4 Cheap Ways To Obtain A Legal Copy Of Windows 7

Danny Stieben 19-03-2014

It seems like Microsoft is hitting the nail with Windows only every other version. So it’s understandable that, if you’re upgrading from Windows XP Upgrade From Windows XP to a Modern OS in 7 Simple Steps It's time to say goodbye! Microsoft is ending official support for Windows XP on April 8 2014. Are you at risk? If you are still running this ancient operating system, it's time to upgrade. Read More or looking for a new computer, you want to go for Windows 7 rather than Windows 8.


Thing is, Microsoft doesn’t directly sell Windows 7 anymore. Here’s what you can do so you’re running a legal copy of Windows 7.

Is Your Hardware Compatible With Windows 7?

Before you make the final decision to upgrade, it’s important to ensure that your hardware will be compatible with the new operating system.

To check, all you have to do is run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. Our upgrade guide How To Use Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor To Check PC Compatibility Read More  demonstrates the process and helps you understand each step. If the advisor gives you the green light, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Transferring Windows 7 From An Old Computer To New Hardware

If you already have an old computer that runs Windows 7, and you want to move it to a new computer, you’ll need to figure out whether you’re running an OEM version or a retail version.

If you bought the computer and it already came with Windows 7, then it’s most likely an OEM version. This version only works for one computer and cannot be transferred — although hardware upgrades are allowed as long as they’re not drastic enough for Windows to think it’s running on a different computer.


If you installed Windows 7 yourself (meaning you bought the boxed copy), then you’re most likely running the retail version. This version can be transferred to other computers, so you’ll have to uninstall it from the old computer before installing it on the new one.

If you run into any issues while transferring your copy of Windows 7, we have articles that can help make your system genuine again How To Make Your Windows 7 PC Genuine Again After a Hardware Upgrade "Your activation period has expired. You must activate Windows." Triggered by a hardware upgrade or following a fresh installation, this is Microsoft's way of ensuring you use Windows according to its licensing terms. Read More (which is also a common issue after a hardware upgrade), help you recover your serial number 3 Ways to Recover Serial Numbers in Windows Looking for your Windows product key? Lost the serial number of a premium software? We show you how to recover your license keys with free tools. Read More , and help you determine when it’s OK to borrow or download a Windows installation disk When Is It OK To Borrow Or Download A Windows Installation Disk Nowadays, most manufacturers no longer ship their computers with installation discs. Instead they deposit a recovery partition on the hard drive or provide software that allows you to create your own recovery media. Now what... Read More .

Online Retailers

If you plan on sticking with your current machine, getting an OEM version of Windows 7 What Are OEM Products and Why Are They Cheaper? OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. Should you buy OEM products, or is there a catch that'll set you up for trouble? Read More is the way to go. Not only are OEM versions the only Windows 7 licenses still being sold, but they’re usually found at all online electronics retailers such as Amazon, NewEgg, TigerDirect, and more with the notable exclusion of Microsoft itself.

Don’t worry though — all of these licenses are somewhat legal and they do work.


I do say that they’re only somewhat legal because the Microsoft EULA states that the OEM version is reserved for system builders who want to sell a complete systems. Even professionals (and our own readers) aren’t in total agreement about how legal this is for traditional end users, and to make matters worse, various places on Microsoft’s website offer differing information. However, Microsoft isn’t going to check up on you to see whether you built the computer yourself or whether you sold it to someone else, so you should be fine using this method.

One thing I do have to bring up is that OEM licenses aren’t as flexible as retail licenses. With an OEM license, you can only activate it on the same computer with unchanged hardware. If you choose to replace any hardware in your computer, it may require another authentication that may end up not going through.

Second-Hand Sites Like eBay

If you need more flexibility than an OEM version of Windows 7 will offer, you can try to get a second-hand retail copy of Windows 7 from websites like eBay. At the time of writing this article, I even found a handful of auctions for copies of Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. Moreover, some professional sellers have new copies of Windows 7 at hand, which makes obtaining a copy easier.

You can save money when buying from individuals, but when it comes to software, you have to be very careful. You don’t know how many times the previous owner used the license and keys may end up not working.


