Activating Win7 after reinstall

Hi all,

I recently had a boot issue on my computer that necessitated a full reformat of the HDD and a clean reinstall of Windows. I previously had an OEM copy of Win7 Home Premium installed - however, the disc I used to reinstall was Win7 Professional borrowed from a co-worker. I now have 30 days to activate the copy of Windows, and I'm wondering what the best step to take is.

Do I have to buy a Professional key? Does anyone know how much these cost, and if I might be able to get an upgrade discount because I already own Home Premium? I know I won't be able to activate the copy of Professional using the key from my previous copy of Home Premium, but would I be able to reinstall Home Premium and activate it with the same key I used during the initial build? I'd rather not do yet another reinstall of Windows, but I will if I have to. Anything (short of piracy) to avoid having to shell out hundreds for a new key.

6 answers Last reply
More about activating win7 reinstall
  1. If it's the original PC that Windows Home came with then yes. You may re-use that key on that computer as many times as needed.

    You would have to purchase a windows pro key to activate it currently. Its not cheap. Google Microsoft store and you'll get results where you can find prices.

    Get a windows home disk and re install. Or download a copy of windows home and re install :D.

    Just an FYI.

    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 ^
  2. You can download Windows 7 Home Premium from Digitalriver here:

    32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium x86 ISO

    64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium x64 ISO

    Once downloaded, burn the ISO file to a DVD with a program such as ImgBurn (Write image file to disc option), otherwise it won't be bootable.

    That way you can reuse your old product key without having to spend the money.
  3. Even better, after you get your iso from above, use this tool to make a usb install media and load windows much faster: Requires a 4gb (min) usb drive which will be formatted.....
  4. When you installed did you enter the product key from the old system when prompted for the key or just leave it blank or use the friends key for Pro ? Sounds like you either used your friends key or left it blank since it has given you 30 days to activate and installed PRO instead of Premium.

    The installation media includes all versions of the OS (Home premium, Professional, Ultimate) and installs the proper files based on the key that is entered when installing - so if you had entered your old key that came with the system it should have installed Home Premium based on the key you entered when prompted even though you were using a Pro install media. Since you installed the professional version you have a couple choices --

    1. Keep the professional install and within 30 days purchase a new key (should qualify for an anytime upgrade version which is a bit cheaper but still fairly costly)

    2. start over and install the Home Premium version using either the iso from digital river linked above or your friends media but using your key when prompted. And then activating after install ( it should activate fine as long as you install the Home premium version which matches your key)

    3. Call MS activation support and ask them for assistance with activation and explain what you have done ( They may go ahead and give you a new activation response code that activates the new install of the Professional version instead of making you reinstall again - depending on who you talk to and what kind of mood they are in - but doesn't hurt to try as worse case the give you directions on how to do one of the other options listed above in 1 or 2 !!)
  5. Another option is to just upgrade to Windows 8 for $40.
  6. Thanks so much, folks - this is a huge help to me. JDFan, I'm probably going to go ahead and try the third option you posted, since I'd really rather not reinstall if at all possible, and maybe if I'm really nice to them they might just give me an activation code. But it's enormously helpful to know that these are my basic options.
Ask a new question

Read More

Windows 7