General discussion

DeActivate Windows 7 Updgrade

Hello, I recently ordered a new hard drive for my Dell XPS 410. Originally this computer ran Windows Vista, then I purchased the Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade for Windows Vista and installed/activated. Now, I want to replace my hard drive completely with the new one I have ordered but I cannot clean install Windows, and if I try to install the upgrade again it will not be genuine. So, I was wondering if anyone knew how to de-activate Windows 7 on one hard drive and re-activate it on another, I really do not want to purchase Windows 7 again. Thanks in advance.

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It'll work

It'll work if you do the upgrade. The hard drive isn't part of the activation code calculation, so you're fine. Don't even bother installing Vista, just feed the 7 installer the Dell Vista disc when it asks for proof of eligibility. Saves you probably about a half hour.

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Well, I installed the new hard drive and went to custom install just installed it like a new operating system. When I tried to activate it though, it said my key wasn't valid. I only have 30 days until it make my Windows 7 un-genuine. Any idea what to do?

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Just a thought

It's an upgrade from Vista, right? In that case, it would want to see a valid installation of Vista to perform the installation....or so I would think. When I went from XP to Win7 doing a clean install on new hardware, I couldn't so so unless I connected the HD from the XP machine to the new one. The XP CD, even though a retail copy, wasn't good enough. I have to wonder if you can reinstall Vista and then do the Win7 upgrade clean and on the new HD letting it see the valid Vista installation. It's a pain, I know, but MS is getting tough and heavy handed about suspected piracy.

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You can also...

You can install Windows 7 without entering a product key, then perform an upgrade installation from Windows 7 to Windows 7 using your upgrade product key. It's not an officially-supported method, but Microsoft has declined to take a stance against it, making it a valid option for those who are entitled to the upgrade edition but have wiped the hard drive and do not have an XP/Vista CD/DVD from which to reinstall the previous OS prior to performing the upgrade.


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Much appreciated information

For right now, I've been keeping the old hard drive from my XP machine in a safe place in case I'd need to do that but also have a couple copies of its complete image stashed away. I wasn't aware that I could just not enter the key. I know what happens if I make a typo while entering it. Thanks for the tip.

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You can't

You can't install Windows without entering the key, however you DO have the option of holding off on the activating of the install for a time.

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I'll let you sort that out with John

I've never tried it but have seen OEM builder PCs that, when booted for the first time by the end user, ask for the PID code then. I presume these folks know some tricks that I don't...including how to reactivate an OEM OS if they need to do a MB warranty replacement.

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its called resealing the drive its a little tricky to explain. it is how OEM's setup the machines actually they load ALL machines from one master drive in the factory.

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Not what I mean

This has to do with local custom builders and not such as Dell Gateway, etc. These would be custom PCs with one's choice of hardware and not packaged products.

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Actually, you can...

Microsoft introduced the option with Windows Vista and left it available in Windows 7, despite speculation that it would be removed due to abuse by those who do not have a legitimate product key or are using an Upgrade edition without a previous qualifying Windows installation. Just uncheck the option to auto-activate and skip entering a product key, pressing Next. As far as I know, it is an option with all retail and OEM DVDs, including both full and upgrade editions.


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just get er done

I would format my hard drive. Nothing can go wrong when you erase everything Happy

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If you are still monitoring this thread

here is my opinion of why your activation fails and how to deal with it.
You say in your original post that you have activated this product on your old drive and now you have replaced the drive with a new one and want to activate again. Microsoft will have a record of your product code having been activated and will have no knowledge of the replacement of the hard drive so will be assuming that you are trying to activate another copy of the same product. You will need to phone the freephone number that shows on the failure to activate window and speak to Microft, tell them what you have done and they will give you another activation sequence over the phone, it happens often when hardware fails and has to be replaced.

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Assuming the original Windows 7 install is fine

and all you are doing is moving to a new hard drive, why not just clone the old drive to the new one? Works just fine and the OS acts just like it always did and no need to activate it again.

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