You should be safe if you happen to come across a sealed/wrapped copy of Windows 7, as that implies the key was never used, but those are rare to come across in private auctions. Moreover, you will most likely pay a higher price for unopened boxes compared to open boxes, but having that peace of mind is something I’d pay extra for.

Out of all the options available in this article, going for second-hand copies is the cheapest option as even the full retail versions found on eBay cost approximately the same or less as the OEM versions from online retailers.

Get A New PC With Windows 7

Finally, if you can’t get Windows 7 as a standalone, you can try to buy a new PC that comes preinstalled with Windows 7. There are plenty of brands and online retailers that let you shop for computers with certain criteria, including which operating system is installed on it. If you find this option, just check any Windows 7 editions Windows 7 Editions Explained In Simple Terms Read More you’re interested in.

If you’re looking at a favorite brand, but don’t see any available with Windows 7, you could potentially check out their section for business computers. Since businesses are holding on to Windows 7 for dear life, the chances of finding a Windows 7 PC here will be higher.


Having to narrow down your choices due to the operating system makes shopping for a computer a bit more difficult. You’ll end up paying a lot more using this method since you’re buying an entirely new computer rather than just the operating system. But if you’re really locked in on using Windows 7, then doing so may be worth it.


Despite Microsoft discontinuing the sale of Windows 7, it really isn’t that hard to get a legitimate copy of Windows 7. If you’re wanting to save some money, do some research before you buy a product key; otherwise, just nab an OEM copy from an online retailer or get a retail version from a professional eBay seller.

Any other places to get Windows 7 product keys? What are the cheapest options you’ve found? Let us know in the comments!

Related topics: Buying Tips, Windows 7.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Lorent
    June 8, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Hello, I would like to share with you all this very interesting website :
    licence-activation (.) com
    Where you can find and get an original activation key and a genuine licence on a very interesting price.
    I have tried a key from the website myself, and it is perfectly working.
    They answer very quickly to emails, and can even assist you online through "Teamviewer", in case of a problem.
    I highly recommend.

  2. A. Mattei
    September 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    My son's vaio 4 years old laptop (bought on Sears) hdd just died windows 7 wont come up and the key no. is ware off i can only figure out the first 3 groups of numbers Sony told me to call Windows, Windows told me to call Sony they both told me to buy a new PC or Operating System i know they both have incredibly big data bases on their clients but they dont save lists of the key no. sold with each machine? Is this some kind of stratagem? Is there a goverment agency that protect the clients? were can i put a complain. They dont seem to care to lose a client.

  3. Anonymous
    July 22, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Get official Office 2016 Product Key from here:
    Works like a charm.

    • papa
      January 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      We wanted a Windows 7 key, nobody wants your illegal office key.

  4. hafiz
    March 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Microsoft offers many ways to buy Windows 7. You can buy the operating system preinstalled on a new PC, upgrade an existing PC using a shrink-wrapped retail package, purchase an upgrade online, or build a PC from scratch and install Windows yourself. In each of these cases, you can also take your pick of multiple Windows editions The price you pay will vary, depending on the edition and the sales channel. There are different license agreements associated with each such combination. Those license agreements are contracts that give you specific rights and also include specific limitations.
    This might sound arbitrary. Indeed, a common complaint I hear is that Microsoft should simply sell one version of its OS at one price to every customer. That ignores the reality of multiple sales channels, and the fact that some people want the option to pay a lower price if they don't plan to use some features and are willing to pay a higher price for features like BitLocker file encryption.
    If you're not a lawyer, the subject of Windows licensing can be overwhelmingly confusing. The good news is that for most circumstances you are likely to encounter as a consumer or small business buyer, the licensing rules are fairly simple and controversy never arises. But for IT pros, enthusiasts, and large enterprises knowing these rules can save a lot of money and prevent legal hassles.
    I have been studying the topic of Windows licensing for many years. As I have discovered, Microsoft does not have all of this information organized in one convenient location. Much of it, in fact, is buried in long, dry license agreements and on sites that are available only to partners. I couldn't find this information in one convenient place, so I decided to do the job myself. I gathered details from many public and private sources and summarized the various types of Windows 7 license agreements available to consumers and business customers. Note that this table and the accompanying descriptions deliberately exclude a small number of license types: for example, I have omitted academic and government licenses, as well as those provided as part of MSDN and TechNet subscriptions and those included with Action Pack subscriptions for Microsoft partners. With those exceptions, I believe this list includes every license situation that the overwhelming majority of Windows customers will encounter in the real world.
    Are you want to upgrade windows 7 to windows 10....
    i recommend you to visit // and purchase a upgrade key win7 to win 10... in a reasonable price.

