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Can i reinstall windows vista using product key on sticker ?

Last response: in Windows Vista
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January 11, 2013 7:25:19 PM

Hello,
Im deciding to reinstall windows vista home premium 64 bit since thats the original operating OS this computer had but im running windows 7 on it. When i check the product key on my computer with a key finding program, it displays a different product key compared to the sticker on the bottom of my computer. I recently found out that the bottom sticker product key is the OEM which was meant for windows vista home premium. So what i am wondering is if i can do a clean install of windows vista home premium using the OEM disc even though my computer displays it has a different product key on windows 7? Will a OEM disc work with the product key i have on the sticker?
January 11, 2013 7:53:44 PM

Depends -- Was it an upgrade version of Win 7 that was installed when you changed to win 7 or was a full version off win7 used to install it ? If an upgrade then the license key for Vista would have been deactivated when it was combined with the upgrade license of Win 7 to create the license key you are now using for win 7 and thus would not be useable -- If a ffull version then that Vista key should still be useable.
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January 11, 2013 8:12:32 PM

That's also a prob, idk if its an upgrade or full version because i bought it off some guy who was selling it. He didnt have any of the original discs or box. When i go to system info, i also cant seem to find the windows activation status section, its like its not there. So is there any way i could find out if its an upgrade or full version?

It an alienware m17x laptop if that helps.
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January 11, 2013 10:20:42 PM

shadow2450 said:
.... When i go to system info, i also cant seem to find the windows activation status section, its like its not there...

If there's no 'Windows activation' section when viewing system properties it means that that copy has been hacked with one of the available activation cracks, and is not a legal copy.
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January 12, 2013 1:27:05 AM

ex_bubblehead said:
If there's no 'Windows activation' section when viewing system properties it means that that copy has been hacked with one of the available activation cracks, and is not a legal copy.


Ya i was wondering if it was a hacked version of windows 7. Either way, i need to know if i can perform a clean windows vista home premium install with the OEM disc using the product key on the sticker on my computer. I'm not sure if the windows 7 im running is a upgrade or full install but it would help to tell me how to determine which one im running.
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January 12, 2013 1:29:03 AM

Or can i just buy a new retail version of windows 7 that comes with its own product key and install that? Does the retail version require the OEM product key or would it work as long as it has the product key it came with in the retail version?
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January 12, 2013 1:57:42 AM

1. OEM product keys will not work with retail discs, and vice versa.
2. Vista product keys will not work with Windows 7
3. You are presently running an illegally cracked copy of Windows 7. Whatever key you recover from it is bogus.
4. If you have the original OEM disc you may do a clean install using the key attached to the computer.
5. If you wish to reinstall Windows 7 you will have to purchase full media, with it's own key. Upgrade media will not allow a clean install.
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January 12, 2013 2:32:45 AM

ex_bubblehead said:

5. If you wish to reinstall Windows 7 you will have to purchase full media, with it's own key. Upgrade media will not allow a clean install.


All correct except this one ! -- The upgrade media can be used for a fresh clean install (in fact it must be done using a clean install if upgrading from any version of XP which does qualify for using the upgrade version so is definitely able to be done !! -- You will just need to do the phone activation and provide the original key from the qualifying product if asked by the activation rep. but he does have a qualifying original key on the system so that would be an option.

@OP - I would think the key code on the system should work fine for reinstalling VISTA if that is what you want to do since it looks like the win 7 version installed is a cracked version and thus the original key would have not been used for an upgrade (otherwise it would have a valid install of win7 instead of a cracked version)
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Best solution

January 12, 2013 2:47:15 AM

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/window...

This applies to Vista and 7 ^

Will a OEM disc work with the product key i have on the sticker? < Yes but you may have to use the phone automated system from microsoft to activate vista.


OEM versions of Windows 7 are identical to Full License Retail versions except for the following:

- OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel

- OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on

- OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model motherboard

- OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system


Microsoft.com ^


OEM vs. Retail

OEM Windows 7 comes preinstalled on computers. This is the cheapest way to buy windows. Large PC manufacturers like Dell, HP etc. (collectively called royalty OEMs) install windows on millions of such PCs. The main characteristics of such systems are:

The license agreement and support agreement is between you and the PC maker, not MS.

Activation by the end user is not required. Windows is preactivated at the factory by the OEM using images and standard SLP keys.

Your copy of windows is locked to that PC. The license is not transferable.

OEM system builder is what you get when you buy from say Newegg or from a local "white box" vendor. It too has the characteristics of Royalty OEM windows. Although it is possible for an individual to buy a System Builder copy, the license requires that the software be installed using the OPK (OEM preinstall kit) and then resold.

