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  1. #1
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    Activation problem

    Hello to all. This is my first post after more than two years of lurking. Why now? It's always been so easy to find answers, until now. I just built my first computer, and it works very well, but I can't seem to activate the Home Premium I put on it. First, I tried an upgrade key I bought from Amazon. Windows rejected it, saying it couldn't be used for a clean install. The installation came from a Three Pack, after I used the key three times elsewhere.

    Now I have a full installation Professional DVD plus its key. Windows insists I activate the Home Premium first. Any advice is welcome. I've already installed the Home Premium over itself, so it would be an upgrade, not a clean install, following some advice I found here . No hurry. My new PC is mostly a toy.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Welcome as a new poster.

    Have you tried to insert the Win 7 Pro DVD and complete a repair install? Not sure if this will work, but worth a try. Otherwise you might need to do a custom install of the Win 7 Pro. The custom install will create a folder called windows.old in the C Drive that contains the old OS. It can be opened so you can get all your data. You would however have to reinstall your apps.
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    uncledunc (2011-09-16)

  4. #3
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    Welcome to the Lounge!!! Thanks for posting after all this time. I moved your post to its own thread so it will get the attention it needs.

    Have you followed the steps at How to do a clean install with an upgrade version?

    Joe

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    uncledunc (2011-09-16)

  6. #4
    New Lounger
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    A brief (I hope) continuation of my original post above. I also hope I hit the right button.

    First, a profound thanks for all the help over the past two years while lurking, especially to Ted Myers whose succinct replies to others have helped more than I can say. And thanks for the welcome to the Lounge. You will be hearing from me.

    Second, a sort of orientation about myself. As an ex-school teacher, I have learned to do my homework. I am aware of the "RTFM" mandate and will comply.
    I just worked my way through Leonhard's Top Story 11/19/09 and cited Paul Therrott's blog-spot with 3 methods sure to activate. I did all 3. None worked.

    Third, so others will know what I am asking about, specs on the computer I just built: Antec 900 case, ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO motherboard, AMD Phenom II x4 Black ed. 16 Gb RAM. For now, I'm using a WD 350 G hard drive. Everything is new. My only problem has been activating the WIN7 Home Premium I installed.

    Just one question today I could use some help on. Researching software to edit an ISO (x17-24281, WIN7 Pro 64bit) I just downloaded from DigitalRiver, hoping to delete the file ei.cfg and work from there, ref: Leonhard Top Story 8/20/09. Anyone use Daemon Tool Pro or MagicISO? I read good things about both, but wonder about spam and spyware. Any tip would be welcome.

    Hope this isn't too long, but thought the details here mattered. I haven't tried the repair install, but am studying that now.

    Uncledunc
    Last edited by uncledunc; 2011-09-16 at 08:53.

  7. #5
    4 Star Lounger
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    Something may have been triggered when you tried to use the anytime upgrade key. If you have another full scoot W7 disc now with key, and it doesn't sound like you have much for applications installed yet, I would just boot with the W7Pro disc, format the partition and install that version and activate from there.

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    uncledunc (2011-09-18)

  9. #6
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    The problem with activation may come from the fact that you have already used the key 3 times. I would suggest calling Microsoft to activate over the phone, but if you have that license in 3 other pcs, I doubt that Microsoft would agree to allow you to use it in a 4th pc.
    If that is the case, a reinstall from scratch, with the pro version would seem the way to go, as infinicore has suggested.

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    uncledunc (2011-09-18)

  11. #7
    New Lounger
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    Hello again
    The following is a progress report on above advice. First, I studied <www.mydigitallife.info/differences-between-retail-oem-system-builder-volume-licensing-full-or-upgrade-for-windows>. When I finished, I concluded Microsoft Family Pack was too weird to mess with. Labeled "Upgrade," it still works fine as a clean install for XP and an upgrade for Vista. I used my license successfully three times on three PCs. I thought the DVD might work to install, then use a different Key to validate. Then it didn't work.

    One program I had installed was Belarc Advisor. I'm only mentioning it because when I reviewed its readout of all the new computer's components, it listed the Family Pack installation key. But I had never entered it, knowing my three times were up. I have no idea where Belarc found it.

