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Can I use my laptop's old Windows 7 key on my new desktop?

Last response: in Windows 7
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December 31, 2012 7:41:18 PM

Hello to all!

I recently upgraded my Windows 7 laptop to Windows 8 through the $15 upgrade option. The way I understand it now is that the Windows 7 key that came with the laptop is no longer in use (since the Windows 8 key I received was totally different), so I was wondering what my options were in terms of using either the Windows 7 key or Windows 8 key on a new PC that I'm building.

I could downgrade my laptop through a fresh install of Windows 7; would that make the Windows 8 key I payed for available for use on my new build?

If not, could I leave my laptop on Windows 8 and use the Windows 7 key that is no longer in use on the laptop (I think) on my new build?

Thanks!
a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
December 31, 2012 7:44:43 PM

Not it is not possible. The version of Windows 7 installed on your laptop by the manufacturer is an OEM copy which means that it is bound to the laptop and cannot be activated on another machine
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
a b * Windows 8
December 31, 2012 7:47:49 PM

The OEM Windows 7 key on the laptop is not transferable to another computer. Your Windows 8 media and key are upgrade only and can not be used for a clean install, a qualifying OS must already exist.

In short, you have to purchase a copy of Windows for your PC build.
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December 31, 2012 7:51:01 PM

Shoot! :(  Well thanks for the info!
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December 31, 2012 7:51:21 PM

Best answer selected by rrroach.
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December 31, 2012 7:59:50 PM

New question! I've got an old hard drive that has XP on it... any way I can use it to get some sort of discount on Windows 8? Or is it bound to the motherboard, like stated above?
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December 31, 2012 8:06:43 PM

I'm aware of the the $40 upgrade fee (that's why I asked! ;)  ) but I'm concerned about whether I'd be able to "transfer" the OS licensing once I upgrade the old XP drive to Windows 8 onto my new hard drive. The problem is that the drive which already has XP is only 60GB (not to mention VERY slow!) so I refuse to use it in my build.
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July 17, 2013 9:34:28 PM

rrroach said:
Hello to all!

I recently upgraded my Windows 7 laptop to Windows 8 through the $15 upgrade option. The way I understand it now is that the Windows 7 key that came with the laptop is no longer in use (since the Windows 8 key I received was totally different), so I was wondering what my options were in terms of using either the Windows 7 key or Windows 8 key on a new PC that I'm building.

I could downgrade my laptop through a fresh install of Windows 7; would that make the Windows 8 key I payed for available for use on my new build?

If not, could I leave my laptop on Windows 8 and use the Windows 7 key that is no longer in use on the laptop (I think) on my new build?

Thanks!


From what I understand, all systems are made using a generic OS product key. So, unless you've used the one located on your laptop, it's not considered in use. This allows for you to replace your mobo if it dies, it's not intended for use with another system. ^^
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