using an existing key with different disk?
not sure how to word this, but I would like to reinstall windows on a laptop that was purchased from a store, and use the oem key for that system but not the original install disk. is this possible?
Does Microsoft store the key on the disk or what?
Just acquire an OEM copy that the key originates from, (IE home premium 64bit) keys arent tied to the disc, so as long as you're using the correct disc it'll work just fine.
You could try it might just work and if it doesn't you still have I think one month to get a proper key.
so if I have say a laptop (store bot) with a "windows 7 pro" oem key sticker on it, all I need is any "windows 7 pro" disk and it will work fine? And I'm not sure what Shadowmeph ment by still have 30 days to get a proper key. The key I would have must be proper cause it would be off a built system sold in stores. I just want to do a reinstall with the same key (to keep it legal cause that's the key that was registered to that computer) but don't have the original install disk. I think what supaflyx3 said is correct. At least it seems this is the case. thank you both for your feedback, but I'm not sure I have enough confidence yet to go ahead with the mission. Anyone?
The answer is yes. You'll need a windows 7 pro OEM disk to use with the key that comes on the laptop. The only problem you MIGHT have is depending on the type of laptop... sometimes the key is authed via the bios... in which case you'll need to do some advanced stuff I can't help you with.
If it works right away then great... if it installs and doesn't work then you'll need to look into the slic 2.1 bios.
Google this if you have problems: slic 2.1 bios
Thank you for the help clshades. What's this part about "The only problem you might have is depending on the type of laptop... sometimes the key is authed via the bios...." I have never heard of this can you explain or what should I be google'n to learn about this?
On another note, so If I have a pro key and any pro disk it should work? All the laptops you buy off the shelf are licensed and I should some how be able to reinstall the os with the key that is on them. This seems like the way to do it really.
Yea I don't understand what clshades is getting at either. I know a lot of times once the key has been registered it's then tied to the motherboard and sometimes you have to call into Microsoft or buy another key but that's only if you change the motherboard. So unless you changed the motherboard in your laptop I don't see a problem. But still don't know what clshades is talking about. :/
thats probably what he was refering to. Yah, is microsoft's way to make sure the key has only been used on one computer. If Microsoft detects new hardware, your screwed. So it sound like their should be no problems. To sum everything up: you can take a product key that has been activated/tied with one computer (motherboard) say "Windows 7 professional sp1", and then take any windows 7 install disk of the same distribution "Windows 7 professional sp1" and use it to reinstall windows using the key that has been activated/tied with the computer you are working with, not the key that comes with the os disk you are using.
in other words, your paying for a "genuine windows product key" not the installation disk. Right?
Thank you all who have helped. you have given me the confidence I have needed. Let me know if anything I said is not correct.
Actually you may not be completely screwed if you're swapping out a motherboard. I recently(like 2 months ago) had to replace my dead board and I only had an OEM version installed. I was able to install Win 7 Ultimate but it didn't accept my key and gave me instructions to phone in went through all the steps and my desktop has been working fine so far and getting regular updates. But yea if you don't have the disk and have to buy one you're already paying for a new key so you should be fine.
To clarify what clshades is saying, the keys provided with pre-built systems are special OEM keys. They require a unique form of activation and cannot be activated against MS's servers. It basically involves matching a certificate within Windows with a SLIC string embedded in the BIOS. If these 2 match, it activates, otherwise it doesn't work at all.
The $100-150 OEM licenses/DVDs you purchase from a retailer though, have a normal OEM key which does activate against MS's servers. It still usually is only good for 1 set of hardware. Any major upgrades requires you to phone MS and kindly ask for a new key which they typically provide.
And to answer your question, if the computer came with Windows 7, then it's using SLIC activation. If you use a standard off-the-shelf Windows 7 Professional disc, it may not activate. You might have to find the matching certificate for your laptop which is a fine line of legalities and we do not allow it on HWC. Hard to know for certain though unless you try! Regardless, you have up to 180 days (using slmgr -rearm) before you absolutely require a key.
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