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Windows 7: set back to an image and lost activation

26 Nov 2010   #1
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
set back to an image and lost activation

My system had developed a list of little annoying snags that I was too lazy to chase. So I decided to set back to an earlier Macrium image ( dating from Nov. 09 ). The restore went perfectly well except I was reading in the bottom right corner that my Win7 was not genuine.

Called the friendly people from MS who fixed it. But they had no suggestion either how that could have happend - maybe because the image was a year old? Has anybody else ever seen the same?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #2

Window pro 8 64bit

ive had that before after a restore and reboot windows told me it wsnt a genuine copy, after a reboot it fixed its self, I didnt have to call MS
I Am Using 64bit Windows 7 Pro
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP


I believe the only sure way is to make the image before activation since Win7 can be fussy about holding activation even when reimaged to the same hardware, no matter what imaging utility is used.

You can try reinserting the Product Key at the "Change Product Key" link at Computer>Properties. If that link is missing, this can be done by opening an elevated Command Prompt to type slmgr -ipk followed by a space and the Product Key. You can then reactivate at Computer>Properties or using slmgr -ato

Even worse is if it changes drive letter during reimaging and you start up to a black screen with non-Genuine and are locked out of the OS - requiring use of Paragon Rescue CD to boot and correct drive letter: Moving Win7 Partition to Another Drive We get that at least once a month here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Nov 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Greg, I did not try to activate it myself because I had hoped that the MS people would have some logic why the activation had disappeared -but they did not.

And thanks for the cmd command - that looks neat. Will keep it in my files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
What does that contribute to the discussion?. I have been imaging with most any imaging product out there - including that one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit

I also had a similar problem, and if I remember correct after restoring an image. I had also reported it in one of my posts here.

Though I was a bit unnerved first, I decided to keep my cool, hoping that it will resolve itself. It did.

I had subsequently downloaded many files from the Microsoft site which required genuine Windows validation and it always passed.

While no one knows why it should happen, the fact remains that it does happen. One can safely ignore and not worry about it, as long as he really has genuine Windows.

As a double check, one can download any file from the Microsoft site which requires validation after a day or two and confirm that everything is OK. ( If your computer is on 24X7, then you may perhaps need to reboot, for the problem to get sorted out as reported by Britjoe above. Thank you Britjoe for sharing that.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #8

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

WHS, I dont know whether you have OEM windows or retail but the only things I can think of that could have happened between nov. 2009 and now (apart from the general moodiness of the validation servers) are the following:

1) For retail, hardware changes.

2) WAT came out in feb. 2010, that image wouldnt have WAT. I suspect that if you had gone to the MS genuine site and let it install WAT and validate, the process would have gone through.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

I had a similar issue after using CCleaner to clean up registry files. After restart I got the "Windows is not genuine" Then some activity. Then the "All clear" Windows is activated message came up. All in the span of 15 - 20 seconds.

I've never trusted registry cleaners, and I always regret it when I use them. But I didn't give it much though at the time, and wrote it off as an issue where there must be a registry entry that keeps a log of some sort that Windows uses in their authentication scheme. CCleaner must see this entry as meaningless.
Pure speculation.

Maybe this ties in to the image scenario. That monitored registry file is changed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2010   #10

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

The key is stored in an encoded form at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion node of the registry in a value called DigitalProductId. I seriously doubt CCleaner or even any other respectable Reg cleaner would mistake that for anything else, CCleaner only looks for orphaned and obsolete entries created mainly by program uninstalls or disabling of windows components.

More like one of the issues of random deactivation that we have been seeing, some of them caused by permissions issues.

But i agree that registry cleaners are a bad idea unless one is having specific problems such as random startup messages. But most people here have had positive experiences with CCleaner.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 set back to an image and lost activation

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