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A few questions about the Windows 7 family pack

Last response: in Windows 7
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October 23, 2009 6:10:23 AM

I have a couple quick questions for everyone regarding the Windows 7 Family Pack. Hopefully someone who has gotten it can answer my questions.


1. Do they give you three different WIndows 7 product keys, or just one that all three copies share?


2. Is there an activation limit for the family pack? Microsoft office always has the annoying limit of 3 activations, so I am curious if the same applies to the family pack.

If I ever wanted/ needed to reload the OS, would I be able to activate it? Vista and XP had unlimited activations, and I just wanted to make sure the family version will as well, or else I will get a regular version.


3. My copy of Vista Ultimate is an upgrade version I got in 2007 through my university and its software deal with Microsoft. Will Windows 7 accept an upgrade version of Vista as a genuine copy?


4. Can I install Windows 7 if there is no previous version of XP or Vista installed? Or would it make me install a previous version of Vista or XP first? When I got upgrade versions of XP Pro and later Vista Ultimate through my university, it never checked for a previous OS and let me install the OS to a blank drive.


I am no longer a student, since I graduated, so getting a student copy of Windows 7 is out of the question.
a b $ Windows 7
October 23, 2009 10:42:01 PM

berlin88 said:
I have a couple quick questions for everyone regarding the Windows 7 Family Pack. Hopefully someone who has gotten it can answer my questions.


1. Do they give you three different WIndows 7 product keys, or just one that all three copies share?

Not sure, but I suspect the one key will be used, the number will be able to differentiate between a single and multiple licence.

2. Is there an activation limit for the family pack? Microsoft office always has the annoying limit of 3 activations, so I am curious if the same applies to the family pack.

There is no limit on the number of activations, on the same computer, there is a limit on how many in a given timeframe can be activated via the internet, when you excede this limit a phone call to MS will solve the problem.

If I ever wanted/ needed to reload the OS, would I be able to activate it? Vista and XP had unlimited activations, and I just wanted to make sure the family version will as well, or else I will get a regular version.

Yes, but don't format the drive, use the custom instalation option to do a clean install, if you need to install on a new drive if your old one has gone belly up, you will need to reinstall and activate your old OS first. Making an image of the old or new OS and storing in a safe place, would save you the trouble.

3. My copy of Vista Ultimate is an upgrade version I got in 2007 through my university and its software deal with Microsoft. Will Windows 7 accept an upgrade version of Vista as a genuine copy?

The Family Pack upgrade is W7 Home Premium, therefore the answer is NO, you can not upgrade to a lower version.

4. Can I install Windows 7 if there is no previous version of XP or Vista installed? Or would it make me install a previous version of Vista or XP first? When I got upgrade versions of XP Pro and later Vista Ultimate through my university, it never checked for a previous OS and let me install the OS to a blank drive.

NO! a previous installed and activated version that is equal to or lower then the version you wish to upgrade to is required.

I am no longer a student, since I graduated, so getting a student copy of Windows 7 is out of the question.


If you don't have a previous qualifying product a cheaper option would be to get the OEM version, but be aware of te limitations, ie; can not be transfered to another computer and no MS support.
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October 24, 2009 5:01:24 AM

Use something like acronis true image to make a complete back up of each system once you have windows 7 installed, updated and activated. This will make reinstalling much easier.
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October 25, 2009 4:42:09 PM

PsyKhiqZero said:
Use something like acronis true image to make a complete back up of each system once you have windows 7 installed, updated and activated. This will make reinstalling much easier.


I have used Acronis True Image to backup my activated windows Xp Pro in the past for many years. Never had a problem. Whenever I restore the image, XP would be activated, even when the destination was a different make and size hard drive in the same computer.

Yesterday, I used Acronis True Image 2010 to backup my activated Windows 7 Pro. The backup process was fast and was successful. When I restored the backup onto amother hard drive that was a diferent size and from another maker in the same computer, the restore went well. When I booted up, I saw a quick message telling me "installing device drive", when I checked the Control Panel/System, I saw that this copy was not activated and I had 3 days to activate this copy.
I even restored to a different hard drive that was the same make, same model number, and the same size, after the restore, I received the same messages and my copy was not activated.

Is it possible that MS made backing up an activated copy not possible anymore? I don't know what I am doing wrong. I have been using Acronis, Ghost, and others in the past years to backup activated Win XP with no restore activation problems. Any help would truly be appreciated. thanks.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 25, 2009 8:51:02 PM

"Is it possible that MS made backing up an activated copy not possible anymore?"
Could be, or could be a W7 compatability issue, which version of Acronis? I havn't tried restoring W7 retail version yet, I havn't even activated yet.
I did use the restore once on the W7 RC to make sure all was well and had no problem. I'm using ATI Home 2009.
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October 25, 2009 9:06:01 PM

Jonmor68 said:
"Is it possible that MS made backing up an activated copy not possible anymore?"
Could be, or could be a W7 compatability issue, which version of Acronis? I havn't tried restoring W7 retail version yet, I havn't even activated yet.
I did use the restore once on the W7 RC to make sure all was well and had no problem. I'm using ATI Home 2009.


Hi jonmor68: I used ATI 2009 and also ATI 2010, same result on both version.
Acronis 2010 is suppose to be Win 7 compatible.

I cannot believe Window 7 Pro's hardware change policies are that sensative. I am using the same make and model and same size hard drive on the same computer with no other hardware changes.

I am using a Genica Removable Mobile Media Hard Drive Rack so I can switch hard drives without opening my computer. Worked perfectly for me over all these years.

I read somewhere that MS claimed that they have improved on it and made it better than it was for XP and Vista. I never used Vista, but for XP, I never had a problem with backups and restores that kept the restored drive activated.

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a b $ Windows 7
October 26, 2009 3:19:06 AM

It worked fine on Vista as well. I guess it's a bit early to be getting feedback on restoring images of W7 to know if this is something MS has done and if all image programs will yield the same result.
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