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Custom build... Windows telling me "Not Genuine"

Last response: in Windows 7
November 12, 2012 1:40:55 PM

I've read through a decent amount of forums but I haven't spotted anything quite like this so I though I would ask you guys - My girlfriend bought a decent laptop... but hardly ever took it places and I had tons of better parts laying around so I offered to build her a desktop (since she likes gaming with me). All I needed was a copy of Windows, but since the hdd from her laptop already had it, I used that. Everything worked fine for about 2 monthes and then all of the sudden its telling her that "This copy of Windows is not Genuine." For 1, it is valid - she bought it at bestbuy or something like that and 2, the only options I have are to "Get Genuine" or "Ask Me Later". In the past when I have encountered this, I at least had the opportunity to re-enter the key or try and validate it via the internet or phone, but not here.

I don't know that it matters but here are the specs of what I put together for her (also, her laptop was an AMD but not sure what CPU);

AMD Phenom II 980 BE
Sapphire Radeon HD 5870
Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb
Corsair GS600
Samsung 7200rpm 500gb 2.5" hdd (from laptop with Windows 7 pre installed on it)

Not sure where to go from here. Usually I look around a bit and try and figure it out but in this case, I didn't want to mess anything up. Any help is much appreciated.
a b $ Windows 7
November 12, 2012 1:47:10 PM

Was that an OEM copy from the laptop? It not genuine because it can't be transfer to a desktop.

Best solution

November 12, 2012 1:47:39 PM

I think the reason Windows is saying it is not genuine is because that Windows install uses a Windows key which is only intended to be used in the laptop that you mentioned. Windows realised that all the hardware had changed when you put that harddrive in the new rig and booted it up, and since that Windows key is not intended to be used with that current hardware it says it is not genuine.

Unfortunately I don't know what to do in this case. Looks like you might just have to reinstall.
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November 12, 2012 1:54:34 PM

I didn't realize that Windows were designed specifically for desktop and laptop, but it makes a ton of sense now that I think about it.

You think a re-install will help? The laptop did not come with a copy of the CD, just the sticker on the bottom with the key. Will my Windows 7 Ultimate CD suffice?
November 12, 2012 1:58:43 PM

Windows OEM for laptops cant be used on custom builds. Im sorry, but you gonna have to purchase another windows.
a b $ Windows 7
November 12, 2012 2:21:11 PM

you can try to call. when asked say motherboard went bad, had to replace.
a b $ Windows 7
November 12, 2012 2:22:08 PM

It's not genuine. The laptop, unless custom built, came with an OEM version of Windows which is NOT transferable to any other machine (unless ya laptop breaks in which case could be put on replacement)
November 12, 2012 2:41:34 PM

Best answer selected by TheNewman.
November 12, 2012 2:42:17 PM

Alright, looks like I gotta give them a call. Thanks for all the advice.
a b $ Windows 7
November 12, 2012 2:52:29 PM

at the prompt enter -- get genuine out of the 2 choices and that will open the activation wizard where you then proceed with the activation - 1st it will try auto activation which will most likely fail -- it will then prompt you to use telephone activation when it does call the number given type in the code from the system (it will be shown as you are activating it) and the automated system will give you a reply code to enter into the computer ) most likely at that point it will succeed in activating the install and you'll be done ( Note : according to the EULA the OEM version should not be reused but MS is pretty lenient and it will usually pass unless the same key has been used hundreds off times !!) -- If that part still fails it will contact you to a rep - explain the situation to them ( laptop died and you built a new system and are trying to reactivate the OS ) at which point the CS agent will either tell you they can not activate it and get you to buy a new activation or will give you a new activation code (if they deny activation tell them thanks - hang up and call again and speak to someone else - since each rep will make their own determination and some are more willing to activate than others !) -- worst case all of them deny the activation and you wind up having to buy a new key - best case one decides to give you a reactivation key and you are set !

Never hurts to try and get it reactivated even though technically the old license dies with the laptop MS is known to be pretty lenient with the activations and is usually willing to make an exception if asked nicely (figure the Reps listen to complaints most of the day so kindness can usually go a long way) and MS is more wanting to keep people from using pirated copies than they are about letting an individual user reactivate an OEM copy that should technically be expired !

a c 371 $ Windows 7
November 12, 2012 4:41:14 PM

Your copy of Windows is locked to the PC on which you purchased it. You cannot transfer that license to another PC.
You can upgrade any components or peripherals on your PC and keep your license intact. You can replace the motherboard with an identical model or an equivalent model from the OEM if it fails. However, if you personally replace or upgrade the motherboard, your OEM Windows license is null and void.