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Windows 7 Reinstall with OEM disc

Last response: in Windows 7
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June 11, 2012 5:23:23 PM

Hi All - I recently built a new desktop from ground up. Of course I needed a new copy of Wind. 7 for it and wanted to also be able to use the install disc after i was done with the new desktop to do a fresh install on my laptop as well. Its a 1 1/2 yr old Dell Studio. When i purchased this windows 7 disc from the Microsoft store the sales rep assured me that it was ok to install to both machines. I now realize he was lying thru his teeth to make the sale. I could have just bought an OEM thru Newegg for 80 or 90 $ instead of paying 200 for the full version which gets me nothing more.

Found out yesterday that I cant use it for both only one. I am gonna address that with BBB and consumer affairs if possible but....

I am waiting on the OEM disc that Dell will now ship to me and will have to do another fresh install on the laptop. This is prob a stupid question and as you prob have sensed I am not the sharpest pencil in the pack with this stuff :)  so I appreciate your patience, but Is there any way i can save the rest of the content of the HDD to an external drive and just put it all back after I do the fresh install of windows? Any cloning software is gonna clone the current windows install as well as the remainder of the drive contents. It took a while to set it up with SSD as boot drive and the older 500 Gb HDD holding the files. Thx in advance for any guidance
a b $ Windows 7
June 11, 2012 5:46:43 PM

On the laptop, use windows easy transfer to export your files and settings.

If you simply need to do a clean reinstall on the laptop, you can use the dvd you bought to do the job. All windows dvd's are the same, either 32 bit or 64 bit. It is the activation code that enables home premium, pro, etc. In this case, I don't see why you can't use your oem product code from the bottom of your laptop to reactivate your install.

Then, you can use the exported files and settings to import them back. Any apps will need to be reinstalled.
This is a good way to change from a hard drive to a SSD.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 11, 2012 5:58:11 PM

You cannot use the same Windows licence on more than one machine. You can transfer a 'retail' Windows licence from one machine to another by activating it normally (this is what the sales rep was talking about) but the activation may be rejected if it is attempted on two significantly different hardware configurations within a short period of time. OEM CD keys are tied to the original hardware configuration and cannot be transferred.
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June 11, 2012 6:01:35 PM

geofelt said:
On the laptop, use windows easy transfer to export your files and settings.

If you simply need to do a clean reinstall on the laptop, you can use the dvd you bought to do the job. All windows dvd's are the same, either 32 bit or 64 bit. It is the activation code that enables home premium, pro, etc. In this case, I don't see why you can't use your oem product code from the bottom of your laptop to reactivate your install.

Then, you can use the exported files and settings to import them back. Any apps will need to be reinstalled.
This is a good way to change from a hard drive to a SSD.


Thanks for the reply. There isnt any product key/code on the bottom of the laptop. Or anyplace in the original papers/cd. So the new install i just did with the new windows disc i bought wont be good for long with the laptop. The desktop is set and all is well with it.

I asked Dell this morn for the product key but they dont have one to give. All they'll do is send a disc to reinstall windows. The prod key is embedded and by installing with that there will be no activation issues. This isnt life or death Its just gonna take me some extra time to set everything up again. I tell you this, after this bad experience with MS and their sales dept, Its giving me the urge to want to explore other operating systems for the future; so as not to be beholden to a large corp. that isnt about doing right by the customer but about the bottom line only. Thx again
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June 11, 2012 6:10:26 PM

Pinhedd said:
You cannot use the same Windows licence on more than one machine. You can transfer a 'retail' Windows licence from one machine to another by activating it normally (this is what the sales rep was talking about) but the activation may be rejected if it is attempted on two significantly different hardware configurations within a short period of time. OEM CD keys are tied to the original hardware configuration and cannot be transferred.


Thx but I was TOTALLY CLEAR as to my intentions. I explained to the rep about the new PC build AND also the laptop. I had a 20 yr sales career selling large ticket items and know how to communicate, trust me this guy wanted to make the sale rather than being honest. Who would think that a large corp like MS would allow sales people to use such tactics? There was no misunderstanding I was misled purposely. On the one hand its galling that i spent an extra 100 that i didnt have to. On the other it could have been worse i guess. Its the misrepresentation
thats terrible.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 11, 2012 6:11:07 PM

chas373 said:
Thanks for the reply. There isnt any product key/code on the bottom of the laptop. Or anyplace in the original papers/cd. So the new install i just did with the new windows disc i bought wont be good for long with the laptop. The desktop is set and all is well with it.

I asked Dell this morn for the product key but they dont have one to give. All they'll do is send a disc to reinstall windows. The prod key is embedded and by installing with that there will be no activation issues. This isnt life or death Its just gonna take me some extra time to set everything up again. I tell you this, after this bad experience with MS and their sales dept, Its giving me the urge to want to explore other operating systems for the future; so as not to be beholden to a large corp. that isnt about doing right by the customer but about the bottom line only. Thx again


There are some free utilities that can display the windows activation code that is currently in use on your pc. It will also display other codes such as game activation serial numbers. Google should find it for you.
Print it and keep it for future reference.
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June 11, 2012 6:21:38 PM

geofelt said:
There are some free utilities that can display the windows activation code that is currently in use on your pc. It will also display other codes such as game activation serial numbers. Google should find it for you.
Print it and keep it for future reference.


Thanks this could be a big help. I will prob have to remove the SSD i installed so to make sure the laptop is booting from the HDD, cause I never did remove the orig windows install from the old HDD (the Bios is kinda funky and wouldnt let me easily make changes during SSD install.)

