If Windows Activation fails can I restore a previously created system image to the system?

Ragu P September 24, 2014
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I inherited some OEM machines with Windows 7 on them. I noticed recently that I am getting a pop up upon boot saying ‘Windows could not be activated’. When I go into the properties of the ‘computer’ icon, I see that under Windows Activation I have a count down period of about 28 days to activate. Just to save me losing all my data, I created a system image and saved it on a network drive.
Worse case scenario, if I do activate this OS and I get locked out, can I restore this system image to another Windows 7 barebones machine or even this particular one (if the key is invalid and I appropriate a valid one)?


  1. Hovsep A
    September 24, 2014 at 9:02 am
  2. Jeff F
    September 24, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Firstly, I would question why Windows could not be activated.

    Once you have activated the OS, you could use something like Paragon Backup & Recovery or Acronis True Image to store an image of your original system in case of failure. You would be able to restore this image to the original machine but not to a different machine.