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Windows 7 Retail Licence Explaination

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Can anyone please tell me how these things actually work? I have a set of 3 product codes for win 7 that I bought from a shop, they are not OEM, they are the retail version. Now, have installed these on my own computer and my brother's computer multiple times with nearly every time requiring me to call M$ and get them reactivated.

The last time I installed our computers was quite recently and after calling and activating his PC I did mine after and it just accepted the licence right off the bat.

So, there are two thing I want to know here. First being, every time I call, that won't de-register any of the other keys that have been used, will it? For example, we re installed the old man's old computer using the third key and then sold that PC later. The guys we sold it to won't suddenly have windows complaining at them, will they?

Second, if the first is not true, what exactly is to stop me (or anyone else) from just activating this key on a dozen different PCs? Surely they have some system in place to monitor how many machines these keys are in use on?
post #2 of 12
I think what causes confusion is Microsoft's "generosity" (at least over the phone) in accepting pretty much any excuse for why you need to reactivate a key.

I believe the EULA says you can have two copies activated at once, that's it.

And from my experience there seems to be a time limit, after which an OSs will activate and authenticate again, even if it wouldn't earlier.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, so you are saying that the OS will periodically check that the licence isn't in use elsewhere? How would that work, exactly? It can't very well disable a licence if it finds that It is in use elsewhere. I would have heard about it at this point if that were the case lol.

The EULA is just legalities, for argument's sake, I'm ignoring that for this question. What I want to know is what kind of system they have in place to actually stop the activation of multiple keys from a single licence. I am finding it difficult to believe that even Microsoft would be stupid enough not to have something in place for that. Although, it would explain a fair bit if they don't.

Does anyone else have confirmation on this?
post #4 of 12
After the second activation a key will no longer activate online. But, if you give Microsoft enough excuses over the phone, you can activate and authenticate and have at least 6 installs all at the same time, that I know for sure!

I think what MS does is to keep a record of up to the last two activations (the latest ones). After some time (6 mo - 12 mo???) the earliest one drops off and you can do an online activation (one time) again, and that takes you back up to two.

But again, if you give then a good enough excuse, they'll activate anytime over the phone.
Edited by billbartuska - 1/20/13 at 7:22pm
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
They didn't even ask for an excuse when I called, lol. the guy sounded bored as hell tho, like as it had been a long day/night. Can't really blame em, most of us will just lie anyway
post #6 of 12
Since they are 3 different keys on 3 different machine and it's the retail version you should not be having any problems with activation. There is also no limit to the amount of times you can transfer a retail key to a different PC.

However, you can't have the same key on 2 computers (both connected to the Internet) at the same time. One will validate successfully and the other will not be considered genuine.

If one is connected to the Internet and 1000s of others aren't, the 1000s of other PCs will consider Windows genuine, but that's still breaking the licence.

If you reinstall Windows regularly or change motherboards regularly it will still activate genuinely but it might make you activate by phone/Internet.


As for the guy you sold the PC to, make sure to give him the key corresponding that that copy of Windows. He should be fine.
Edited by Edge Of Pain - 1/21/13 at 3:47am
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm not worried about whether I can do it automatically, I forfeited that after the first time I reloaded my machines out the hundred times I've done it so far
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bukinnear View Post

I'm not worried about whether I can do it automatically, I forfeited that after the first time I reloaded my machines out the hundred times I've done it so far

But did I answer your questions? tongue.gif
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge Of Pain View Post

However, you can't have the same key on 2 computers (both connected to the Internet) at the same time. One will validate successfully and the other will not be considered genuine..

I know that's not true, as more than once I've done two online activations of the same key within an hour or so.
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
^ from what I've heard from digging around at work, as long as you do it over the phone, you can active at as many times as you like. online or not.

That's why there was a change with the licencing system in windows 8
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