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Dell and Windows 7 product key

    Question

  • I am trying to properly document all of our Windows 7 licenses.  When I audit Dell desktops/laptops that were ordered with Windows 7 Pro installed, they all report the same product key.  This key does not match the Windows sticker on the device.  Is it standard practice to change the product key to match the sticker when the PC arrives on site? 

    Also, when I searched for how to change the product key I came upon this page but do not have the Change Product Key option where this article says that I should.  Anyone know why?

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/help/genuine/product-key

    Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:53 PM

Answers

  • Hello,

    No you are not expected to change it.  

    The OEM ( Dell in your case) uses the same key ( may be different between machine models, may not) on all the machines, which is tied to information in the BIOS of those machine to meet the activation requirement.

    The key on the side of the machine does not need to be used unless there is an issue with the OEM activation process( the bios loses the signature, the key inside the OS is accidently removed or corrupted).  The key on the side requires the machine to be activated via the Microsoft Activation servers.


    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. VAMT - Volume Activation Management Tool - Download link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en
    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Monday, August 22, 2011 2:28 AM
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Tuesday, September 06, 2011 6:08 AM
    Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:24 PM

All replies

  • You likely have a volume license if these systems were all ordered together. In this case, the code would be the same but it allows for multiple activations
    Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:57 PM
  • The product key is Dell's internal Windows 7 key. If fact if you use the recovery partition to reinstall Windows the key will not change.

    The key on the bottom of each laptop (or battery case) will be different and is only needed if you reinstall Windows using a Dell "Recovery DVD".

    Why would I ever need to use the stickered product key if the recovery parition will install and automatically activate Windows? Answer: Hard drive failure, resulting in replacing the drive and now you need to use a "Recovery DVD" and activate using the product key on the sticker.

    Suggest you document each of the 'Sticker" keys as they have a bad habbit of the letters and numbers wearing off the sticker. 

     

    J W Stuart: http://www.pagestart.com


    Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.
    Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:44 PM
  • I would have thought the same, except that some of these were ordered nearly a year apart. And also to restate, the key on the Windows 7 sticker does not match the key of the installation.  I'm thinking Dell always uses the same key and then we're expected to change it but I don't recall ever seeing any documentation to that affect.
    Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:48 PM
  • if you do want to change your product key

     

    run command prompt as admin.

    1. In the CMD window, type: slmgr.vbs -ipk <type your product key here> (without the <>)
    2. To activate windows after changing the key, type: slmgr.vbs -ato

    But i wouldn't suggest it, we have machines here from dell and they all have the same product key as well. You can tell cause in the product key it will have OEM in there, which is what dell uses for the preactivated keys

    Thursday, August 18, 2011 6:23 PM
  • Hello,

    No you are not expected to change it.  

    The OEM ( Dell in your case) uses the same key ( may be different between machine models, may not) on all the machines, which is tied to information in the BIOS of those machine to meet the activation requirement.

    The key on the side of the machine does not need to be used unless there is an issue with the OEM activation process( the bios loses the signature, the key inside the OS is accidently removed or corrupted).  The key on the side requires the machine to be activated via the Microsoft Activation servers.


    Thanks, Darrell Gorter [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. VAMT - Volume Activation Management Tool - Download link http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ec7156d2-2864-49ee-bfcb-777b898ad582&displaylang=en
    • Proposed as answer by zhen tan Monday, August 22, 2011 2:28 AM
    • Marked as answer by Robinson Zhang Tuesday, September 06, 2011 6:08 AM
    Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:24 PM