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Activation after upgrading HDD question

Last response: in Windows 7
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June 8, 2010 8:28:28 AM

Hey everyone, basically I'd like to upgrade the HDD on my laptop, I'm intending to back up an image of my current Win 7 Pro 64 setup using Acronis true image home and restore it on the new HDD, my question is, will windows still be activated?

thanks for any tips and help in advance
a b $ Windows 7
June 8, 2010 8:35:50 AM

more than likely you will be calling MSFT, but don't worry, just explain that you had to relace your drive, windows identifies the hardware at the time of activation, any changes in the hardware(HDD, motherboard, but not memory or video card) prompt you for reactivation, that way people can't Ghost a drive and copy the registration
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June 8, 2010 11:35:11 AM

Most likely it would still be activated. If Win7 is like WinXP's checks, it would just check the mobo serial/model, processor serial, and hard drive model/serial.

You could change one item at a time without a problem, but changing 2 or more would trigger a re-activation.

* Not sure about OEM version though
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a b $ Windows 7
June 8, 2010 5:28:38 PM

Hi Super_Sinbad,

After making a significant change to your hard drive, you will most likely have to reactivate Windows 7, however it CAN be done.

First try activating on your PC - Open Windows Activation by clicking the Start button , clicking Computer, clicking Properties, and then clicking Click here to activate Windows now.

If that does not work, you can activate by phone - http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/18715-activate-win...

Cheers,
Cassandra
Microsoft Windows Outreach
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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
June 8, 2010 5:32:48 PM

With a image it will stay activated. FOR sure!!!!!
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June 8, 2010 6:05:11 PM

Thank you guys for the replies, it's much appreciated.

I'll go ahead with the imaging process and will let you know how it goes.
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June 10, 2010 12:39:03 AM

Hello super_sinbad,

Backup all of your data to an external hard drive or flash drive.

Install clean installation of Windows 7 and then keep the Windows 7 Product key. You can activate it via Phone Activation system and at the same time, the copy on the so called "old computer" *your old windows system is deactivated.
Phone Activation system
================================================
1. Click the Start button, type "SLUI.EXE 4" (without the quotation marks) in the search box, and press “Enter”.
2. Select the neatest location, and click "Next".
3. Please click "Continue" when the User Account Control dialog-box appears.
4. The Windows Activation will generate a toll-free phone number. And the installation ID will be displayed in the following format:
xxxxxx – xxxxxx – xxxxxx – xxxxxx – xxxxxx – xxxxxx – xxxxxx – xxxxxx – xxxxxx
5. Call the number to activate Windows 7.

Let me know how it goes!

John M.
Microsoft Windows Client Team
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/default.aspx


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a b $ Windows 7
June 10, 2010 4:06:26 AM

good luck, see ya later
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a b $ Windows 7
June 10, 2010 10:16:22 AM

super_sinbad said:
Hey everyone, basically I'd like to upgrade the HDD on my laptop, I'm intending to back up an image of my current Win 7 Pro 64 setup using Acronis true image home and restore it on the new HDD, my question is, will windows still be activated?

thanks for any tips and help in advance


One question. Did the machine come prinstalled with Windows 7 or did you upgrade it from XP or Vista at a later time?

If the machine came with windows 7 pre-installed, the answer is definitely NO, you will NOT have to reactivate windows. This is because big OEM systems use System Locked Pre-installation.

SLP is a combination of a bios table, OS certificate, and OEM SLP key which activate Windows offline. As long as your imaging the drive, it will bring the cert and the SLP key with it, which will automatically activate it.

If you upgraded at a later time, the answer is likely no. Depends on how sensitive WAT is to hardware changes, but I don't think a hard drive alone would do it.

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June 10, 2010 4:37:58 PM

I use acronis drive image on all my machines. I restore the OS from image file when i replace HDD, video card on my PCs.

HDD replacement don't require another activation request.

Your OS will remain active.

When there is a big change in the hardware that is different from the image file then the software do request for activation(i.e. GPU change).

I have an image file with bare OS installed (no driver). I activated it before i made the image file. Every time i use that (bare os only)image file the OS require re-activation. It always get activated.


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June 10, 2010 5:52:26 PM

FALC0N said:
One question. Did the machine come prinstalled with Windows 7 or did you upgrade it from XP or Vista at a later time?

If the machine came with windows 7 pre-installed, the answer is definitely NO, you will NOT have to reactivate windows. This is because big OEM systems use System Locked Pre-installation.

SLP is a combination of a bios table, OS certificate, and OEM SLP key which activate Windows offline. As long as your imaging the drive, it will bring the cert and the SLP key with it, which will automatically activate it.

If you upgraded at a later time, the answer is likely no. Depends on how sensitive WAT is to hardware changes, but I don't think a hard drive alone would do it.



thanks for the info, the machine came with windows vista first and I wiped the drive clean and installed a fresh copy of windows 7, I'm still waiting for my new HDD to arrive and then I'll go ahead with the process.
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June 10, 2010 6:06:19 PM

leon2006 said:
I use acronis drive image on all my machines. I restore the OS from image file when i replace HDD, video card on my PCs.

HDD replacement don't require another activation request.

Your OS will remain active.

When there is a big change in the hardware that is different from the image file then the software do request for activation(i.e. GPU change).

I have an image file with bare OS installed (no driver). I activated it before i made the image file. Every time i use that (bare os only)image file the OS require re-activation. It always get activated.


this is what I was thinking too, I used to do exactly the same thing with windows xp machines where I had a corporate license for multiple users and it didn't make any difference for me because with corporate license I didn't have to call MS and re-activate windows as it was always activated, but I wasn't sure how windows 7 will act if I re-image it with the activation, drivers and all the applications on, besides, I have a single user license, but now you just confirmed it, thanks again.
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June 20, 2010 9:59:45 AM

Best answer selected by super_sinbad.
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January 11, 2013 5:42:01 AM

There is a great explanation here :

http://www.technibble.com/windows-xp-activation-explain...

To summarize, there are 10 votes by the hardware devices, when you boot, that, "Yes, I'm the same". If you ghost one disk to another disk, then one vote is used up and your OS voting is 9/10 saying "yes, I'm the same." If you change the NIC that counts as 3 votes. So while you can ghost your hard drive to another disk, if you do some other major change (like the NIC, or changing the CPU + motherboard + audio), then you will get to 6 votes and you will have to reactivate.

As for OEM "motherboard locked" versions of Windows, I don't know if these rules apply for those versions of windows.

Due to the way voting works, I don't think migrating to a new disk 3 times uses up 3 votes; it would only use 1 vote because the voting just says, "gosh this isn't the same disk I was activated with" and it doesn't care about subsequent changes in your disk drive.
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