Didn't know if this was the appropriate sub-forum.....apologies if not.
With all the new ransomware hitting users, I was curious as to if there were any limits on how many times MS would allow activation of software? (Those refusing to pay and opt to clean install?)
Here's the scenario for example: In 2009 purchased a Dell computer with Windows 7 Home Premium installed. There were a number of items included in the sale, the most pertinent being: An OS disc, drivers and utilities disc, drivers and documentation disc and a disc to install Microsoft's Works 9.
I've searched MS licensing, however did not come up with anything definitive.
Nominally, it should be unlimited as long as you are installing per the licensing terms associated with the type of Windows license you have.
If it is an OEM license that came with a manufactured computer (i.e. if the Windows 7 license came with the Dell), then it will be unlimited. And there is a good chance you may not even need to activate it, but I have not used a Dell that came with a Windows license in LONG time, so Microsoft may have "increased" the demands. From what I recall, my last Dell that came with Windows XP did not require activation even though Windows XP did have an activation system. That was because the Windows XP that shipped with that Dell was an OEM license that was effectively "tied" to that computer. You could not install Windows that came with computer on another computer that was not a Dell as the system would crash. I don't know if Dell can still take that approach with the newer activation systems (activation for Windows 7 is more sophisticated than what was with XP).
For a retail license, again it is technically unlimited I believe. And with a retail license, you can move that Windows license from computer to computer. The main issue might be if you try to do it rapidly, then the activation system might not be able to keep up and those not allow you to use the Internet activation. If so, then you can call in to activate it. Of course, you cannot install it on more than one computer at a time, so if you do try, I believe the activation system is smart enough now to detect that and not activate on the additional computer.
If it is a OEM system builder license (i.e. you bought an OEM license for a built computer or had someone build you a custom computer), then that license is tied to that one computer. You should be able to still do a Windows reinstall as many times as you need on that one computer, but again if done in rapid succession, then the Internet activation system may freak out, but again you can call in to activate. If you try to install it on another computer or change enough of the hardware, then activation will fail.