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Preparing a computer for sale. License transfer.

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 14, 2012 7:42:36 PM

Hi,

I have a Sager NP8150 laptop that I purchased without an operating system. I am building a custom desktop in the next couple of weeks and am curious as to how to prepare this laptop for sale via craigslist/eBay.

I installed Windows 7 Ultimate on this machine about 1 year and 4 months ago and would like to transfer the license over to the new desktop after it's built. Therefore, I'd like to sell this old laptop completely formatted with no operating system.

Will formatting the hard drive in turn "deactivate" the Windows 7 license and free it up for use on the new desktop?
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 7:57:27 PM

It all depends on the license type. Chances are that it's an OEM license and can only be used on one machine. So you'd be forced to sell the laptop with the OS and purchase a new OS for your new desktop.

So the question is. What kind of license do you have?
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 7:58:34 PM

Yes, I believe it will. You may have to contact microsoft after installing it on the new PC as it may determine it to be "not genuine", but it looks like micros[ft will set you up with a new CD Key at that point (assuming you have this problem). Also, this is only for retail copies of Windows, not OEM, but you already mentioned its retail.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 8:02:22 PM

Guess i should read more carefully haha. "I purchased without an operating system"
whoops
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 8:07:30 PM

you cannot "deactivate" a windows installation - once it's installed, it's locked to that motherboard forever

as long as the DVD goes with the laptop, you're Ok - you can't keep the DVD and install it on your new desktop and activate it (because you've activated it already with the laptop)

---

it's likely if you Do install it on your desktop and contact Microsoft, they will make you purchase a new key


---


you have to sell the laptop with the OS on it, so just copy all your data to another drive before reinstalling by deleteing the partition
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 8:15:12 PM

dingo07 said:
you cannot "deactivate" a windows installation - once it's installed, it's locked to that motherboard forever

as long as the DVD goes with the laptop, you're Ok - you can't keep the DVD and install it on your new desktop and activate it (because you've activated it already with the laptop)

---

it's likely if you Do install it on your desktop and contact Microsoft, they will make you purchase a new key


---


you have to sell the laptop with the OS on it, so just copy all your data to another drive before reinstalling by deleteing the partition


Actually you are mistaken. The license is with you unless you give it to someone else (won't get into the legal issues here). I have had numerous different motherboards and used the same key to license it. They sometimes just force you to use the automated number to get a working key for the new motherboard. Either way, if you only are using it once it is fine.
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 8:20:29 PM

Yes, retail copies are not tied down to your machine, it is just not going to let you register 2 machines with the same key at once. I am assuming that when you install on the new PC, it will show as not being genuine and prompt you to call Microsoft. Let them know the situation, I believe they have some sort of mechanism to trace whether the previous laptop is still registered or not. Also, I am not familiar with retail copies of Windows as far as licensing multiple computers but I believe when I had copies available through MSDAA (Microsoft DreamSpark Academic Alliance I believe), I was able to install the copy on as many as 3 devices.
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 8:22:42 PM

So much wrong here:


Quote:
you cannot "deactivate" a windows installation - once it's installed, it's locked to that motherboard forever


Not if it's a retail licence.


Quote:
as long as the DVD goes with the laptop, you're Ok - you can't keep the DVD and install it on your new desktop and activate it (because you've activated it already with the laptop)


Only in the case of OEM.


Quote:
it's likely if you Do install it on your desktop and contact Microsoft, they will make you purchase a new key


Poor assumption on your part.


Quote:
you have to sell the laptop with the OS on it, so just copy all your data to another drive before reinstalling by deleteing the partition


Again, only in the case of OEM, and even then there is no requirement that the OS be installed. If the means to install it is transferred to the new owner then the license has not been violated.


On a different note: I haven't seen reference to it in quite some time but at least in the XP days the activation servers only cached activation data for a specific key for 120 days. After that time you could reactivate the same key without having to go through the phone thing. Don't know if that's still the case with Windows 7.
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 8:27:19 PM

Hi VoodooVype

It may depend on which country you are in what the requirements are.

In the UK if you have a genuine retail Windows Operating system disk you can erase the hard disk of the laptop then
install your choice of Linux on it before sale.
(DBAN or even the Linux remove Windows partition, re partition, format & install will do)

Then install Windows 7 Ultimate on the new PC.
You may be able to activate on line (over the internet) if not you will have to activate by telephone and explaiin what you have done and you will be given a new licence key

If the Windows 7 is on a Microsoft OEM DVD or a manufacturers OEM DVD then it's license is locked to the motherboard of the laptop.

I presume you still have the COA sticker with the license key on it.
(if not there are may programs which can tell you what the key is)
(The key will tell Microsoft what sort of license you have)

regards
Mike Barnes
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 8:30:52 PM

So much confusion !!