Retail version is what you buy from a retailer like Amazon or Bestbuy. Its a full price version that comes packaged in a retail box with a retail product key. It has to be activated online via MS servers using the key on the box, it is not tied to the PC it was first installed on, though it can only be used on a single computer at a time. And, MS directly provides the support for it. It is also more expensive than OEM copies.

As far as functionality is concerned, theres no difference between any of the versions above, given any specific edition (i.e. between OEM pro and retail pro, or between OEM ultimate and retail ultimate).


sevenforums.com

Windows 8 OEM is a whole different ballgame.

License agreement transfer of license of Windows 8
http://personaluselicense.windows.com/en-US/default.asp...
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January 12, 2013 4:40:58 AM

I'm confused - it goes with my age. In your original post you mention "the OEM" disk and then "a OEM disk" Surely if it's "the" disk it will work and as it won't invite you to input the key - because it's coded into that disk - it will automatically adopt the key which is printed on the sticker. If, however, it's "a OEM disk" as in any old disk, it will fail to install let alone activate - and you'll have huge driver problems if it did appear to work.

A borrowed and genuine Microsoft Vista DVD would work and would require you to enter the key that came with it. Don't connect it to the Net until you've visited Control Panel>System and clicked on "Change Product Key" and gone through that process. Then when you connect, it should activate.

With your present W7 system, you could edit the Registry to force an activation which will, of course, fail. The next stage would be to follow the link to buy the genuine article from M$ and that will, in the UK, cost £89 because I did that for a customer with a bent system yesterday. That process repairs and legalises the system which is what you really need to do. Going back to Vista is a bad idea.

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January 12, 2013 1:51:25 PM

Saga Lout said:
I'm confused


From what I get -- He has a system that he purchased from someone that has been upgraded to a shady copy of Win7 and he was wanting to know if he could use an OEM install media of windows VISTA (The OS that came with the original system) along with the original key that was attached to the system case in order to get back to a legit copy of an OS - Originally he had not mentioned that the existing WIN 7 install was perhaps a cracked version so we were not sure if the original owner had installed an upgrade version of 7 (which would have deactivated the key for the original VISTA making it not work for a downgrade back to VISTA) since the activation server would show it had been used to upgrade a system to windows 7 or if a new install of win 7 had been used meaning the original key would still be reuseable ! ( Since then it was mentioned that the activation status of the win7 install is not visible pointing to it being an illegal install using a crack to bypass the activation - which would indicate that the original VISTA install is most likely still intact since the cracked install would not have deactivated the original legit VISTA key. Leaving him the option oof reusing it to go back to a legit install of VISTA or using it as the basis for purchasing a legit upgrade license for WIN 7 if he wants to go to WIN 7. (At least that is what I got from the posts and what I based my answers on !)
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January 12, 2013 11:02:51 PM

All true accurate concepts! Since everyone told me here that the OEM disc can still be used for a fresh install of windows vista due to the hacked version of windows 7 never activated and deactivated the computers original key, provided with the sticker product key located on my computer, I'm going to attempt to do a fresh install using the OEM disc so it can replace the corrupted or hacked windows 7 im running now and use the original OS, windows vista, that was preinstalled on this computer.
After then, if successful in the fresh install, i'm going to purchase a genuine copy of windows 7 home premium to change from windows vista because i know like everyone else, vista is full of probs and windows 7 is better. Although once windows vista is installed properly and i want to upgrade to windows 7, Do i purchase a windows 7 anytime upgrade or windows 7 home premium upgrade (i think its just the retail windows 7 home premium)? I'm not such a computer genius when it comes to such things like these that are confusing me...

BTW thanks everyone for posting really important information that really helped me solve the questions i was asking!
I tried researching many times all over the place to find the needed answers before ever asking.
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January 12, 2013 11:55:01 PM

You will most likely need the windows 7 home premium upgrade -- IIRC the anytime upgrade is for moving from a lower version of windows 7 (ie. Home Basic ) to the higher version while the home premium upgrade is for upgrading to windows 7 from either XP or Vista !
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January 13, 2013 5:16:01 AM

Thanks to both for the clarification. All I can add is that even though the present cracked version is illegal in M$ terms, it is probably a complete and working system so the £89 (British money) option available from Microsoft would legitimise it and thus skip the step of reverting to Vista then upgrading. Good luck whichever route you go down and well done for spotting it = piracy has to be stamped out; whatever we think of Microsoft.
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January 13, 2013 1:21:50 PM

Saga Lout said:
Thanks to both for the clarification. All I can add is that even though the present cracked version is illegal in M$ terms, it is probably a complete and working system so the £89 (British money) option available from Microsoft would legitimize it and thus skip the step of reverting to Vista then upgrading. Good luck whichever route you go down and well done for spotting it = piracy has to be stamped out; whatever we think of Microsoft.


