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Windows 7: Preserve my 'precious' working legit Win7. How many hardware changes?

20 Apr 2017   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Preserve my 'precious' working legit Win7. How many hardware changes?

So Windows 7 (Pro) is my last windows (until Microsoft change current policy/tack re 10 and data-gathering). It is running on 2 of the household's PC's and we love it. The GUI changes in 8 kept me with 7 and looking at the direction 10 is now going in it seems pretty certain MS and my own idea of how a persons home PC behaves is just too different for any further relationship. Which is kind of sad as i've been a happy Windows user since the W98 days.

Anyway the point of this thread is to see if anyone knows anything about a problem i may have coming.

Recently due to one of the household PC's developing an 'error' on the main OS HDD i had to use the great tools provided in Windows 7 to create a system image, then replace the HDD with a new one and 're-burn' that image to restore the PC to a healthy working condition. I got no warnings about any potential issues re my legit activation status so i assume the OS HDD can be replaced as many times as needed (that would make sense)?

The other household PC on Windows 7 is my main 'gaming' PC, and i've been thinking about updating some of the hardware on it to improve performance. I'm thinking about a new CPU and GPU in particular, maybe some extra Ram. I've already added an extra internal HDD to increase storage.

So my question is do i risk the activation status of my installation with these kind of changes?

Also i have an extra potential problem in that relying on phone calls to MS might be a problem as when i first built the system i had to call them as my full-price purchase of retail Windows 7 via amazon did not go according to plan. Windows 7 was already a old OS, Windows 8.1 had just come out and MS did not sell Windows 7 on their store anymore. The copy i got looked legit enough (like really, really good - holograms and everything!).

But after calling MS and allowing one of their people to get into my PC, they came back and told me the Disk was for an actual upgrade from Vista to 7 and not an actual full retail copy, despite all the packaging and info on the DVD saying otherwise. They were very kind enough to activate it for me considering, and i was very happy as i had spent about 160 on it!

So in this Windows 10 or nothing era, i do worry any changes to my 'genuine' Win 7 status could be the final nail in the coffin of trying to push me to Windows 10, and in all truth i would rather never be a Windows 10 user. The 2 household laptops are already on Linux Mint thanks to Windows 10. But gaming is what Windows does best, and any advice on how many changes i can make to my hardware before borking my Windows 7 would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2017   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

As far as I know Microsoft doesn't care one way or the other on hardware changes except the motherboard.
If you change the motherboard Microsoft considers that another computer at that time.

I have changed ram and video cards and use Clones on different ssd and Microsoft has never complained.

The only times Microsoft required re-activation from me was after a Clean Install, Repair Install or after a RMA of the motherboard on the original install of Windows 7.

I use OEM/System Builders Windows 7 Pro/64

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2017   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Thanks for the confirmation Jack :) It has put my mind at ease for the purchase of new hardware. I did 'look around' for info on this and one of the threads i found was this one:

How To Make Sure Windows 7 Will Boot After Changing The Motherboard

Which is about how to change a motherboard and keeping 7 happy. Not sure on the accuracy of that link but i added it to my list of 'handy Windows 7 tips'.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Apr 2017   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10

The other single thing that may cause a re-activation request is changing a Network connector.
The activation system checks for the MAC address of any NIC installed at activation - and if that is changed/removed it may trigger an activation request.

If you make a lot of hardware changes at the same time, OR WITHIN 120 DAYS, you may also trigger an activation request.

FWIW, I've changed hard drives in this laptop twice (320GB to 500GB to 750GB) simply using robocopy to transfer all partitions across - and not had any problems with activation requests (although that may be because I am still using the original OEM install)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Preserve my 'precious' working legit Win7. How many hardware changes?

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