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
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2answers
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 ...
5
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3answers
1k 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 ...
14
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5answers
127k 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 ...
6
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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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
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 ...
1
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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 ...
12
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1answer
14k 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 ...
16
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4answers
83k 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 ...
14
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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. ...
9
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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 Enterprise ...
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
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3answers
16k 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
2
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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 ...
21
votes
1answer
23k 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
926 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 ...
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vote
1answer
118 views

Uninstall Windows 10, but save licence key

I'm pretty sick of cleaning out viruses from my grandparents' computers and so I'd like them to give linux a try. Given that they only use their computers for basic web-browsing, this shouldn't be an ...
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 ...
5
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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
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2answers
724 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
3answers
620 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
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
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
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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, ...
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
614 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
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 put ...
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 ...
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4answers
18k views

Unable to activate Windows 10 with error 0xc004f210

I am trying to activate Windows Home Single Language 10 (latest build 10586) using a Windows 8.1 Single Language Product Key. But it's saying: You are running Windows 10 Home Single Language. The ...
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 on ...
1
vote
2answers
9k 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
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3answers
2k views

Office 2010 Professional Plus Trial - Product Activation Fails

I have installed Office 2010 Professional Plus Beta trial (x64 version) from MSFT site. Every thing worked fine initially. But after I rebooted machine (Win7 x64), and started Outlook 2010, i see an ...
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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 ...
0
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0answers
103 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 ...
0
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0answers
85 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
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1answer
242 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 ...
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votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
-3
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2answers
517 views

Get Windows 10 Activation Key Without 3rd Party Software [duplicate]

Is there an inherent Microsoft-Exclusive way of obtaining Windows 10 Activation keys from existing installations? Even if this is not necessary with Windows 10 specifically, I want to emphasize my ...