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lynster.e
1 Copper

Windows-7 Ultimate 64bit activation after replacing motherboard

I've been fighting this problem for months. Around 2008-2009, I purchased a refurb'd Studio 1735 laptop directly from Dell. It came with Vista Home Premium OEMAct factory installed. There was some special deal at the time that included a Windows 7 upgrade. When I received the product, it came with the Vista DVD AND a Dell OEM DVD for Windows-7 Ultimate x64 (not an upgrade DVD, but the whole package). Cool!! I turned on the laptop, brought it up, tested it out to verify everything worked, shut it down, and rebooted the Win-7 DVD and installed it. No activation problems, self-activated. Voila... very great laptop. Been very pleased with its performance. Time passes....

In early 2015, the Motherboard died. Bummer. Hmmm.... Dell seems to want a lot of money for a replacement. Ended up buying the IDENTICAL model laptop from eBay for half the price of a motherboard from Dell. It had a bad LCD, but all else was good and a lot of spare parts to boot. Repaired my Laptop, brought the system up... and 3 days later got a message that I need to Activate Windows. WHAT!! After some research, it seems that Microsoft deems that replacement of your motherboard is considered installing Windows on another PC, which of course, is RIDICULOUS!!! The unit that I bought from eBay also had Vista Home Premium OEMAct factory installed. Still has the OEM Product Key sticker on the empty case. (my original system does as well)

I went the route of calling Microsoft which was, and always seems to be, an exercise in futility. They basically told me that since this was an OEM product, I needed to contact the OEM (that's YOU, Dell) for help. But the "agent" did offer to sell me a key for $99... my, how helpful. I hung up and installed Linux Mint the next day. (from which I write this post)

It seems that Dell and Microsoft love placing you between a rock and a hard spot.

I would still like to go back to Windows. Linux has a lot of nice stuff and I'm learning something new, but I find there are things I could do with Windows... that I just can't do in Linux.

So, Dell, can someone there step up to the plate and help me activate my Windows-7 product?

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8 Replies
Philip_Yip
6 Indium

RE: Windows-7 Ultimate 64bit activation after replacing motherboard

The latest Dell BIOS for the Studio 1735 is A05:

http://downloads.dell.com/bios/1735_A05.EXE

This was released in December 2008 which is about a year before the release of Windows 7. The Studio 1735 therefore does not have OEM SLP 2.1 and will not automatically activate with a Dlel Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD.

OEM SLP Tables

More details here:

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/the-activation-backup-and-recovery-program-windows-vista-7...

I advise following the steps in this workaround to use the Windows 10130 Insider preview to get Windows 10 Pro:

http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/windows-xpvista-%e2%86%92-windows-10-free-upgrade/

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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lynster.e
1 Copper

RE: Windows-7 Ultimate 64bit activation after replacing motherboard

Hello Philip,

I truly appreciate your replying to my post. However, I think you need to thoroughly re-read my post.

Find the spot where I wrote that it came with Windows Vista factory installed? Find the spot where I wrote that I used the Windows-7 DVD that was INCLUDED and installed Windows-7. Find the spot where I wrote it activated with no problem? You see where I wrote that I've been using Windows-7 for several years? Then, I had to replace the motherboard and it's been downhill from there. Why did it activate the first time? I do have A05 for the bios, but again, if it doesn't support "SLP-2.1", then why did it work the first time?? Believe me... it's a mystery to me!! If you wish, I can take a picture of the DVD and send it to you. I also have a picture of the Original COA on the bottom of the case. Not sure what good either one will do.

All I need is a Windows-7 Ult x64 Product Key... that's all I'm asking. Is it at all possible to get one? Can I purchase one from Dell? MS won't help. Since it's an OEM product, they'll immediately send you back to the Vendor, i.e.... Dell.

I'll look over the suggestions you made, but I'd really like to get back to the system I had before the motherboard failed.

I appreciate your time sir...

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Philip_Yip
6 Indium

RE: Windows-7 Ultimate 64bit activation after replacing motherboard

I did read through your post and that's the point I'm making it has a late 12/2008 BIOS and Windows 7 which came out in 09/2009 shouldn't have automatically activated on the system.

If you got a Windows 7 Upgrade DVD it should of came with your 25 digit product key.

Regarding getting support from Dell the system is out of warranty and long out of warranty and they don't have the capability to give you a new product key as its a Retail Upgrade license and not an OEM license.

Windows 7 itself has reached end of retail sales so its also hard to purchase a new Windows 7 key.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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beamermt79
4 Ruthenium

RE: Windows-7 Ultimate 64bit activation after replacing motherboard

Hello!  What happened when you tried to activate windows?  Did it give you an error stating you should input a new key as the 'old' key was already in use?  If so, there should be an automated 800 number you can call and what you would do is use the keypad to input the series of numbers they give you, then they will ask how many computers this copy of windows 7 is installed on, say one as its only one, and then they will give you a series of numbers to input into the boxes etc and it should activate. 

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lynster.e
1 Copper

RE: Windows-7 Ultimate 64bit activation after replacing motherboard

Once again, Philip, you failed to thoroughly read my original post.

Please note the phrase: "Dell OEM DVD for Windows-7 Ultimate x64 (not an upgrade DVD, but the whole package)"

Therefore, since this was NOT an upgrade DVD, it did NOT come with a 25-digit product key.

Despite what BIOS is on the system (it is A05), it DID automatically activate after installing Windows-7... in 2009. At this time, after replacing the M/B AND ensuring the BIOS is the latest, it will not activate.

However, it looks like I may as well give up and buy a retail copy of Windows-7 (IF I can find it), or, stick with Linux.

And it sounds like you're saying if the system is out of warranty, if you develop an O/S issue, you're basically "screwed". Oh Well, I'm sure that MS is used to doing that.

Again, appreciate your efforts.

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lynster.e
1 Copper

RE: Windows-7 Ultimate 64bit activation after replacing motherboard

I've been so frustrated about this as I've tried so many times, that I don't recall the exact sequence, just the results. I will have to attempt it again and keep your suggestion in mind. One thing I do recall... vividly... is their agent telling me that since this is Dell product, that I must get a resolution from Dell. But as you can see, I'm going no-where fast will Dell either.

Thanks for your response!

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Philip_Yip
6 Indium

RE: Windows-7 Ultimate 64bit activation after replacing motherboard

I read your post and as I clearly stated that model's BIOS is too early to support Windows 7 OEM SLP activation. The Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD should not have activated on it.

As mentioned the 10130 upgrade path is the best thing you can do short of buying a new Windows 10 license.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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beamermt79
4 Ruthenium

RE: Windows-7 Ultimate 64bit activation after replacing motherboard

Microsoft won't help you because its an OEM copy of windows, meaning all the support gets dumped on Dell or another OEM to provide.  As such, since you are out of warranty they will not do anything :-(.  See if the phone number option will work for you and go from there.  There should be a box that gives you a number to call and then the automated system should help. 

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