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Will Windows 7 really run for 30 days with no CD Key?

I wanted to know that if I was to "find" and install the "RTM" code for Windows 7 Ultimate right now without providing the CD KEY, can I then buy the software (after the official October 22 release) and then just add the CD KEY, activate it and continue to use the program without any re-installs?

If yes, will the copy that I am running (without the CD-KEY and UNactivated) be totally useful (no crippleware) for the first 30 days? I do realize that I will probably get some nagging reminders to "activate" my copy of Windows 7, but otherwise, will it be a FULLYy functioning version for the 30 days after installation.

Please advise.
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  1. With 11 days to go, why bother taking a risk with suspect sources which may contain a virus.
    Also if you install the Ultimate eddition, you will need to purchase the Ultimate eddition for the key to work.
    Remember the 30 days to activate is for a purchased eddition of the software, giving you time to get your computer setup the way you want and check everything is ok. It is not shareware trialware or anything like it, it is a fully working OS that you buy and get time to activate.
    "find" and install the "RTM" Do this at your own risk.
  2. You can download the RTM for Windows 7 right off the Microsoft web site. Gives you 90 days.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/cc442495.aspx?ITPID=sprblog
  3. JackNaylorPE said:
    You can download the RTM for Windows 7 right off the Microsoft web site. Gives you 90 days.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/cc442495.aspx?ITPID=sprblog


    This is the Enterprise edition, not Ultimate, like the OP wanted.

    To answer the OPs question, yes the unactivated copy will remain fully functional for the first 30 days without being activated. You can also rearm the activation timer by going to the command prompt and typing in "slmgr /rearm", minus the quotes. This will rearm the activation timer for another 30 days. You can do this a maximum of 3 times, or until you are able to purchase a Windows 7 Ultimate key.
  4. Entering the Product key and activating are two separate things, I guess you'd still have to type in the key on install.
  5. thanks for letting me know...

    I do plan to install the Ultimate version and then buy the same exact one. The Enterprise is not necessary for me... but thanks!

    By the way, anyone know about the MSDN RTM release of Windows 7 Ultimate x64 done in early August (Windows 7 English x64 MSDN TechNet)

    Is that the "final" Retail or OEM code?

    I don't want to install an OEM version of the code and then try enterting a retail code after I purchase the product. Or it won't matter?
  6. I don't recommend downloading it from anyone but Microsoft, but I can confirm you do not need to input the cd key during install. Actually I had to dig to find the activation program, there's no popups or notification in the tray.
  7. mystiky said:
    thanks for letting me know...

    I do plan to install the Ultimate version and then buy the same exact one. The Enterprise is not necessary for me... but thanks!

    By the way, anyone know about the MSDN RTM release of Windows 7 Ultimate x64 done in early August (Windows 7 English x64 MSDN TechNet)

    Is that the "final" Retail or OEM code?

    I don't want to install an OEM version of the code and then try enterting a retail code after I purchase the product. Or it won't matter?


    Yes, the ISO files released to MSDN and Technet back in August are the Retail RTM disks. Exactly the same copies you would get if you bought one off the store shelf come October 22nd.
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