• Getting ‘not genuine Windows’ after replacing HDD

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    I’m not sure if this belongs here or in the ‘Win7 beyond End-of-life’ sub-forum. I’m putting it here since this one has more current traffic. Please move if it doesn’t belong here. Thanks!

    About a month ago I replaced the HDD in our aging, soon to be replaced, Win7 desktop with a new HDD and restored a recent Macrium Reflect image to it. All appeared well until a couple of days ago when the dreaded ‘This computer is not running genuine Windows’ window popped up and has been doing so at regular intervals since.

    When I go to Start > Computer > Properties and scroll to the activation section at the bottom it shows ‘Windows is activated’ and what looks like a generic -OEM- product ID that ends in 0006. All is well until the next time the ‘not running genuine Windows’ window pops up.

    I’ve researched and tried the usual activation solutions but none seem to work anymore.

    Trying online activation gets either ‘unable to connect’ or redirects to a page to ‘move to Windows 11’.

    Trying activation by phone leads to an automated process that sends me to ‘open the Windows activation page’. Typing ‘Windows activation’ into the Start button search box brings up an empty drop down window with a prompt to ‘Select a location closest to you’ but nothing to select.

    While researching I found this, dated November 15, 2023:

    Microsoft confirms problems with Windows activation after blocking old keys


    . . . which implies the possibility that in their effort to block further free upgrade activations from Win7 to Win10 and Win11 Microsoft inadvertently blocked activations of Windows 7 itself.

    So, I know what the short answer is to resolve my situation but we aren’t able to do that just yet. We really would like to keep this Win7 desktop running normally for another couple of months.

    I’m wondering if it was my replacing the old HDD with the new one that triggered this problem or if we are among others who have been hit with having genuine Product IDs blocked or if this is Microsoft’s move to start blocking ANY attempts to activate Windows 7 going forward . . .

    Is anyone else who is still running Windows 7 experiencing similar issues to what I described above?

    • This topic was modified 3 months ago by opti1. Reason: clarity
    Viewing 3 reply threads
    • #2606662

      Hi, this may not help, but I have a laptop with W7 installed before the MS shutdown, but MS refused to recognize it and would not accept the Windows key*. Now, all of a sudden, there is no problem and Ms treats it as a normal W7 and certified installation. Go figure, as they say. Maybe MS will get round to treating you too as a real person.

      *entirely genuine – can show original case &c .

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2606686

        @adj19 – Thanks for responding. I’m happy for your outcome.

        I’m hoping for a resolution similar to yours. I have the COB genuine Product ID but nowhere to enter it. All my attempts to find a way to do that ask for the version of Windows I want to activate and when I say or select Windows 7 I get redirected to a ‘move to Windows 11 page.  🙁

    • #2606670

      For a temporary situation, this I consider a reputable source: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2009/08/how-to-use-windows-7-for-free-for-120-days-legally/

      I believe putting back in your old hard drive could fix the problem, but considering it is likely smaller, I would first attempt to contact Microsoft support directly and see what they suggest, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/home/contact

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2606689

        @Alano – Thanks for responding.

        I agree that putting the old HDD back in the desktop could fix the problem but I don’t want to do that. I replaced the old HDD because it was beginning to show signs it might be failing. 🙁

        I will look into the temporary solution you linked to and hope that our problem resolves itself as adj19’s did.


    • #2606831

      I haven’t run Windows 7 on my PCs for a while, so the following is from memory and is a bit vague …

      There is a portable 3rd party tool called “Advanced Tokens Manager” which can backup and restore the Windows activation data which is stored locally on a PC.

      You could temporarily put the old, properly activated disk in the PC, run “Advanced Tokens Manager” to backup the activation data, note where the backup is stored (from memory in the same folder as the portable executable, but check) and save a copy of it somewhere outside the disk e.g. a USB memory stick.

      Put the new disk in the PC, copy the saved activation data from the old disk to the place where the backup was put on the old disk (noted above), run “Advanced Tokens Manager” and restore the activation. From memory the restore process takes a while without much appearing to be happening, so be patient and let it finish.

      If the activation repeatedly fails you could restore from the backup each time.

      If it is online (re-)activation which is failing because of problems at the server end, is it possible to prevent this by blocking the activation process on your PC using your firewall so that activation signalling from the server does not get triggered and cannot mess things up?

      HTH. Garbo.


    • #2606854

      @Garbo – Thanks for your response.

      I appreciate your input. I will look into your suggestions while I let some time pass to see if Microsoft follows up and acts on their ‘investigation’ into this problem.


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