Windows cases. For activating other software products, use [software-activation].

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Windows 7 and Vista Activation FAQ: How do language, version, 64-bit or 32-bit, and source affect ability to install and transfer Windows licenses?

We get a lot of questions on Super User about Windows activation and licensing. This question is an attempt to answer the most common questions in one place with a canonical answer. When ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

Windows 7 activation period

I have had Windows 7 Ultimate installed for about two weeks, with a couple more weeks left to activate. If you ignore the warnings, eventually you get a watermark on your desktop: Then, after ...
6
votes
4answers
33k views

Transferring a Windows 8 license and proper un- and reinstallation

Long story short I have two computers: a laptop and a desktop computer. Both have Windows 7 on them. I buy the Windows 8 Pro upgrade. To see if it screws up anything, I install it on my laptop as a ...
14
votes
5answers
125k views

Is Windows 8 Pro usable without activation?

There seems to be little information about the way the activation system works in Windows 8, especially for consumer versions of Windows (Core/Pro, not Enterprise). I already know that Microsoft now ...
5
votes
2answers
995 views

How does the clean Installation of Windows 10 after the free upgrade work?

I have not found any information from MS - only speculations from people like me, so I hope someone here has had better findings. When I upgrade a qualified version of Windows to Windows 10 and then ...
10
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5answers
4k views

Windows activation with planned reinstall

My laptop's hard drive is dying. It still works (boots Windows 7, run some programs), but it is obviously damaged. I am buying a new one to replace it. I have a legal and activated copy of Windows 7 ...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I find out which product key was used to activate Windows?

I have several retail copies of Windows 7. Normally I make a note of which product key was used to activate which PC. Unfortunately, I slipped up. I've just reinstalled Windows 7 on a PC, and I'd ...
9
votes
2answers
19k views

Is it possible to switch between Windows 7 Editions?

Related question: When reinstalling Windows 7, does the language, version, architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) or source (OEM, retail, or MSDN) matter? I am currently running Windows 7 ...
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5answers
2k views

Installing XP with out manufacturers original XP restore disk, possiable with OEM disk?

A client of mind has lost his XP home restore disk for his HP brand desktop. I need to reinstall windows for the client. I would like to know if a generic OEM install disk would work; by work I mean ...
16
votes
4answers
80k views

Making a cracked or activated windows uncracked

I have a PC which has windows 7 license but I installed windows from an image I downloaded and it is already activated. For validating genuine Microsoft, I need to enter my own product key but the ...
10
votes
1answer
6k views

How long can I use Windows 10 without activation?

It would seem that there should be web resources to quickly find an answer to this question but I couldn't find any, so I'm trying my luck here. I used the Win10 Media Creation Tool to download ...
14
votes
3answers
32k views

Change the Windows 8 product key after installation?

I just completed a fresh install of Windows 8 Pro as it was released to MSDN. Installation went without a hitch however I can't find out where to enter the correct product key for the copy I have. ...
4
votes
1answer
10k views

How long is the Windows 8 activation period if I do not connect to the internet?

This is not a duplicate of this question, since the OP had already connected to the internet. I installed Windows 8 Consumer Retail and was not connected to the internet, and remain unconnected so it ...
2
votes
4answers
13k views

Does installing the same Windows 7 copy on 2 computers deactivate the previous installation? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When reinstalling Windows 7, does the language, version, architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) or source (OEM, retail, or MSDN) matter? Does installing the same Windows 7 copy ...
5
votes
4answers
17k views

Convert MSDN Windows 7 Enterprise installation to Ultimate

Related question: When reinstalling Windows 7, does the language, version, architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) or source (OEM, retail, or MSDN) matter? Unthinkingly I installed Windows 7 ...
2
votes
3answers
12k views

Is Windows 8 Pro Upgrade 32 bit or 64 bit

I am wondering how this works. I'll tell you the story of my computers: I have one laptop and one desktop. One laptop was running Windows 7 Home Premium (32 bit) and my desktop is running Windows 7 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Windows 7 product key is blocked by activation server

I bought Windows 7 Ultimate from eBay around 8 months back. I got original Microsoft DVDs (for 32 and 64 bit) product sheet. To verify the genuinness, I activated the windows immediately after ...
2
votes
3answers
15k views

Reentering serial number in Windows 7

Does anyone know how to install a new serial on a working copy of Windows 7 - I get notified that my software is not genuine but cannot reenter the serial
0
votes
1answer
230 views

Windows 10 activation

Now that I've upgraded Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, what happens if my motherboard fails? Can I use my Windows 8.1 Pro media to install 8.1 to a new PC and go through the Windows 10 upgrade activation ...
21
votes
1answer
22k views

Resolving “DNS name does not exist” activating Windows 8?

