Question How can I now install Windows 7 Enterprise (Now I have changed HDD) or Windows 10 without Licence warning?

Jan 27, 2021
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Hi all

I am a total newbie so if this topic has been answered before I apologise, although I can't see that this specific topic has been discussed.

So, my Pal has given me a nice Lenovo ThinkPad Laptop that his work were going to throw to landfill because the mechanical HDD is dying. There is a whirring noise from the drive and it only boots up 1 in 10 times. After a lot of messing about I got it to boot from the USB into a piece of software called Lazesoft. Once in Lazesoft I wrote down the Windows 7 Enterprise Licence key of the machine. I have now changed the HDD for an SSD and the machine boots up well. I initially wanted to re-install windows 7 enterprise on the machine and then later upgrade from Win 7 to Win 10. However, I couldn't find a way to do this so I gambled on downloading the Windows 10 creation tool from Microsoft's site and then tried inputting this Win 7 Licence number into the newly installed Windows 10 but it wasn't accepted. The machine works well but the windows 10 Nagging message is still shown in the bottom right corner. So, I either want to re-install Win 7 enterprise, but I don't have the installation disk. Or I somehow want to install Windows 10 and do away with the Win 10 nagging message. The thing that confuses me is over the past couple of years I have upgraded a few other PC's from earlier Windows operating systems and there has been no Windows 10 nagging message.
Any help guys? It's such a shame that this machine is deemed waste when I have now fixed the hardware side of things.
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
The only legal way to activate Windows 10 is with a valid product key. You can purchase such a key from a legitimate source and use it. Then the problem will go away.

Or, you can continue to operate Windows 10, indefinitely, not activated.

Another option is to use a Linux distro on this older rig.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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That Win 7 Enterprise license almost certainly belongs to that company.
Just having the license key is not enough.

You just got a free laptop. Invest $100 in a valid Win 10 license, and enjoy your $100 Lenovo.
 
Jan 27, 2021
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Thanks a lot guys. I appreciate your advice. What I can't get my head round is how i have managed previously to upgrade various older operating systems on various other machines to Windows 10.

As another option please can you tell me if I can do this... I have an old Dell Tower PC that I bought many years back (by coincidence that WAS windows 7 too). It has an OEM Windows 7 licence when I got it from DELL. Somehow, some years back I got a free upgrade for this tower to Windows 10. Well, that tower is stood in the corner of the loft rotting away (as you can see I hate landfill etc). Of course, it has a valid Windows licence on it (albeit upgraded from windows 7). Is there any way I could utilise this licence?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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MS has allowed upgrades from valid Win 7/8.1 license to 10. There was an "official" period for this, which ran out several years ago. But it still works in 2021.

This was the likely case with your previous Dell systems.

For your desktop that is just sitting around? Quite possibly you can transfer that Win 10 license to new hardware.
You need to verify that the digital license for that is linked to a Microsoft account.

Read here:
For the OS activation, read and do this before you change any parts:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change

If it IS linked to your MS account, you can later tell that account to apply that license to the NEW laptop. after you install WIn 10 on it.
 
Jan 27, 2021
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Great advice that! I am certain that the Old DELL tower is not linked to my own Microsoft account because when we got this DELL many years ago it came pre installed with OEM Win 7 on it and I don't ever remember inputting my details to upgrade it to windows 10.
Thank you.
 
Jan 27, 2021
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OK... Update, the old Dell line is dead because after speaking to another guy at work he told me "Yeah. I actually cloned that Dell Tower drive to the PC that you are using in work now so technically that licence is in use. So, like a windows game of Snakes and Ladders, I just fell back down again. So, I tried something else (in hope to get back up a ladder)...
Because I know this laptop is straight up I thought I would ring Microsoft and here is our conversation:

Agent: That Licence Key is just a general Windows 7 Licence Key. It's not an actual Licence. Call it a test key.
Me: Oh right. So, is that a counterfeit Licence? an Illegal licence?
Agent: Not as such. It's just not a valid installation key and because Windows & is now a Legacy operating system your only option is to buy Windows 7 from a reseller.

So, here's where I am up to now folks.

What would you do next? I don't really want to spend the full amount on a new copy of Win10. Is there any other ways? Buy windows 7 or 8 and try to upgrade to Win 10?

Thanks in advance.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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What would you do next? I don't really want to spend the full amount on a new copy of Win10. Is there any other ways? Buy windows 7 or 8 and try to upgrade to Win 10?
A 7 or 8 license is no cheaper than a Win 10 license.

So, my Pal has given me a nice Lenovo ThinkPad Laptop
You got free hardware. Buy a valid Win 10 license, you have a $100 laptop.
Or, just install it and leave it Unactivated. Until such time as you want to purchase a valid Win 10 license.
 
