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Windows 7: Deactivating Win7 without having to format?

15 Mar 2011   #1
vmhatup

WIndows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Deactivating Win7 without having to format?

I have two laptops: a Dell and an HP. I recently purchased Win7 Ultimate Full for my old Dell and installed it. My new HP has a Win7 Home Upgrade that I had purchased about a year ago. They are both retail, but I don't have the product key for the Home version.

Since I wanted to upgrade my HP with Ultimate, Windows took me to the microsoft site for the automatic upgrade. Apparently, when it did this, it somehow deleted the product key for Home. Now I have one license of Ultimate for two PCs with Ultimate. Live and learn.

How can I deactivate Windows 7 Ultimate from one laptop so that I can use that product key in a newer laptop? I have a 100GB hard drive full of files so I cannot format it. And I don't have a backup drive.

Is this possible? Windows 7 is giving me two days to do something, but I am not going to spend more money on licenses.

Ideally, I wanted to switch licenses so that the Dell had Home and the HP had Ultimate. Apparently this cannot be done.

Any help is appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Mar 2011   #2
gregrocker

 

It's very hard to follow. You say your HP has Home Premium, but that you also went to MS site to upgrade it to Ultimate which deleted the Home Premium key. Do you have a COA sticker on the HP with the original Premium key? Since you say it's retail, it's unlikely but worth asking since we have to unsort the jumble starting somewhere.

If retail, Can you find the HP Installation Disk and packaging which should have the Product key on an insert? MS Customer Service can provide a new key with the Product ID which is another number sometimes on the disk itself. If you downloaded the Home Premium you should have received an email with your Product Key - even having the sales receipt or bank statement number can get it traced by the supplier.

When you say that the MS "somehow" overwrote your HP with Ultimate it makes me wonder how one could not know that they were downloading and installing an OS - an expensive purchase that should be burned to a DVD for perpetuity and have its key preserved for reinstalls as any other valuable would be preserved that lasts a lifetime. Who did this install for you? It doesn't install itself.

Hopefully you learned from not saving the HP key and have saved the Ultimate one.

If you'll answer these questions and clarify things a bit, we may have other ideas to get the installs switched as you wish - which is the easy part here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2011   #3
vmhatup

WIndows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thanks for your reply.

I have a Dell laptop, and I purchased Ultimate Full to clean-install on this laptop. A few months later my brother sells me his HP laptop, which he had previously upgraded to Win7 Home with an Upgrade he purchased. I have the product key for the Ultimate, and my brother lost the key to his Win7 Home. I know the Win7 Home is retail because I bought it with him.

I need Win7 Ultimate and the HP laptop is faster, so I decided to upgrade my HP's Win7 Home. I enter the CD, and it informs me that I upgrade via Windows Anytime Upgrade. Windows downloads and runs setups, and alas, I have Windows 7 Ultimate on my HP.

But now, I keep getting errors that the activation key is invalid, and it makes sense since I had installed it previously in the Dell laptop. I run a Keyfinder on the HP (a utility suggested here) and I notice that it shows the key for Ultimate and not the Home product key.

So what can I do? I did not know that Windows Anytime Upgrade was going to delete my old product key and install a trial version. It never mentions it anywhere. Had I known I wouldn't have installed it.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Mar 2011   #4
vmhatup

WIndows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Finding Win7 Home key on laptop after

I have a Dell laptop, and I purchased Ultimate Full to clean-install on this laptop. A few months later my brother sells me his HP laptop, which he had previously upgraded to Windows 7 Home with an Upgrade he purchased. I have the product key for the Ultimate, my brother doesn't have the key to his Windows 7 Home. I know the Windows 7 Home is retail because I bought it with him.

I needed Windows 7 Ultimate and the HP laptop is faster, so I decided to upgrade the HP's Win7 Home. I enter the CD, and it informs me that I have to upgrade via Windows Anytime Upgrade. Windows downloads and runs setups, and alas, I have Windows 7 Ultimate on my HP.

I enter the Ultimate key that I had, but now, I keep getting errors that the activation key is invalid, and it makes sense since I had installed it previously in the Dell laptop. I run a Keyfinder on the HP (a utility suggested here) and I notice that it shows the key for Ultimate and not the Home product key.

So what can I do? I did not know that Windows Anytime Upgrade was going to delete my old product key and install a trial version. Had I not installed it, I would have been able to run keyfinder to find the Win7 Home key.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #5
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

The original factory COA which is the key should be on the laptop bottom.

Sometimes they hide them under the battery. This is what you need as the original to verify then the upgrade Key/COA.

Mike

Also this may find the COA/Keys. The old and new.
None of the info is sent to Belarc. Click the BIG download button on the top right of the page.
http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

Install.
Then run as Administrator and it will gather system info- it takes a few seconds to a minute.
COA/Keys will be listed about a third of the way down the page after the hardware.

Hope that helps. There is another software to do this but I don't remember what it is at the moment.
Some of them can be unsafe so don't just use any retrieval software. Might get bugs or send someone else your info- not good.

If these above don't work hopefully someone will remember the other retriever.

I will post for more help on this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #6
gregrocker

 

Understood.

If you want to transfer the Ultimate license being used on the Dell to the HP, then open an Elevated Command Prompt on the Dell and type: slmgr -upk

This will uninstall the Product Key on Dell so that you can insert that key into the HP at Computer>Properties activation link. By uninstall I mean that it won't register on that hardware when connected to the internet, which is how MS activation computers keep track of where each key is being used.

Activation on new hardware can normally be handled by a robocall which asks how many computers the key is installed upon - to which the only answer accepted is "one." The key is then deactivated on any other hardware except the newly activated one.

If it rejects the key again with no robocall option, explain the situation to a MS agent: http://www.kodyaz.com/articles/how-t...-by-phone.aspx

You are entitled to move a full retail Win7 license to any computer of your choice as often as you want - they only want to verify it isn't on more than one at a time.

I wish we could help you find the Home Premium key. Is there perchance a windows.old folder in your C: drive root, as you could use that to roll back to Home Premium? Can you trace your purchase using receipt or bank statement as it might give MS Customer Service the Product ID it needs to replace the key.

If not, until you either recover the key or buy a new one, try running this command to keep the Ultimate installation alive: Activation Trial Period - Extend Up to 120 Days - Windows 7 Forums

If you find the Product Key or want to buy another Home Premium key ($129 for HomePremium Family 3 pack licenses at amazon and buy.com) we can help you in-place downgrade Ultimate to Home Premium using a workaround by which many beta testers changed from beta to retail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #7
gregrocker

 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #8
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Thanks Greg.

Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #9
Hopalong X

Windows7 Pro 64bit SP-1; Windows XP Pro 32bit
 
 

Greg

Didn't realize he had two threads going.
Reported other for a merger.

Mike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2011   #10
vmhatup

WIndows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Thanks for all the help.

The key for Home was under my HP laptop. I just re-installed Win7 Home in my Dell and activated it. Then I called Microsoft so Win7 Ultimate could be activated via phone. For some reason, even after deactivating the key in the Dell (by installing Home) I could not activate online.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Deactivating Win7 without having to format?




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