I have a Windows Home Premium 7 pre-installed with my Sony Vaio VPCEA24FM laptop. I am running pillar to post trying to find out, does this Windows install expire on some date or it is valid for the life of laptop?

  • It doesn't expires unless you make hardware changes(processor, BIOS or Hard Drive) or if your Windows isn't previouslly activated. – Diogo Aug 21 '12 at 14:03
  • @Diogo: Hardware changes could require re-activation, but they don't invalidate the license. – Piskvor left the building Aug 21 '12 at 14:07
  • @Diogo Do you mean physical replacement of BIOS chip or even certain setting changes in BIOS? – Gaurav Agarwal Aug 21 '12 at 14:08
  • @codingcrow flashing the bios with a update from the manufacturer. But it does not "expire" it just needs to be re-activated, which is normally a automated process, but worst case it involves a phone call where they activate it over the phone with you. – Scott Chamberlain Aug 21 '12 at 14:09
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    Your motherboad bios will have updates, just like any other software. Going to the website, downloading and installing the update ("flashing") it may change some things that windows uses to detect that it has not been moved to a new computer. You did not move it, you just updated something it was checking, so all you need to do is re-activate it when it asks you to (via just clicking activate with a internet connection, or calling the toll free number they will give you and reading off a bunch of numbers from the screen) – Scott Chamberlain Aug 21 '12 at 14:13

The OS that came installed on your OS from its manufacturer never expires. MSDN, BizSpark, and similar licenses do.

  • Are you sure about MSDN licenses expiration?. I had an MSDN subscription that was canceled at the end of 2010. Two weeks ago, just for curiosity, I installed Windows 7 and Windows XP on a pair of virtual machines using serials from that subscription, and they fully activated. – Axeman Aug 21 '12 at 14:36
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    That they activated doesn't mean you were licensed to use them. My understanding is that your license to use them is your MSDN subscription. But others have also reported that they continue to give the usual 10 activations. – David Schwartz Aug 21 '12 at 15:31
  • I'll second the 10 activations... – Chad Harrison Aug 21 '12 at 20:00
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    READ the license agreement. Honestly, I don't know if the LICENSE to use the software expires, but the software technologically speaking, does not expire. Most volume licenses do not expire, but there is at least one that does. And I wouldn't be surprised if MSDN and TechNet license to use the software expired and you were LEGALLY obligated to stop using it/uninstall it if you let the license lapse. – Multiverse IT Aug 22 '12 at 4:19

Release versions of Windows 7 don't have an expiration date, so if it's a legitimate install (which it ought to be, given that it was pre-installed - check at http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/validate/ if in doubt), there shouldn't be any problem.


It won't expire in the sense of your not being able to install it; but starting January 13, 2015 Microsoft will end mainstream support, 5 years later on January 14, 2020 extended support will end. After mainstream support ends, Microsoft will stop adding any new features/enhancements(1) to the OS but will continue to provide security fixes. When extended support ends existing security patches will remain available; but no new bugs will be corrected. In the past, as the end date approached MS has occasionally closed exploits as "won't fix" if the fix would require very large amounts of work. The most recent high profile case of this was a bug in the Windows 2000 networking system that occurred roughly a year before support was schedule to end. Microsoft's justification was that fixing the bug would've required a complete rewrite of the networking code to fix (or backporting the WinXP network code, which was a complete rewrite, to Win2k).

(1) With the minor exception of customers with high end support contracts that AIUI include paying an hourly rate for MS developers to implement the feature.

  • +1, What do you mean by "your not being able to install it"? – Gaurav Agarwal Aug 21 '12 at 19:26
  • @codingcrow You'll still be able to put your Windows7 DVD into a computer and install it after the end of extended support; but you'll be running an unpatched (and almost certainly exploitable) OS as a result. – Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight Aug 24 '12 at 13:59

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