One of my customers bought
a refurbished PC the other day and I stopped by to install it in their
office. It was a Windows 7 PC that had a "refurbished windows 7 product
key". Now when PCs are sold as refurbished, they are supplied with a
new product key for Windows. A new sticker, DVD and case are also
supplied in these situations. Normally the old product key remains on
the actual PC but is just crossed out. All of this is normal. The
problem began when I turned the PC on.
During the Windows 7 Setup, it prompted me to enter the product
key. However, when I clicked Next I was greeted with the error that the
Product Key Does Not Match the Current Windows SKU. Thinking I typed
the product key wrong, I retyped it a couple times and even typed in
the old product key still pasted on the side of the unit. Nothing
I realized the problem after a few minutes. When many of these
companies refurbish a PC they will take a Windows image and transfer it
to the PC, slap a sticker on the unit and its ready to go. This works
if the Windows image is the same product as the product key. However,
in this case the Windows image was Windows 7 Professional and the
product key was for Windows 7 Home Edition. So, the product key did not
match the installed Windows version.
To resolve this I placed
the Windows 7 DVD in the DVD Drive and rebooted the PC. When the
install screen appeared, I chose Custom Install and proceeded to wipe
the hard drive, reformat it and reinstall Windows 7 from scratch.
Once installed with the proper version of Windows to match the product key everything was fine.