[SOLVED] Windows 7 Product Key not working after new build

Jun 5, 2020
I just tried to build a new gaming machine, and discovered that, in all likelihood, the CPU I've had sitting in a box for years was no good anymore, so I had to put everything back in the old Dell I'd been using to tide me over until I can confirm that and get a new processor. However the stress of pulling components in and out of that old box has caused the motherboard to start faulting, I believe, and I started having enough trouble that I decided to switch to another old machine lying around for the time being. Did so, and of course with the new hardware my copy of Windows 7 needed to be reactivated. Only I got this error message instead, "Type a different product key for activation, the product key you typed cannot be used to activate Windows on this computer". Its the same copy of Windows I've been using forever, I bought the install disk years ago, its sitting right here on the desk in front of me. When I finally got Microsoft support on the phone, he had me try a command in the run dialog box, SLUI 4 and hit enter, he said. I didn't see any change. I still get the same error box. He said I needed to call a local technician because they don't support Windows 7 anymore. Current machine is a Dell Precision 390, stock outta the box pretty much. Any suggestions?


Mar 16, 2013
If you purchased a Win 7 OEM license (that is usual), that was linked to that original motherboard.
If, instead, you purchased a Win 7 Retail (a little more $$), then it might be usable on a new motherboard.

However...there is no magic trick. If it does not activate, and MS can't/won't help...you're out of luck.