 when it came with my computer, so is there any problem with having used a downloaded ISO from the net? It's not like I'm hacking or bypassing or anything - the last thing I want is a pirated version of Windows! :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2010   #2

Windows 7

It's different bits. You probably need to contact your laptop manufacturer to get a "recovery disk" if they didn't give you one when you bought it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP


Make sure you have a clean copy of the ISO by doing a hash check against the office Hash: Windows 7 RTM SHA-1 hash / checksums

If it matches, then the ISO should be good to reinstall your factory OEM and activate it.

Often when activating factory OEM the Product Key given is a batch key which requires a robocall to MS.

You can also try calling your manufacturer tech support to see if they will help you activate. Many will no longer support clean reinstalls as the bloatware they add provides most of their profit margin. But you can first ask them hypothetically if you can clean reinstall with a clean copy of the ISO provided by MS. Sometimes they will help with this to get it activated. If not, call back and try another approach: tell them your factory install has lost activation and isn't reactivating. At worst, they will send you Recovery disks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Re-install over OEM activation?

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