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Tricky G74SX Windows 7 reinstall, solved?

galinmcmahon
Level 7
I've got what seems to be a fairly unique situation and it is driving me crazy. I just got a G74SX. It came with win7 ultimate which was (apparently) a business bulk upgrade. There is a win 7 home premium oem sticker too. I picked up a SSD which is blazing fast (went from 1:40 boot time to 0:24!) I tried doing a recovery onto the new SSD but got the blue screen with the note that windows 7 is not valid (or something to that effect.) I tried doing a disk image but it just hung on Setting Up Desktop. So I downloaded win7 ultimate off of a torrent site but now I can't activate it because my key is for premium and my ultimate key is an ID, not a key. I looked for a win7 premium oem edition (just learned that the oem key won't work on regular software) but no half reputable torrent site has it.

I am sitting here with 3 keys amongst 3 dead computers. MS makes this impossible. I am trying to keep this all legal but am running out of options. I've even looked into buying a disk from ASUS but apparently they are out of business, at least in the U.S. Microsoft won't sell a new win7 key and I refuse to use win10.

Does anybody have any suggestions other than buying a new Alienware laptop (which, between this and the mind-numbingly stupid 2nd HD cable issue I should have done in the first place)?
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4 REPLIES 4

Gps3dx
Level 12
galinmcmahon wrote:
I've got what seems to be a fairly unique situation and it is driving me crazy. I just got a G74SX. It came with win7 ultimate which was (apparently) a business bulk upgrade. There is a win 7 home premium oem sticker too. I picked up a SSD which is blazing fast (went from 1:40 boot time to 0:24!) I tried doing a recovery onto the new SSD but got the blue screen with the note that windows 7 is not valid (or something to that effect.) I tried doing a disk image but it just hung on Setting Up Desktop. So I downloaded win7 ultimate off of a torrent site but now I can't activate it because my key is for premium and my ultimate key is an ID, not a key. I looked for a win7 premium oem edition (just learned that the oem key won't work on regular software) but no half reputable torrent site has it.


Hi there,
Please read my guide on how to properly install windows on ROG laptops - its a 'sticky' thread at the top of this sub-forum ( link in my sig as well ).

First you need to download an ISO image of windows 7 that inc premium / ultimate edition, then you need to edit its "ei.cfg" file to direct the install to install windows as retail & oem ( and the wanted edition) , this since your orig key was upgraded from a retail & oem key ( the key actually sits in your SLIC table inside the "bios" ).
please do NOT download windows ISO from unreliable sites such as p-irate-bay etc - there's far more reliable sits like THIS ONE. ( source: mydigitallife forums).

if you can still boot the old installion, you can extract the 'product key' from the bios if you want - even though you don't need ( MS servers already know to connect your HW with your product activation ) since the 1st time you connect to the internet ( if installed the properly by editing ei.cfg before intallation), windows will be activate automatically from MS servers and/or internal SLIC key.
For "how to extract key" please see my guide in the sticky thread.

now...if you want to have 'home premium' instead of 'ultimate' - you have couple of options:
IF YOU CAN BOOT TO OLD ULTIMATE INSTALLTION - there's a way to 'downgrade' current installation to 'home premium' using THIS METHOD.
IF YOU CAN'T - AFAIK, you must install ultimate again -> activate it -> perform the downgrade to 'home premium' -> stay with it or format & install 'home premium' from scratch.

now about activation issues after HW changes done to the PC - it might happen since activated is tied to HW in someway.
if MS online activation or offline activation ( based on SLIC in the BIOS ) failed - you might need to make a FREE call to MS, tell an automated machine some numbers, then you get in return some other set of numbers that will activate your windows.
personally, I made such activation at least 3-4 times, and no issues whatsoever.
SEE HERE HERE guides on how to do that.

lastly, you MUST have patience when dealing with OS installation.
Asus G751JT
Samsung EVO 850 120GB + 1TB HDD 7200RPM
Cleaned installed Win 10 HOME
My Guides:

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galinmcmahon
Level 7
Thank you! This looks like some really good information.

A_Guy
Level 9
Also, if you are not on the latest BIOS, do not upgrade with the Windows tool. Use the USB boot/dos tool to update your bios. I've seen too many people brick the laptop with the Windows tool.



GA502IV, AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS 2.9GHz with Radeon Graphics
16GB DDR3 RAM
Boot Drive: SSD NVMe PC SN530 (1 TB)
Data Drive: WD BLACK SN750 NVMe SSD (1 TB)
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6.0 GB
Windows 10 Pro 64bit

G74SX-CST1-CBIL, i7 2630QM 2GHz (It just won't die!)
12GB DDR3 RAM @1333MHz
Boot Drive: Samsung 860 EVO (1 TB)
Data Drive: Samsung 850 EVO (500 GB)
GTX560M 3GB DDR5
BIOS 203
Windows 10 Pro 64bit

Thanks ASUS guy. I'm not one to mess with the BIOS unless I see a major benefit from doing so.

Thanks again to gps3dx. I happened to have an old win7 install disk laying around. I copied the files to my HD, changed the ei.cfg file to say 'HomePremium' and 'OEM', created an iso with this changed file and put it onto a disk. Reinstalled and it activated successfully. This install has been a real learning experience.