Author Topic: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys  (Read 10242 times)

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Offline Halcyon

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Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« on: April 29, 2016, 12:53:18 am »
Let me start by saying that this isn't a thread about circumventing Microsoft activation systems or using dodgy keys, let's not turn it into one.

My situation is this. I have a legit copy of Windows 7 which I'm currently running on my desktop machine. I also have a HP laptop which came pre-loaded with Windows 7 but the hard disk was replaced so bye bye recovery partition. On the bottom there is a COA and OEM product key for Windows 7. I tried downloading the ISO from Microsoft's site however it refuses with that key and refers me to HP instead. I know I can order discs from HP, but quite frankly, I can't be bothered nor do I want any of their pre-loaded software.

I'm of the impression that since I have two unique COA's for Windows 7 I have essentially paid for two licenses and I'm entitled to install them using any media/keys I see fit (provided they are of the version which the COA applies). Whether Microsoft agrees with that notion, I really don't give a shit -- I buy it, it's mine, I do what I like with it.

My question is this: If I use the media and key from the physical copy I have (that is already installed on my desktop), will running it on another machine (connected to the network and the internet) cause any issues with one or the other? If so, can I change the license key in the registry for example to match the one stuck on the laptop? Has anyone run into issues with this?

I know with Windows XP, once the software was activated, that was it, no further checks were done and you could have 100 machines on the network running the same key and it wouldn't matter.

 

Online rrinker

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2016, 01:05:43 am »
 It's that the download ISO you are using is not an OEM version. The OEM keys printed on the sticker on a machine use the OEM version (the only real difference is that OEM versions, you have to go to the OEM for support, not Microsoft - I have purchased several OEM versions through Newegg, it's significantly cheaper). So you need to find an OEM ISO or DVD, and your key will work. It should be fine, it does tie to the hardware but that's mainly the CPU and BIOS tags, so if you swap the CPU it might not be too happy - but if the automatic activation fails, you call the phone number (use 1 for yes and 2 for now, forget trying to talk to the stupid thing, at least the US phone numbers work that way). Worst case, it will say it needs "additional information" and will ask you how many other computers the key was used on.

 
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Offline XOIIO

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2016, 01:15:30 am »
Strange that you are having trouble using an OEM key, though I've encountered it once or twice, it usually works pretty well.

I'm not sure but this might be an oem disc copy, though from what I can tell hp only sells recovery disks.

https://kat.cr/hp-compaq-windows-7-ultimate-x64-oem-t11073990.html

If you like I can also upload the sp1 iso I use, but that's also available on kat.cr, and I've used it with oem keys from time to time. Anyways, if you use a windows  key on two machines, the last one to be activated will be valid, and the other license will be invalid, or at least that's what I've always heard over the years, never really tried it.
 
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Offline digsys

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2016, 01:17:02 am »
I run a few Win7s and several XPs. There are a few solutions that I use - there are programs that let you change the Key on a running machine.
Sometimes, you have to ring them up and listen to sale bs to get it re-registered, IF that instance requires it.
I have also used standard sysprep images from generic discs on ALL types of laptops, they work fine. Just download all the dirvers required for that make/model.
With XP, there are TIME LIMITS on how many times you can install the same Key, 1-3 for the first 3 months etc etc I don't think it is totally open,
but I've never done that, so I don't know. It's not difficult to still find cheap Keys.
As far as Win7 on 2 machines at once on a network - sometimes (rare) on a sysprep roll-out, I've had identical licenses on 2-3 machines, while doing the hardware
upgrade. Often it just gave me 30 days. It wasn't an issue, because the old PC was getting killed off anyway. Again, I used a program to just change the key.
If you have legal Keys, just reset them. I've never had an issue that I couldn't fix easily.
Note: In a couple cases, MS had a campaign to force laptop manufacturers from making generic drivers available for laptops, and you could only use the brand disk.
That was pretty easy to sort out as well, just get a list of the chipsets, then find similar drivers and try them out 1 at a time (Note keep an Base Image and reload
it each time) It rarely takes me 1-2 goes to find one that works FINE !!
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2016, 01:48:38 am »
I can't be bothered nor do I want any of their pre-loaded software.
and

I have essentially paid for two licenses.
One of them is OEM license, which you've got for cheap because of all the bloatware. So reinstalling another version of Windows instead of the one you have licensed is technically illegal.
Alex
 

Offline Linux_Worm

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2016, 02:21:46 am »
Let me start by saying that this isn't a thread about circumventing Microsoft activation systems or using dodgy keys, let's not turn it into one.

