So this is a little off topic but I ran into a few issues that I thought might help a few people out there. I recently purchased a new Gateway P-7803h-CA laptop for a pretty good deal and had it delivered the other day. I knew it came with MS Vista (bleck!) but there was a free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium which would work fine for me. The problem is that you need the laptop serial number to order the Windows 7 update and you then have to wait weeks to get the discs in the mail. Ok, that is not good. The last thing I wanted to do is UPDATE Vista to Windows 7. Ideally I would like a clean install to get rid of the garbage that always comes in a new system. I also wanted to be sure I had a legit copy of Windows so I would not have issues with updates, etc. down the road. Also I was not prepared to flash my BIOS to some custom version with SLIC 2.1 as the latest available from Gateway only has the SLIC 2.0 tables which only works with Vista OEM installs.
I figured that would not be an issue so I went ahead and grabbed a copy of Windows 7 from Notebook Review (http://go.notebookreview.com/?id=525X832&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmsft-dnl.digitalrivercontent.net%2Fmsvista%2Fpub%2FX15-65733%2FX15-65733.iso) and did a full install clobbering any hint of Vista on the box accidentally selecting a couple of options along the way…
Tip 1: Do NOT enter a CD Key – First mistake, as I entered the Acer OEM key online.
Tip 2: Do NOT select “Automatically get updates online when connected” or whatever the exact wording is.
By doing this I had only 3 days to evaluate Windows 7 and with my discs not even processed yet there was no way I would get my new CD Key in time. After some digging online I found some great info.
If you don’t select either of these you will get 30 days to evaluate Windows 7. Perfect. When your discs arrive you can simply view the properties of “Computer” and change the CD key. Now what happens if your new discs don’t arrive in 30 days? No problem. Luckily Microsoft will let you extend your trial a few times. Here’s how:
1) Type cmd into the Start Menu Search
2) Right click the cmd icon and choose “Run as Administrator”
3) Type slmgr.vbs -rearm then press Enter
4) You will then be asked to reboot. After that, right click Computer, then select Properties. You will see that the counter has been reset to 30 days.
This only works 3 (120 days total) times and the counter never goes past 30 days, so make sure to wait until you have only a few days left before using it. By then you should have your discs and can enter your legitimate CD Key and activate online. I hope this helps someone get Windows 7 running instead of having to wait over a month for discs. Good luck!