Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Possible Duplicate:
When installing Windows 7 or Vista, does the language, version, architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) or source (OEM, retail, or MSDN) matter?

I know there have been issues with it and some of its predecessors and I've run into some of those, but I still don't understand all that is going on. Some specific questions.

  • Can a given key be transferred to another machine? If so, will it require a phone call?
  • Will an activation revert with hardware changes? If so, what hardware?
  • Are there any counts/limits on activations?
  • How do activations work if I am using virtualization? Will a single activation work for a Bootcamp image (dual boot) on a Mac as well as a Parallels/VMWare Fusion instance (virtualization)?
  • What is the countdown listed when a system has not been activated?
  • Are there differences between developer, consumer and business copies?
  • Can I activate without an internet connection?
  • Can different activation keys enable different functionality?
share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by nhinkle Jul 4 '11 at 6:28

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

7  
entirely too many questions in a single post. –  hbdgaf Nov 22 '10 at 16:20
    
I gave answering them all succinctly a shot...for larger detail on answers ask the questions separately or check out the MCP for windows 7 study guide at a local bookstore –  hbdgaf Nov 22 '10 at 16:27
    
some, if not all, of these questions have been asked previously –  Xantec Nov 22 '10 at 16:30
    
Gee @Tim you think you can accept an answer ? –  Sathya Nov 27 '10 at 5:04
    
@Gareth a low-views closed question doesn't need its title edited. Leave it or flag for deletion. –  nhinkle Nov 14 '11 at 3:56

5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted
  • Can a given key be transferred to another machine? If so, will it require a phone call?

depends on how many times it was used

  • Will an activation revert with hardware changes? If so, what hardware?

yes, i seem to remember it being based on the quantity of hardware changes

  • Are there any counts/limits on activations?

yes

  • How do activations work if I am using virtualization? Will a single activation work for a Bootcamp image (dual boot) on a Mac as well as a Parallels/VMWare Fusion instance (virtualization)?

if the virtual hardware looks like different devices to the OS no

  • What is the countdown listed when a system has not been activated?

time before it limits functionality to only activation

  • Are there differences between developer, consumer and business copies?

yes - for detailed licensing answers check the MS website

  • Can I activate without an internet connection?

yes - requires phone-call

  • Can different activation keys enable different functionality?

yes - all versions of 7 for a single architecture are on the DVD to facilitate the "anytime upgrade" functionality

share|improve this answer
1  
Can you play with editing on your answer, please. It's difficult to distinguish between his questions and your answers. –  user3463 Nov 22 '10 at 16:30
    
edited.......... –  hbdgaf Nov 22 '10 at 16:33
    
Thanks, much better! –  user3463 Nov 22 '10 at 17:17

All your questions can be answered by the following websites, which I found by searching for Microsoft Activation site:microsoft.com on Google.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302806

and

http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/cu_sc_prodact_master

share|improve this answer

Can a given key be transferred to another machine? If so, will it require a phone call?

If it's not an OEM edition, yes & no

Will an activation revert with hardware changes? If so, what hardware?

Yes. Motherboard/CPU/Hard disk/RAM

Are there any counts/limits on activations?

Yes.

How do activations work if I am using virtualization? Will a single activation work for a Bootcamp image (dual boot) on a Mac as well as a Parallels/VMWare Fusion instance (virtualization)?

I doubt.

What is the countdown listed when a system has not been activated?

If the product is not activated, it enters into Reduced Functionality mode

Are there differences between developer, consumer and business copies?

No.

Can I activate without an internet connection?

Yes

Can different activation keys enable different functionality?

No, not within the same SKU

share|improve this answer
    
i think when he says different activation keys, he means different SKUs –  hbdgaf Nov 22 '10 at 16:33
    
@aking hmm perhaps .. if so your answer covers it :-) –  Sathya Nov 22 '10 at 16:37

•Can a given key be transferred to another machine? If so, will it require a phone call?
If its an OEM Key then no, if it is retail then yes but only legally if you have removed it from the other machine, unless it is a multiple user key

•Will an activation revert with hardware changes? If so, what hardware?
AFAIK you are allowed to change 3 pieces of HW in the machine before re-activation is required

•Are there any counts/limits on activations?
As long as they are legal no, although you will have to activate by phone after a certain number of activations - I'm read it is 5 in XP although I am not sure of the number for newer versions

•How do activations work if I am using virtualization? Will a single activation work for a Bootcamp image (dual boot) on a Mac as well as a Parallels/VMWare Fusion instance (virtualization)?
Not legally as this is 2 instances of windows.

•What is the countdown listed when a system has not been activated?
You get 30 days. After the countdown hasd expired certain things will be disabled i.e certain updates, you will receive Nag messages to encourage you to activate etc

•Are there differences between developer, consumer and business copies?
Yes different versions have different features, the more you pay the more you get

•Can I activate without an internet connection?
Yes you can activate by phone

•Can different activation keys enable different functionality?
Yes, in Vista and Windows 7 different keys 'unlock' different features. i.e the installation media for Home Premium and Ultimate is the same, the difference is the key you use.

share|improve this answer

Can a given key be transferred to another machine? If so, will it require a phone call?

Only if it has been transferred between machines many times. If it's an OEM key, then it cannot be transferred legally.

Will an activation revert with hardware changes? If so, what hardware?

It will, on changing a specific set of hardware such as NIC, GPU, CPU or motherboard.

Are there any counts/limits on activations?

No - an activation phone call may be needed.

How do activations work if I am using virtualization? Will a single activation work for a Bootcamp image (dual boot) on a Mac as well as a Parallels/VMWare Fusion instance (virtualization)?

You have to activate each installation, whether physical or virtual.

What is the countdown listed when a system has not been activated?

I don't know.

Are there differences between developer, consumer and business copies?

Developer copies have different licence terms, consumer copies can be used for almost anything, business copies have a volume key, I believe.

Can I activate without an Internet connection?

Yes, on the phone.

Can different activation keys enable different functionality?

They did with Vista, don't know about 7.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.