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Windows 10 repair nightmare...

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Jan 19, 2004
I recently replaced my motherboard in my main gaming rig. It had Windows 7 for years, installed from an OEM disk I bought alongside all of the other equipment. I taped the key to the case, just so if something came up, I'd have it.

Within 2 months of release, I upgraded to 10 for free. Several months later, I did the repair, and now Windows shows as not activated. I couldn't activate it, so I contacted support. Support informed me that my options were thus:

1. Find a Windows 7 disc from a friend who also has an OEM version, wipe my OS drive, use my key to install their Win7, then go through the upgrade process again

2. Demand mWave send me a retail disc and license for free, because they shouldn't be selling the OEM version for new builds, then do all of the above once I magically make them send me $100 software that is out of production because I'm special

3. Buy Windows 10.

Short of going to CodeStock next week and cornering Scott Hanselman to demand my key get fixed, there's got to be a way around this that isn't just "crack it". I'm trying to be the upstanding citizen here. Has anyone else had this same problem? (OEM license showing invalid after upgrade to 10 and a hardware change)? If so, how did you finally resolve it?


New Member
Dec 4, 2011
Satan's Colon, US
If you changed a certain number of parts after installing the OEM Windows 7 it (M$) will decide you have a new computer. The OEM license is tied to the original rig and isn't transferable. Before a million people jump in with "But I...." yes, I know, sometimes it happens. And sometimes it doesn't. Windows 7 OEM checks several parameters (mobo, HDD, CPU, etc.) and M$' activation depends on their determination as to what constitutes the original parts. I would either go with option #1 or if I had the pre upgrade parts throw them together for the install, then go back to the upgraded configuration after you get W 7 installed and happy.

Having said all that (my disclaimer)

I resolved the same issue by calling them and explaining my original CPU died and the replacement wouldn't work on my mobo so I had to buy a mobo and CPU, which necessitated DDR 3 instead of DDR 2, and damnit I spent enough now I can't afford another copy of my OS and on and on. It worked for me. :)


Jul 4, 2016
I was playing fast and loose with my Windows7/Windows 10 Upgrade for quite a while.

I think I had the original 7 into a few laptops as well as the 10 upgrade churning along in my desktop.

Then my desktop died, I transferred the SSD to a laptop while I put together an upgrade, I even registered it to the laptop.

Welp, for MS it seems that was the last straw, after an hour plus of the upgrade sob story they refused to budge.

The days of fast loose fun with Win7/10 keys is gone I'm afraid :(

I ended up going to MyChoiceSoftware.com and getting a Win10 Pro key that worked a treat for under 100$ USD

(99$ and they gave me an extra 5$ back for giving them a 5 star rating, I'm not immune to bribery)