  5. Philip Lishman
    March 13, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Microsoft's high operating system prices seem to be the main reason for computer hardware being thrown away. Anything though that will run Windows Vista (hardware up to about 10 years old) will run 7, 8, 8.1 and 10, yet it will almost always be cheaper to buy new computer hardware than to upgrade the operating system and keep your existing hardware, despite it being perfectly good.

    Microsoft is effectively running a cartel with hardware manufacturers in charging low prices for Windows to computer manufacturers, and high prices to retail customers and upgraders in order to force them to buy new hardware.

    The stalling of Moore's Law in computer hardware development and performance is probably due mostly to the formation of this cartel.

    • papa
      January 3, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      you are an idiot. Cartel!
      The Mafia made windows 10

  6. Joe Mama
    March 1, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    You can use the phone activation option to activate each key many times over. I go to computers in businesses and libraries that run the same version of 7 and write down their activation keys and use them many times over with the telephone activation option in Windows. It works well, I have never paid a penny for a copy of Windows, and even if you get put on the phone with their foreign call center, they will activate it.

  7. Thomas Chambers
    February 3, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    I have been battling with Windows 7 to try to make it run correctly for quite awhile. Then the error message comes up, "Back Up Your System Now"! Failing C Drive. Luckily I have it backed up twice an will keep playing to see if there is an way to Isolate the failing sector/sectors. Once I have figured out if this can be done. I still have issues with older soft ware that I prefer to run, because that is what I like to run. From what I understand, there is the original Windows 7 and upgrades. Interpreted Windows 8 down graded???? Bottom line as I understand, it has to be Windows 7 Original. All indicators say I still am running Windows 7 Original! Back to the beginning!

  8. Emily
    August 8, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Some times ago, I was urgently need product keys for my office notebooks, where install windows 7 professional 64bit, So I search at Google to buy, but most of online stores has windows 7 pro 32bit key at $28 and a uae store has 64bit, but its price was $38. I talk about my friend to arrange this keys for me, Who searched worldwide and got it at very reasonable cost from ODosta Store, Recently I also purchased myself a product keys for windows 7 pro 64bit@ just $18, Which are working good, So I recommend you for:

    • Anonymous
      June 9, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you. Bit hard to find the page selling the licenses, but Win 7 Pro 64-bit is now down to $20. And this way I get a free upgrade to Win 10 Pro.

  9. Charlie
    July 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    We had a relic XP box here at the house that was maxed out on 1GB of memory and a Pentium III model T processor. Needless to say it was a bit long in the tooth and in no way capable of handling an OS upgrade.

    Seeing as how my sister (whose house I share) had an Acer laptop running '7 and reading all sorts of negative user comments on Windows 8, I'd been looking for something similar and familiar.

    I found it on Amazon: a refurbished Core 2 Duo 2.3Ghz, 64-bit Dell Optiplex 780, 4GB memory, decent video card and a DVD writer. It's a gazelle compared to the horse and buggy it replaced. What really surprised me was that at $235 it wasn't that much more expensive and the Windows 7 operating system a la carte. Equally satisfying was that as a refurb it wasn't loaded with tons of bloatware!

  10. John W
    July 17, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Reddit softwareswap

  11. Simon
    June 28, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Usual vagueness with no authoritative answers simply posting crap and adverts. Why don't you people get off the net and give space to people who know what they're talking about give advice? Wouldn't it be nice to do a search and find informed opinion?