My situation is this. I have a legit copy of Windows 7 which I'm currently running on my desktop machine. I also have a HP laptop which came pre-loaded with Windows 7 but the hard disk was replaced so bye bye recovery partition. On the bottom there is a COA and OEM product key for Windows 7. I tried downloading the ISO from Microsoft's site however it refuses with that key and refers me to HP instead. I know I can order discs from HP, but quite frankly, I can't be bothered nor do I want any of their pre-loaded software.

I'm of the impression that since I have two unique COA's for Windows 7 I have essentially paid for two licenses and I'm entitled to install them using any media/keys I see fit (provided they are of the version which the COA applies). Whether Microsoft agrees with that notion, I really don't give a shit -- I buy it, it's mine, I do what I like with it.

My question is this: If I use the media and key from the physical copy I have (that is already installed on my desktop), will running it on another machine (connected to the network and the internet) cause any issues with one or the other? If so, can I change the license key in the registry for example to match the one stuck on the laptop? Has anyone run into issues with this?

I know with Windows XP, once the software was activated, that was it, no further checks were done and you could have 100 machines on the network running the same key and it wouldn't matter.



Code: [Select]
All you have to do is go and download a copy from ether Microsoft, HP or a Torrent site..(Not very safe), You also want to look at the COA sticker for something like,
Microsoft 7 professional HP OEM, Microsoft 7 Home HP OEM then you would search for that. find what you need,
Download it and put it on a CD/DVD/USB Thumb stick, Install, After that is all done it may or may not ask you for the product key if it does not then you will have to use this command below.
After you have done so you will have to activate it with the internet or phone activation window, if over the internet does not work then you will need to do it over the phone and that will take about

Code: [Select]
Click Start, type: CMD'
Right click CMD
Click Run as adminstrator
At the command prompt, type the following commands:
slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx (allows you to replace the current product key with the specified)
xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx - represents your product key
Hit Enter on your keyboard
Exit the command prompt
Restart your computer

Code: [Select]
With your other question windows 7 key will work on more then one PC however once one of the computers hit the internet and download
 any update then that key will get put into a blacklist within Microsofts activation servers after that you have to buy a new key
  |O
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2016, 03:20:43 am »
I'd get an image from a torrent and site and be done with it. You paid for Windows, not for jumping through hoops.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline digsys

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2016, 03:24:55 am »
Quote from: Halcyon
  I have essentially paid for two licenses.
One of them is OEM license, which you've got for cheap because of all the bloatware. So reinstalling another version of Windows instead of the one you have licensed is technically illegal.  [/quote]
Maybe that's how it works in USA, but you got the "cheap" price due to buying bulk, as an OEM or as a systems builder. The license is with the machine, and there is
very little difference between "versions". Upgrading parts of a PC is quite legal here in OZ, we have fairer use laws here :-)  YMMV
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2016, 03:26:29 am »
Quote from: Halcyon
  I have essentially paid for two licenses.
One of them is OEM license, which you've got for cheap because of all the bloatware. So reinstalling another version of Windows instead of the one you have licensed is technically illegal. 
Maybe that's how it works in USA, but you got the "cheap" price due to buying bulk, as an OEM or as a systems builder. The license is with the machine, and there is
very little difference between "versions". Upgrading parts of a PC is quite legal here in OZ, we have fairer use laws here :-)  YMMV
[/quote]

Yeah, I don't follow how changing your windows license is illegal, if you have a license key that's legitimate, then I don't see why there would be any issue.
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2016, 03:30:03 am »
if you have a license key that's legitimate, then I don't see why there would be any issue.
You have a license key for a HP bloatware edition, not the clean MS edition. When you were buying a computer you could have returned the HP version and bough MS retail version. They are not the same.

PS: I really don't care about MS, but don't try to justify your desire to violate the licensing terms. Just admit that it is illegal and go pirate the thing.

Windows sold with computers typically costs $99 or so, cheapest retail version is $199 and up. At least this was the case a few years ago when I was looking at this stuff.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 03:34:43 am by ataradov »
Alex
 

Offline David_AVD

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2016, 03:34:05 am »
Have you tried installing Windows 10 ?  Maybe you don't like it?

You can use a Windows 7 key with a Windows 10 disc / USB.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2016, 03:36:37 am »
I have essentially paid for two licenses.
One of them is OEM license, which you've got for cheap because of all the bloatware. So reinstalling another version of Windows instead of the one you have licensed is technically illegal.

I can walk into any computer store and buy an OEM copy which is no different to a full retail copy except for the lack of packaging (although I'm supposed to buy it in conjunction with "hardware", but that's another story). Under the hood, it's the same product. I honestly couldn't care less what agreements OEMs and Microsoft have, I pay for Windows, I get Windows. It's my choice as a consumer whether or not I accept any additional software with it. I don't care if it's part of some software agreement, if I don't want it, it's no one else's business but my own.

