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  1. #1
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    Advice on activation problem - Windows 7

    Dear all,

    I'd really appreciate some advice on an issue relating to the reinstallation of Windows 7 home premium to an Acer laptop.

    The hdd became badly corrupted and the partition table was lost.

    To recover the laptop it's been necessary to reformat and install the OS from scratch.

    I've achieved this without any problems and used the Windows ISO direct from Microsoft, and the drivers from the Acer website.

    When I tried to activate using the product key / CoA on the back of the laptop it failed.

    I retrieved the installation ID and called Microsoft to activate by phone, however they told me that it was blocked because it had been used too many times.

    They told me I must get an updated product key from Acer.

    Acer have given me the run around now for Two Weeks! Still no resolution or sensible answer even though I'm now dealing with their escalation team.

    I do not really understand the issue as I have the laptop with it's valid CoA, but Microsoft and Acer are playing ping pong with me over responsibility.

    Can anyone help me target the correct responsible company so I can get this sorted.

    Many thanks
    Don

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    How did you get the ISO from MS without a valid retail key ?

    Because the COA sicker is for the OEM version that was installed, it would fail on what is a clean install from a different install disk.

    The same happens when you use a downloaded ISO from Digital River - the COA sticker key won't be accepted but the vendor's generic key will be, but will not render it as a genuine install.

    Once MS says No, then your only option is to deal with Acer but if they also say no because of expired warranty, then you may have to buy a set of OEM recovery disks for the machine which will be much cheaper than buying an OEM/retail version from the likes of ebay or Amazon and they will factory reset the laptop.

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    Assuming your original install was OEM, then your beef is definitely with Acer. If it's out of warranty, you may have to pay for any service from them (I've found them pretty good in the past). Keep at 'em.

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    If you are trying and failing to activate an Acer OEM version of Win 7 on an Acer laptop using the product key on the laptop's COA label then the responsible company is Acer. Acer may very well ask you to pay a (reasonable) fee to provide Recovery media.

    Acer cannot help you if you downloaded the Win 7 installation media from Microsoft... you need the Acer OEM media, either stored in a Recovery partition or using Recovery media you created yourself using the Acer Recovery utility. (A re-install from Recovery media should activate automatically.)

    If you are trying and failing to activate a retail version of Win 7 on an Acer laptop using the product key from the retail version's COA label then the responsible company is Microsoft. If I remember correctly, retail versions of Win 7 were available as both single license and '3 PC Family Pack'. If Microsoft has blocked the product key because it has been used too many times (i.e. more than once or more than 3 times depending on the original license pack) then there's no (legal) way around this.

    You cannot activate a Win 7 install using a download from Microsoft and the product key on the COA label. It's a mismatch of versions. As Fred Langa's New ways to get free Windows-installation media article pointed out, "Microsoft’s newly launched “Software Recovery Center” currently serves only users who have purchased retail versions of Win7." (my emphasis). You can double-check this at the Download Windows 7 Disc Images (ISO Files) webpage where it shows:

    1. This product requires a valid product activation key in order to be downloaded. Enter the 25-character product key that came with your product into the field below. Your product key is located inside the box that the Windows DVD came in, on the DVD or in the confirmation email that shows you purchased Windows.
    If you bought the laptop from new from a retailer (Currys, PC World, etc.) then you may possibly be able to get the retailer to re-load the correct OEM version of Win 7 as a goodwill gesture for you even though the laptop is out-of-(manufacturer's)warranty. In the UK, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 gives consumers some rights to refunds or free repairs for up to six years after the purchase of an item, which most people don't realise. Your argument (and I don't actually mean 'argument'... you would need to be polite, especially as you have muddied the water by trying to install an invalid version) is that you have paid for both the hardware and the right to use Windows 7 on it. It helps if you have the receipt but this isn't always necessary as a credit card statement or cheque stub can also be used as proof of purchase.

    Google "6 year warranty sale goods act" for more info. Be aware that few, if any, sales/support staff will be aware of the legislation and most managers won't be either... so be prepared with printouts of articles and legislation beforehand... and, above all, be polite. In effect, given them a reason to help you. Obviously this works best if you purchased it locally.

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2015-12-12 at 14:21.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donchik View Post
    ....reinstallation of Windows 7 home premium to an Acer laptop....

    To recover the laptop it's been necessary to reformat and install the OS from scratch.

    I've achieved this without any problems and used the Windows ISO direct from Microsoft, and the drivers from the Acer website.

    When I tried to activate using the product key / CoA on the back of the laptop it failed.

