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djwFrontline
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Clean Install, but OEM key doesnt activate automatically

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HP Pro 3500
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

Hello,

 

I have a couple of HP Pro 3500 Microtowers. I recently created a clean install of one of them, installed the appropriate software and drivers, and then captured an image for deployment for the others. My issue is with Windows Activation.

 

All these HP's have Windows 8 Pro OEM keys indicated within the BIOS. However, before the whipe, they all had Windows 7 installed which leads me to believe it was a downgrade. 

 

for the original PC which I used the capture the image, Windows activated without hassle. However, for the other machines, I can see the key within the BIOS with third party software like 'ProductKey' and have called microsoft to ask them about the activation.They told me the Win 8  Pro key had 'no rights' to downgrade to Win 7 pro even though the machines were installed already with Win 7, and Microsoft states on their own site that Windows 8 pro OEM DOES have rights to downgrade.

 

Anyone have any ideas for this dilemma?

 

 

Thanks!

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mdklassen
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Here's a "highlighted" screen-shot from Windows 7, but the same suggestion is applicable to Windows 8:

 

Capture.JPG

 

 

namely to use the "Change product key" functionality.

 

>>>  and then captured an image for deployment for the others ...

 

Did Windows "activate" itself before you captured the image?

 

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djwFrontline
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Thank you for your reply! Unofortunately your screen clipping isnt displaying for me.

 

But yes, Windows 7 Pro was activated on each individual machine before image deployment.

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mdklassen
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> Thank you for your reply! Unofortunately your screen clipping isnt displaying for me.


That is a short-coming in this forum's software.  It may take a few minutes for the "image-server" to update with my image.

 

Try: http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/153802iB8285DDDF942AF23/image-size/original?v...

 

to view my image.

 

> But yes, Windows 7 Pro was activated on each individual machine before image deployment.

 

That "history" of previous usage of the computer does not matter.

 

Whatever product-key that was used to activate Windows 7 was deleted when you "wiped" the disk-drive.

The key in the BIOS is for Windows 8, not for Windows 7.

 

Did you activate the image before you made the copy that you used as your "reference" for deployment?

After deploying the image, boot each computer, and try to activate that computer.

 

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djwFrontline
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Did you activate the image before you made the copy that you used as your "reference" for deployment?

 

I do not believe I did. 

 

After deploying the image, boot each computer, and try to activate that computer.

 

I have indeed tried this. Would it not work because of the former?

 

Thanks Again btw

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mdklassen
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>> Did you activate the image before you made the copy that you used as your "reference" for deployment?

> I do not believe I did. 

 

If you did not activate it, did it activate automatically?

You probably would have had to tell the Installer to "not activate automatically when online", during installation.

 

 

 

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djwFrontline
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It did not activate automatically. The 'reference' machine would not activate automatically. So I used the Microsoft 'Activate by phone system' option which then worked correctly. 

 

Question: Would wiping these PC's and reinstalling them with Windows 8 Pro, and then somehow downgrading them be an option?

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mdklassen
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> Question: Would wiping these PC's and reinstalling them with Windows 8 Pro, and then somehow downgrading them be an option?

 

This sounds overly complex -- if they are "wiped", you can immediately install Windows 7, if you have the media and a product-key for Windows 7; there's no need to install Windows 8, and then "wipe" again.

 

I have two questions:

 

1. When support for Windows 7 expires after April 2020, what are you going to do?  Retire the "aged" hardware? Install Linux? Install Windows 8 (expires in January 2023, when your hardware will have become "elderly") ? License Windows 10, and install it onto "FAR-out-of-warranty" disk-drives?

 

2. What's your "love" for Windows 7? Do you have software that "needs" Windows 7, or cannot be installed in "compatibility mode" under Windows 8?

 

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djwFrontline
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The Windows installed was OEM originally with windows 8 pro which was downgraded to 7. I then wiped 7 in order to have a clean install. Now the clean install of 7 will not activate even though I see a win8 OEM key in the firmware of the bios using 'productkey' software.

 

I use windows 7 because I am in a business environment and that is what they require. Windows 8 is not an option.

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mdklassen
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> The Windows installed was OEM originally with windows 8 pro which was downgraded to 7.

 

If this worked once, it should work again.

 

> I then wiped 7 in order to have a clean install.

 

OK. Your choice, I guess.

 

> Now the clean install of 7 will not activate even though I see a win8 OEM key in the firmware

 

Makes sense -- "7" does not equal "8", and Windows 7 never "peeked" into the BIOS to find a product-key.

 

> I use windows 7 because I am in a business environment and that is what they require.

 

If that company still uses "2001's best Operating System", it's time to update your resumé.   🙂

What will they "require" after April 2020, when Windows 7 sinks into the "sunset" ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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