I don't care if it's "technically" illegal or not (which I doubt it is. Software agreements don't trump local legislation and laws). As far as I'm concerned, I'm a law abiding citizen who pays for the stuff I use. Whether they charge me $1 or $300 for a product is irrelevent.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 03:41:39 am by Halcyon »
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2016, 03:39:29 am »
I can walk into any computer store an buy an OEM
You typically need to buy a piece of hardware as well (SD card will do) and they are actively trying to stop this practice.

I don't care if it's "technically" illegal or not. As far as I'm concerned, I'm a law abiding citizen who pays for the stuff I use. Whether they charge me $1 or $300 for a product is irrelevent.
You caring here is irrelevant. I don't care for no peeing in public places law, it does not make it less of a law.
Alex
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2016, 03:40:29 am »
if you have a license key that's legitimate, then I don't see why there would be any issue.
You have a license key for a HP bloatware edition, not the clean MS edition. When you were buying a computer you could have returned the HP version and bough MS retail version. They are not the same.

PS: I really don't care about MS, but don't try to justify your desire to violate the licensing terms. Just admit that it is illegal and go pirate the thing.

Windows sold with computers typically costs $99 or so, cheapest retail version is $199 and up. At least this was the case a few years ago when I was looking at this stuff.

I'm not trying to justify a "desire to violate licensing terms", I'm saying that I don't see what the big issue is about reusing a license key, it's done all the time, and besides that, he also has a standard non oem version from what I gather, so if he wants to swap one with the other, I don't see what the issue is with that.

If it's illegal to reuse oem keys, then you better notify computer charities in your city before microsoft sues them.

Besides, if love following the law so much, wouldn't it be better to re-use a real key, rather than downloading an activator?

Online ataradov

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2016, 03:44:43 am »
I'm saying that I don't see what the big issue is about reusing a license key
MS does not get the money they thing they deserve.

Besides, if love following the law so much, wouldn't it be better to re-use a real key, rather than downloading an activator?
"Better" is not the right word here. It is better to get a properly licensed copy.

PS: I'm playing devil's advocate here, I really don't care and I run "borrowed" windows in a VM on a notebook that came with OEM Windows and I've installed Linux instead. I'm just not trying to justify legality of this move.
Alex
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2016, 03:46:07 am »
I can walk into any computer store an buy an OEM
You typically need to buy a piece of hardware as well (SD card will do) and they are actively trying to stop this practice.

I don't care if it's "technically" illegal or not. As far as I'm concerned, I'm a law abiding citizen who pays for the stuff I use. Whether they charge me $1 or $300 for a product is irrelevent.
You caring here is irrelevant. I don't care for no peeing in public places law, it does not make it less of a law.

Breaching a licensing or software agreement is not illegal in most cases. Read the Google or Facebook terms of use for example, do you stick to each and every one religiously? Breaching them isn't usually against laws. It's common for companies to include clauses in "agreements" which have not been prosecuted or tested in a court.

However, pirating and breaching copyright is unlawful. However this is not what I'm doing.

In short, license "agreements" are mostly garbage.
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2016, 03:48:38 am »
However this is not what I'm doing.
Well, that's for lawyers to decide.

And since MS refuses to activate a new copy for you, your only move is to either order from HP or torrent it. If you need a blessing for the later, then you have mine.
Alex
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2016, 03:51:51 am »
I'm saying that I don't see what the big issue is about reusing a license key
MS does not get the money they thing they deserve.


From that standpoint, re-using a hard drive or any other system component would be keeping money that the hard drive manufacturers "deserve".

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2016, 03:54:17 am »
However this is not what I'm doing.
Well, that's for lawyers to decide.

And since MS refuses to activate a new copy for you, your only move is to either order from HP or torrent it. If you need a blessing for the later, then you have mine.

Microsoft haven't refused activation. They just refused access to the ISO image. Again, my point is, I have two legitimate licenses to use Windows 7. In my opinion, this is software that I own and can do as I please with. If I lie to Microsoft and tell them I'm only reinstalling one particular copy on another machine, that lie isn't unlawful for I still own two licenses to use the software. If I have to circumvent their own internal policies or agreements, then so be it. That in itself is not illegal, doesn't make me a pirate nor a bad person.

If you were to buy a car but I told you that you could only drive on certain roads or during a certain time of the day, you'd tell me to get fucked. This is no different.

 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2016, 03:56:51 am »
To the OP:

Give Microsoft a call, they don't bite. Open a support ticket telling them you lost your Win7 drive and supply the with the license, they'll give you another license.

At least they've done that on the past if the original license is legit.
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2016, 03:57:13 am »
That in itself is not illegal, doesn't make me a pirate nor a bad person.
If that makes you sleep better at night, then fine.

