well when I rebuilt my computer and added new mobo my windows 7 home 64 bit will no longer register. I understand I can't install on a new system. I'm wondering if anyone knows a way I can buy just a new key and not have to drop the 91$ for a whole new cd and all that. I can't find any windows 7 keys at Microsoft website. I don't really want to do the whole upgrade to windows 8 route. will that even work since my windows is not registered? also I like having a disc around to reformat every so often. (which i still have a windows 7 home premium disc) just need a key. any info is appreciated
You have to buy a new license (I'm assuming the old license was OEM). There's really no legal way around this. If you old version was a retail version, then you should be able to move the license to a new motherboard.
You don't really think they charge you the big price for the CD, do you? If you're really interested in W8, there's a deal on it for $39 and XP is a legitimate upgrade path.
will that work though being as I do not have windows activated. also the cd that comes with the 69.99 version of upgrade from 7 to 8, can it be used to do a reformat in the future or is it for upgrading purposes only?
You can't upgrade if you have an unlicensed version of windows. You cannot change the board, that qualifies as a new system UNLESS the old board failed and was no longer available for purchase. Otherwise its retail price for a license. They don't charge you for a CD.... Those are freely available for download from official sources.
Your going to need to buy a full version.
With that being said...
A few times you've mentioned being able to "reformat" like it's a normal cleanup/update process.
I just wanted to mention that reformatting should and always is the LAST option. 99% of software/virus/malware issues can be fixed. Try your best not to reformat. It's like using a sledge hammer to open a peanut . Maintain and clean your system .