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Can I Use A Legitimate Windows 7 CD Key with an Illegal Copy and Not Run Foul of MS?
October 16, 2012 7:42 PM   Subscribe

I have a genuine copy of Windows 7 Ultimate which i have previously installed and activated through Microsoft. I wanted to reinstall Windows today but I've found the DVD has somehow been scratched and my DVD drive refuses to read the disc. If i download a copy of Windows 7 from BitTorrent and install it using my genuine CD key, will I get into any trouble? Will it even work? If not, what are my options?
posted by Effigy2000 to Technology (9 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Go here. You will probably want "Windows 7 Ultimate x64 English" unless you are using pre-Vista hardware. Download and burn to disc with something like Imgburn, then use as you would the original install media.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:48 PM on October 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


It'll work, as long as the disc image is valid and intact, and is the same version of Windows 7 that your key is for. You won't "get in trouble", as MS can't tell one copy of a Win 7 Ultimate DVD from another, it's the CD key they're looking at for validation when you're installing.

But please understand, you are running a huge risk of installing an infected or otherwise compromised operating system. So much so, that I'd pretty much assume right up front that it'll be infected, and proceed accordingly.

It'd be much safer to see if you can borrow a known good disc from a friend, or see if your local PC shop can help you out. Failing that, buy another copy. But really, the risk isn't being busted by MS, it's installing a compromised OS.
posted by xedrik at 7:49 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or that, assuming those are truly legitimate links. :)
posted by xedrik at 7:50 PM on October 16, 2012


Inspector.Gadget: "Go here. You will probably want "Windows 7 Ultimate x64 English" unless you are using pre-Vista hardware. Download and burn to disc with something like Imgburn, then use as you would the original install media."

These links are legit and pretty readily avaliable.

Microsoft hosts their ISO's on Digital River for corporate customers. You need a valid key & to "activate" for any of these to work anyway.
posted by wcfields at 7:59 PM on October 16, 2012


I've used the link provided by Inspector.Gadget above, and it's a clean copy. Digital River is the company that sells all the Microsoft Windows copies on the internet for download and burning yourself, and this is just direct links for those.
posted by deezil at 8:00 PM on October 16, 2012


Sweet! Thanks Inspector Gadget!
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:18 PM on October 16, 2012


Wow, fantastic. Gonna bookmark that as well, then. :)
posted by xedrik at 9:09 PM on October 16, 2012


If the version you have the Key for includes SP1 you will be fine. If your key is for the os prior to SP1 then it won't accept your key. The key you have is determined by the exact version you purchased.
posted by JayRwv at 9:16 PM on October 16, 2012


But please understand, you are running a huge risk of installing an infected or otherwise compromised operating system. So much so, that I'd pretty much assume right up front that it'll be infected, and proceed accordingly.

If you're super paranoid about this kind of stuff you can always look up the checksums for well-known isos like these. It's nearly impossible to tamper with an installer and still keep the same file size and checksum.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:58 AM on October 17, 2012


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