Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

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Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

Postposted on Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:31 am

I'm getting a new laptop for the wife, not sure what yet, but I know I'm going to want to immediately just reinstall Windows 7 on it to remove all of the extra crapware that will most certainly come preinstalled and then selectively installing necessary extra drivers from the manufacturer's website as I deem fit.

Often, laptop manufacturers don't include a reinstall DVD, or if they do include one, it reinstalls all of the crapware I'm wanting to not have. I have Windows 7 System Builder install disks laying around from desktop system builds. Can I legally use a matching one of them (Home Premium if the laptop came with Home Premium) to reinstall Windows 7, and then use the OEM Windows 7 license key from the bottom of the laptop?

I would guess "yes", but you never know when it comes to licensing.
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Re: Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

Postposted on Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:48 am

I'm fairly sure that OEM keys are only good for the machine they came with. At the very least I think you'll have to call MS to activate and give them a story about how you had to replace the mobo, cpu, etc to get them to activate it.
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Re: Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

Postposted on Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:21 am

Legally? Yes.

The key may not work on a vanilla non-OEM disk, though.
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Re: Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

Postposted on Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:24 am

Why not just take a bit of time to uninstall all unneeded stuff?

I did that after I bought my Lenovo laptop.. But then again, my model was not among those that has an extra amount of crapware..
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Re: Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

Postposted on Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:32 am

I do think it better to nuke from orbit and start fresh than uninstalling stuff. Some Dell 'utilities' are exceptionally difficult to remove, and some just plain break stuff when removed making the chore a little more difficult. That would be time better spent downloading updates on a fresh install.
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Re: Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

Postposted on Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:07 am

I got a Dell Studio 15 last summer and didn't experience that problem with any of the utilities.
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Re: Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

Postposted on Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:07 pm

I have yet to see an uninstaller that cleans 100% everything. Well maybe except those xcopy ones like in UT2k4 (thumbs up), and even then profiles and registry settings are left behind.
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Re: Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

Postposted on Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:54 pm

As long as the windows 7 cd you have is the same version as the cd key then it should work just fine. Worse comes to worse you call Microsofts automated helper and you just tell it the activation numbers and your good to go!
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Re: Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

Postposted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:26 pm

There are programs that can pull the actual product key out of the registry (it'll be different from the one on the sticker on the bottom of the laptop). I'm not sure which key you should use, though, to be honest.
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Re: Windows 7 reinstall and license keys

Postposted on Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:21 pm

Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder is the one I use. Clean install of the OS is best but sometimes finding the right drivers is worse than trying to uninstall their bundleware. But if you're forced to use the Windows install the PC came with, PC Decrapifier works well in getting rid of the bundleware.
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