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HP Notebook PCs - Windows 7 Operating System Activation

This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows 7.

To help prevent software piracy Microsoft requires that Windows 7 is activated before it can be used as full version software. Most HP notebooks with Windows 7 installed are pre-activated to make it easier for you to set up your notebook. However, if you decide to install a different version of Windows 7 (such as an upgrade to the Enterprise version) or a store-bought copy of Windows 7, you will need to activate it. There may also be situations when Windows prompts you for product activation even though the product has already been activated.

Types of Windows 7 activation

There are two methods for activating Windows 7: Windows Product Activation and System Locked Pre-installation .

  • Windows Product Activation (WPA) sends an installation ID number to Microsoft before Windows is verified and then activated. WPA involves two numbers. One is an Installation ID (generated by entering a Windows 7 product key) that the notebook owner submits to Microsoft, either over the Internet or by phone. The second is a Confirmation ID, assigned by Microsoft, which is used to activate the operating system’s software. This method is used when upgrading or installing Windows 7 from disc. (HP System Recovery does not count in this regard.)

  • System Locked Pre-Installation (SLP) takes place at the factory. No intervention is required to activate the operating system software before initial use. With SLP-activated systems, most of the computer's hardware can be replaced without needing to re-activate the software through Microsoft.

The Windows 7 anti-piracy warning

The Windows 7 anti-piracy warning appears periodically if your copy of Windows has not been activated. If you activate Windows 7, the reminder stops appearing.

Figure 1: Windows 7 anti-piracy warning example

If you have upgraded your computer to Windows 7 from an earlier version of Windows, or you have installed a new copy of Windows 7 on your notebook, this message is normal until you activate the product.

If you are getting the anti-piracy message and your notebook came with Windows 7 pre-installed, then Windows 7 may need to be activated again or the system needs to be recovered using HP system recovery, which restores the operating system to its original factory condition.

Reasons why Windows 7 may need to be activated again

If your notebook came with Windows 7 pre-installed, the following conditions may cause Windows to require activation through Microsoft:

  • Replacing the motherboard with another that does not contain the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) version of the BIOS.

  • Completing a system recovery using f11 after recovering from HP Recovery Discs.

  • Installing certain device drivers and software.

  • Uninstalling certain operating system software or files.

  • Installing the wrong BIOS from a company other than HP.

  • Breaking the end-user license agreement (EULA) by attempting to install your licensed copy of Windows 7 on a different computer.

Activate Windows 7 over the Internet

The quickest, and easiest, way to activate your copy of Windows 7 is to do it over the Internet. If you do not have an Internet connection, or if it is inconvenient to make a network connection, see the Other ways to activate Windows 7 section below.

To activate Windows 7 over the Internet:

  1. Connect to the Internet.

  2. Click Start , type system in the search field, and select the System Control Panel application from the search results list.

  3. In the System window, scroll down to Windows activation , then click Change product key .

  4. In the Windows Activation window, select Activate Windows online now .

  5. Enter the product key into the Product Key field, click Next , then follow the on-screen instructions.

    The product key is located on the Certificate of Authenticity label affixed to the notebook (usually the bottom) or the Windows 7 disc packaging.

    If you have the Windows 7 disc packaging, see apply the Certificate of Authenticity label to the computer for easy reference in the future.

  6. If product activation was successful, a success screen is shown. You are done.

Once you’ve successfully activated Windows 7, the System application in the Control Panel indicates Windows is activated.

Other ways to activate Windows 7

Other ways that you can activate Windows 7 are explained below.

Activate Windows 7 over the phone

If Windows 7 activation over the Internet is not possible, activate the product by contacting Microsoft over the phone.

NOTE: When you contact Microsoft, do not request a “new” activation code. If you do, Microsoft will direct you towards purchasing a new operating system. It is not necessary to replace your operating system; you should simply want to reactivate your existing installation.

To reactivate Windows 7 over the phone:

  1. Disconnect your notebook from the network (or turn off your Internet connection).

  2. Click Start , type system in the search field, and select the System Control Panel application from the search results list.

  3. In the System window, scroll down to Windows activation , then click Change product key .

  4. In the Windows Activation window, click Show me other ways to activate .

  5. Click Use the automated phone system .

  6. On the Click the nearest location menu, select the most appropriate country/region and then click Next .

  7. Write down the installation ID and confirmation ID, then call the number provided in the Activate Windows Now window.

  8. Follow the instructions from the telephone system and write down the confirmation ID numbers.

  9. Enter the confirmation ID numbers into fields A through H, in the same sequence as the telephone system provided them. When done, click Next .

  10. If product activation was successful, a success screen is shown and you are done. If product activation is not successful, you can try to activate over the Internet, or you can attempt to perform a System Recovery.

Once you’ve successfully activated Windows 7, the System application in the Control Panel indicates Windows is activated.

Activate Windows 7 using System Recovery

If your HP notebook came with Windows 7 installed, system recovery can be used as an alternative to performing either an online or telephone activation. This restores Windows 7 to its original factory condition, which is pre-activated by default.

To perform a system recovery, turn on the computer and immediately press the F11 key repeatedly.

For computers sold in the United States that are being used for the first time, the system recovery process may take a little more than fifteen minutes. For computers sold in other countries/regions and for computers that experience the message after a recovery, system recovery may take longer than 45 minutes. For more information about system recovery, please see the HP Notebook PCs - Using HP Recovery Manager support document.

Activate Windows 7 after using System Recovery

After performing a system recovery, or re-installing Windows 7, it should not be necessary to repeat the activation process. There are several different recovery situations to consider.

  • If the ntotebook shipped with Windows 7 and the Recovery Manager is functional, then use the Recovery Manager to restore the notebook to its default factory conditions. Windows 7 is automatically activated.

  • If the notebook shipped with Windows 7 but the Recovery Manager is not functional, use the Recovery disc to restore the notebook to its default factory conditions. Windows 7 is automatically activated.

  • If the notebook shipped with an earlier version of Windows but included a upgrade disc for Windows 7 provided by HP, you should recover the notebook back to its default factory conditions and then upgrade again to Windows 7. Windows 7 is automatically activated.

  • If the notebook shipped with an earlier version of Windows and you upgraded or custom installed a full retail version of Windows 7, you should use the Microsoft DVD to re-install Windows 7. Windows 7 is automatically activated.

  • If the notebook shipped with Windows 7 and the Recovery Manager is not functional, but you have not created the recovery discs, you can order a Windows 7 Recovery DVD. It may be necessary to contact Microsoft to activate Windows 7.

See also

Microsoft Product Activation Non-HP site web site (in English)

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