"This copy of Windows is not genuine"

Just bought a 2nd-hand laptop from a small computer repair shop. When I got it home, I checked for Windows updates. It came back saying there were nearly 500 updates (including sp1) that needed to be downloaded and installed. I did so. Then, when my computer restarted, a message window came up stating that my Windows version may be conterfeit and urged me to go online and buy a genuine copy. When the OS finished booting, the background color was black and in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, it stated "Windows 7 Build 7601 This copy of Windows is not genuine."

After reading a few posts here, I understand that there may be a few ways to fix this, but according to the little sticker on the bottom of my Dell laptop, it originally came with Win 7 Home Premium. Windows 7 Ultimate is now installed on my laptop. The laptop also originally came with a 640GB hard drive from Dell, now it has a 250GB hard drive. I'm guessing that the guy from the repair shop installed Win 7 Ultimate after downgrading the hard drive.

Is there any way to use the product key (sticker) on the bottom of the laptop to install and activate the original version of Windows that was on the laptop (win 7 Home Prem) without purchasing a new OEM copy?
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  1. Yes you can use the sticker at the bottom of the machine. That license is "supposed" to be for that machine only. (Although if you are getting rid of the laptop you can use it for a desktop you may or may not build :D )

    Make sure if it says Home Premium, then use one of the Home Premium discs. You can download the ISO's for free but when installing it will ask you for the license to get any further which you claim to have so you should be good to go.
  2. Best answer
    You should be able to Install Windows 7 Home Premium from a Installation disk (If you do not have one, you can barrow one, or download the ISO from uSoft to create a bootable install disk).
    DO NOT insert the "Key" when doing the Install, wait untill the windows updates have been applied, then activate and at this time insert the Key on the bottom of the laptop.

    1) If the copy of Win 7 premium is an UPGRADE version you will need to do these two:
    .. A) Select custom install - Again do not insert Key when installing.
    .. B) Once installed, you will need to make to corrections, See pg 2, steps 1, 2 & 3):,1
    Then activate using the key on the bottom of the laptop.

    If You get the dredded message this time, then call uSoft and explain - should be no problem re-activating. PS: I've used this method and NOT recieved that message.

    Alternative - Go back to repair shop to correct as they should be able to re-install the OS with the proper version - or give you a KEY for the version they installed.

    PS Once the problem is resolved, Use Windows Back up to create a System recovery disk. Windows backup will make a 1) Copy of your "C" drive and when completed will prompt you to make a Bootable "repair" DVD

    @ haynesr07 "Although if you are getting rid of the laptop you can use it for a desktop" - NOT true that is an OEM license and is NOT transferable. (NOTE: This was changed to allow transfering an OEM version for Windows 8 as long as it is ONLY installed on ONE computer.)

    @ u_gonna_squeal_b4_we_cookya - "There is no 100% legal way to download a copy of Win7 without buying it then using your key to activate it because your key was already used to activate another copy"
    His Key is for a OEM version that is Licenced to HIS Laptop, So He can LEGALLY re-install. HIS Licence can NOT be transfered to a different computer. In Essence, He is just re-installing what should be on the Laptop.
  3. RetiredChief said:

    @ u_gonna_squeal_b4_we_cookya - "There is no 100% legal way to download a copy of Win7 without buying it then using your key to activate it because your key was already used to activate another copy"
    His Key is for a OEM version that is Licenced to HIS Laptop, So He can LEGALLY re-install. HIS Licence can NOT be transfered to a different computer. In Essence, He is just re-installing what should be on the Laptop.

    Provided Microsoft activation would not complain for activating his laptop again. The only proof of "HIS Laptop" is his receipt of purchase from repair shop and hardware in his possession. The license applies to manufacturer which binds current key to hardware with known serial number.

    Now, following would matter little if you do not understand scope of situation. He is permitted LEGALLY to re-install windows, but it would not be LAWFUL to do so, since configuration of laptop is using different harddrive, nor there is a proof that can be obtained from manufacturer that key you found on bottom of the laptop is yours (that is permission to use it). What this means in lay terms is that Microsoft can reject your request to assign "ownership" of windows copy if it finds any problems with it.

    I would recommend first, acquiring Windows 7 Home Premium disk and installing windows and later activating it using supplied key. If it works, it is good to go.
    If it doesn't you're faced with option of getting your windows 7 from elsewhere.
  4. Am I the only one scratching my head, asking myself, why go through this trouble? I'd go back to the store and say hey wtf where is my windows.
  5. I'm with RetiredChief on this -- the best way to go is to download a disk image of Windows 7 Home Premium from DIGITAL RIVER and install using the legitimate activation key. If you have any trouble MS phone activation is a simple process and you can explain that you changed the HDD, which is within the OEM licensed use.
  6. @ yhikum "since configuration of laptop is using different harddrive"
    Configuration is not really altered by "swapping" out a HDD - I have replaced the HDDs in my Laptop without invaliating the "Key". Two laptops that I replaced the HDD with an SSD then Re-installed the OS using a OS install disk from one of my other systems , Then later migrated to a 2nd larger SSD.