Once you have to circumvent something, it is highly likely you are doing something illegal, even if it does not fell that way.

The car did not come with the license agreement.
Alex
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2016, 03:59:01 am »
they'll give you another license.
They will not once they see that this is HP license. They will still send you to HP.
Alex
 

Offline ade

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2016, 04:01:02 am »
Quote
If you were to buy a car but I told you that you could only drive on certain roads or during a certain time of the day, you'd tell me to get fucked. This is no different.

It is different.  You bought a discounted license on the premise that: 1) it is only used for the particular machine you bought it with (non-transferable); and 2) any support will be from the OEM you bought the license from.

Now you want Microsoft to provide you with support.

If you wanted support from Microsoft, you should have bought a retail license, or purchased a support contract from Microsoft.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2016, 04:02:55 am »
Once you have to circumvent something, it is highly likely you are doing something illegal, even if it does not fell that way.

That should read highly unlikely you are doing something illegal. Distributing pirated software is against the law. Using a different serial number or "tricking" software into working (when you own your own legitimate license) is not. If you can find me one piece of case law where someone has been prosecuted for doing exactly this, I'll retract my comments.

Until then, I'm doing the right thing as a consumer.

I am also not asking Microsoft for support at all. I'm just asking how I can get around this without being disadvantaged. I didn't pay for support, so I don't expect support.
 

Online ataradov

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2016, 04:07:17 am »
Using a different serial number or "tricking" software into working (when you own your own legitimate license) is not.
But you don't own the license. How far this logic goes? If I have a license for Windows 95, can I ask for a key for Windows 7?

There is a difference in HP version and MS version, even if it is very small.

And again, you can justify this to yourself however you want, it does not make this practice more legal.

And also, new key from MS will entitle you for support from MS. How they can be sure you are not going to ask for support in the future? 
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 04:08:57 am by ataradov »
Alex
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2016, 04:10:42 am »
Using a different serial number or "tricking" software into working (when you own your own legitimate license) is not.
But you don't own the license. How far this logic goes? If I have a license for Windows 95, can I ask for a key for Windows 7?

There is a difference in HP version and MS version, even if it is very small.

And again, you can justify this to yourself however you want, it does not make this practice more legal.

Argh! We're going around in circles here. I do own two licenses. I have media for one, no media for the other. But still, I have two licenses and both are Windows 7. I'm not trying to substitute versions or trying to apply COAs to something they don't belong to.

All I want to know is, how can I get around activation or usability issues by using the same key on more than one machine (a key is not a license, the individual COA on each machine is). If I didn't have the COA that came with the media or machine, then fine, I'd have to go buy a new copy, no dramas. But I have two unique and legitimate licenses.

Again, you throw around that word "legal". Something is "illegal" when it's in breach of legislation or law. Anything else isn't illegal. It might be immoral or unethical, but law has nothing to do with it. Farting loudly in a fancy restaurant might be wrong, but it's not illegal. This is all I will say on the matter, whether you agree with me or not.

I'm after technical information and stories of people's own experiences, not a legal debate or a lesson on Microsoft licensing agreements. Thank you to those who have actually contibuted something meaningful, I'll give those a go (and you get a 'thank'). As nctnico has said...

You paid for Windows, not for jumping through hoops.

I didn't pay for Windows 7 Professional (HP Window-Licker-Bloatware Edition) or Windows 7 Pro (Half-arsed, cut down edition), I paid for Windows 7, full stop.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 04:21:48 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline digsys

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2016, 04:34:48 am »
LOL. You have been sucked into the very path you asked to avoid. :-)  There are a few options mentioned. I'd stop replying at this point.
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2016, 04:36:25 am »
LOL. You have been sucked into the very path you asked to avoid. :-)  There are a few options mentioned. I'd stop replying at this point.

It's almost like people don't even read original posts. They just latch onto an irrelevent issue and run with it. This is how wars start people!*

;-)

* Terms of Use: By reading this post, you automatically agree that wars have actually been started because of people not reading internet forum posts properly, despite what history would lead you to believe. This agreement is binding for all eternity and tranferrable to your children and/or next of kin. You also agree to buy me a puppy.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 04:39:51 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2016, 04:41:01 am »
Some OEM versions will only activate via phone, that said if you really don't want to bother MS I guess you can try Syed's reply to this post, yup he is an MS support engineer:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/windows-7-wont-accept-product-key-to-activate/1d66f430-c17b-4e07-b3c1-eefc72996c07?auth=1

Edit: And in the past I did get discs from HP for free (used to have a pavillion and it died) but I know you don't want the bloatware. Not that is hard to uninstall but well you do as you want :)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 04:44:20 am by miguelvp »
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2016, 04:41:08 am »
It's almost like people don't even read original posts.
We do. You are starting with the wrong premise.

