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 ...
20
votes
1answer
16k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
24k 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. ...
10
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
72k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
16k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Recover Windows 7 license key from formatted drive

I recently performed a fresh install of Windows 7 on my computer, but only as I deleted the old partition (that contained my old Windows 7 install) did I remember I hadn't extracted my Windows ...
8
votes
1answer
3k 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] ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Why don't Microsoft show the Windows Product Key in System Information?

I have a MSDN Premium License and forgot which key (you get to claim 10 keys) I used to activate one of my Windows 7 installs. I've always wondered why Microsoft don't show the current Windows ...
7
votes
5answers
35k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
30k views

Cannot activate windows 7

I can't activate Windows 7, I get an error saying DNS name does not exist. Is something configured incorrectly somewhere? PS: I need the answer within 13 days ;) UPDATE: I had upgraded from my ...
6
votes
4answers
27k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
874 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
18k views

How do I re-activate Windows 7 after Windows has decided it is no longer genuine after an update?

Windows just recently decided that it was no longer genuine and it keeps telling me that I need to re-activate. However, the dialog that pops up asking me if I want to make it genuine seems to crash ...
5
votes
8answers
11k views

Can you activate one Windows 7 on 2 identical machines? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When reinstalling Windows 7, does the language, version, architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) or source (OEM, retail, or MSDN) matter? Theoretically, can you activate Windows ...
5
votes
2answers
372 views

Alternative way to register or activate Windows 8

I am having issues entering the product code in a newly installed Windows 8 workstation. It does not allow me to enter the product code in the activation centre, it just gives this omitted random ...
5
votes
4answers
13k 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
votes
1answer
2k views

Where can I download a copy of Windows 8 (64 Bit) to use with my previously purchased activation key?

I just bought an HP ultrabook running Windows 8 with no installtion media. I also bought an SSD hard drive... My plan was to install windows 8 on the SSD I purchased. Without any installation media ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

Ghost Image - windows asks for activation on when deployed to VM

I have several images created with Ghost Solution Suite (v11 I believe), the images have been in use for a few years now, but I am finally to the point where I have enough time to attempt to ...
5
votes
2answers
695 views

How often can I activate Windows 7 Enterprise? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When reinstalling Windows 7, does the language, version, architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) or source (OEM, retail, or MSDN) matter? Today I installed Windows 7 Enterprise ...
4
votes
2answers
20k views

What happens after the trial period of Windows has expired? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Windows 7 activation period I installed Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on my laptop a few days ago. Today I got a message in notification bar saying that I have 25 days ...
4
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Will I lose my Windows 8 activation after hardware upgrade?

Windows 8 Pro w/WMC is installed on an Asus M3A78-EM with an on-board GPU. I wish to upgrade the GPU and have purchased a compatible one but have not installed it yet. I also wish to upgrade its CPU. ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Windows XP Home hangs on Activation

I'm helping a friend fix a broken XP Home installation. We did a repair install, and if I log in to safe mode I can see that everything looks good now. Unfortunately, safe mode is the only way I can ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Windows XP Home Serial Key Expired; Product is no longer sold

I installed Winows XP Home (SP3) Norwegian in a VirtualBox, entered a valid key. Activation window says it can't connect to the activation server, okay.. (Message ID 32777) So I try Windows Update, ...
4
votes
6answers
39k views

Windows 8 Activation - Product ID: Not available

The situation: I downloaded Windows 8 RTM from MSDN (I have a subscription). Naturally, I downloaded the product key as well. Windows 8 installed like a dream: lightning fast with no problems. I ...
4
votes
1answer
30k views

Windows (ALL) OEM activation

Looking for solid confirmation on how Windows(XP,Vista,7,8) OEM can be reinstalled/activated Windows XP (Home/Professional) OEM(SLP) (Dell, HP etc.) Using GRTMHOEM_EN.iso (Generic Home OEM) ...
4
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
400 views

Are there any region restrictions on the activation of Windows 8?

Microsoft does not sell Windows 8 DVDs in China, We can only update to Windows 8 from Windows 7, Vista or Windows XP SP3. However, I am an Ubuntu user, I don't have Windows 7, Vista or Windows XP SP3 ...
4
votes
1answer
593 views

Parallels from Bootcamp Partition: Can Vista be activated for real and virtual HW simultaneously?

