According to this question, it is legal to use a Windows 7 OEM license that is presently installed as a 32-bit install with a 64-bit version of Windows 7. With that in mind, I purchased several refurbished systems through TigerDirect. When I received the computers today, I found that they have a Windows 7 license key attached to them that says it is a "refurbished key." A flyer in the box also seemed to imply that this key would not work with regular OEM media.

Has anyone tried using regular OEM media with a refurbished key? I had hoped to create a new 64-bit WIM image that I could use on these systems, but I don't want to try replacing the default install with this new 64-bit install only to find that the key won't validate. If it requires a special customized image, is it possible to convert another type of Windows 7 disc into the required sort much as one can convert a retail disc to an OEM one (and vise versa)?

  • You need to locate a x64 version of the same OEM. Of course there isn't anything actually called refurbished key so I suggest you direct your question through Tiger Direct.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 28, 2012 at 4:09
  • @Ramhound - It's kind of bold of you to say "Of course there isn't anything actually called refurbished key" when Timothy said it is printed that way on the license key label. Perhaps you have never seen a refurbished key, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I'm sure asking Tiger Direct won't help... they will probably just say it won't work even though it might. Nov 28, 2012 at 8:37
  • @KevinFegan - Tiger Direct might call what they sell refurbished keys that doesn't mean thats a term Microsoft selected.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 28, 2012 at 12:42
  • @Ramhound, actually I was referring to MS's seal as KevinFegan suggested, not Tiger Direct's term. MS talks about their refurbished PC licensing program here: "A properly licensed refurbished PC will have both the original COA that came affixed to the PC when it was newly purchased AND a specially designed Windows COA for refurbished PCs. A refurbished PC COA has a unique product key or a serial number, the Windows product name, and statement 'For Use on Refurbished PC Only'." The CD itself appears generic (but authentic). Nov 28, 2012 at 20:39

2 Answers 2


I have not had any problems using "refurbished" keys. They seem to act just like regular OEM keys. That being said, ensure you do not duplicate and have multiple installs of those keys, as always.

  • Thank you, Jared. I will try proceeding then. I have a license key attached to every computer, so I should be safe on duplication. Nov 28, 2012 at 20:40
  • Just to confirm, the system activated just fine and has been working well since the installation. Thanks again, @JaredTritsch! Dec 11, 2012 at 16:22

There is one big difference between the "Refurbished" and the "OEM" install disks of Windows: The refurbished version MUST be installed on a computer that already has or had a previous licensed and activated copy of Windows running on it with the same motherboard. If your computer or motherboard is new ( most likely you custom built it one if it doesn't already have Windows on it), or it is a Mac and your going to install Windows into Boot Camp for the FIRST TIME, the "Refurbished" versions WILL NOT ACTIVATE! In those cases, you must use either a "full" version or the "OEM" version. Microsoft's position on the refurbished version is they are only authorized to be installed by members of their Refurbished Partner program. However, I've installed them on systems as regular individual (not a member of their program) and can confirm what I've said above - works as an upgrade disk (say from Windows XP to Win 7), does NOT activate for new machines/new boot camp installs.

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