Limit to how many times you can install Windows on same hardware??

Ghot

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Apparently, even retail copies of Windows have a limit on how many re-installs can be done, before you have to purchase Windows again.
This is according to Microsoft phone conversation.

I own a retail copy of Win 7 Home Premium (which I used to activate Win 10).
Back in October 2012, I had re-installed it 7-8 times until I felt I had "gotten it right".

I was asking Microsoft what would happen if I had to re-install Windows 10. He said, it depends on how many times you installed Windows 7.
He asked for my Windows 7 key and explained he could see how many activations are left.
He said I had one left, because according to his tool, records, w/e... I had already installed (and activated) Windows 7... eight times.

That was when I started to get upset and he hung up.

I was asking why I wasn't old about this, when I purchased Windows 7.

Needless to say... I'm pretty upset about this. I buy a full retail copy of an OS and can only re-install it so many times.... even on the SAME hardware.

@Brink
 
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Edwin

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I find that hard to believe! I've installed W7 hundreds of times, and even upgraded to W10 from there many times! (free, I might add!)
 

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iko22

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...

I was asking Microsoft what would happen if I had to re-install Windows 10. He said, it depends on how many times you installed Windows 7.
My understanding is if you are upgrading from earlier windows to windows 10, then the product key gets "consumed" by the upgrade. Meaning, you can now re-install windows 10 on same hardware, without needing the product key, and without needing to install windows 7 first.
 

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My understanding is if you are upgrading from earlier windows to windows 10, then the product key gets "consumed" by the upgrade. Meaning, you can now re-install windows 10 on same hardware, without needing the product key, and without needing to install windows 7 first.
Errrmmm..., dunno!
 

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Yep, I did this with an old Windows 8.1 machine. Once only. And it re-activated. Never heard of a re-activation limit once the product key is with the activation server.
 

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Ghot

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I find that hard to believe! I've installed W7 hundreds of times, and even upgraded to W10 from there many times! (free, I might add!)


I dunno. Maybe I misunderstood something. But he did clearly say... you have one more activation left... you've used up eight of them.
 

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I dunno. Maybe I misunderstood something. But he did clearly say... you have one more activation left... you've used up eight of them.
Hmmm, grey area! ;)
 

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Ghot

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Hmmm, grey area! ;)


And I just ran this, early this morning...


Image1.png




Image1.png





Maybe it's something to do with "encouraging" people to add a Microsoft Account?
 
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A Guy

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Ghot

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Starting with Windows 10 build 14371, you can link your Microsoft account to the Windows 10 digital license (formerly called digital entitlement) on your device. This can help you reactivate Windows using the Activation troubleshooter if you make a hardware change later, such as replacing the motherboard.


A guy


I am aware of that. However, the question is...

Since when is there a limit on how many times you can re-install Windows (using either method) on the same hardware?

I read the TOS for both Win 7 and Win 10, and I don't see any mention of that.
 

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The number of times Windows 7 retail can be installed on one machine at a time is unlimited

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Ghot

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The number of times Windows 7 retail can be installed on one machine at a time is unlimited

A Guy


Yeah... that's what I always thought.

Oct 12th 2012, built new comp with an FX 4170 and bought Win 7. Installed Win 7... 6-7 times, till I got it right. Same hardware.
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 motherboard.
Early 2013 switched to an FX 8350. Rest of comp the same. Same Win 7 install.
Ran Win 7 with no other installs till May 2020. New hardware (build) req'd Win 10.
ASUS ASUS Pro WS X570-ACE motherboard.
Used Win 7 retail key during "clean" install of Win 10. I think I re-installed Win 10 2-3 times, in May 2020.
Haven't re-installed Win 10 since. Did do an in-place upgrade from 1909 to 2004 in July 2020.
Been running same Win 10 install ever since.



On phone today with MS Activation guy...
He said: I can check how many activations you have left, gimme your Win 7 CD key.
So I did. He said, brb it'll take me a couple minutes to check.
He came back said I have one activation left. He said I had already used 8 activations.

I am activated. I was just calling to ask some questions, about activation for a TF topic someone posted.



Side Note: I do have an MS account for support chats. But I haven't hooked it to my Win 10 digital license. Post #8 pics.




I assume he used a "tool" to check how many "activations I have left".
That is the reason I made this topic.

I intend to call them back, in a few days, when I've calmed down. :)


The thing that most bothered me, was that I asked him what happens if THIS motherboard dies. He said then you have one activation left. So I asked what would happened if it died twice... he said then I'd have to buy Win 10.

I'm hoping there was just some kind of communication problem. ^^
 
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z3r010

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I can honestly say I haven't seen a single post regarding somebody running out of activations, and as I've read thousands of posts a day for the past 15 years I would think this isn't a real problem.
 

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I have 12 digital licenses currently though 4 of them are Virtual Machines.
As for xp , 7, 8 (only had 1 Vista machine) I reinstalled quite a few times with no problem.
So I have to agree with z3r010 on this.
 

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z3r010

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If this was actually a thing we would have all seen thousands of posts on it, if not experienced it ourselves.
 

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MS rep was probably just reading a script! :rolleyes:
 

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I was asking Microsoft what would happen if I had to re-install Windows 10. He said, it depends on how many times you installed Windows 7.
That would be true if you used the W7 key each time you reinstalled - but that is not required if you reinstall on the same machine.

Once you upgraded from W7 to W10 that PC got a digital licence for W10 linked to the hardware ID of the PC and stored on the activation servers. For a clean install you can skip entering a key when asked. It will install using the generic key and activate from the digital licence as soon as it can contact the activation servers - no limits on how often you can do this.

Moving the licence to another machine would be the only case where the activation count of the W7 key comes into play - and even there a call to MS should get you phone activation once you convince them you have decommissioned the old machine.
 

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