Author Topic: Windows 7 Licensing and Product Keys  (Read 10320 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.

 

Offline 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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Offline 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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Offline 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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Offline 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 »
 

Offline 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?

Offline 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.
 

Offline 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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Offline 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
 

Offline 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.
 

Offline 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
 


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