Quote
Whether Microsoft agrees with that notion, I really don't give a shit -- I buy it, it's mine, I do what I like with it.
Microsoft does not, so your questions transforms into "how do I circumvent protection that MS put in place to highlight that disagreement?".

If you think you are legally in the clear and we all just don't understand what you are trying to do, then call MS and talk to them. And if they say that you can't do this, then you cant.
Alex
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2016, 04:42:06 am »
 :palm:    |O

I'm going to the supermarket...
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2016, 04:44:08 am »
There are essentially only two Windows 7 installations disks - 32 bit and 64 bit.

As long as you have a 64 bit installation disk, it can be used to install any 64bit version of Windows you want.

The thing that informs Windows what version the disk is intended for is a tiny text file on the root of the installation disk ei.cfg.

If you have an ISO editor like UltraISO, or a Disk Burner suite such as Ashampoo that allows iso editing, all you have to do is to change this file.  Or you can make a bootable USB stick with the Windows install and edit the file directly. For OEM installation, you want these contents:
Code: [Select]
[EditionID]

[Channel]
OEM
[VL]
0

It is that simple. As long as you have any Windows 7 installation disk, you can install any other version of Windows 7.

I gather the installation even works without any ei.cfg and I think in that case it asks for the version, but I haven't tried it.

The other tip is that you can either enter the license key during the install, or afterwards from the Control Panel/System page. The second method is often less fussy then the first method.

Richard
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 05:02:24 am by amspire »
 
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Offline amspire

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2016, 05:00:23 am »
Just remembered, if there is no ei.cfg file, then you must enter the license key during installation - there is no option to enter it later.

This can be significant. If you have a Windows 8 license, and you try and use the Windows 8.1 Upgrade disk to install a clean Windows 8.1, it will fail as the installation key check will not accept the Windows 8 key for installing Windows 8.1.

If you add a ei.cfg file to the Upgrade disk, you can now install without entering any key. The activation key entry from the Control Panel/System page will accept the Windows 8 key for Windows 8.1.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2016, 05:05:10 am »
Thanks for your input amspire. I have a 64-bit disc which I can use. I'll have a play and report back.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2016, 05:41:54 am »
In the Edition ID field of ei.cfg for Windows 7, you can either have blank (which seems to defaults to Windows Pro if you do not enter a key during install) or one of these values:

Ultimate
Professional
HomePremium
HomeBasic
Starter
Enterprise
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 05:59:27 am by amspire »
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2016, 05:57:00 am »
I'm uploading the sp1 integrated iso I use right now, I put it together using different images, so its "less risky" than the ones off of pirate sites, but those are usually clean. If they aren't people bitch about them quite a lot in comments.

It will take a couple hours but I should have it posted before I nod off.

Offline amspire

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2016, 06:01:57 am »
One more thing, your Windows key is for 32 bit or 64 bit.

If you have a key for Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit, you can use it to install Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.

The thing you can never do is that you can never upgrade a 32 bit installation to a 64 bit installation. To go from 32 bit to 64bit, you have to wipe the 32bit install and do a clean 64 bit install.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 06:06:02 am by amspire »
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2016, 06:16:38 am »
Just remembered, if there is no ei.cfg file, then you must enter the license key during installation - there is no option to enter it later.

Success!

I went down the path of deleting the ei.cfg file completely (since I had a valid product key anyway). I used a Windows 7 Ultimate DVD image and during the first part of the setup, it just asked me which edition of Windows 7 I'd like to install so I picked the version applicable to the COA that's stuck to the machine. After it had copied the files over and a reboot, it asked for the product key. I entered in the HP OEM key which it accepted and the product was activated without an issue.

This is exactly the solution I was after. A clean, legitimate (and legal) installation of Windows 7, using the original product key that came with the machine (regardless of what media I had/didn't have). It took a whole 5 minutes to delete the ei.cfg file and re-burn the DVD. There was no requirement to stuff around with HP to get recovery discs, mess around with registry entries, or bullshit to a Microsoft representative over the phone. Plus, for those who are sticklers for Software License Agreements, you'll be glad to know I'm fully compliant. ;-)

Thanks!
 :-+
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 06:19:41 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2016, 06:22:39 am »
Just remembered, if there is no ei.cfg file, then you must enter the license key during installation - there is no option to enter it later.

Success!

I went down the path of deleting the ei.cfg file completely (since I had a valid product key anyway). I used a Windows 7 Ultimate DVD image and during the first part of the setup, it just asked me which edition of Windows 7 I'd like to install so I picked the version applicable to the COA that's stuck to the machine. After it had copied the files over and a reboot, it asked for the product key. I entered in the HP OEM key which it accepted and the product was activated without an issue.

