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I bought a sealed copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit to install on a computer I am building. When I opened the package there was no Certificate of Authenticity (COA) or activation code. Is this normal, or have I been had? If so, what are my options, if any, other than purchasing another copy?

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"sealed copy" - please clarify, what was in the package? Was there a DVD & booklet in a plastic case covered by a cardboard sleeve? Does the DVD have the orange hologram? What kind of outfit did you purchase this from? – sawdust Nov 5 '12 at 1:35
It is an OEM disc just like the one pictured below. In the package was a cardboard sleeve sealed (taped) on bothe ends, a plastic case sealed with warning label, inside the case was Windows 7 Home Premium disc with booklet. Bought off ebay. Yes my mistake. – Tracy Nov 5 '12 at 1:43
@Tracy You need to report this to eBay dispute resolution soonest. You might well get your money back. – Isaac Rabinovitch Nov 5 '12 at 1:48
Thank you, will do that now. – Tracy Nov 5 '12 at 1:55
By the way, I would strongly urge you never to buy a copy of Windows from a place like eBay or Craigslist. There are tons of counterfeits out there, some amazingly good looking. Some even have product keys that seem to work (often MSDN or BizSpark keys) that remain valid for a few weeks or months and then go dead. Even if you got the real COA, someone else may have bought a copy of your product key, leading you to trouble down the road. – David Schwartz Nov 5 '12 at 4:25

I recently purchased the same product as you, for a system I'm building for a family member. The Certificate of Authenticity (COA) should be on the back of the DVD case. It's a sticker that is meant to be peeled off and affixed to the PC hardware for which the license applies. Below is what my product looks like.


Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM DVD contents

Back of DVD case:

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM DVD back cover showing COA sticker attached; details elided

Notice the area I circled in red. This is the COA (yes, a small sticker) and the product key that you need to use to activate Windows 7 is on the COA itself. Of course, I greyed out my license's details; imagine bar codes and hyphenated alphanumeric gobbledygook.

If you didn't get something that looks like that, you probably did not get authentic product. I suggest you first contact the seller to resolve the issue, and failing that, take advantage of any buyer protection you might have. For instance, you could call your credit card company and request a chargeback.

Close-up of a COA:

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mine has been removed i guess. I have the pink film left where it should be. – Tracy Nov 5 '12 at 1:39
Sounds like the license has been used already. Request your money back. – Chris W. Rea Nov 5 '12 at 1:40
BTW, @sawdust's comment is also correct in that the DVD case comes wrapped in a cardboard sleeve that has printed on it some of the legal information about the OEM license. I didn't show that in my images above. – Chris W. Rea Nov 5 '12 at 1:44
Thats what I thought too. Will try to do that. – Tracy Nov 5 '12 at 1:45
Yes it all looks like what I recieved other than no COA – Tracy Nov 5 '12 at 1:46

I think this is a refurbisher pk. With the refurbisher pk you have to be a microsoft registered refurbisher. You sign into your microsoft account and enter this key number and the old product key (XP, Vista, etc) and they give you the new code online.

You need to resell to a refurbisher. The new cost to them is $30 so you need to sell this one for about $20 to make it appeal to them.

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