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I have a laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate using a key from my MSDN subscription. Long story short, subscription expired, and all keys I had requested got flagged as not genuine and thus the laptop started getting the error messages for not being genuine.

I just bought a license through Newegg for ~$182 for an OEM edition. I tried entering the key but I get an error message that it's invalid. Thus I am not sure what to do. I don't want to reformat the whole thing just to get the key to work... so I'm hoping someone can suggest how I can get it to work.

I've gone through the "Computer" screen to change and I've tried the CMD method too, both of which failed.

Anyway, thanks in advance!

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I've been in similar situations, usually it is a service pack difference, but I've had problems with retail & OEM versions not working with the other keys. There is something you may be able to do, but I would do an image first. Running sysprep should wipe out the system unique information but I don't know if that will let the new key work. – Scott McClenning Oct 2 '10 at 17:40
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, I do not think you have any choice.

If you installed on fresh hardware using an OEM key, then you can change to other OEM keys, but because you installed using a full key, it is expecting (and will only allow) other full edition keys.

If you want a quick transfer, you can always use the File and settings transfer wizard, however, an alternate solution may be go through activation and let it fail, then ring Microsoft on the free phone number - tell them what has happened and they may give you an activation ID anyway.

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Hmmm, I thought as much. I knew there was gonna be a catch for the price of the OEM version... Ultimately, I might as well just reformat the PC could actually use a fresh install. – Gup3rSuR4c Oct 2 '10 at 18:04

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