Seeking: Legit Retired Full Retail Windows 7 64-bit Product Key

Soniclight-2.0 wrote on 11/8/2019, 4:53 PM

@Nick Hope
and/or any other member here

First, I apologize for mentioning certain veteran members here, but I have been absent from this forum for quite some time (off and on over the last few years, but far more active in the years following when I joined in 2006 as "Soniclight" - 1450 comments, 257 forum posts) -- and thus am unfamiliar with newer members.  

But naturally anyone can respond to this OP.

A serious crisis in my medical condition in February of this year has in one sense has irrevocably altered my life.  One result being I have not been doing any video editing and may not for a a long time (I started with Vegas 6 and am still at 10e).  

I've also been forced to upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit from my beloved Windows 7 64-bit where everything worked.

I'm still using my old system that I built in 2011 running Win 7 on one SSD, and 7-upgraded-to-10 on the other. 

But once the mobo dies (could be tomorrow or months from now), I had upgraded since Windows 98, oblivious to the fact that only a retail version of Windows can be carried over to a new mobo or computer.

Ergo, my version of 7 is only upgrade, and thus I'll lose it completely once said mobo/cpu eventually dies out.

Limited disability income only or not, I managed to eek out enough money to build a stand-by, ready to go system for as well as I've cared for my 2011 build, it could go kaput any day.

The obvious question in a reader's mind can be...

"Why do you need Win 7 since you've already upgraded to 10?"

As stated earlier, everything works on Win 7 and I just don't have the money or inclination to have to now upgrade even Vegas or Steinberg Cubase (what I use for audio-music editing).  While both work on Win 10, the latter has already a dongle-licensing glitch that  fortunately doesn't stop me from using the program.  

But such and other problems are to be expected whenever one chooses or has to upgrade an OS.

I fully discussed this with Microsoft tech support and it is they who told me that if I got a legit, retired, full retail version (or just product key) of 7 64-bit, it would be legal and feasible to have Win7 run on my new hardware.

Only such a version can be activated. Besides, I have not and will never use crack or pirated software of any kind. I only have the Home Premium version, but they said any full retail Win7 would work for activation on new hardware.

Yah, I realize this request or wish is a long shot in the dark. But I might as well try.

Donation or at very sensible cost (under USD $30) would be appreciated.
I live in the greater Los Angeles area.

~ Philip


Chienworks wrote on 11/8/2019, 5:18 PM

I've been gone a long time too due to radical career changes.

Search ebay. There are quite a few folks offering OEM license keys with the holographic label quite cheaply. I recently picked up two Win 7 Home and a Win 7 Pro for $7 each. The price range i've seen sometimes goes as high as $100, but usually it's much lower. The seller sent me the key immediately and i received the envelope with the sticker on it in the mail a few days later. These are usually small system builders who received the license with a PC purchase from a manufacturer, but then installed Linux on the PC instead for a client, and therefore the license is unused. Microsoft's activation server accepted all three of them as legit.

Another thing to look into is a virtual machine solution. I've got Oracle's VirtualBox running on most of my PCs and have virtual machines running older versions of Windows side by side with the more current versions. I need to keep XP running for the graphic design package i still use. Very nifty, i can copy and paste from a program running in Win7 over to one running under XP and back seamlessly. They share the same drive space so can access each others files too. VirtualBox is free and has been a life saver. Probably one of the nicest features is that i can package up an entire virtual PC in a file, copy it over to another computer, and launch it as an exact clone of the original. This was really handy after a drive crash. It took maybe 5 minutes to copy the backed up virtual image over to the new drive and my familiar XP environment was there running, flawlessly, just the way it had been before the crash, absolutely everything intact and ready to go, no reinstallation necessary.

I'm actually seriously considering using the OS installed on the computers merely to run VirtualBox and nothing else at all, then put all the software i use entirely into virtual sessions. Yes, you can make a virtual Win7 Pro machine inside a Win7 Pro host, and then have it take over the hardware as if it was native, so it's seamless. But, the ability to recover from problems is so much easier and faster that it's just world's better. Imagine making a mistake with an installation, or having a bad piece of software ruin the streamlined functioning of your PC. Just shut down the virtual machine, copy over yesterday's backup file in 5 minutes, and launch it again. Waaaaay faster than Windows recovery, and far easier than any other backup scheme. And, if you save your data outside the virtual machine's partition in the host's drive partition, that data remains safe too even after the restore.

Soniclight-2.0 wrote on 11/8/2019, 5:49 PM

@Chienworks - Thanks for reply though I'm on my way out the door for errands so can't reply in full. But for now, OEM or Builder versions cannot be activated - MS changed their policies for that. VM... thought of that but there again it seems there still would be a need for MS to activate it since my OS would be connected to the Net (I may be wrong on that).