First off we need to know a couple things in order to answer your question :

What type of license did you Buy for the laptop (was it OEM or Retail )

If OEM -- The license stays with the MOBO of the system it was first installed on and can not "Legally" be moved to your new system So you either sell the license with the laptop or take your chances of getting a customer support Rep from MS to go against their EULA and give you a new activation code for the new system (whether or not they will depends on who you talk to and what kind of mood they are in when you call and what you tell them on the phone !) -- According to the OEM license it can only be reused if the old MOBO died and this new one was the only way to replace it (ie. they no longer make the old MOBO so replacing with an exact model is not an option) -- That said the CS reps are minimum wage workers and their dedication to following the license agreement conditions is on them !

If Retail -- You need to reformat the old system HDD and remove the OS from it so that it is no longer in use on the old system (and can not be restored for use) and then you are free to reinstall to the new system using the license key (If auto activation fails you just need to explain to the CS rep that the old system is no longer in use and you wish to move it to this new system and they will activate it. (Retail licenses are transferable to as many systems as you want as long as it is only currently in use on a single system - which is why you pay more for the retail license !)
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 8:35:04 PM

Lol, I am sure the OP appreciates all the help, but he included in his first post that it is in fact a Retail copy, and several people have posted the exact same solutions ;) .
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 8:54:09 PM

chugot9218 said:
Lol, I am sure the OP appreciates all the help, but he included in his first post that it is in fact a Retail copy, and several people have posted the exact same solutions ;) .


No you are mistaken He merely stated he bought the OS -- you can buy either Retail or OEM from retail stores so he did not say which he has and that is the deciding factor in whether or not it is transferable !!

To Quote what he said :
Quote:
I installed Windows 7 Ultimate on this machine about 1 year and 4 months ago and would like to transfer the license over to the new desktop after it's built.
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 9:46:12 PM

This issue is really quite simple. I'm amazed at how much mis-information gets in print on this board. The OP never said if he/she bought/installed an OEM or retail OS. If it's an OEM version it must stay with the machine it was first installed in. No "ifs, ands or buts". If it's a retail version the it may be sold with the old computer or kept for use in the new computer. Either way the old HDD should be wiped for privacy and to be sure there will be no key conflicts if a retail version is re-activated. The only issue here is what version of OS is being discussed.
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September 14, 2012 10:26:15 PM

unoriginal1 said:
It all depends on the license type. Chances are that it's an OEM license and can only be used on one machine. So you'd be forced to sell the laptop with the OS and purchase a new OS for your new desktop.

So the question is. What kind of license do you have?


chugot9218 said:
Yes, I believe it will. You may have to contact microsoft after installing it on the new PC as it may determine it to be "not genuine", but it looks like micros[ft will set you up with a new CD Key at that point (assuming you have this problem). Also, this is only for retail copies of Windows, not OEM, but you already mentioned its retail.


chugot9218 said:
Yes, retail copies are not tied down to your machine, it is just not going to let you register 2 machines with the same key at once. I am assuming that when you install on the new PC, it will show as not being genuine and prompt you to call Microsoft. Let them know the situation, I believe they have some sort of mechanism to trace whether the previous laptop is still registered or not. Also, I am not familiar with retail copies of Windows as far as licensing multiple computers but I believe when I had copies available through MSDAA (Microsoft DreamSpark Academic Alliance I believe), I was able to install the copy on as many as 3 devices.


ex_bubblehead said:
So much wrong here:


Quote:
you cannot "deactivate" a windows installation - once it's installed, it's locked to that motherboard forever


Not if it's a retail licence.


Quote:
as long as the DVD goes with the laptop, you're Ok - you can't keep the DVD and install it on your new desktop and activate it (because you've activated it already with the laptop)


Only in the case of OEM.


Quote:
it's likely if you Do install it on your desktop and contact Microsoft, they will make you purchase a new key


Poor assumption on your part.


Quote:
you have to sell the laptop with the OS on it, so just copy all your data to another drive before reinstalling by deleteing the partition


Again, only in the case of OEM, and even then there is no requirement that the OS be installed. If the means to install it is transferred to the new owner then the license has not been violated.


On a different note: I haven't seen reference to it in quite some time but at least in the XP days the activation servers only cached activation data for a specific key for 120 days. After that time you could reactivate the same key without having to go through the phone thing. Don't know if that's still the case with Windows 7.


mbarnes86 said:
Hi VoodooVype

It may depend on which country you are in what the requirements are.

