Friday, August 4, 2017

Windows 7 - Get Genuine!

I'm sure this has happened to someone else...

Years ago I bought a cheap laptop from WalMart, an Acer Aspire One 725 - 0802 to be exact, which came with Windows 7 Home Premium. Given how inexpensive it was, I expected to have to replace it a year later, but no, it just kept bumping along until the paint was worn off of almost every key. One day though, it just wouldn't turn on any more.

Between backups and the cloud I was able to move the software and data to a new laptop, but I didn't want the copy of Windows 7 to go to waste, so I did a P2V conversion by pulling out the hard drive, putting it in an external case, dd'ing the drive image, etc. I also saved the product key, just in case.

I ran it in VMware for a while, and then one day the screen turned black and I got "Get Genuine" messages every time I'd try to do anything. I tried to Get Genuine, over and over, but every time it failed, telling me to contact Acer. Attempts to Activate Windows just sent me to a Windows 10 FAQ.

No good!

For a long time, I tolerated the messages, but eventually called customer support to try to sort it out. I explained everything to them, and the fix was remarkably simple.

Open a command prompt and run:

slui 3

Then, enter the product key.

That's all.

At least on my side. What I don't know is whether they had to do something on their side too, to allow it.

Either way though, it was ultimately quite simple. So, if you've run into the same problem, try slui by itself, and if that doesn't work, call customer support and walk through it with them. They don't appear to just outright reject these kinds of activations because of the OEM key.

The only remaining problem was a black background. That was easily fixed by right-clicking on the desktop, selecting Personalize, and selecting the Windows 7 theme.

Good as new!