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Windows 7: Reinstall & Activation question

19 Oct 2009   #1
dockster

Windows 7
 
 
Reinstall & Activation question

I've installed WIndows 7 Ultimate with an activation key on a PC. If for whatever reason I need to re-format and reinstall it -- will I get an error about the key already being used?

Couldn't find any details on this on the MS site.

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Oct 2009   #2
Perrybucsdad

Win 7 Ultimate x64 & x86
 
 

You shouldn't, but it may tell you that you have to call MS to validate it. If you do, just call them and tell them that you had to reinstall on the same computer and what the reason was.

Now, if you are asking can I install on a second computer, the answer would be no. One license, one computer.
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19 Oct 2009   #3
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dockster View Post
I've installed WIndows 7 Ultimate with an activation key on a PC. If for whatever reason I need to re-format and reinstall it -- will I get an error about the key already being used?

Couldn't find any details on this on the MS site.

Thanks.
Dockster

Hi and welcome

You will not have a problem for the first 3-4 times activating online but at some point you may have to make a phone call. thats all there is to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Oct 2009   #4
gregrocker

 

If it is retail Win7 it belongs to you and is yours to use on the machine of your choice (but only ONE machine at a time) permanently. It is not tied to any machine.

If it is an Upgrade, then by License Agreement is is tied to the underlying hardware and upgraded Vista/XP which are also by license agreement not useable again except for reinstall. However there is no mechanism by which MS disables or deactivates the underlying XP/Vista, it only keeps track that the Upgrade key is used on one machine at a time. Others may know how tied to the hardware it becomes, but the MVP's on Technet say there is no way MS knows if the Upgrade migrates to another machine just that it is not on more than one machine at a time.
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19 Oct 2009   #5
TheSchaft

Windows 7 x64 HP, Windows 7 HP, Windows 7 Ult
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dockster View Post
I've installed WIndows 7 Ultimate with an activation key on a PC. If for whatever reason I need to re-format and reinstall it -- will I get an error about the key already being used?

Couldn't find any details on this on the MS site.

Thanks.
If the version you have is from MSDN, you have 10 licenses. Once you have re-installed (and activated) 10 times, you'll have to call Microsoft and ask for another set of keys. No big deal.

If you image your initial install on the other hand, you should be able to recover that without any re-activation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2009   #6
slnm

Windows 7 x64
 
 

just to continue on the same topic - I have Win7 x64 installed on one computer, but I also have a separate (unused) MSDNA licence for x86 version

What I'd like to do is remove the current x64 installation on computer A, and put x86 installation on it and then use the already activated x64 on a second computer. Would that require a phone call to Microsoft or would it go through without any hassle?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2009   #7
sup3rsprt

XP, Seven, 2008R2
 
 

when you put it on the other computer, you will need to reactivate. Whether or not you need to call Microsoft depends on how many activations you've done with your current product key.
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20 Oct 2009   #8
slnm

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sup3rsprt View Post
when you put it on the other computer, you will need to reactivate. Whether or not you need to call Microsoft depends on how many activations you've done with your current product key.
just the one time and i plan to do it once more and that should be it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2009   #9
sup3rsprt

XP, Seven, 2008R2
 
 

it could also depend on what kind of license it is? Is it retail or MSDNAA or ?
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20 Oct 2009   #10
gregrocker

 

No worries: if it is retail it belongs to you, you own it for life, and you are entitled to have it activated no matter what on the machine of your choice (but only one at a time).

I have never had to go to a person on the MS activation phone option, and I move my retail licenses whenever and wherever I please. Usually they self or web activate, sometimes I have to swap numbers on the auto phone system, but no more.

If I ever got a person, I have the proofs of purchase which is what ultimately rules under the EULA and the law. You own it, they cannot steal it back from you.

That said, their retail tech support is worth the price of the product. You can get a full education on reinstalls, optimizing, debugging, etc.
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