Product Key Number - Uninstall and Deactivate in Windows

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  1. Posts : 5
    Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

    Hi I had a quick question about this. I currently have a genuine copy of Windows 7 Professional installed on my computer. However, my processor is going out and rather than buy another processor that is the exact same, I've decided to just rebuild my entire computer. I am going to be using the same internal harddrive though. I've been reading online that you can only install windows once on one computer? So I was wondering, if I were to follow this article and deactivate windows/uninstall the product code, could I then turn around and install windows 7 with my previous product code on my new computer?

    I'm fairly certain it's a retail version and not an OEM version as I received it through my University.

    Microsoft forums weren't any help and apparently I will have to pay $100 just to talk to someone working at Microsoft about this issue.

    ** Sorry about reposting something that has been answered but I didn't completely understand the answer you gave to Noel - to quote:

    "Hello Noel,

    I agree that it would be best to just format the compter and not enter a product key number if selling or giving it in a unactivated state.

    This is just an option that may be best for if say you were wanting to use your retail product key number on a new self built computer of yours, and didn't want to uninstall/format Windows and all of your programs, settings, and files on the old computer. This way you could legal unactivate the old one to use it on the new one."

    My old computer isn't going to be sold, I will probably have it sitting around as a backup minus the harddrive so I wasn't sure if you were saying that deactivating windows from one computer will be easier than reformating the computer. I will have to most likely reinstall all of my programs anyway so I wasn't sure what the best option would be for me to be able to use my same copy of windows and not pay $200 D:
    Last edited by eremank; 28 Jan 2012 at 04:39. Reason: Misunderstood previous answer
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 21,482
    Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10

    If you look at the disk it will tell you what type of install it is - and if you look at the Product ID (in the System page), it will give another clue.
    Often, Windows from Uni's are Volume License versions - which are Upgrades, and require a pre-existing license for a valid version of WIndows - again, check the disk and packing for details.
    If you're in any doubt, post an MGADiag report of your current installation in a new thread of your own, and I'll check it out (or PM it to me)
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 5
    Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

    I'm sorry, I'm not sure how to message you :/ My product ID is in the format of

    12345-xxx-1234567-xxxxx. So 5-3-7-5. I'm was under the impression that it's an actual copy of the disc because I had to reformat this computer when I got a virus in my system 32 files and it installed it. I assumed that reformatting meant wiping the system off of it? I don't know how you would update an Os if you reformatted the harddrive but I don't really know much about computers.

    Also, I'm not sure how to run an MGADiag report. Sorry for being a newb. Biology is more my subject.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 21,482
    Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10

    The important part of the Product ID is the second group.
    If it's -OEM-, then it's an OEM license, and cannot be moved to another motherboard or computer.
    If it's three numbers, then that may tell what other type of license it is (but it gets very complicated to try an explain it)
    the MGADiag is simple to run - but complex to read. :)
    To properly analyse and solve problems with Activation and Validation, we need to see a full copy of the report produced by the MGADiag tool (download and save to desktop - )
    Once saved, run the tool.
    Click on the Continue button, which will produce the report.
    To copy the report to your response, click on the Copy button in the tool (ignore any error messages at this point), and then paste (using either r-click/Paste, or Ctrl+V ) into your response.
    - **in your own thread**, please
    Please also state the Version and Edition of Windows quoted on your COA sticker (if you have one) on the case of your machine, but do NOT quote the Key on the sticker!
    How to Tell - Home
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 5
    Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

    Alright. Where would you like me to post the new thread? Also, my computer is custom built. It..most likely does not have a COA sticker.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 21,482
    Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10

    Put it in the Updates and Activation forum - that's the only one I regularly monitor
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 70,219
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Hello Eremank, and welcome to Seven Forums.

    If you have a retail or student copy of Windows 7, and not a OEM copy, then all you will need to do is to format the HDD and reinstall and activate Windows 7 as normal. No need to uninstall the product key number first since the HDD will be formatted. :)
    Last edited by Brink; 30 Jan 2012 at 22:20. Reason: typo
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 5
    Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

    Brink - does this apply if I'm going to be installing it on a new computer? I'm going to use the same harddrive but I just want to make sure :) The other option I was told to do was to activate by phone but I wasn't sure if I also needed to reformat before doing that. I'm just not sure what the best option is in this case haha.
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 70,219
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter


    Either way, you will need to reinstall Windows 7 on the new computer since it doesn't have the same motherboard as when Windows 7 was originally installed on the HDD.

    If it's a retail copy of Windows 7, then you'll probally still be able to activate online as usual. If not, then you could do the phone activation. :)
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 3
    Windows 7 Professional 64bit

    Product Key now invalid

    I recently received a product key from my employer and was asked to change my current product key to the one that was licensed specifically for my laptop. What I didn't do at the time was deactivate the current product key so that I may use it on another of my laptops.

    Can the product key in question still be deactivated? (as it is not in use, and cannot be used until the issue is resolved) or have I now lost all chance of ever using it again?

      My Computer

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