• NEED ADVICE: where to purchase genuine product key for Windows 7 Ultimate x64

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    #2468036

    Please forgive me if this question is covered elsewhere in this Forum.

    I finally decided to upgrade 2 x backup storage servers running Windows XP.

    I tried installing a new OEM copy of Windows 10 Pro x64, but the installer issued an error message:

    “This PC’s processor doesn’t support a critical feature (PrefetchW).”

    So, I reverted to an OEM copy of Windows 7 Ultimate x64 which I had already installed on another PC several years ago, which appears to be running OK, EXCEPT FOR Windows activation.

    I found this temporary solution on the Internet:

    in Command Prompt, Administrator Mode:

    SLMGR -rearm

    Reportedly, I can do that 3 times, for a total of 90 more days withOUT formal activation.

    QUESTIONS:

    Where can I purchase 2 x product keys to activate two genuine copies of Windows 7 Ultimate x64?

    (I wish to avoid any more trials-and-errors: been there/done that.)

    And, what is the easiest way to activate that copy with those 2 x product keys?

    (I have done this once already with Windows 7 Pro, purchased on eBay, but activation required a complex telephone call that required several long integer numbers.)

     

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    • #2468038

      p.s.  Label me a REFUSNIK, if you must.

      When I disassembled 2 x backup storage servers, I was amazed that so little dust had accumulated, and every component is still working AOK.

      I fully realize that the BIG IT companies would much prefer that I dump “obsolete” electronics in some land fill, but I REFUSE to do that (hence IMA BIG REFUSNIK).

      If these CPUs and motherboards will continue to function correctly with Windows 7 Ultimate x64, at most I will offer them to some non-profit that can also use a backup storage server.

      Meanwhile, these 2 x Windows 7 PCs will continue to function JUST FINE for me in that mode, without needing to load up lots of additional third-party software.

      At most, I intend to shop around for third-party device driver websites that are able to cure the missing device drivers in Device Manager (none critical, as far as I can tell).

      Thanks for your patience with my situation.

      BOTTOM LINE:  I regularly read Susan’s ongoing reports of excess, and ever expanding, Windows 10 and 11 complexities, and I frankly choose to spend my remaining days on other things.

       

    • #2468053

      “At most, I intend to shop around for third-party device driver websites that are able to cure the missing device drivers in Device Manager (none critical, as far as I can tell).”

      And that’s the worst thing you can do.  I find malware and “insertware” (for lack of a better term) on these sites on a regular basis.  You need to keep yourself on the vendor sites as much as possible.

      Your safest method for a Windows 7 is to find one in your archives.  There are some on Amazon but I don’t have any personal experience with it’s “legit-ness”

      Amazon.com : windows 7 oem

      Rebuilding and reinstalling a Windows 7 is a complex thing.  I personally find that how you can get Windows 10 updated quickly way easier.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2468059

      Many thanks for the very quick reply, Susan:

      Re: “you can get Windows 10 updated quickly way easier”

      I did try doing a fresh install of an OEM DVD disc of Windows 10 Pro x64, purchased from Newegg.

      However, the Windows 10 installer halted with the error:

      “This PC’s processor doesn’t support a critical feature (PrefetchW).”

      The CPU is ancient:  Intel Pentium 4, 90nm Prescott 3.8 GHz (aka “Press-Hot”).

       

      • #2468080

        Per the following Microsoft support document for Windows 10 21H2, the latest version of Windows 10, your processor isn’t supported at all. All of the Pentium processors that are supported ALL have four digit processor numbers, whereas all of the Prescott 90nm processors only have three digit processor numbers. Many of the Prescott Pentiums also don’t support a 64 bit instruction set. OK, here’s the link to the MS support page:

        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/minimum/supported/windows-10-21h2-supported-intel-processors

        I also took a look at the same page for the first version of Windows 10 (1507), and its list of supported Pentium processors was much shorter than the one on the page linked to above.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2468062

      ref ‘missing device drivers’:
      What’s the make/ model of the system/s in question?
      Have you tried archive OEM driver sections via ftp?
      In my experience, these usually come up trumps for not only laptops 😉

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2468089

        Thanks for the reminder.

        Earlier today I checked http://www.asus.com BUT there are no chipset drivers to download for Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on that ASUS P5ND2-SLI motherboard (old NVIDIA chipset).

        The best news is that my trusty ol’ Highpoint RocketRAID 2720SGL  works fine in that older PCI-Express motherboard.

        With 2 x SFF-8087 fan-out cables, it handles 8 x 6G HDDs and SSDs with no difficulties, but upstream bandwidth is roughly one-half of the bandwidth available with a PCIe 2.0 chipset.  Those cables sold by StarTech always work perfectly for our needs.

        With HDD prices now so low, that add-in controller works very nicely with my favorite HDD:  the Western Digital 2TB “Black” SATA HDD.  They’re so cheap now, I scoop up at least one every month, to keep on stand-by in spare parts.

        That HDD also detects the host data rate automatically, so it will also work with slower SATA ports e.g. 1.5G (SATA-I) and 3.0G (SATA-II).

        https://www.newegg.com/black-wd2003fzex-2tb/p/N82E16822236624?Item=N82E16822236624

    • #2468072

      The motherboard is an ASUS model P5ND2-SLI  (NVIDIA chipset).

