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Windows 7 no longer activated

Last response: in Windows 7
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May 16, 2011 9:28:29 PM

I purchased the full version of Windows 7 Home premium for my new build in March. I bought the full version rather then the OEM so I wouldn't have to answer to Big Brother Bill if I ever wanted to upgrade my computer. Since I live in a remote area with internet access limited to ~ 1kB/sec dial up, I activated Windows by phone, then used WSUS Offline Update to install the updates that I downloaded at work.

Yesterday I got the message that my copy of Windows is not genuine. I've spent hours on the phone with MS tech support to no success. When I attempt to activate either by phone or online the required alphanumeric code is missing in the activation dialog.

Is there no option left other than reformating the HD and starting all over?
a b $ Windows 7
May 16, 2011 9:46:19 PM

If you bought it on Ebay or elsewhere from an unauthorized seller, its likely you got one from China with a MSDN key and the key has been blacklisted/expired.

Look at the disc, does the hologram look like a sticker or is it embedded in the disk. If it is a sticker it is a counterfit.

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May 16, 2011 10:44:36 PM

daship said:
If you bought it on Ebay or elsewhere from an unauthorized seller, its likely you got one from China with a MSDN key and the key has been blacklisted/expired.

Look at the disc, does the hologram look like a sticker or is it embedded in the disk. If it is a sticker it is a counterfit.

The hologram appears to be imprinted on the disk. It defiantly doesn't look like a sticker. I bought it from Amazon and MS support says it's not counterfeit, or at least that that's not the problem
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May 16, 2011 11:31:37 PM

Any time you change your hardware configuration the thing goes ingenuine. Example: simply changing your graphics card will do this.
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May 17, 2011 5:53:41 PM

nativeson8803 said:
Any time you change your hardware configuration the thing goes ingenuine. Example: simply changing your graphics card will do this.

I haven't changed any hardware since I installed and activated Windows, other than install a BD-R burner and a removable hard disk. This is a Full copy of Windows, not the OEM version. (As I understand the OEM version goes nongenuine if you change the motherboard).
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a b $ Windows 7
May 18, 2011 2:33:27 PM

Changing an hdd will cause issues.
Do a clean re-install.
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May 18, 2011 5:24:41 PM

davcon said:
Changing an hdd will cause issues.
Do a clean re-install.

I haven't changed the hdd for the C-drive since I built the system. I have, however, since purchased a 2nd hdd which I use for backup. This backup drive plugs into a dock and can be removed when not in use. If I don't find another solution I will have to resort to a fresh Windows install. I'd really like to find the cause first, rather than have to go through this again.

Davcon's comment gave me an idea as to a possible cause.
Shortly after building the system (and successfully activating Windows) I made an Acronis system backup. I tested this backup by installing it on the new hdd. I left that copy of Windows on the backup drive so I would have a fresh system ready to go when the old system gets old, corrupted and slow as they always seem to do after a year or so. Is it possible that the Windows anti-pirating mechanism is seeing this 2nd copy and canceling the activation on the first copy? If that's the case, using this fresh install might result in this problem repeating if the old disk is still in the system.
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a c 411 $ Windows 7
May 18, 2011 8:05:18 PM

A graphics card change alone will not cause this,you need multiple hardware changes to cause an issue with the genuine!
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May 20, 2011 1:46:03 AM

That's not right. I've had this happen numerous times just by changing my graphics card and trying to use a second one for physx. It's happened 3 times to me only with a graphics card change and every time I've had to call MS.
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a c 411 $ Windows 7
May 20, 2011 2:23:44 AM

I have changed graphics cards for like 10 years and never had this happen from one hardware change!However if you let that second backup copy hit the internet that might have done it!
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May 20, 2011 2:55:11 PM

I have heard that it activates every 180 days or something like that by connecting to the internet.
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May 20, 2011 4:58:28 PM

MS tech support assured me that the Windows image on the 2nd hd wouldn't be a problem. They've suggested several fixes including registry edits and restoring the system to an earlier date, none of which worked. All attempts to restore to and earlier date failed. It looks like the only solution will be to use a fresh Windows installation. My planned approach in this case is to boot off the 2nd hd that has a fresh Windows install and use the first hd as the backup drive. I'm worried that the same thing will happen before long to the new install.
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May 20, 2011 5:11:41 PM

If you have a genuine copy then call the 800 number it gives you and get a new key. I had this happen to me when I used the same copy on too many machines. It caused them to think that key was pirated and they invalidated it. But since it is a legit copy I just called them and got another key. They will ask you some confirmation questions to prove you are really the owner of that copy and then they will issue you a new key. When they ask you how many computers you have it installed on tell them only 1. You can install Windows on as many computers as you want but the license says it can only be on 1 at a time. So if there are other computers in your house running this same copy then that is most likely the cause of your troubles.