This is exactly the solution I was after. A clean, legitimate (and legal) installation of Windows 7, using the original product key that came with the machine (regardless of what media I had/didn't have). It took a whole 5 minutes to delete the ei.cfg file and re-burn the DVD. There was no requirement to stuff around with HP to get recovery discs, mess around with registry entries, or bullshit to a Microsoft representative over the phone. Plus, for those who are sticklers for Software License Agreements, you'll be glad to know I'm fully compliant. ;-)

Thanks!
 :-+

Ah nice, saves me the upload time.

Now quick, delete this thread before the cops track you down!

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2016, 06:32:40 am »
Now quick, delete this thread before the cops track you down!
:scared:

Seriously though, I know a few people who work in cybercrime areas within our state and federal Police. One of them laughed at me when I bought this question up. I think I'll be pretty right ;-)

I'm pretty sure child exploitation and credit card fraud rate a little higher on the priority list.

I guess I could always front up at the Police station and admit to defrauding Microsoft of exactly $0 and admitting to using a legitimate software license... although I may end up being charged with wasting Police time.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 06:35:58 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline 3db

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2016, 06:37:37 am »
I can't be bothered nor do I want any of their pre-loaded software.
and

I have essentially paid for two licenses.
One of them is OEM license, which you've got for cheap because of all the bloatware. So reinstalling another version of Windows instead of the one you have licensed is technically illegal.

No it's NOT
MS have sold the OS to the hardware provider.
That provider has sold you the hardware with the OS installed.
So the same OS release version ie Win 7 is legal on that hardware.

The bloatware is just the hardware supplier making money from those vendors.

3DB.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2016, 06:42:46 am »
Now quick, delete this thread before the cops track you down!
None of this is secret knowledge. Here is a Microsoft Technet on the issue:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744535(v=ws.10).aspx

It is possible that deleting the ei.cfg is a minor EULA violation but I doubt if anyone knows for sure. Editing the ei.cfg is fine.

There are all sorts of ways you can install Windows legally - installing from DVD happens to be the slowest.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #42 on: April 29, 2016, 06:44:50 am »
It is possible that deleting the ei.cfg is a minor EULA violation but I doubt if anyone knows for sure. Editing the ei.cfg is fine.

Who cares? It's not against the law and that's all I care about. Whatever gets the job done I say. Thanks for your suggestion amspire!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 06:56:27 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2016, 06:50:06 am »
I have essentially paid for two licenses.
One of them is OEM license, which you've got for cheap because of all the bloatware. So reinstalling another version of Windows instead of the one you have licensed is technically illegal.

No it's NOT
[/quote]
That is right. Microsoft don't care what installation disks you use to install Windows as long as you install the Windows version that matches the license key. Microsoft will not accept the key or let you activate if you have installed a Windows version that doesn't match the key.

Dell Windows OEM is the same Windows version as HP Windows OEM. They are all Windows OEM. Whatever customised rubbish the PC companies add to their Windows installations is nothing to do with the Windows licensing.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 06:59:58 am by amspire »
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2016, 07:10:51 am »
It is possible that deleting the ei.cfg is a minor EULA violation but I doubt if anyone knows for sure. Editing the ei.cfg is fine.

Who cares? It's not against the law and that's all I care about. Whatever gets the job done I say. Thanks for your suggestion amspire!
The actual installation will be totally legal. The only thing that might violate Microsoft's licensing is the creating of an installation disk without the ei.cfg file. I don't think Microsoft care less - they make install disks without the ei.cfg file themselves and it doesn't let you do anything you cannot do with a ei.cfg file. They wouldn't want to waste time questioning the issue.
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #45 on: April 29, 2016, 07:12:16 am »
Now quick, delete this thread before the cops track you down!
None of this is secret knowledge. Here is a Microsoft Technet on the issue:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744535(v=ws.10).aspx

It is possible that deleting the ei.cfg is a minor EULA violation but I doubt if anyone knows for sure. Editing the ei.cfg is fine.

There are all sorts of ways you can install Windows legally - installing from DVD happens to be the slowest.

Yeah, it's horrid. Flash drives are nice (and I bet it's technically illegal to make those too), however unless you have a lot of them, it gets tedious wiping and copying them over.

The ISOstick looked promising but was way overpriced, so I have a zalman VE300b, it's an external hard drive enclosure that emulates a dvd drive, and all you need to do is put the ISO's into the appropriate directory, and you can make subdirectories too, it's all handled by a little lcd and jogwheel on the device.

