Post by (PeteCresswell)
I finally bit the bullet and bought another copy of 7 - presumably a
legit copy since it was from NewEgg.
Am I going to be able to simply "Install" this on to the problem PC
The Win7 installer should be one of the ones that doesn't
need the license key entered, to do the install. That means
you can attempt an installation, at "no cost" in terms of
the new license key. (You enter the license key when you're
convinced the installation process, gave you a working result.)
OS License key
WinXP SP2 Must enter a valid one
WinXP SP3 Can leave key entry blank, 30 days grace, license/activate later
Vista Can leave key entry blank, 30 days grace, license/activate later
Win7 Can leave key entry blank, 30 days grace, license/activate later
Win8 Microsoft-issued install-only keys available, to bypass key entry
Win10 Varies. Right now, "Can leave key entry blank..." seems to work.
Some early versions were "Must enter a valid one",
which is why it gets confusing.
Win7 can be installed at least two ways:
1) Boot the install DVD. Do a "Clean install" blowing
away original content. Unlike WinXP, there's no "Repair"
from the booted DVD.
2) From a running OS of suitable nature, insert the DVD and
execute "Setup.exe" off the Win7 installer DVD. This will
start a "Repair Install", preserving the previous set of
installed programs, maybe keeping the home directory and so
on. You would want to match the characteristics when doing
so (and your purchased disc is Win7 Pro SP1 x64 just like
the non-genuine Win7 Pro SP1 x64 already on the hard drive).
Doing (2) is only a problem, if the "Not Genuine" determination
blocks the desktop from appearing.
WinXP was better, in that a "Repair Install" could be done
by booting the install CD. Win7 is one of the OSes where
you need a "healthy" running OS to execute the Setup.exe
off the installer DVD. Which isn't nearly as generous
or sensible when a "Repair" is needed. Most times the OS
will be busted, just when the user could use a "Repair".
You should be able to do (2) without entering a license key.
If the outcome was bad, no harm done.
However, it remains to be seen whether you can get to
the desktop or not. With a "Not Genuine", you could end
up in a loop at startup. I've had OSes in VMs that kept
looping back to the start again, because they had
exceeded the grace period. An Enterprise install is
a bit more forgiving.
And I don't know if there is a way to bodge-in the new
license key you got, into the current install on the C: drive.
(To make it "genuine" again long enough, to finish a