I am trying to activate a new copy of Windows 8 Pro. When clicking on the Activate button in the Windows Activation screen comes back with: DNS name does not exist How can I go ahead an ...
6
votes
3answers
925 views

What will happen if I activate my Windows XP VM?

I made a Windows VM with Virtualbox in Ubuntu linux. I used the install disc that came with my laptop (I have a paid license for Windows XP). When I started my VM for the first time, it asked me to ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Will it be possible to activate Windows XP (SP3) after April 8, 2014?

I get that Windows XP SP3 (...) Support Ends April 8, 2014 and I get that this means: (from the site linked to above) there will be no new security updates [no] non-security hotfixes [no] ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Will Windows fail activation on a new hard drive after previous hard drive failed

I have a failing hard drive which won't boot, that has Windows 7 Home Premium installed. I have a replacement hard drive on the way. My question is will I run into problems trying to install Windows ...
2
votes
2answers
707 views

Can I Transfer The Windows 8 License of My Laptop to My Desktop? [duplicate]

My sister asked me to fix her Sony Vaio VPCCW23FX which she had recently installed Windows 8 Pro. However, that model is not compatible with Windows 8 and is having problems. We restored it to the ...
2
votes
1answer
611 views

Windows 8 Pro non-upgrade version won't let me activate

I went to Best Buy to buy Windows 8 and asked for the non-upgrade (clean installation) version of it. Got the software from a salesperson who said it can be for non-upgrades (and clearly has no ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Unable to activate Windows 8

I first installed Windows 8 Pro 64 bits OEM a few months ago. I did a clean install with the same disc and key yesterday, after installing new hardware. I remember having this very same issue with my ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Retrieve Windows 8 Product Key from mainboard

My new laptop came preinstalled with Windows 8. Naively, as I am, I just formatted the harddrive and installed fine old Ubuntu. Now I want to install Windows 8 for dual boot again, but I have no DVD ...
2
votes
1answer
8k views

What is restricted in Win7 Reduced functionality mode? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Windows 7 activation period I've got a copy of win7 ultimate which I installed on my newly built PC. 2 Days later, the SSD I was using as a system drive failed. I've ...
2
votes
3answers
616 views

Does Windows notice when a VM is moved around?

I'm thinking of migrating a Desktop machine (Windows XP) to a VM solution (VirtualBox or MS Virtual PC). The reason is that I need a new hardware anyways and I don't want to (cannot properly) ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

How to activate Windows Embedded Standard 2009?

I downloaded Windows Embedded Standard 2009 from my MSDN subscription and built a target image. I installed the image on an HP thin client. The thin client says that I have and evaluation copy. How ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Licensing issues when using a physical WinXP disk in VMware?

I figured out how to get a Fedora 11 VMware Workstation install to boot a physical SATA disk with Windows XP installed that was also being used to dual boot the same machine running Fedora. However, ...
1
vote
4answers
14k views

Unable to activate windows 10

I am trying to activate Windows Home Single Language 10 latest build 10586 With Windows 8.1 Single Language Product Key But its saying You are running Windows 10 Home Single Language. The ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

8.1 to 10 setup : Something happened > Setup has failed to validate the product key

Just like millions of other users, I'm attempting to upgrade to windows 10. I have a Dell laptop running 8.1, which had windows reinstalled once. That was because I swapped the HDD out for a SSD and I ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Windows 8 wants to reactivate with new motherboard, error 0x80070241

An HP tech had to replace my motherboard (twice within a short period, actually) and now Windows 8 wants me to reactivate. I get this error when I try to go through the activation process: What do ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

how to deactivate windows 7? [duplicate]

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 want to install my windows 7 ...
0
votes
0answers
71 views

Is it possible to activate WES 2009 after the trial key has expired?

If a Windows Embedded Standard 2009 OS is built with a trial license key, it will expire after some amount of time (either 30 or 120 days, I'm not sure which). It's very easy to give the system a ...
0
votes
0answers
97 views

Windows 10 revert to Win8 to reset key activation

I am currently in a computer crisis. I just updated my PC to Windows 10. The problem occurred during the activation of the Windows 10 Pro and Family key. Microsoft Support tells me what are blocked ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How to change Microsoft Office 2010 beta key?

I have installed office 2010, using a key that I found on forums on the internet. It said it was used too many times already. But when I try to use the mak key that is on my account, it says that it ...
-3
votes
1answer
2k views

Where can I download a legitimate copy of Windows 8 without having to supply an activation key? [duplicate]

I own a Lenovo Yoga 13 ultrabook and the Windows key is stored internally in the UEFI or something like that. The windows installer automatically recognizes the key during install. Here's my issue: I ...