Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Learn More Shop now Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Windows 7: Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the Windows 7 Resource Centre.




If you have received the error message "Windows 7 Build 7600 / This copy of Windows is not genuine", you should be aware that Windows Activation Technologies is already built into Windows 7. If you have not activated your PC you will get the "not genuine" message.

Activation is the initial process by which Windows running on a PC is determined to be properly licensed and genuine. You have at least 30 days upon first use until you have to activate Windows 7 installed on your PC.

If Windows 7 running on your PC remains unactivated past the initial grace period, or if activation or validation does not successfully complete, then Windows running on your PC is not considered to be genuine, and notifications will begin to appear.

To resolve the notifications, you need to activate Windows. This can be done by entering a valid product key, which can usually be found on the proof of license label attached to your software packaging, or the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker attached to your computer.

If you need further help or clarification, please visit the Genuine Microsoft Software site: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/products/Windows7.aspx or telephone number 0844 800 2400*.

*Calls provided by BT to the 0844 number above will be charged at 5 pence per minute. A Call Set-Up Fee of up to 6 pence per call applies to calls from Residential lines. Mobile and other providers’ costs may vary. See http://www.bt.com/pricing for details.

1. When does and the Release Candidate of Windows 7 (Windows 7 RC) expire and what should I do?

On February 15th, people still running the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) will receive a notification reminding them that starting March 1st, 2010, their PC will begin experiencing bi-hourly shutdowns. These shutdowns will continue through June 1st, 2010.

On June 1st, 2010, a non-genuine experience is triggered where your wallpaper is removed and “This copy of Windows is not genuine” will be displayed in the lower right corner above the taskbar. This means your PC will no longer be able to obtain optional updates or downloads that require genuine Windows validation.

To avoid any data loss, I suggest making plans to move to a released version of Windows 7 before the automatic shutdowns start. During these shutdowns, your work will not be saved.

To continue using your computer, you should prepare to install the retail release version of Windows 7 or install an earlier version of Windows before the June 1, 2010 expiration date. You will be unable to upgrade from Windows 7 RC to the retail release version of Windows 7. However, you can back up or transfer your data to your next or previous operating system.

2. Can I use a web browser other than Internet Explorer?

Customers who currently use Internet Explorer as their default browser but would perhaps like to view or utilise the other web browser choices available, should visit Microsoft's customer-ready resources pages.

3. Where are the codes?

In Windows 7 (and other upcoming products using the new MS packaging configuration) the Proof of License label is placed on the back of the Windows Insert card located under the clips inside the DVD case. The reverse side contains the Proof of License label. Windows 7 Product Keys and Proof of License Label

4. Is this a full product or an upgrade from a previous version of Windows?

Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate are available both as full versions and as upgrades from Windows Vista. The full version of Windows 7 is also suitable for upgrading from Windows Vista; however, Microsoft UK is recommending that Vista users perform a custom (clean) installation. That means you will need to back up all of your files and settings, install the operating system, then re-install your files, settings and programs. (This also applies if you are running earlier versions of Windows such as XP.) However, if you are unsure, please, consult the Windows 7 recommended upgrade paths. Be sure to check out Amazon’s great selection of external storage devices in our electronics store that will assist you in this process.

5. How do Windows Vista purchasers get a free copy of Windows 7? Offer now ended

Amazon customers who have purchased an eligible copy of Windows Vista from Amazon.co.uk since 26th June 2009 are eligible for a free copy of the equivalent version of Windows 7. Customers must have purchased a retail version (not OEM (original equipment manufacturer)) of the software between 26th June and 15th October 2009 (inclusive) from Amazon.co.uk (not an Amazon marketplace merchant) and must not have cancelled or returned their order.

To gain their free copy Windows Vista customers need only to purchase an eligible product (see list below). On 16 October 2009, customers will receive an email from Amazon.co.uk containing a unique claim code that they can use to obtain their copy of Windows 7.

Full or upgrade? Customers ordering between 26th June 2009 and 23:59:59 GMT on 31st August 2009 will receive the full version of Windows 7. Customers ordering between 1st September and 15th October will receive the upgrade version. To see a list of eligible Windows Vista products, please see below.

Customers ordering between 26th June 2009 and 31st August 2009:
To be eligible for a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium (Full Version), the qualifying products are:
Windows Vista, Home Premium Edition with Service Pack 1
Windows Vista, Home Premium Edition with Service Pack 1, Upgrade Version

To be eligible for a copy of Windows 7 Professional (Full Version), the qualifying products are:
Windows Vista, Business Edition with Service Pack 1
Windows Vista, Business Edition with Service Pack 1, Upgrade Version

To be eligible for a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate (Full Version), the qualifying products are:
Windows Vista, Ultimate Edition with Service Pack 1
Windows Vista, Ultimate Edition with Service Pack 1, Upgrade Version

Customers ordering between 1st September 2009 and 15th October 2009:
To be eligible for a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade), the qualifying products are:
Windows Vista, Home Premium Edition with Service Pack 1
Windows Vista, Home Premium Edition with Service Pack 1, Upgrade Version

To be eligible for a copy of Windows 7 Professional (Upgrade), the qualifying products are:
Windows Vista, Business Edition with Service Pack 1
Windows Vista, Business Edition with Service Pack 1, Upgrade Version

To be eligible for a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate (Upgrade), the qualifying products are:
Windows Vista, Ultimate Edition with Service Pack 1
Windows Vista, Ultimate Edition with Service Pack 1, Upgrade Version

For full terms and conditions, please click here.