      CPU is Intel Pentium 4, 90 nm, Prescott 3.8 GHz (aka “Press-Hot”) w/ hyper-threading.

      Memory is 2 x 2GB Corsair PC2-8500 at default speed of DDR2-800 (PC2-6400).

      Video card is an aging ATI Radeon x16 PCIe (can’t remember model number, X1300?).

      OS drive is a brand new Western Digital 1TB blue 2.5″ SSD.

      OS partition is formatted as first 100GB NTFS partition, remainder is E: data partition.

      I forgot about checking at the ASUS website:  the missing chipset drivers may still be archived there for Windows 7 Ultimate x64.

      Because this PC is only being deployed as a backup storage server, a few missing chipset drivers are no big deal, as long as they don’t interfere.

       

      MANY THANKS for the reminder.

       

      p.s.  This morning, I also succeeded in installing a retail copy of AVG Internet Security 2022, which appears to be running AOK.  $25 at Newegg for a 3 PC / 2 year license

      Only problem with AVG was high CPU usage at default settings, fixed by limiting scan scope to C: and E: (scans of all other drive letters were DISABLED).

      We’re up and running again, now with Windows 7 Ultimate x64 installed with activation grace period extended to 30 days — in elevated Command Prompt:  SLMGR -rearm

       

      • #2468078

        Here’s a link to the AMD page for the drivers for the graphics card you say you have

        …Video card is an aging ATI Radeon x16 PCIe (can’t remember model number, X1300?). …

        https://www.amd.com/en/support/graphics/legacy-graphics/ati-radeon-x-series/ati-radeon-x1xxx-series

        Although the page doesn’t offer drivers specific to Windows 7, it does offer drivers for Windows Vista in both 32 and 64 bit flavors. You’ll probably be better off choosing the selection labeled in bold “WDM Integrated Driver”.

        When I ran Windows 7, I recalled seeing reports that older hardware would work fine on Windows 7 while using drivers for Windows Vista. Many folks have claimed that Windows 7 was actually Windows Vista Service Pack 3, IIRC.

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Bob99. Reason: cleaned up unwanted HTML code
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2468090

          Re:  “Windows 7 was actually Windows Vista Service Pack 3, IIRC.”

          The story I heard from a knowledgeable IT professional was that VISTA driver R&D was severely interrupted by a massive malware infection that targeted XP worldwide.

          MS was forced to pull large numbers of in-house developers off VISTA to make all the changes that went into XP Service Pack 2.

          So, VISTA suffered terribly, and it showed.

          Once XP Service Pack 2 was released, MS released VISTA prematurely, and then in-house developers switched back to working on Windows 7.

          I might be wrong about some of the details, but that was the story I was told.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2468093

          Some text is still slightly fuzzy with the default video driver; but, being a backup storage server, it’s simpler just to leave at default.

          I’ve got a few spare PCIe video cards that are newer e.g. NVIDIA Quadro K600 that came with a refurbished HP workstation, and a retail PNY GeFORCE GT 730.  I can always try them later, after things stabilize.

          Over many years, I’ve learned that integrated video is quite satisfactory for my needs e.g. Intel 630 in our most recent HP Z240 tower workstation w/ Intel i7-7700 CPU.

          I’m getting really spoiled with a 4.0 GHz “boost” and twin WDC NVMe M.2 SSDs.

          The staff at PC Server and Parts are very capable with these HP workstations:

          https://pcserverandparts.com/

      • #2468653

        CPU is Intel Pentium 4, 90 nm, Prescott 3.8 GHz (aka “Press-Hot”) w/ hyper-threading.

        what kind or model is that Intel Pentium 4 CPU, SupremeLaW? there are at least two or more Prescott CPUs that are 3.8Ghz (ex. Pentium 4 670 and 672).

        Run a program like CPU-Z to determine the exact model number of that Intel Pentium 4 Prescott CPU on your Asus P5ND2-SLI motherboard. I use a “portable” zip version of CPU-Z to obtain the exact number of any Intel or AMD CPU on my PCs

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2468143

      You may be able to run then on Linux instead. Get a Linux USB and see if they boot.

      Try Arch, Debian or Fedora for a server (others are available).

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2468231

        That idea sounds very tempting!  BUT, then I would need to start at the very beginning of an entirely new learning curve.

        I also found 2 x PCI video cards in my spare parts, and there are empty PCI slots in this old motherboard.

        And, 2 x PCI Intel 1.0GbE NICs are installed, so I could always remove one of those to make room for a PCI video card.  The integrated NIC is only 100Gb/s .

        One PCI video card is still in the original retail box:

        PNY NVIDIA Quadro NVS 280 workstation graphics board

        The other is a PNY GeForce 8400GS PCI video card.

        I’d be more inclined to launch into the unknown by removing the existing PCIe video card, which will free that x16 PCIe slot for a second RAID controller.

        Years ago, I discovered how to host 2 x Highpoint RocketRAID 2720SGL controllers:  it requires DISABLING INT-13 in the bios of one card, while the other card is set to INT-13 ENABLED.

        (“INT-13” means Interrupt 13, which renders an AIC bootable.)

        Years ago Highpoint provided a Windows .exe to flash the bios on that card:  piece o’ cake.  During that task, there is an ON/OFF switch for INT-13.

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