In the UK if you have a genuine retail Windows Operating system disk you can erase the hard disk of the laptop then
install your choice of Linux on it before sale.
(DBAN or even the Linux remove Windows partition, re partition, format & install will do)

Then install Windows 7 Ultimate on the new PC.
You may be able to activate on line (over the internet) if not you will have to activate by telephone and explaiin what you have done and you will be given a new licence key

If the Windows 7 is on a Microsoft OEM DVD or a manufacturers OEM DVD then it's license is locked to the motherboard of the laptop.

I presume you still have the COA sticker with the license key on it.
(if not there are may programs which can tell you what the key is)
(The key will tell Microsoft what sort of license you have)

regards
Mike Barnes


JDFan said:
So much confusion !!

First off we need to know a couple things in order to answer your question :

What type of license did you Buy for the laptop (was it OEM or Retail )

If OEM -- The license stays with the MOBO of the system it was first installed on and can not "Legally" be moved to your new system So you either sell the license with the laptop or take your chances of getting a customer support Rep from MS to go against their EULA and give you a new activation code for the new system (whether or not they will depends on who you talk to and what kind of mood they are in when you call and what you tell them on the phone !) -- According to the OEM license it can only be reused if the old MOBO died and this new one was the only way to replace it (ie. they no longer make the old MOBO so replacing with an exact model is not an option) -- That said the CS reps are minimum wage workers and their dedication to following the license agreement conditions is on them !

If Retail -- You need to reformat the old system HDD and remove the OS from it so that it is no longer in use on the old system (and can not be restored for use) and then you are free to reinstall to the new system using the license key (If auto activation fails you just need to explain to the CS rep that the old system is no longer in use and you wish to move it to this new system and they will activate it. (Retail licenses are transferable to as many systems as you want as long as it is only currently in use on a single system - which is why you pay more for the retail license !)


JDFan said:
No you are mistaken He merely stated he bought the OS -- you can buy either Retail or OEM from retail stores so he did not say which he has and that is the deciding factor in whether or not it is transferable !!

To Quote what he said :
Quote:
I installed Windows 7 Ultimate on this machine about 1 year and 4 months ago and would like to transfer the license over to the new desktop after it's built.


ram1009 said:
This issue is really quite simple. I'm amazed at how much mis-information gets in print on this board. The OP never said if he/she bought/installed an OEM or retail OS. If it's an OEM version it must stay with the machine it was first installed in. No "ifs, ands or buts". If it's a retail version the it may be sold with the old computer or kept for use in the new computer. Either way the old HDD should be wiped for privacy and to be sure there will be no key conflicts if a retail version is re-activated. The only issue here is what version of OS is being discussed.


These guys are all correct. Everyone else is confused.
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September 14, 2012 10:46:34 PM

Thanks for all the replies!

To alleviate some confusion, the Windows 7 Ultimate was purchased separately. I don't know if this makes a difference or not, but it is a "Promotional Disc." I worked at an electronics store back when W7 was released and was able to purchase W7 Ultimate at a discount price direct from MS, I wasn't given a retail copy as you would see on store shelves, instead I was given a Windows 7 disc with a serial key.

Here's a picture of the disc:


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a b D Laptop
a c 400 $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 11:32:21 PM

That type of license can be transferred to a new machine.
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a b D Laptop
a c 400 $ Windows 7
September 14, 2012 11:33:46 PM

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 ^

Your good to go , you have a retail license. :D 
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September 15, 2012 8:39:38 AM

I'm absolutely blown away by the level of response to my questions! Thank you all for your input and I appreciate the effort put into the responses. I'm new to the forums here but I'll be sure to offer what help I can to give back to the community. Thanks again everyone!
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a b $ Windows 7
September 15, 2012 8:56:17 AM

The guy that posted all the posts that said all these posts are right.... is right.

Otherwise. Wipe ur laptops' hard drive before you sell it. Don't forget to mention to the buyer that it doesn't have an OS lol.
Stick ur Win7 DVD in ur desktop and start installing.
Have a good one =D
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September 15, 2012 9:21:59 AM

ive not read this in its entirety yet but why has no one (that ive seen) said to just install ubuntu over the top of his installation? free download free licence and im sure a laptop with an os is worth more than one without surely?? itll format and over write win 7 so your key will be safe?! hope that helps and if someones already said it sorry for not reading properly
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September 21, 2012 1:31:55 AM

Just a quick question, I want to have this laptop on hand for when I build my new desktop tomorrow to use in case I run into any issues. Will I be able to install W7 with this same key while the laptop still has it activated as well?
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
September 21, 2012 1:39:07 AM

Yes -- but once there is an update released by MS that verifies the activation again the laptop license will be deactivated since the activation server will show that that serial is in use by another system. -- but it should be fine for a short period of time.
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September 21, 2012 2:48:53 AM

Awesome, thanks for the help.
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!