I am running Vista and OS X natively on a new Mac Pro. Now I am trying to virtualize the natively installed Vista via Parallels 4. I am not planning to migrate Vista into a virtual machine completely, ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Does Windows Impose a Performance Penalty For Not Activating Windows With a Product Key? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Windows 7 activation period Does Windows 7 impose a performance penalty for not activating Windows with a Product Key? Let's say you have a very old installation of ...
4
votes
1answer
336 views

Will I still be able to activate Windows XP after support ends?

I read through How long will Microsoft support Windows XP Professional? but could find no mention of how long Microsoft will continue to allow/support activations of XP for, using internet or over the ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

What to do after activating Microsoft Office too many times?

I swap, replace, and upgrade my main workstation pretty often and over the last couple of years, have subsequently installed/reinstalled/reactivated my copy of Office several times and finally its ...
3
votes
4answers
367 views

Will I need to reactivate MS Windows if I upgrade the harddrive on my laptop?

I have a Toshiba Tecra A9 laptop that I want to upgrade the 120GB drive (HTS722012K9SA00) to a 500GB drive (HD20500 IDK/7K). Will I need to go through activation again due to hardware changes?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I really have to re-install Windows XP, then Windows 7, to make my upgrade activate?

I had Windows XP Professional installed in a VMWare virtual machine on my Mac. I bought Windows 7 Professional to replace it, and installed it on a fresh virtual machine, then deleted the old XP VM ...
3
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
18k views

Windows7 activation error 8007232b

I am trying to activate my msdn provided Win 7 enterprise but I get an error about a DNS. This is a royal pain in the butt. How am I supposed to activate this installation?
3
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I deactivate windows 8 pro?

I would like to deactivate the copy of Windows 8 Pro that I have installed on my system because one of cousins attempted on Install windows from the same disk and activated with same key. So, I would ...
3
votes
2answers
492 views

Does Windows backup require reactivation?

I have an activated windows 7 installation on a HDD atm that I want to move to a SSD. I want to use the Windows backup function but I'm not sure about a few things. Do I have to create a bootable ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Windows XP Activation failed, now what?

I have a computer with (presumably unlicensed) Windows XP. The activation (over the internet) failed, and I now I cannot get into Windows. After calling Microsoft, it seems like I will have to ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I activate Windows 7 for a different computer?

I bought Windows 7 Professional Retail which I installed on my laptop. Now I've decided to move it to be on my desktop PC, so I uninstalled Windows from my laptop, restoring the original OS that came ...
3
votes
1answer
453 views

What happens after you leave Windows 7 inactivated? [duplicate]

It seems that there is a sequence of events that happens when you leave Windows 7 inactivated. First, you get tooltips in the tray that say "This copy of Windows is not genuine, click here to activate ...
3
votes
1answer
242 views

XP Activation - Am I Legal? [closed]

Being the family CIO, my girlfriend's mom asked me to fix some problems she was having with her computer - Windows XP Pro. So, like any good IT guy, after fixing the issue, I made sure to get her ...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

Make a clone of VirtualBox Machine that doesn't cause Windows Re-Activation after installing Windows

Most guides for installing Windows on VirtualBox to act as a template for quick Windows jobs tell you to take a few steps to prepare the Virtual Machine before installing Windows (the best guide I ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

What is a preactivated version of Windows 7 (Ultimate)?

I have a Toshiba laptop with Windows Vista Home Premium installed. And I'm considering an online upgrade purchase of Windows 7 Ultimate. The site's description of the product reads: "Microsoft ...
3
votes
1answer
375 views

How can I migrate my Windows 7 Ultimate activation to another PC? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 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? My host laptop's ...
3
votes
2answers
903 views

Will Windows Anytime-Upgrade key work with a fresh install of Windows?

I bought an Windows Anytime Upgrade key from Microsoft's official online store sometime early 2011. The key was to upgrade from Windows Home, that came with the computer, to Windows Ultimate. This ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Cannot activate hibernate because of PAE on Win XP 64 bit

I'm using Windows XP 64 bit SP2. I'd like to use the hibernate feature. I'm used to activate it under "Power Options". But my current installation doesn't show me the "Hibernate" tab. I tired to ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I transfer Windows 8 upgrade license to new PC? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Windows 8 Pro Upgrade but no previous version of Windows installed I recently bought the Windows 8 Pro upgrade pack and updated my current PC from Windows 7. I have the ...