  12. John O
    April 8, 2014 at 12:08 am

    If a comment is not approved do you guys email the person if they have provided a genuine email address to say why?
    I'm just wondering.

  13. John O.
    April 7, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    PLEASE DELETE my previous comment ( I forgot the link, so sorry ).
    Okay everyone. You can get WINDOWS ( XP/ Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 )
    and OFFICE ( 2007 / 2010 ) cheap here.
    They say they only sell GENUINE keys. They have not failed me yet. :-)
    I've used these guys a few times and their email response is usually quick too. :-)
    PLEASE NOTE: Not a single key has ever failed that I have bought from them.

    WINDOWS 7 from
    €20.15 to €55.41 ( US$27.69 to US$76.18 ) (£16.67 to £45.85 )
    I think they charge a little extra if you want a download link.
    If you already have an install disc then you only buy a PRODUCT KEY.

  14. Ariel Maudet
    April 1, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    FromBuenos Aires, Argentina, 77 years old: I've been using XP for a long while in my desktop which i'd tweaked for high performance. Three years ago bought a Dell Inspiron notebook which came with a DOS CD, that was the reason for it been cheap. I backed up my full XP installation.
    Then installed Ubuntu as primary OS and my doctored WinXP in a virtual machine. I had copied my previous XP files to a pen drive to keep it safe; then from the XP virtual I transfered my documents win files to Ubuntu and cleaned it. I've kept XP in my Dell and use it for internal work; though i can use internet with Firefox I seldomly do so. The reason is safe keeping, though running from a Win XP Virtual is like having it in a sandbox.
    And keeping XP is because of my experience with Microsoft, XP has been the best OS I've used, albeit Ubuntu now.
    When one is used to Win (since Win 1 to XP) as has been my case) and its companion software one is a bit wary on change, due to the learning curve to use a new OS, although I'd been interested in Linux for the last 15 years.
    My computer library had a place for open software: Linux magazines, 15 books or so, web files on the subject. Different distributons software. Poked a bit with Linux. The learning curve with Linux was at the time quite steep; never had the courage to change the status quo.
    Satisfied with Ubuntu now.
    I'm refurbishing a couple of vintage PC's to use as a Music center and a data warehouse: both with Linux.
    My old desktop will have a similar configuration as my actual notebook: Ubuntu & XP or Win 7 for my wife, who isn't afraid of having a new experience.
    PD. Thanks to the great work of MUO.

    • Griffo
      April 10, 2014 at 9:12 am

      Ariel, I think it's so great to see even pleople that are 70+ years old can help themselves with something that is by no means trivial, like setting up an OS. Using virtualisation? Vow!

  15. Chuck
    March 27, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I have 4 laptop computers here that are presently using Win XP. Three of them double boot with various Linux versions. I put off trying Linux for years before trying it out. I would argue that for the typical computer user who is not a power user, Linux is far easier to install and use than any version of Windows. I have installed XP at least a half dozen times and each time was a horror that consumed a full day by the time all drivers and application software was installed and the machine was ready to use. For Linux I suggest you start with a half dozen live-cd distributions you can try before installing. Once you have picked one, install it beside your XP install and practice using it for a week. If you don't like it, you still have your sluggish and virus prone Windows XP to fall back on.

    Linux takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to install, depending on the speed of your computer and the distribution you choose. I always give myself an hour because I like to play with it for a while after it is installed, to checkout all the bells whistles and free application software.

    The only downside of installing Linux is that you may end up with bruised shins or backside as a result of kicking yourself for not having switched to Linux earlier.

  16. B Hilts
    March 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I am in the market for a new PC, but I have not been able to find one with the Windows 7 operating system. A friend of mine said that if I buy a PC with W8, I can download the W7 for free. Is this true.

    • brad
      March 1, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      Shop at Costco you can get a dell desktop with windows 7 professional, with lots of ram and a good video card for a great can return the computer for any reason for 3 get a second year warranty through Costco for free. ALSO... check out their concierge service,

  17. royala
    March 24, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Your original question about where to get cheap Win sells keys for $60 or so (have your own media) - Win7 HPrem 32/64. sells "branded" OEM for less than $80 -Win7 HPrem 32 or 64. These are what I use to build/convert to Win7 for customers, helps with the lower pricing for them.