    The key I planned to use was an Amazon download, specifically to upgrade an ASUS Eee PC Netbook from Starter to Home Premium. It didn't work, but I tried until the owner (wife) took it back because she thought I might hurt it. That meant I had a spare. But just in case the code was useless, I bought a Win7 Professional Full Installation DVD with its key and Certificate of Authenticity. Last evening I installed it on a spare 500Gb Seagate HD, keeping the first for experiments.

    I had tried the Repair/Install procedure, following instructions from sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-installation.html. The installation started and then failed a compatibility test, explained as "unable to upgrade with Professional over Home Premium. Use clean install." That in spite of a repair install being also known as an in place install upgrade.

    Next progress report when the WIN 7 64bit Professional is good to go. Thanks again to all for the very helpful advice. It has kept me going.

  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncledunc View Post
    I had tried the Repair/Install procedure, following instructions from sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-installation.html. The installation started and then failed a compatibility test, explained as "unable to upgrade with Professional over Home Premium. Use clean install." That in spite of a repair install being also known as an in place install upgrade.
    Instead of installing Pro from scratch, you can try to do an anytime upgrade, from Home Premium to Professional, with the Pro key you have. Once it's completed you will have Windows 7 Pro. You can then run the repair install and fix whatever problems you had initially.

  13. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    To elaborate on rurib's comment in post #8, the "Anytime Upgrade" path will accept any valid key that is not already in use. I used the Ultimate key from a PC destroyed in a fire for the "Anytime Upgrade" key on my Dell 580 that came with Home Premium, and the upgrade progressed quickly and cleanly, and activated without a hitch.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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  14. #10
    4 Star Lounger
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    To elaborate on rurib's comment in post #8, the "Anytime Upgrade" path will accept any valid key that is not already in use.
    Which if I've been following correctly is exactly the problem....there is no valid key in place since it is in use already for another system.

  15. #11
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinicore View Post
    Which if I've been following correctly is exactly the problem....there is no valid key in place since it is in use already for another system.
    If you are referring to this:
    Quote Originally Posted by uncledunc View Post
    That meant I had a spare. But just in case the code was useless, I bought a Win7 Professional Full Installation DVD with its key and Certificate of Authenticity. Last evening I installed it on a spare 500Gb Seagate HD, keeping the first for experiments.
    Then you have in fact solved part of your problem. You must have a valid key that is not in use on another system in order for Anytime Upgrade to work; the first thing that the Anytime Upgrade does is to check to see if the key you enter is indeed a valid key that is not in use. If the key does not meet that criteria, then Anytime Upgrade will abort.

    The files necessary for the Anytime Upgrade are already in place on your hard drive, just dormant (compacted). The only thing necessary for the upgrade to work is the Key.

    And I have used MagicISO a number of times, and it works just fine for me.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2011-09-18 at 17:36.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  16. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinicore View Post
    Which if I've been following correctly is exactly the problem....there is no valid key in place since it is in use already for another system.
    uncledunc stated in his last post:
    But just in case the code was useless, I bought a Win7 Professional Full Installation DVD with its key and Certificate of Authenticity
    This key could be used for an anytime upgrade. I have noticed now that he used it on another disk, but it is possible that he still can get away with it.

  17. #13
    New Lounger
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    I am sorry if I am wasting anyone's time. If anyone learned as much as I did, the time wasn't wasted. Much

    This afternoon, in fact about ten minutes ago, I punched in the activation key sent with the WIN7 64 PROF Full Installation DVD. It was the first time I had used the key anywhere. My hard drive is a fairly new spare, and I'm OK with it. There were few apps installed, only Driver Detective and Belarc Advisor.

    It worked. It also left many questions unanswered. If and when I find the answers, I'll post them here.

    Thanks to all who offered suggestions. And a special thanks to BBEAREN for OKing MagicISO
    Last edited by uncledunc; 2011-09-18 at 19:24.

  18. #14
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    Glad you got it working in a way that suits your needs .

  19. #15
    4 Star Lounger
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    But just in case the code was useless, I bought a Win7 Professional Full Installation DVD with its key and Certificate of Authenticity
    This key could be used for an anytime upgrade. I have noticed now that he used it on another disk, but it is possible that he still can get away with it.
    You mean it will act exactly like an anytime upgrade key...except it will work in this case? Or do you mean in the traditional sense of upgrading, anytime, with a full upgrade install or upgrade disc and key?

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