Windows 10: Upgraded to W10, downgraded to W7 unconventionally, won't activate

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  1.    07 Feb 2016 #1

    Upgraded to W10, downgraded to W7 unconventionally, won't activate


    This is kinda a Windows 7 question, but I think Windows 10 might have changed my product key and now it's incompatible with 7 or something. Basically, I 'upgraded' W7 to W10 a while back and exceeded my W7 rollback date (wanted a clean install anyway) so I looked around and found this site which posted the old DigitalRiver W7 iso's. I downloaded my old version, installed it, and it won't activate. In trying to enter my product key it says "invalid character" when I type an N that is in the key (I checked to see what the key was in my W10 install using a program that reports it.) Note that I have both 7 and 10 installed on the same computer right now on separate partitions, in case that affects anything. Why won't it activate and how can I fix it? Am I boned?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    07 Feb 2016 #2

    You are entering your old Windows 7 product key, right?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    07 Feb 2016 #3

    It's OEM... I'm entering the key it tells me my Windows 10 install has active, because I upgraded from 7 to 10. I don't know if it is the same as my old Windows 7 key, but considering how it tells me there are invalid characters I'd doubt it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    07 Feb 2016 #4

    If your pc came with Windows 7 preinstalled, and you have never REINSTALLED windows 7, using COA key, then key extraction programs even as clever as showkeyplus cannot retrieve if it was never used.

    Run showkeyplus and post an image, blanking out all but last five letters of any key for security.

    COA keys are usually on a blue sticker on base of pc (or sometimes under battery if a laptop).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    07 Feb 2016 #5

    Ran it on my W10, showed this:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ss (2016-02-07 at 05.31.18).png 
Views:	47 
Size:	13.4 KB 
ID:	62892
    Then I thought to 'Retrieve key from backup" from W7's "Windows.old" folder I backed up a while back
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ss (2016-02-07 at 05.31.50).png 
Views:	47 
Size:	13.4 KB 
ID:	62893
    Out of curiosity, tried entering that product key for the W7 in my new W7 and it told me the key was default and wouldn't work.

    Also I think before I retrieved the backup key thing it had said "Windows 10 OEM marker present in firmware" instead of 7.

    I don't have the sticker. This is a custom PC. It was an extra bit of money and I didn't buy it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    07 Feb 2016 #6

    pugseason said: View Post
    I don't have the sticker. This is a custom PC. It was an extra bit of money and I didn't buy it.
    So it sounds like you had an illegal copy of Windows 7 before to save money. Guess if you want it now, you should actually pay for it.
    Last edited by NavyLCDR; 07 Feb 2016 at 13:30.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    07 Feb 2016 #7

    pugseason said: View Post
    Ran it on my W10, showed this:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ss (2016-02-07 at 05.31.18).png 
Views:	47 
Size:	13.4 KB 
ID:	62892
    Then I thought to 'Retrieve key from backup" from W7's "Windows.old" folder I backed up a while back
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ss (2016-02-07 at 05.31.50).png 
Views:	47 
Size:	13.4 KB 
ID:	62893
    Out of curiosity, tried entering that product key for the W7 in my new W7 and it told me the key was default and wouldn't work.

    Also I think before I retrieved the backup key thing it had said "Windows 10 OEM marker present in firmware" instead of 7.

    I don't have the sticker. This is a custom PC. It was an extra bit of money and I didn't buy it.
    I am puzzled - showkeyplus says it has an oem marker, and you extracted a default (oem-slp preinstalled) key, and yet pc was allegedy custom built which would use either a retail or system builder oem (not preinstalled) licence, which would show up as a unique key (and no oem marker).

    This suggests whover sold you the custom pc cannibalised a mass produced pc, but probably had no COA key to legitimately activate it. As NavyLCDR speculates, the licence was probably activated using illegal means.

    Time to splash the cash I think.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    07 Feb 2016 #8

    Are you kidding me... man, I didn't know it wasn't legitimate when I bought it. Windows licensing is complicated as hell. I don't know how any of this works. I thought it was legitimate but he just wasn't gonna give me the sticker or something... well wait, how does it work now though? if it's not legitimate then how come Windows activated it on my original W7 installation and it worked with my W10 upgrade? Can anyone explain to me like I'm 5?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    07 Feb 2016 #9

    Whatever illegal method the person who built your computer used to activate Windows 7 was good enough to fool Windows 10 into creating the file (genuineticket.xml) required to activate Windows 10. As you found out - whatever illegal activation method they used did not involve sending the product key to Microsoft for verification which is the legal way to do it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    07 Feb 2016 #10

    Do they still sell W7 Pro retail? I can't find one anywhere online... it's all OEM and there are very few listings anywhere of those even.. and a lot that are there are like 300-400 dollars 0.o
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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