Last, eBay - the reason I came here is I trust people here, I don't want to buy something that ends up being a crack version or an OEM version.

Bottom line, I need to do this totally legit as describe even though I definitely have my qualms about MS's rules and policies - I started on Win 3.1 (learning at local community college) - you'd think they'd give me a break for being a long time customer, eh? The other reason is simply ethics on my part. I'm a tad compulsive in that area.

I even have a problem using ad-blocker on the Net. Go figure. :)

Musicvid wrote on 11/8/2019, 6:18 PM

Welcome back, Kelly!

Hope you drop by more often!

Chienworks wrote on 11/8/2019, 6:19 PM

Really? I activated an OEM Win7 license just a couple weeks ago.

vkmast wrote on 11/8/2019, 6:20 PM

+1 for @Musicvid's comment


ushere wrote on 11/8/2019, 8:09 PM

ah, the old fart crowd ;-) hope you're all well and doing fine....

you could try


but if that doesn't work for you, pm me and i'll dig out my old win 7 lc. have no use for it anymore...


Soniclight-2.0 wrote on 11/8/2019, 9:01 PM

OK, thanks for those of you who responded to my query, incl. @Chienworks.

Allow me to address the OEM issue and its limitation, (i.e. if my new mobo etc. would die out at some point) as I understand it via what I've read online, incl Microsoft. First, in super-short (each reply has own paragraph added at linked page):

Can You Move Windows 7 To A New Computer?

If it's a retail Full or Upgrade license - yes.

If it's an OEM license - no.​​​​​​​

== PS: Actually, the "Upgrade" response is now incorrect and dated for I've asked that question several times with MS tech phone support (Tier 1 and 2) as I was wading through install and other issues with my Win10 full retail. Only full retail version can be transferred to new hardware.

The Legal Issue

As to the nit-picky legality of using an OEM version, this one response from a Microsoft forum sums it up - stated by "A. User" at the page linked below:

"However, buying the OEM software and installing it on your own new (or old) PC, thereby saving a significant chunk of change in the process, according to Microsoft, is a violation of the terms of the OEM System Builder license agreement, which says, that you must install the software using the OEM Preinstallation Kit and then resell the PC to a third party. If you install that software on your own PC, you don't have a "genuine" copy of Windows.
Also, you should be aware of the following;

 - OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel.

- OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on.

- OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model MOBO.

- OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system.


I read some tech op-ed type piece somewhere where the author really slammed MS for such a restrictive policy with the OEM/Builder version for DIY types such as many of us. At first MS allowed more flexibility in all of this, then decided to rescind it.

This time around, I want to be able to transfer both Win7 and Win10 to new hardware when needed. I was ignorant of the upgrade-vs.-full-retail differences when I upgraded from XP to 7. Live and learn.

As to the VM approach, I have to look into it a bit more before considering or commenting on it here. I know the general parameters, just not all the pros and the cons.

Soniclight-2.0 wrote on 11/8/2019, 9:09 PM

@ushere - Thanks for links, though I has already seen those and they mainly deal with Win10 - I already have the full retail Home version on one SSD. That's the main one I'm using on my still-alive 2011 system (writing these post included), and I've tested it on my ready-to-go newer system and it works.

So for me the issue is being able to have a Win7 64-bit that not only could "travel" with me to the new system (hence my hesitation with OEM versions in my babbling post above), but in case that one dies out for some reason, I could transfer it to the next system. Hopefully that won't happen for some years - lol.

Hence your offer is much appreciated -- as long as you really, really, really have retired it. I don't want someone (in this case, you) to regret giving something away somewhere down the line and not being able to re-install it for it would technically and legally be mine once I activated it on my stand-by new hardware.

We can continue this discussion via PM if you so choose.

ushere wrote on 11/8/2019, 9:32 PM


Soniclight-2.0 wrote on 11/8/2019, 9:38 PM

OK, got it, thanks. Will send email with "Win7" in subject line.

Former user wrote on 11/8/2019, 9:42 PM

- OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel.

- OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on.

- OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model MOBO.

- OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system.

Which of these restrictions make you not want an OEM? How often have you used direct support from MS? Since money is an object here, can you afford to upgrade hardware? That shouldn't be a barrier. You have already upgraded to 10 so you don't need to upgrade this computer. None of these restrictions, in my mind, are a showstopper if money is an issue.

farss wrote on 11/8/2019, 10:44 PM

My goodness, so many old friends posting here I thought I'd better say something.
Still shooting with my trusty EX1, still editing with Vegas 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 as the mood takes me :)

Soniclight-2.0 wrote on 11/8/2019, 11:24 PM

@Former user - You're right in terms of most of those bullet points. But the--as some put it--"married to mobo" issue is indeed an important when money is tight (my sole income is USD 960 Social Security Disability only). I've taken good care of my Gigabyte+AMD 2011 build -- a lot of fans/circulation also -- so one reason it's still alive. But it's unusual for a system to last that long (8+ years).

