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2 Product Keys for one copy of Win7?


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#1 Richardf77

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 08:15 AM

I have been asked by a family member to 'reset' their ASUS windows 7 laptop (2011 vintage) by reinstalling the OS. The copy of windows on the machine has become corrupted, making the machine difficult to use.

 

I decided the best way was to backup user data and do a clean reinstall using a new copy downloaded from Microsoft. That way i could also get rid of all the ASUS bloatware and just have windows and its components. So far so good. My problems started when i went to download the file from Microsoft. I had to enter the product key before i could download it. I was running a backup at the time so didnt want to turn off to see the key on the back of the machine. I downloaded Belarc Advisor free to obtain the windows product key. Fine. Key copied into webpage. Microsoft said the key was invalid! No explanation just wouldnt accept it. Tried typing it again, copied and pasted the key from the Belarc results page, still no good. I even downloaded Magic Jellybean to get a 'second opinion'. Still the key would not work. The operating system has not been changed or upgraded save for regular updates so as far as i was concerned the key was right.

 

once the backup was finally finished  i was able to shut down and turn the laptop over to see the label on the back. There i found a completely DIFFERENT product key from the one i had previously obtained!! Hopefully problem solved (havent dared try it yet). What baffles me is why should i have 2 keys for the same machine/copy of windows. Has it been changed at some point and if so how? Do certain windows updates change windows so much it needsa new key. Or has both Belarc and Magic Jellybean somehow got it wrong? Could understand one getting it wrong but 2 specialist softwares?

 

Can anyone shed any light on this? Has anyone experienced the same thing?



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#2 dc3

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 09:45 AM

There is a product key and a product ID.

 

Computer manufacturers (OEM) install a Windows 7 image using a special product key (product ID) that is tied to the motherboard's BIOS. The Certificate of Authenticity (COA) product key is found on the sticker affixed to your computer.  This certifies that the Windows 7 operating system installed is a legal version. 


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#3 Richardf77

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 04:16 PM

I am aware of the product ID. It is not what I am talking about. There seem to be 2 Product Keys associated with the laptop and it's installation of windows. One on the official label on the back and the second that appears to be in the Bios as identified by the Key search applications I have installed. I am sure the key on the label will be accepted by Microsoft, I am just wondering where the second key has come from.

Out of interest I ran the same search software on another w7 machine and the key codes it found appeared very similar to what it found for the laptop in question. Under the circumstances I suspect that the key on the certification label on this other machine might turn out to be different as well.

All very odd




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