Sticking an SSD in there would really get it to go fast, but I don't use it enough to warrant that investment right now. It works on 98% of computers I encounter, its mostly older ones that have issues.

Offline _Andrew_

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #46 on: April 29, 2016, 07:21:48 am »
This type of problem has come about because if systems being supplied with out original media to cut production costs and a move to rescue partishons on hdd.

So it is left to you to create rescue disks just incase the of the situation of the hdd failing. It is also a pain if you want to reinstall the os and repartition the hdd as you have to take care not to obliterate the rescue partishons.

I have a couple of ways that I use.

Firstly with a new system after doing the initial set up and getting the main aplications set up, all the updates done and email accounts set up I use clonezilla to make an entire image of the hdd so I have a fall back just incase the hdd fails and periodically I create new images to account for things changing. Clonezilla also is very handy if you want to mess about with the partishons.

With systems where it has a code on case with no original media or recovery disk. I have used original windows instalation disks that are the correct virsion to what relates to the code on case sticker. Using the the windows instalation disk and gone down the rout of selecting to use a different product key to activate windows (using the product key on the sticker on the machine in stead of the one supplied with the disk) and selected the option to activate via the phone using the automated service (only because it is quicker than having to talk to several people at MS and sitting in call cues even then when I have spoken to them they have been helpful).
When I have spoken to Microsoft they were more concerned that the code on case is being used with the original machine it came with as there not transferable betwean machines.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #47 on: April 29, 2016, 07:30:16 am »
If I have to install Windows on several PCs for a client, I just create a Virtualbox PC with a VMDK C: drive using the correct Windows version but without entering any key. I do all the updates, install the programs the client wants, do any configuration the client needs. Install McCAfee and Nortons (just kidding). Shut it down. Make a snapshot. Run it and run Sysprep (included in Windows) in audit mode that will reboot Windows. Delete my current admin user plus all the accounts files. Finish Sysprep and shut it down. I do a Virtualbox clone of the Sysprep'ed Virtual PC to make a new clean copy of the Windows Sysprep VMDK file. 

After 30 days or 3 days, the Virtualbox will say it has expired, but you can just reset it to have 30 days again. Simple command line instruction. So you can come back to this Virtual Machine in a year, get all the latest updates and Sysprep it again.

To get the PC running with Windows, clone the VMDK file to hard drive, put the drive in the PC and turn on. When the PC powers up, it asks for the Windows key, user name and password. Done! A fully up to date and legal Windows install that takes about 10 minutes a PC. 5 minutes for SSD drives.

Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 07:39:26 am by amspire »
 

Offline XOIIO

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #48 on: April 29, 2016, 07:50:58 am »
If I have to install Windows on several PCs for a client, I just create a Virtualbox PC with a VMDK C: drive using the correct Windows version but without entering any key. I do all the updates, install the programs the client wants, do any configuration the client needs. Install McCAfee and Nortons (just kidding). Shut it down. Make a snapshot. Run it and run Sysprep (included in Windows) in audit mode that will reboot Windows. Delete my current admin user plus all the accounts files. Finish Sysprep and shut it down. I do a Virtualbox clone of the Sysprep'ed Virtual PC to make a new clean copy of the Windows Sysprep VMDK file. 

After 30 days or 3 days, the Virtualbox will say it has expired, but you can just reset it to have 30 days again. Simple command line instruction. So you can come back to this Virtual Machine in a year, get all the latest updates and Sysprep it again.

To get the PC running with Windows, clone the VMDK file to hard drive, put the drive in the PC and turn on. When the PC powers up, it asks for the Windows key, user name and password. Done! A fully up to date and legal Windows install that takes about 10 minutes a PC. 5 minutes for SSD drives.

Once you get the hang of it, it is very easy.

I've done things similarly, when I volunteered at a place, loads of ibm thinkcenters came through. Set one up, clone it to a network location, and roll it out, but unfortunately drivers don't always work and sometimes you are stuck doing a brand new install :/

Offline amspire

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #49 on: April 29, 2016, 08:06:49 am »
I've done things similarly, when I volunteered at a place, loads of ibm thinkcenters came through. Set one up, clone it to a network location, and roll it out, but unfortunately drivers don't always work and sometimes you are stuck doing a brand new install :/
Quite often, you can install the drivers that the PCs will need in Virtualbox, and when the PCs start, it will find the drivers. If some drivers refuse to install, we just have to include them in a folder on the PCs and install them manually as a last step.

The thing you definitely do not do is install any Virtualbox drivers from the Virtualbox Extension Pack into the virtual PC. It will run OK with no added drivers.