But I am gonna Goggle for the utilities and see what I can find. It will save me the trouble of resetting the SSD/HDD up with all the tweaks I have found in these forums.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 11, 2012 6:32:43 PM

chas373 said:
Thx but I was TOTALLY CLEAR as to my intentions. I explained to the rep about the new PC build AND also the laptop. I had a 20 yr sales career selling large ticket items and know how to communicate, trust me this guy wanted to make the sale rather than being honest. Who would think that a large corp like MS would allow sales people to use such tactics? There was no misunderstanding I was misled purposely. On the one hand its galling that i spent an extra 100 that i didnt have to. On the other it could have been worse i guess. Its the misrepresentation
thats terrible.


Yeah I don't doubt that it happened. You could try and install it on both machines and see what happens when you activate it. I'm honestly not sure how Windows authenticates when Windows Update is run. The Retail version might not complain about being activated on two PCs. On the plus side you'll save yourself the hassle of having to deal with the restrictions that are placed on the OEM copy should you ever wish to change your systems up a bit
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June 11, 2012 6:46:08 PM

OEM - One computer and one computer only. Cheaper but it can't be moved.

Retail - More costly but if you don't want it on your desktop anymore, you can uninstall and move it to a laptop. Don't want it on your laptop 5 years later? that's fine you can move it again to another computer.
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June 11, 2012 7:28:25 PM

Pinhedd said:
Yeah I don't doubt that it happened. You could try and install it on both machines and see what happens when you activate it. I'm honestly not sure how Windows authenticates when Windows Update is run. The Retail version might not complain about being activated on two PCs. On the plus side you'll save yourself the hassle of having to deal with the restrictions that are placed on the OEM copy should you ever wish to change your systems up a bit


I DID install on both the new desktop and the laptop. The desktop I installed on first. That install took and its all good. It is the laptop that started barking yesterday that it wasnt the right activation key. The install to laptop is still working but it may be getting bogged down? I'm not sure if its my head playing games with me or its really slowing up.

Anyway I'll get it right with the OEM replacement disc from Dell. I just tried following Geofelt's advice but I cannot boot now from the old HDD on the laptop and thereby try to get the key off the drive using a keyfinder. I cant use the keyfinder utility on the SSD with the newest windows install cause that will be the wrong key. And to get the keyfinder versions that will scan other drives they cost $'s. I've spent enough. I'll bite the bullet and just reinstall from the Dell disc Thx tho for the reply
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a b $ Windows 7
June 11, 2012 7:36:08 PM

chas373 said:
I DID install on both the new desktop and the laptop. The desktop I installed on first. That install took and its all good. It is the laptop that started barking yesterday that it wasnt the right activation key. The install to laptop is still working but it may be getting bogged down? I'm not sure if its my head playing games with me or its really slowing up.

Anyway I'll get it right with the OEM replacement disc from Dell. I just tried following Geofelt's advice but I cannot boot now from the old HDD on the laptop and thereby try to get the key off the drive using a keyfinder. I cant use the keyfinder utility on the SSD with the newest windows install cause that will be the wrong key. And to get the keyfinder versions that will scan other drives they cost $'s. I've spent enough. I'll bite the bullet and just reinstall from the Dell disc Thx tho for the reply


What you are seeing is the 30 day trial/grace period. Gradually, you will lose functionality, and everything will go grey.

Whenever you do finally get activated, use the keyfinder to print out your keys and save them.
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June 11, 2012 7:44:26 PM

fiduke said:
OEM - One computer and one computer only. Cheaper but it can't be moved.

Retail - More costly but if you don't want it on your desktop anymore, you can uninstall and move it to a laptop. Don't want it on your laptop 5 years later? that's fine you can move it again to another computer.


Where were you when I needed you??? LOL Just Kidding!! well kinda kidding :) 

Seriously why is it that what you just posted couldnt be told to me by voice from the manufacturer during the sale ? I dont begrudge any company from making profit. even from me!!. I spent enough years dealing with customers that would gladly have you lose money if I or my company were foolish enough to sell at a loss. Thing is you need to be honest to be a "good" salesperson. Otherwise you're just a hack and a swindler. Any grey areas in selling should only involve semantics perceptions etc. ie, "the sizzle." But the meat of it (the customers' needs and wants) have to be met clearly with no surprises.) At the end of the day the customer ends up with what they wanted, for the agreed upon price. That's how I sold. Whether it was a $6000 item or a $75000 item it was the same fair treatment for my customers.
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June 11, 2012 7:48:53 PM

geofelt said:
What you are seeing is the 30 day trial/grace period. Gradually, you will lose functionality, and everything will go grey.

Whenever you do finally get activated, use the keyfinder to print out your keys and save them.


Thx will do. Reminds me of the old Bugs Bunny line....said in true Brooklyn accent..."Everything is gettin' "Dawk"!! Hey I hope you were talkin about the windows install and not me. I'm not that old :)  LOL!!
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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
June 11, 2012 7:59:15 PM

Hi :) 

Remove the battery on the Dell laptop...the key is UNDERNEATH the battery...

All the best Brett :) 
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June 11, 2012 8:40:45 PM

Brett928S2 said:
Hi :) 

Remove the battery on the Dell laptop...the key is UNDERNEATH the battery...

All the best Brett :) 


Brett cant thank you enough I just looked and its right there where ya said. Who's better than you?? :)  Thx again
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June 11, 2012 8:58:21 PM

Brett928S2 said:
Hi :) 

Remove the battery on the Dell laptop...the key is UNDERNEATH the battery...

All the best Brett :) 


And it worked like a charm. Thx again !
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a b $ Windows 7
June 11, 2012 9:24:23 PM

Brett928S2 said:
Hi :) 

Remove the battery on the Dell laptop...the key is UNDERNEATH the battery...

All the best Brett :) 


:) 
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June 18, 2012 1:35:23 AM

Best answer selected by chas373.
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