True -- but thing is many of the cracked versions include other key loggers etc. that may remain on the system if the £89 route is taken instead of wiping the HDD clean and starting over to make sure any remnants of malware that might also be present currently is wiped out - So even if taking the upgrade path I'd still format the HDD and reinstall from scratch to for peace of mind esp. if using it for any online banking or shopping ! (Note : the upgrade media can be used to do a clean install without the need to revert to VISTA first as long as you have the VISTA key in case the activation fails and you need to talk with a MS activation Rep. to get it activated !)
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January 13, 2013 1:28:12 PM

Saga Lout said:
Thanks to both for the clarification. All I can add is that even though the present cracked version is illegal in M$ terms, it is probably a complete and working system so the £89 (British money) option available from Microsoft would legitimise it and thus skip the step of reverting to Vista then upgrading. Good luck whichever route you go down and well done for spotting it = piracy has to be stamped out; whatever we think of Microsoft.

Won't work. There will still be bits and pieces of the crack hanging about that will cause the installation to be flagged as "Not Genuine" (been there, done that). Wipe and clean install is the only way.
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January 14, 2013 12:33:28 AM

One more quick question if it wouldnt be too much trouble to ask...
If i get my computer back into windows vista with the successful clean install and then want to upgrade to windows 7 (buying the genuine copy of course), will the upgrade deactivate my OEM key, not allowing me to ever use the OEM disc to get windows vista back?
I'm just wondering since i heard that upgrading from vista to windows 7 will deactivate the OEM key for vista.
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January 14, 2013 2:01:50 AM

Depends on which version of win7 you purchase -- If you buy the upgrade version then the old VISTA key would no longer be useable (since that key would have combined with the upgrade key to create a legitimate install of windows 7 - Though it might be possible by calling activation support and telling them you want to go back to using VISTA and no longer use the upgraded license but not sure.) If on the other hand you purchase either an OEM or Retail version of windows 7 then the old VISTA key would be useable still on that MOBO (ie. you could always set it up as a dual boot and use both VISTA and Win7) But not on another system since OEM versions are tied to the MOBO of the system they are first installed to and are not transferable to another system (So if you plan to move the Win 7 install to a new system later and leave just VISTA on the current system then you would want to buy a Retail version instead of OEM so that you could use it on the current system and when you get a new system could transfer the retail license to the new system and leave the old VISTA license on the current system.
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March 17, 2013 12:27:05 AM

Hi,
My harddisk got crashed. there is no recovery D drive. So i installed cracked version. I'm getting windows not genuine error . Can i activate windows with the product key sticker at the back of laptop(im using the same Windows 7 Home Premium version). do we need to connect the internet while doing this.
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March 17, 2013 2:16:03 AM

Just posting the word "cracked" should be enough to get you banned from Tom's but as you are new here and probably forgot to read the Forum Rules, a little leniency is appropriate as it wouldn't cure your problem.

You need to be connected to the Net to activate but you also need a Product Key which is not in use on another system otherwise both will be thrown off as being illegitimate. Your only way out of this is to go to Microsoft's website and buy a key.

You will automatically be given that option when you try to activate the version you have now so go through that process and pay extra for a DVD with the genuine article you buy. When it arrives, use it to format that hard disk and install a clean version.

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March 17, 2013 7:09:30 AM

trailblazer401 said:
Hi,
My harddisk got crashed. there is no recovery D drive. So i installed cracked version. I'm getting windows not genuine error . Can i activate windows with the product key sticker at the back of laptop(im using the same Windows 7 Home Premium version). do we need to connect the internet while doing this.


Again depends on a few things and using the cracked version and leaving it there is risky if you do not know who cracked it as most times they also include other hidden things that can record and report back any info from the system (like bank account numbers, personal info, passwords, etc.)

Your best bet is to go to Digital River (Ms's approved source for digital downloads) - here is a link to the official downloads just pick the version that matches your key download an original clean digital copy of the install disk - reformat the HDD and install the OS from your download (also might want to download and burn the copy using a different system as the current version running the cracked OS can also corrupt the download and install trackers etc. to the new download).

Only by doing this can you be sure that you have a clean install as these images are direct from MS and since you have the key sticker on the laptop it should work to activate once installed (if for some reason it doesn't just call the number provided when it fails and explain that the HDD ffailed and you are reinstalling from a digital river download copy and using the key provided on your OEM laptop sticker and they will help get it activated.


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