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Windows 7: Can you reformat a HD and reinstall Windows 7 using the same key?

09 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 professional 32bit
Can you reformat a HD and reinstall Windows 7 using the same key?

I have Windows 7 installed and it's starting to run slow after using it for a year. I would like to reformat the drive it is installed on and reinstall it fresh. Can I activate it using the same key since it's the same drive, or would I have to buy a new key?

I want to do this because I feel that it's easier to reinstall and the software I use than it would be to try to determine and fix what is slowing down my computer.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate (SP1)

As Joules said, the answer is yes.

Follow this tutorial to make it good as new: Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP


Tips for getting a purrfect reinstall, based on hundreds done here: re-install windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Jan 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Easiest is to reinstall from the recovery partition - if you have one. That will automatically assume your key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2011   #5
Here To Help

Windows 7 Pro x64 Bit

Yes, however you are limited to 6 activations per key by the internet. After that you will have to call microsofts automated phone system (pain in the A** but works quite well).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2011   #6
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello crashjesse, welcome to Seven Forums!

If there's nothing on the Hard Disk Drive that you need to save and you want the best possible space to clean install Windows 7 to, have a look at this tutorial at the link below and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

There is no limit to the number of times a retail Windows 7 can be reinstalled and activated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can you reformat a HD and reinstall Windows 7 using the same key?

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