6. What are the Upgrade Paths to Windows 7?

Windows 7


7. What are Windows 7 system requirements?

If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here's what it takes:

• 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
• 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
• 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
• DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver


Additional requirements to use certain features:

• Internet access (fees may apply)
• Depending on resolution, video playback may require additional memory and advanced graphics hardware
• For some Windows Media Center functionality a TV tuner and additional hardware may be required
• Windows Touch and Tablet PCs require specific hardware
• HomeGroup requires a network and PCs running Windows 7
• DVD/CD authoring requires a compatible optical drive
• BitLocker requires Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2
• BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive
• Windows XP Mode requires an additional 1 GB of RAM, an additional 15 GB of available hard disk space, and a processor capable of hardware virtualization with Intel VT or AMD-V turned on
• Music and sound require audio output


Product functionality and graphics may vary based on your system configuration. Some features may require advanced or additional hardware.

8. How do I upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7?

Important: In a custom installation, your files, settings, and programs will not be transferred to Windows 7. You should back up your data before installing Windows 7.

To install Windows 7:
• 1. Run Windows Upgrade Advisor to see if there are any known issues that might affect the installation and whether you should install the 32- or 64-bit version of Windows 7.
• 2. Back up your existing files and settings by saving them to an external hard drive, CD, DVD, USB flash drive or other media. Use Windows Easy Transfer and an external hard drive to make this process easier. Windows Easy Transfer is included in Windows Vista, here’s how to use it. If you’re running Windows XP, you can download Windows Easy Transfer for free at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/default.aspx • 3. Locate the original installation disks for the programs currently on your computer.
• 4. Insert the Windows 7 DVD and follow the instructions for a custom installation by selecting the Custom (advanced) installation option.
• 5. Reinstall your programs and your backed up files and settings. If you used Windows Easy Transfer, launch Windows Easy Transfer in Windows 7 (in the Start menu, click All Programs>Accessories>System Tools) and follow the instructions.
• 6. What is the difference between an in-place upgrade and a custom (or clean) install, and which should I do?
• 7. PCs designed for Windows Vista should run Windows 7 very well. To double check your PC’s capabilities, you can download and run the free Windows Upgrade Advisor. How you upgrade will depend on the edition of Windows Vista on your PC, and the edition of Windows 7 you want to install. You’ll either do an “in place installation,” which keeps your programs, files, and settings in place, or you’ll do a custom installation, which will set up your PC from scratch. If you’re thinking about upgrading a PC from Windows XP to Windows 7, please download and run the free Windows Upgrade Advisor (http://windows.microsoft.com/upgrade) to see if your PC can run Windows 7 acceptably.

If you decide to install Windows 7 on a PC running Windows XP you’ll need to do a custom installation. This is sometimes called a “clean install” because it will erase your hard drive and set up your PC from scratch. To avoid losing anything, you’ll need to make copies of all the files, photos, and other information you want to keep. You’ll also need to have installation disks for all the programs you want to use. If you have an external hard drive, you can use it with the free Windows Easy Transfer program to help back up your files and information, then transfer them back to your PC after Windows 7 is installed.
Upgrading a PC with Windows XP to Windows 7 is an involved process. If you’re at all uncomfortable with it, please consider having the upgrade done by a local PC or electronics retailer.

9. Does Windows 7 come with a Web Browser?

The latest information available is that all editions of Windows 7 will include the Internet Explorer 8 web browser, pre-installed for immediate access to the internet. Should you wish to use an alternative browser, simply access the internet using Internet Explorer 8 and then download the browser of your choice. Please note: This information is subject to change. Amazon.co.uk will continue to update this page as and when further information becomes available.

10. Will I receive a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7?

Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate all ship with 32-bit and 64-bit discs; however, please be aware that only one registration code is provided with each order and this will be applied to whichever disk you choose to register.

To find out if your computer is running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows, click the Start button, then click Control Panel followed by clicking on System and Maintenance and then clicking System. Under System, you can view the system type.

11. Will I receive my copy of Windows 7 on release day, October 22nd 2009?

UK customers: if you choose First Class delivery, your software should be dispatched in time for delivery on October 22nd 2009. We will work closely with our delivery partners to ensure, as far as possible, delivery on October 22nd 2009. However, this cannot be guaranteed as some delays may occur which are outside our control. If you choose Free Super Saver Delivery, your software will be delivered 2-5 business days after we receive Windows 7 and so may not arrive on October 22nd 2009. International customers: we will work closely with our delivery partners to ensure, as far as possible, delivery on October 22nd. However, this cannot be guaranteed as some delays may occur which are outside our control.

12. Can I install Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate on my desktop and my laptop?

Each copy of Windows 7 includes 1 license so you can only install it on one machine. Be aware that each copy of Windows comes with a 32-bit and 64-bit version but you will have to choose which one you want to apply your license to. The only exception is the limited edition Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack that includes 3 licenses for 32-bit or 64 bit versions.

13. What is Windows 7 Starter and where can I purchase it?

Windows 7 Starter has been specifically designed by Microsoft for netbooks and PC market to keep the initial cost of Windows 7 PCs down. The main reason for this edition is to provide manufacturers with a Windows 7 edition that they can put cost effectively on their low-end products. You can only get Windows 7 Starter pre-installed on a PC or netbook and it is not for sale separately.

14. Are there other, more direct ways to get help regarding Microsoft products?

You may choose join Microsoft Helps on Twitter--http://twitter.com/MicrosoftHelps or visit http://support.microsoft.com/

15. Upgrading to an N or KN edition of Windows 7?

To upgrade your PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista to an N or KN edition of Windows 7, you will need to select the Custom option during Windows 7 installation. A custom (or clean) installation doesn't preserve your programs, files, or settings so on a separate device, you will need to back up all of the files and programs you want to access later on.

For further information on upgrading to N or KN editions of Windows 7 please visit: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help/upgrading-to-N-KN-edition