I had my copy installed on two computers because I am naughty like that. And when I went to install it on a 3rd they invalidated the key. They were clearly able to tell it was still installed on the other computers somehow.
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May 20, 2011 5:29:00 PM

malici0usc0de said:
If you have a genuine copy then call the 800 number it gives you and get a new key. I had this happen to me when I used the same copy on too many machines. It caused them to think that key was pirated and they invalidated it. But since it is a legit copy I just called them and got another key. They will ask you some confirmation questions to prove you are really the owner of that copy and then they will issue you a new key. When they ask you how many computers you have it installed on tell them only 1. You can install Windows on as many computers as you want but the license says it can only be on 1 at a time. So if there are other computers in your house running this same copy then that is most likely the cause of your troubles.

I had my copy installed on two computers because I am naughty like that. And when I went to install it on a 3rd they invalidated the key. They were clearly able to tell it was still installed on the other computers somehow.


MS tech support gave me a new key thinking this might solve the problem. However when Windows then tries to activate I get the message, "A problem occurred when Windows tried to activate. Error Code 0x80070005."

I live in a remote area and the only internet access is dial-up at ~1kB/sec. Part of the problem may with trying to activate on-line, however phone activation hasn't worked either. The Windows installation was originally activated by phone.
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May 20, 2011 5:33:33 PM

Meganano said:
MS tech support gave me a new key thinking this might solve the problem. However when Windows then tries to activate I get the message, "A problem occurred when Windows tried to activate. Error Code 0x80070005."

I live in a remote area and the only internet access is dial-up at ~1kB/sec. Part of the problem may with trying to activate on-line, however phone activation hasn't worked either. The Windows installation was originally activated by phone.



I have had that error before too and on my PC it was caused by the system date/time being wrong. Check and make sure your system clock is set to the current time and day and try the key they gave you again. Windows activation will fail if your system clock is too far off.
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a c 411 $ Windows 7
May 20, 2011 5:35:53 PM

yes i believe you need to set your clock to the right region and time zone then it will work!

SYNC YOUR CLOCK AFTER YOU reset it and then it will activate it ..check your calender year and date also!
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May 20, 2011 6:07:29 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
yes i believe you need to set your clock to the right region and time zone then it will work!

SYNC YOUR CLOCK AFTER YOU reset it and then it will activate it ..check your calender year and date also!

Is there something more to this than setting the correct time, date, region and time zone? Is there a "reset button" I need to push first?
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May 20, 2011 6:09:27 PM

Meganano said:
Is there something more to this than setting the correct time, date, region and time zone? Is there a "reset button" I need to push first?



He is saying sync you clock if you have internet access. However setting the time manually and rebooting will get the job done also.
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a c 411 $ Windows 7
May 20, 2011 6:14:55 PM

no as long as your close and the month and year are right your fine!
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a c 411 $ Windows 7
May 27, 2011 3:48:34 AM

Did you get it activated?
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May 27, 2011 4:33:06 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
Did you get it activated?

I was unable to get that installation reactivated. I switched to my backup drive to C: that has a previously installed Acronis system image of the first installation. However the drive with the unactivated windows died after I started using it as my backup drive. Perhaps a failing hd was the reason for losing activation, however at the time everything else seemed to be working fine.
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May 27, 2011 5:01:39 PM

Would it be possible for you to take your computer to work and download all the updates via the internet? Also, try activating it at work with a reliable internet connection. Keep pushing "check for updates" after each restart until it finally says "windows is up to date."

I have had this problem before and I think you are missing a genuine advantage update. The fact that you installed updates offline makes me even more suspicious.

Let us know if you get it activated.
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May 27, 2011 6:12:26 PM

quickmana said:
Would it be possible for you to take your computer to work and download all the updates via the internet? Also, try activating it at work with a reliable internet connection. Keep pushing "check for updates" after each restart until it finally says "windows is up to date."

I have had this problem before and I think you are missing a genuine advantage update. The fact that you installed updates offline makes me even more suspicious.

Let us know if you get it activated.

I might do that (bring computer to work). MS suggested I could have problems with offline updates, however the MS tech also suggested that I might be ok without updates, since this computer's internet access is so limited. I'm sure I will eventually have to update for new apps to work.
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