  18. anonymous
    March 24, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Or you could go to school and get Dreamspark access then get a key for Windows 7 that way.

  19. Alan
    March 24, 2014 at 10:53 am


    I hae been using Ubuntu on my laptops for years. I currently run Ubuntu 2012.04, and i've had no issues.

    Ten years ago, it was more difficult, but not now, and i expect if you used Ubuntu 2014.04 g
    (out in a few days) its likely even more compatible, but as others say above, yu can run it from a DVD or USB to see if things work. It will be slow off a DVD, but there is little or no risk as you arent installing anything on the machine.

    Give it a go - no reason not to!


  20. Jane
    March 22, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Not many people generally prefer the old version of something over the new. This should speak volumes of feedback for Microsoft...

    Definitely agree it's a good opportunity to try a Linux variety now as a result. It would be silly not to given it's free (even run it from a live CD/USB so you can try it easily without even having to install it). It certainly opened my eyes. Quite impressed.

    • Lori
      March 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      I understand from both you and Henry that using Linux is set up for desktops only. Is there a particular problem with laptops? My husband's laptop has Win XP and it's running slow. I figured if we back up his stuff on an external drive, wipe out his C drive (can't even kick Norton AV off) and put in my Windows 7 CD (retail, not OEM) but Linux sounds appealing until I read that laptops struggle with it. Any solution(s) would be my hubby isn't ready to buy a new laptop, just yet.

    • dragonmouth
      March 24, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      I have been running Linux on a Dell Inspiron 7500 and a ThinkPad T21, both with a P3 667Mhz CPU, for the past 3 or 4 years. In fact I installed the latest version of SimplyMEPIS Linux on the T21 just a few days ago. You might run into some problems if your laptop has nVidia graphics but that can be fixed by installing different drivers. But, truthfully, I had more problems with device drivers when using Windows.

  21. Hash
    March 21, 2014 at 3:59 am

    I was able to find and buy a full retail version of Windows 7 Ultimate less than a week ago at (no longer available)

    It came sealed and looking pretty :)

  22. jelabarre
    March 21, 2014 at 12:17 am

    $85-$95 is cheap???? That's at least *twice* what ANY copy of MSWindows is worth. As for fleaBay, I wouldn't trust any copy I bought there, I expect the overwhelming majority of those are pirated/hacked/illegal copies.

  23. dmavin
    March 21, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Three years ago, I bought a Windows 7 license to upgrade the OS on my HP laptop from Windows Vista. The installation took 8 hours. I was totally stunned, not to mention frustrated. At the end of this exercise, my laptop ran much better with Windows 7.

  24. Jeff C
    March 20, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    I have a Win 7 Home Premium OEM System Builder Pack, bought online. The box says that it must be preinstalled on the systen harddrive using the OEM Preinstallation Kit. Does that involve anything I wouldn't have encountered during other Win 7 installs I've done using ISOs I downloaded via Digital River? Like maybe having to have driver install files on hand for all of the other components in the build?

  25. mike gordon
    March 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Another good reason to switch to Linux /Ubuntu etc. Free means you can afford to not like it and change if you need to. Using Wine you can run lots of windows software if you don't like the free equivalents , this doesn't apply to many games though . Though for the vast majority of us , email , wordprocessor and browser is all you need and there is an absolute mountain of software to replace Office and many other exotic applications. Go on , have a's free .

  26. James
    March 20, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I highly recommend staying clear of eBay auctions for software, I was burned by a seller that had an auction up for a new sealed Windows 7 Pro dvd/license. When it arrived it was a handwritten key with a burned copy of Windows 7. I complained to eBay and got my money refunded. I reported the seller to Microsoft as well - providing address, phone number etc - everything I had from the seller/return shipping. Pirates that prey like this need to be made example of.

  27. Vyom
    March 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Dreamspark! If you can prove you are a student though.
    But dreamspark is the best way to get license to almost everything. Windows Server 2008 R2 is equivalent to Windows 7. You also have Server 2012 edition which is basically Win 8.
    Just need to tweak a lot to make it feel like Win 7, but its worth it if you can't buy the original Win 7.