There is always the option of cloning to one of the PCs, installing all the drivers and then Sysprep it again from that machine. Use that hard drive to clone to the other PCs. It is just better doing most of the work in Virtualbox, as the ability to snapshot instantly makes the process work.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 08:12:07 am by amspire »
 

Offline sync

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #50 on: April 29, 2016, 08:25:15 am »
I can walk into any computer store an buy an OEM
You typically need to buy a piece of hardware as well (SD card will do) and they are actively trying to stop this practice.
Yes, Microsoft tried to stop this here in Germany as well. But regularly failed in court.
In Germany an OEM license is equal to retail license. Probably in the complete EU as well. For licensing you have to consider the local laws.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #51 on: April 29, 2016, 08:38:06 am »
I can walk into any computer store an buy an OEM
The weird thing about the way the OEM license is written for Windows XP (haven't checked later Windows), the company that purchased and installed the OEM license had to sell the computer to a second customer. You couldn't install the OEM license and use it within your company.

So officially Dell couldn't use an Dell notebook within Dell since they had OEM licenses installed. I doubt that anyone took notice of this detail.
 

Offline Kilrah

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #52 on: April 29, 2016, 08:43:00 am »
Yes, Microsoft tried to stop this here in Germany as well. But regularly failed in court.
In Germany an OEM license is equal to retail license. Probably in the complete EU as well. For licensing you have to consider the local laws.
It's pretty logical the government has nothing to do with that. Whatever you do with your purchased copy isn't "illegal" i.e. against a government-instated law, it may not be anything else than a breach of contract.

If you violate your EULA you'll never get the cops to gome and get you, BUT as you're breaking the terms of the license you accepted to by using the product then if MS want to sue you they can and would likely win. It's simply only between you and them.
 

Offline sync

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #53 on: April 29, 2016, 09:29:46 am »
If you violate your EULA you'll never get the cops to gome and get you, BUT as you're breaking the terms of the license you accepted to by using the product then if MS want to sue you they can and would likely win. It's simply only between you and them.
No Microsoft won't win. The terms in the EULA which restricts OEM license to a piece of hardware are simply not valid. That's the point: EULA terms which are against the law are not valid.
The same is for selling used licenses. It's allowed by law. The manufacture isn't allowed to restrict the selling of used licenses. That would be illegal.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #54 on: April 29, 2016, 11:11:10 am »
I don't give a shit to EULA, I paid for it, I can use it. Technically, there are several types of Windows keys:
1. VOL/MAK keys: the same serial number, locked by hardware SLIC, preinstalled by laptop manufacturers like Lenovo.
2. OEM keys: these keys are NOT the preinstalled keys with a laptop. These keys are intended for use by system builder (like Intrex or NewEgg) to install on individual custom made computers. The COA must be stuck to the computer and you can not change the computer. The key, once activated, binds to your motherboard.
3. Retail keys: the most expensive keys, in color retail box. The COA is fixed on the box, so you can install it on any computer. You can only legally install it on a single computer, but technically you can activate it 4 times online. After 4 times, you can still use telephone activation.
4. Get Genuine Kit: the key MS offers to people who inadvertently bought fake copies of Windows. To get one, mail your fake copy's box and invoice to MS anti pirate center in Erie, PA, and they will send you a GGK. GGK only comes with Ultimate version. Legally, you can only use GGK as a substitute to the originally fake one, but technically it is the same key as a retail key.
5. Refurbish key: MS offers a key for use with refurbished computer that does not have a legitimate key. This key is only intended to be distributed with old computers. The key is technically an OEM key.

The EULA states the following:
1. You can install retail key on any computer.
2. You can not install an OEM key as an end user, it will breach the EULA, but no one gives it a shit. Half of the keys sold online are OEM keys.
3. GGK keys are only intended to replace fake copies, not to be sold to anyone. This key is free as an award by MS for reporting piracy.
4. Refurbish keys are to be distributed with old computers, preinstalled or not. People sell these keys on eBay for new computers, which breaches EULA, but again, no one gives it a shit.
5. VOL/MAK keys: the EULA states you can not transfer such a key without hardware, so many people on eBay sell these COA stickers and keys with worthless hardware, such as a broken HDD or a 20 years old RAM.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys
« Reply #55 on: April 29, 2016, 07:17:03 pm »
A nasty is that MS has stopped supplying the keys with a laminated top protection, giving just a paper label with the 3M VHB adhesive and the "void" precut tears in it. Thus after a month or two the OEM serial key will wear off from the label, so if the HDD goes south you will look and find the key is unreadable.

The OEM keys are easy to get, just buy a MS mouse and keyboard, and this qualifies you. Of course they also suffer from the BLACK SCREEN OF FAIL every so often, especially on a computer that has not been turned on for a few months. Bit of a pain if you actually do have a volume key for Windows and Office, and it is paid up to date.
 


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