    Also on Destops (with OEM installed).
    Activation tied primarily to the MB and HDD only makes a MINOR change to the "string"
  7. Downloaded Win 7 Home Prem (64-bit) from link provided by RealBeast (thanks). Then ran the setup.exe and took an hour or so to install. I didn't activate during the install as per RetiredChief's advice. I was going to check for updates, then activate Windows by providing the product key on the sticker on the bottom of my laptop, but it seems I'm missing drivers...

    After fresh Windows install, the screen resolution has been set to 800x600. It's a 17.3" screen with a resolution of (1600x900). The max resolution I'm being allowed to use is 1024x768. When I go to start-->devices and printers, there are two devices detected: 1) "Generic PnP Monitor" 2)"User-PC"

    I tried to get on the internet, but for the ethernet controller, network controller, pci simple communications controller, sm bus controller, and universal serial bus (usb) controller, it states that, "The drivers for this device are not installed (code 28)." Also, for the standard vga graphics adapter it states that, "This device cannot start (code 10)."

    So, I can't get online to check for updates or download any drivers. I also can't use my usb wireless mouse (using the touchpad is a pain). I'm writing this now using my old laptop.
  8. Can you not download the required drivers using your Old laptop.
    If your 2nd laptop does not allow you to read a thumbdrive, then using your old laptop transfer the drivers to a CD or DVD and use that to install on 2nd laptop.

    Just a question, How old is this 2nd laptop as Win 7 has a pretty good set of default drivers.
  9. The laptop I am using this second is an HP Presario and is 2.5 years old and has the same OS (win 7 home prem, but with no sp1 installed b/c I have auto updates turned off). The laptop I bought from the computer repair shop, the one that I am trying to install a clean version of win 7 home prem on, is a Dell 17R and was built Jan 2012.

    I can use the HP to download/burn drivers to dvd and transfer to the Dell, but I'm not sure exactly what drivers I need nor where to find them.

    Why didn't the drivers come with the version of Windows 7 Home Pemium (64-bit) I downloaded from the site suggested by RealBeast above?
  10. Are you sure that the serial key of that 2nd hand laptop was not used anywhere else?
  11. rounakr94 said:
    Are you sure that the serial key of that 2nd hand laptop was not used anywhere else?

    No, I'm not sure, but, as I said, I didn't activate during the install. I planned to check for updates first, then activate the new install of windows using the product key on the Dell.
  12. Then ask the shop seems that msft caught that this key was activated on another computer. Happened with me once I tried to activate and install 7 pro on my desktop pc with my dads laptop license and msft tagged my 7 pro copy as pirated.
  13. When I did the fresh install of Windows on my Dell, two folders were created: "Windows.old" and "Windows.old.000." I think all the old drivers I had with the old OS are available under Windows.old.000-->Windows-->System32-->drivers.

    Within the drivers folder, there are 3 subfolders (en-US, etc, and UMDF), along with 306 system files (.sys). I'm guessing the drivers I need to relocate to the new "drivers" folder on the newly installed version of Windows are somewhere in here, I just don't know which ones.

    So in the drivers folder in the old version of Windows, there are 306 .sys files. There are only 276 .sys files in the fresh install.
    In the en-US folder, there are 93 .mui files in the old win version and 91 .mui files in the new version.
  14. It's best to download the latest drivers from the laptop maker's web site. Just delete the windows.old -- usually I would recommend unpartitioning the drive completely and then installing the new install to a nice clean single partition so as not to deal with old junk.
  15. Thanks for all the help everyone. I went to the Dell website and, using my HP laptop, I burned all the drivers for my Dell laptop (2GB worth) to a DVD and installed them on the Dell. After that, WiFi was finally working on the Dell, so I downloaded and installed all Windows updates. The Dell now seems to be working fine with a fresh install of Win 7 Home Premium (64-bit) and all the latest updates (including IE 10). All the hardware installed in the laptop seems to be recognized and working (including the USB3.0 ports and proper screen resolution of 1600x900). Now all I have to do is activate it using the product key.

    After looking at control panel-->hardware and sound-->devices and printers, I see that drivers are still not installed for the SM Bus Controller (whatever the hel that is). Oh, well. I'll look into it tomorrow.
  16. I guess the SM Bus Controller is the "System Managment Bus Controller," and these drivers usually come as part of the chipset drivers. So, I went to the dell website and downloaded the latest chipset drivers. This seems to have resolved the issue. When I look-up "devices and printers" attached to my laptop, there is now no warning about unavailable SM Bus Controller drivers. You've all been so helpful and have given such good suggestions, it's hard to pick just one "best solution."

    I just used my Windows product key to activate online and it stated that the activation was successful.
  17. ENJOY!!
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