    I retrieved the installation ID and called Microsoft to activate by phone, however they told me that it was blocked because it had been used too many times.

    .... I have the laptop with it's valid CoA, ....
    Unless you do some strange stuff, I doubt the key on the laptop has ever been used before. As long as the laptop COA is Win7 HP (bit?) then under the EULA the product key on the laptop should activate a installed matching OS copy. It was intended for exactly the situation you describe.

    Get someone with an OEM (non-volume license) System Builder 64-bit(?) Win7 HP either let you borrow it or ask them to burn an image DVD copying the DVD's volume key. Should be plenty of those floating around. Use that and the product key on the outside of the laptop. I frankly think this works even with retail and upgrade disks, but the people here don't seem to think so and it has been too long since I tried.

    The current MS download ISO is for retail only version keys, and maybe upgrade keys.

    Another possibility is to ask Acer for the recovery media for your laptop. If they still have any in stock they will send you one and it will restore it to essentially the way it was when you originally got the laptop. This assumes you never asked for it before.
    http://us-store.acer.com/erecovery/rcd/
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-12-16 at 14:41.

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    Dear all,
    Thanks for the feedback and advice.
    Long and short is that by arguing with Acer until nearly blue in the face, they've sent me a recovery disk, and this image has activated ok.
    Still really "Pissed" with Acer as the CofA on the laptop appears to be useless.
    I've used a standard retail disk, with an OEM CofA in the past to actually create a dual boot XP W7 laptop (Acer again) and never run into this problem.
    If the CofA on the laptop underside is not a valid CofA, then I can't see how Acer are not in breach of Microsoft licensing rules.
    Having said my piece at least it now works even if I must now spend a week deleting all the rubbish bloatware that Acer insisted I install!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    I'm pleased to hear that your persistence paid off at last and that you now have an activated OEM install. After just taking a friend's Acer laptop back to Factory Default (luckily they had the Restore media but not a system image) I know what you mean about Acer bloatware... it takes ages to create a clean and up-to-date install.

    Have a look at this Lifehacker article, The Complete Guide to Avoiding (and Removing) Windows Crapware, especially the use of Decrap and Revo Uninstaller.

    If it has a trial version of an anti-virus product that you want to replace, I suggest not only un-installing it but searching the software maker's web site for a removal tool as well to remove the last vestiges of the product that the 'un-installer' leaves behind. I've encountered issues after un-installing Norton, McAfee and AVG that only their respective removal tools fixed so I always use these now.

    Similarly with trial installs of MS Office, download and use the appropriate removal tool (for example, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/971179) if you're replacing a trial version with a full product version you already have.

    Hope this helps...

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donchik View Post
    ...Still really "Pissed" with Acer as the CofA on the laptop appears to be useless...
    The "Product Key" on the COA label on the underside of Acer laptops is an OEM product key, so probably will not work with retail installation discs.

    However, it will work with an OEM installation DVD (such as "system builders" or others in the trade can obtain from their suppliers).

    As a matter of interest I have often installed Windows using an OEM disc and a "retail" product key - whether Acer or some other OEM computer.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    Good on you in your persistence with Acer in getting them to cough up.

    PC Decrapifier is another program you can use to help get rid of the bloat and you should find the appropriate AV uninstaller from the second link.

    Not using Office, I used IObit Uninstaller to get rid of that 328MB.

    https://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/p...a-6aebfa322f75

    Don't forget to check your Recycle Bin and defrag after you've gotten rid of the bloat.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Sudo15 For This Useful Post:

    Donchik (2015-12-29)

  11. #10
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    Cheers one and all 😁
    Strange enough I was not making any progress until I asked them to confirm I had the correct name and email of their CEO...
    Gestures of good will then rapidly followed.

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    Fascist Nation (2015-12-28)

  13. #11
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donchik View Post
    ...Strange enough I was not making any progress until I asked them to confirm I had the correct name and email of their CEO...Gestures of good will then rapidly followed.
    Ahhh, Grasshopper, you have learned well CEO NameDo and EmailFu! Now, you're tackling Acer-bloke-bloat!
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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  14. #12
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donchik View Post
    Cheers one and all ��
    Strange enough I was not making any progress until I asked them to confirm I had the correct name and email of their CEO...
    Gestures of good will then rapidly followed.
    That will be added to my inventory!

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  15. #13
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    Just in case anyone is looking, here he is

    http://www.ceoemail.com/s.php?id=b-9164

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    Fascist Nation (2015-12-30),wavy (2015-12-29)

  17. #14
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Bookmarked!
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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