On the on-stand-by-system, I've changed to an MSI mobo with a AMD Reizen 5 cpu, but at one point that will also run its course--and may or may not last as long as my Gigabyte one. Nothing lasts forever and so I want to be prepared. Hence OEM would not be the way to go.

Last, for me my computer is very important beyond what it is for most: I do not have a TV, can't afford cable or similar, so all my entertainment and news flows through older dual LCD 24" Samsung monitors. Then of course there is all the other online activity, research, writing OPs and comments such as this one, etc.

Am I being a bit over-prepared or even slightly paranoid about things going wrong? Perhaps, and/but my disability is a depressive-anxiety one with the latter being the most debilitating more often; so the notion of being without this important portal to the world (my computer) brought on for-real panic.

Hence why I need to be proactive. And why I had to sell something to help buy the parts to build the new computer as well as bring my bank account to the lowest in a long time. I can and will mend the balance, but being without a computer is just not a option for me.

Pardon the ramble, I haven't been online writing for a long time, so perhaps over-doing it - lol.
No reply necessary BTW.

Soniclight-2.0 wrote on 11/8/2019, 11:33 PM

@farss -- Looks like you're mirroring what @ushere wrote:

"ah, the old fart crowd ;-) hope you're all well and doing fine...."

When I first wrote out the OP here, I had to do a search on you and the others I mentioned due to how long I've been gone from here -- hoping some of my, well, old fart compadres were still here. I'll be turning 65 in January.

I may do little to no video editing from here on out, but as I've stated in the past, I've learned so much from all of you during my active years here and have been honored by that. Vegas 6 was my first "real" video editing program purchased at B&H for USD $99 (t'was a legit disk-only version that the sold for a very short while).

The new Magix versions look nice in both GUI and features, but there is no point in my upgrading from 10e as my life is going. Other mundane expenses are bound to increase. So gotta be smart about the wallet.

ushere wrote on 11/9/2019, 12:04 AM

well at 71 i'm still shooting and editing - though i theoretically retired quite a few years ago. seems there're certain things i, and some of my clients, just can't let go ;-)

not around here simply because i moved to resolve. i still have vegas on my edit rig but haven't used it for... well a very long time now. i still think it's the fastest nle i've ever worked with but, when i started slowing down and picking and choosing my projects, i found i was doing more cc'ing and grading and found resolve more to my liking in that regard. it's also evolved into quite a pleasant editor too.

nice to see the old folks come out into the sunshine once again ;-)

btw. still with my ex1 as well bob. played with a few later models but really, for hd, couldn't see the need to change, i think i'm past the toy phase and into the medical bills ;-(

Soniclight-2.0 wrote on 11/9/2019, 12:28 AM

Wow... I recall checking out Resolve a long time ago, and downloading the free version, but never used and thus deleted it for I was so used to Vegas. Looks like it's come a long way since then. Not surprising since Blackmagic is a veteran in matters film and video. I might just download it again even though I don't see myself doing much editing at all, but "just because I can" (download it) - lol.

Soniclight-2.0 wrote on 11/9/2019, 7:45 PM

UPDATE: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED as far as my OP is concerned. @ushere was kind enough to give his Win 7 Pro prod. key -- which is a full retail version. It's retired (he no longer needs or uses Win7).

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Microsoft Tier 2 tech support to hopefully successfully have them change over my upgrade-only product key over to the one ushere so graciously gave me. That way I'll have my 3rd SSD with Win7 ready to work on my stand-by system.

So this thread has served its purpose.

And/but, indeed as a couple here have pointed out, it was nice to see some of the "older" members come by here at this thread. Those with whom I had some substantial interactions and from whom I've learned so much in the earlier years (2006-2017 or so) here.

I may not be doing much if any video editing in the foreseeable future -- hence will be absent from here once again. Whatever the case, wishing all well, and while I'm at it....

... a pre-emptive "Happy Holidays." Speaking of which:

The artwork below is by me -- I used a stock image that I "rainbowed" and enhanced the glow, then added the quotation. It also reflects some of my video visual style as some here know.

OK, sure, not really holiday-ish, but whudahell.
Applicable to many life situations IMO.


~ Philip

set wrote on 11/11/2019, 7:54 AM

Hi Sonic Light, glad to hear that everything works as expected...

Came late, but want to only wish you a speedy recovery of whatever your medical issue or any aspect of your personal condition 🙏