Reactions: Frank Sebem
Jan 27, 2021
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That's like saying, I really want a new 2021 Chevy Camaro, but I don't want to pay full price. Is there any other way to get one? A Windows 10 license costs what it costs. Either pay for it or put up with the activation watermark.

-Wolf sends
Yes, I understand that. The only reason I asked is because I’m sure there are other ways. When I bought my new Audi Q7 I decided to buy an ex demo model. That saved me a few quid. When we bought our Oak kitchen table we got a discount because 1 leg had small damage on it. Now..I hope you guys don’t ridicule me here because I’m asking a genuine question.. Why have I seen copies of Win 10 on a reputable site like Amazon? Surely, if these are fake/unreal/counterfeit I would just return it for a refund?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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A Win 10 license is around $100 USD.
Much cheaper than that, it is bogus/counterfeit/illicit/otherwise NotValid.

Unlike a kitchen counter with a small chip in it, there isn't a discount level for a software license.
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Yes, I understand that. The only reason I asked is because I’m sure there are other ways. When I bought my new Audi Q7 I decided to buy an ex demo model. That saved me a few quid. When we bought our Oak kitchen table we got a discount because 1 leg had small damage on it. Now..I hope you guys don’t ridicule me here because I’m asking a genuine question.. Why have I seen copies of Win 10 on a reputable site like Amazon? Surely, if these are fake/unreal/counterfeit I would just return it for a refund?
You are likely referring to what are considered "grey market" licenses, often sold for little. These are truly "buyer beware" and are not recommended for use.
 
Jan 27, 2021
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Yes I totally get what you guys are saying. I fully understand that Win10 is approx $100 and if it’s a lot cheaper then of course it’s not legit. I genuinely accept that but I was just genuinely curious how these items can be sold on Amazon & EBay because both Amazon & EBay offer comprehensive refunds for non genuine items etc. Surely buyers would keep returning the goods and even report the items as non genuine. ?
 
Jan 27, 2021
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For example...as I write there are many examples of Win 7 & Win 10 for sale very cheap on EBay & Amazon. So, supposing I’m silly enough to part with my hard earned cash and buy a piece of this software and I then discover it’s wrong/fake/no good/counterfeit etc. I just simply return it for a refund and report the item and the seller.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Yes I totally get what you guys are saying. I fully understand that Win10 is approx $100 and if it’s a lot cheaper then of course it’s not legit. I genuinely accept that but I was just genuinely curious how these items can be sold on Amazon & EBay because both Amazon & EBay offer comprehensive refunds for non genuine items etc. Surely buyers would keep returning the goods and even report the items as non genuine. ?
There's a lot of counterfeit stuff sold on Amazon.
That is dwarfed by the counterfeits on fleabay.

Additionally, they may be "valid", as in an actual working license. But where did that cheap license come from?
A lot of those are money laundering.

Obtain 100 valid (but stolen) credit card numbers.
How to turn that into cash?
Can't buy and sell physical goods....too much paper trail
Instead, buy otherwise valid software licenses, and sell them for pennies on the dollar.
 
Jan 27, 2021
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There's a lot of counterfeit stuff sold on Amazon.
That is dwarfed by the counterfeits on fleabay.

Additionally, they may be "valid", as in an actual working license. But where did that cheap license come from?
A lot of those are money laundering.

Obtain 100 valid (but stolen) credit card numbers.
How to turn that into cash?
Can't buy and sell physical goods....too much paper trail
Instead, buy otherwise valid software licenses, and sell them for pennies on the dollar.
Agghhhh. Now it makes sense. Criminal enterprises. Thanks for claryifying.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Additionally, licenses that are "Not for resale".

Some years ago, Microsoft had the TechNet program. A yearly subscription, giving you dozens of licenses for a small development house to use, in house.
Dev, testing, deployment testing, etc.
I had such a sub. I believe it was $300 initially, and then maybe $200/year after that.

But, it gave you 20 licenses of Win 7 Pro (actually, 2 license keys, 10 activations each)
20 licenses of Win 7 Home
20 licenses of Win 8 Pro
etc, etc.

Sell those 100 licenses for $50 each (half price, right?)...and turn $300 into $5,000.
They were specifically Not For Resale.
And MS would know. When the same license gets activated in Boston, Bulgaria, Brazil, and Barcelona....something is up.
 
Jan 27, 2021
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Yes. I’m getting all this now. Makes complete sense how these so called genuine licences turn up now.
Thanks all. A great insight into how the unscrupulous out there get round the rules.
 

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