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Windows 7: Company Licensing Questions for Windows 7

22 Nov 2010   #1

Windows 7
Company Licensing Questions for Windows 7

Hello All,

I am looking for the right Windows 7 licensing solution for my company. I need licensing that we can reinstall on new hardware in the event of a disaster as we have a DR company that will provide us with new PCs within 24 hours however they do not include an OS.

I contacted my reseller(Dell) and was told they do not offer an Open Licensing solution for Windows 7(upgrade only) and you can only by OEM or Retail which as you know we cannot reinstall on new hardware (technically I can but according the licensing agreement I can't).

I then contacted Microsoft as I figured this must be incorrect there has to be some licensing solution that will allow me to reinstall on new hardware in the event of a disaster(Also thinking about doing VDI in the near future) but I was told by the rep the same thing that we can only purchase OEM or Retail and the only Open Licensing option for Windows 7 is an upgrade option for PCs that have windows XP or Vista Open Licensing.

I am currently at a lose I need a solution so that we can reinstall Windows 7 if all my current PCs go up in smoke and waiting a week for new PCs with OEM to be shipped is not an option nor is keeping a spare PC on hand for each employee.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #2
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1

hi Purebeer, and welcome to sevenforums,

unfortunately i know very little about licensing.

it may help others answer your question if you could let us know how many users/machines you are talking about.

5, 10, 100?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #3

Windows 7

Hi Mickey,

We are looking at about 25-30 licenses.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Nov 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I don't think that looks as dramatic as you think. A PC going "up in smoke" will happen extremely rarely. And for that case I would keep a 3-pack of OEM licenses at hand. They will probably last you for the life of Win7. - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 3-Pack for System Builders - Operating Systems

The more common case will be that Windoes7 goes on the blink. For that situation you can prepare yourself easily with periodic imaging. That can be automated (scheduled) so that the end user need not kick it off. To recover from an image takes 20 minutes.
Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7


My company requires that we able to recover all 25-30 workstations in the event of a disaster within 24 hours...this is not really incase I lose 2 or 3 say in a thunder storm but all systems in say a fire or flood.

As little chance this may be I have to provide it as the cost of us being down for more then 24 hours is high.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

In that case, something like this may be your "insurance policy" - There are other /7 distros too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #7

windows 7

Search Microsoft's website for volume licensing there are many options.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2010   #8

Windows 7


lol Yes that was the first thing I did before calling microsoft.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #9

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)

For so few machines it is going to be hard to justify the cost of Volume Licensing with Microsoft, plus there is a huge long legal contract to review and sign. Your legal staff will have a heart failure over it. But that is an option if you need one.

What I would do for a 24 hour turn-around time on 50 or less machines is:

Build a standard image for all 50 machines. Use the image on all the machines and then enter 1 OEM key for each machine. Put a tag inside the machine with the OEM Key on it or store the OEM Keys in a Database, etc. If the machine crashes or you have some disaster that requires all machines to be reloaded in 24 hours, you just put your image on all the machines and enter the OEM key from the tag. Since it is on the same machine it will activate correctly. 50 machines x 15 minutes = 12.5 hours for recovery.

If you have 50 different machines, then you may have to make an image for each machine and store them on a server. -WS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #10

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86

1) If you buy OEM licenses, you cant reuse them in the event of a hardware switch because the license is tied to the original mobo.

2) You must have a windows OS (XP, Vista, win7) preinstalled to use VLK. Once you have a VLK copy of Windows 7 you're able to install this on as many already legally licenced Windows 7 machines as you want with the VLK key. You can also create a master image, then deploy it with the VLK key. The machine still uses the original Windows 7 licence, but having the VLK agreement enables you to use your VLK key and custom image for easy management and to keep a standard image install. In addition I believe there are benefits associated with the MS software assurance program.

3) If you retire the PC, you can reuse the VLK provided the original win7 license was a transferrable type i.e. retail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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