unfortunately the recovery console does not work nor does the cd set. I downloaded and burned an ISO of win 7. at activation I entered the OEM key from THIS desktop. that did not work. next I tried the OEM key from my second desktop. that also did not work. both desktops came with windows pre installed. I have an authentic win7 COA from my old desktop, a non HP. since the edition is the same can I use THAT key for activation? if not I will be forced to buy a retail cd with key. my intention is to load win 7 onto one 500 gig drive the from there clone extra drives. two for my two desktops 4 to keep for spares. the ISO then becomes a fail safe method. hopefully the recovery console will come back as well as the cd set will work again. doe this sound correct? if not please advice of alternatives. I was told I could buy an unused HP or any brand product key for this win 7 edition. but since I have my old key that seems unneeded. I was also told that HP keys were designed NOT to activate. that makes no sense of course. any help welcome.
If you are referring to the W7 product key labels not working, then someone else illegally used the key on a different PC, because if the key on the label was used to activate the PC in question, then it would work again and again.
if you are referring to getting the key from the actual Windows software installation, that is a pre-activated OEM volume license key that cannot ever be used to activate Windows.
It doesn't matter what brand of PC it is. It has nothing to do with HP in particular.
The key you may find in the OEM Windows installation using a 3rd party software program such as magic jellybean will not activate on that PC or another one.
A HP OEM windows 7 install disk does not require activation, or a serial due to the HP OS restore disk having a HP vender specific key on the HP OEM disk that needs to match the HP OEM key in the Bios, if the two keys match the OS will auto activate
so if the OEM system came with windows-7 (or was a option) then the HP OEM win-7 install disk will self activate and not require any serial in most cases (there were exceptions but they are rare for the most part)
the win 7 key on the case sticker for OEM installs is simply used to provide proof of purchase of a valid MS operating system license
you can legally use a HP OEM win 7 disk on any HP system that came with a matching OS, which means that you "should" only use a windows 7 pro disk on a system that has a win-7 pro license sticker on the case, however note that some systems came with "custom" restore disk(s) that restore using a disk IMAGE, rather than a normal win 7 installer, these image restore disks may not be compatible with other HP OEM systems, whereas the normal HP OEM single disk win 7 install disk will always work, but may be missing required drivers
these win 7 install disks can be found on various reseller sites (avoid the image type disk sets) and are just one DVD
retail win 7 disks REQUIRE a retail install serial, but can be installed on any computer (OEM or custom built), however once you use that serial, it's "in use" so to speak and can not be used to activate another system until the first system is deauthorized, freeing up the serial key, this serial is not the same as the OEM key printed on most computers from tier one system sellers like HP/Dell/Lenovo/Acer (they use OEM keys)
you can search the internet for in depth articles on the various activation methods used on MS OS's if you require more details
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