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  1. #1
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    Windows 7 Pro bad key

    Had to replace hardware and must reinstall a clean copy of Win7 Pro (64bit retail version). I keep getting a "bad key" message. The version is an upgrade version, do I have to reinstall XP before it'll work --- I have XP too. Both are legal copies.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Did the upgrade disk you purchased come from a legitimate reseller?

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    Yes and has worked up to the point I've needed this clean install. Microsoft validated it and I've been regularly updating with no problems.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Paul Thurrott has three methods outlined in this article:
    Clean Install Windows 7 with Upgrade Media


    Is the "bad key" message occurring before the os is fully installed, or after the installation is up and running?
    Also, are you selecting "Custom" install or "Upgrade" install, (asuming you are installing by booting with the upgrade disk)?
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-09-26 at 11:45.

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    Booting from upgrade disk. Because the original XP is gone, the upgrade option doesn't work and you must use custom install. It does all the copying (~30 minutes) then reboots for user name, computer name and password before it asks for the key --- then it says bad key and exits.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Use one of the two links provided in this thread for a work-around.

    And if that doesn't work, then you will have to call MS. Your recent hardware upgrade may be the culprit. (voided your upgrade option)
    The licensing agreements on these upgrade media are bad & vague enough to want to avoid them altogether. MS can potentially change them in the future with little or no warning whatsoever.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-09-27 at 08:44.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Microsoft does have a contact page here. I have had to call MS a couple of times with activation issues. They are usually very receptive to those holding valid keys.
    Last edited by Medico; 2011-09-27 at 05:13.
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    Thanks gentlemen, it'll take me a little while to work through the various suggestions.

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    Up and running, thanks.

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Glad you got things worked out. For other's reference, which suggestion helped solve the dilemma?
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  12. #12
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    Combo of Joe and Client links.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    So what happened, what did you did to resolve this?
    Which was most effective for you?

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    Had an old server backup (image) that I could access then used the DVD repair. That of course by-passed the "bad key" issue.

    If that hadn't worked I was ready to call M$, realizing that has never been productive in the past.

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