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Windows Product Key: Belarc Advisor and sticker says another

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by toronto, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. toronto

    toronto Notebook Deity

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    XPS 15 with Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)

    Ran Belarc Advisor, which can discover the Windows Product Key. However, the product key reported by Belarc Advisor is different from the product key found on the Certificate of Authenticity sticker on the laptop bottom.

    What does this mis-match mean? Which one is correct, in case I ever need to clean install Windows?
     
  2. Tinderbox (UK)

    Tinderbox (UK) Sir Pumpkin Longshanks

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    It`s normal Belarc Advisor is just showing the pre-activated key which will be the same on all XPS15 notebooks , It because all hdd`s are copied from a master so they have the same key.

    The one on the bottom is your actual licence key, if you ever need to do a clean install.
     
  3. oneday

    oneday Notebook Guru

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    I am guessing, when they manufacture laptops, they won't install or configure Windows individually for each laptop, they just copy the same things to hard drives of the whole batch of laptops. In this case, they may have used a different way to activate them.

    The key on the sticker under the laptop should be used if you reinstall Windows by yourself.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong.
     
  4. toronto

    toronto Notebook Deity

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    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks guys!
     
  5. Tinderbox (UK)

    Tinderbox (UK) Sir Pumpkin Longshanks

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    If you ever want to do a clean install , you can use the pre-activated key , just use a program like ABR to backup the key, then install windows and use ABR to re-install the key, no activation required, and the key on the bottom of you laptop will not be touched if you ever want to sell it.

    Use the beta version for Windows 7

    ABR (Activation Backup and Restore) | directedge.us
     
  6. toronto

    toronto Notebook Deity

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    Hi:

    Would I need to use that ABR software? Couldn't I just type in the the pre-activated key during the install process when Windows asks for a key? I know the pre-activated key, since Belarc Advisor shows it
     
  7. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    There is more to it than the key itself, there are three components to authenticate an OEM install of 7 if i recall correctly. There is a certificate, the key and something else i forgot. Note that i haven't looked into that info in a while so i could be wrong, but i doubt just inputing the OEM's master key will work.

    Using the key on the bottom of your notebook will require you to call MS to have it activated.
     
  8. Tinderbox (UK)

    Tinderbox (UK) Sir Pumpkin Longshanks

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    I just use ABR, never tried the pre-activated key manually.

    John.
     
  9. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    Same here, i know ABR, Advanced Token Manager as well as the key on the sticker work, but that's about it. ABR is ridiculously easy to use, so you might as well take advantage of it. It will less time than writing down the key.
     
  10. Tinderbox (UK)

    Tinderbox (UK) Sir Pumpkin Longshanks

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    Just make sure you use ABR Beta for Windows 7

    John.
     
  11. toronto

    toronto Notebook Deity

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    Thank you to both of you. That's most helpful!
    I've added to your rep score.
     
  12. toronto

    toronto Notebook Deity

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    I used ABR (Activation Backup & Restore) to save my current cert and OEM key. ABR's instructions for activating after clean install are:

    3. Reinstall Windows
    4. Run "activation_restore.exe"


    At what point do I run "activation_restore.exe"? Do I do it immediately after reinstalling Windows (the very next step), or is it after installing all my hardware drivers?
    Do I reboot after installing Windows? I thought on first boot that Windows prompts the user to type in a product key?
    I'm just uncertain on the correct sequence.
     
  13. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    Both will work, but i would reactivate windows right after installing.
     
  14. toronto

    toronto Notebook Deity

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    So, Windows will boot up and run for a certain amount of time before failing due to lack of product key entry/activation?

    Is the sequence this?:

    Clean install Windows.
    Boot Windows.
    Run "activation_restore.exe".
    Install drivers.
     
  15. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    This is the sequence i usually use, you have 30 days to activate 7 from the time of installation, hence why you can activate later on.
     
  16. toronto

    toronto Notebook Deity

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    Ah, I see, I didn't know about the 30 days.
    So you follow the sequence I described, running ABR first and subsequently installing drivers? I'll do the same.

    Thanks!
     
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