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Possible Duplicate:
Windows activation with planned reinstall

I have a windows 7 intallation that I got from MSDN. The thing is that I want to format my PC and reinstall windows 7.

At first I thought I just have to write the current key somewhere, reinstall windows 7 normally and then activate it with my old key, but a friend did this and on the last step the activation wouldn't work because it said that the key was in use.

What can I do?

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marked as duplicate by nhinkle Feb 6 '12 at 23:38

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.

License sticker is maybe back on your Laptop,or rear the Desktop computer. – macman Feb 2 '12 at 17:14
The process you thought, was the correct one. Maybe your friend's Key was used by someone else. – Bibhas Feb 2 '12 at 17:18
The OP mentions MSDN so no sticker – Dave M Feb 2 '12 at 17:19
Your through process is correct; if you have a valid key that won't activate just find the phone number via Microsoft support - – Raystafarian Feb 2 '12 at 17:24
I suspect that your friend had reinstalled many times (for some value of many). If you're doing this for the first time you should be OK. – ChrisF Feb 2 '12 at 17:40
up vote 9 down vote accepted

It may work just fine but if not, you simply need to call the Microsoft number the activation tool will give you and explain the format and reinstall. Takes a few minutes.

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Thank you, I will try it! – Adrian Matteo Feb 2 '12 at 18:02

In this situation under Windows XP, I would just go ahead and re-install from scratch using the original key. When activation fails, there is an option to activate over the phone. You call the number, tell them that this is a re-install on the same computer and the license is not in use anywhere else, and then they'll tell you 50-digit code. Put that code in and you're good to go.

I think this still applies to Windows 7, but I'm not sure, as I haven't had to do it (yet) myself on a Windows 7 machine.

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Same with Windows 7 last time I encountered this. As you mention, do it where you can hear that long number. – Dave M Feb 2 '12 at 17:27
I'm 99% sure I talked to a computer a year or two ago when I last had to do this. – Dan Neely Feb 2 '12 at 19:09

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