    Using Windows Server 2008 R2 for a year now. Its good.

  28. Henry
    March 20, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Many machines running XP may be too slow for ease with 7. Linux has gotten almost easy for newbies, and Windows users will find flavors made especially for them at Linux is free, relatively easy to install for desktops, comes with everything and every program you might need for normal computer activities, and usually updates itself. It is worlds faster on older machines, and faster even on new ones. That comes from a much smaller, more efficient OS kernel, and no need for a virus checker to check everything before you can do or see it. Linux is related to MacOs, but can be made to "look" like Windows. It will run many Windows programs, but has better free alternative apps for almost everything you do. I said "for desktops" above, because one of the areas of difficulty is on some wireless chip sets, so it might take some help with some laptops. The biggy here is not getting people off Windows, but getting them off the upgrade treadmill. Most of the hardware out there is very adequate for Linux, and you could have a much faster browsing and using experience, and maybe never buy another machine. Oh, and you can try many flavors on your machine without actually installing them, to see if it likes your machine, and if you like it. My opinion, my experience. It is a (mostly) free world. Not dissing MS or Apple (I use them both), but "free, open, and fast" is nice to consider. Makeuseof should have an open, continuing series on switching to and using FOSS.

    • jez
      March 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      True enough, but some games don't work on linux, would have love to migrate my system on it if games work well with it without using wine.:)

  29. Dennis
    March 20, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Buying software in shrink wrap doesn't mean a thing. Any video store will shrink wrap an item for you........

  30. Rob H
    March 20, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    @steve: "I don’t consider buying new hardware as a cheap means of obtaining win7."
    I think what Danny probably meant was that the PC manufacturers bulk buying means they get a better price for Win7 than you or I and part of that benefit is reflected in the price of the PC. But also MS aren't keen to sell you Win7, they'd rather you took v8 but they know that whilst thay can bully retail buyers, businesses will be insisting on Win7 - hence if you want Win7 look at business PCs rather than those aimed at SOHO users.

  31. John
    March 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    I'm running Win 7 pro 64 bit bought from Germany on ebay UK.
    I'm just about to buy another ten licenses from them. They are Dell, Fujitsu or HP DVDs which are multilingual including English. There is some Eurozone or German law that allows them to sell these OEM discs without having to comply with MS rules to supply hardware with them. Ebay seems to have no issues with them either.

  32. Bala
    March 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Well I suppose you can buy a Windows 8 laptop and use your downgrade rights as well.
    I am from India, and I have downgraded a Windows 8 preinstalled HCL laptop to Windows Seven by calling up Microsoft and using downgrade rights. Well did this about 8 months back.
    I do like Windows 8/8.1 but for programming and LAMP I still trust Windows 7, but Linux is better though in these matters.

  33. Mike
    March 20, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Is it possible to install Windows 7 on a machine that is already running 8?

    • C Fisher
      March 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      I have the same question. I have Win 8 and I really don't like it. It might be ok if I had a touchscreen computer, but I don't.

    • Chuck
      March 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Yes. Back up your data, such as your docs, pictures, music, videos, Favorites, bookmarks, e-mail data (if not using an online service), and financial data (if it isn't already stored in your docs). Then format your drive (you can do this during the install) and install Windows 7. One thing I would do first is identify all my drivers accurately, and download them in advance. Save them with your data. And of those, the most important is your network drivers (whether hard wired, wireless, or both). Good luck!

    • Mike
      March 20, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Excellent, thanks Chuck. It's beyond my level of comfort, I will look for a firm to do that for me.

    • jez
      March 20, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Problem only arises with the drivers, as they are hard to come by especially if you bought a pre-built system running on win8, especially motherboard resources...

    • Bob
      March 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Why not install a program to make 8 look like 7? Something like this?

    • Geoff.burnes
      March 22, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      I think that Bob's suggestion, while helpful, misses the main point. It's not so much what 8 looks like (though I agree that is a problem), but more how unstable and bug-ridden it is. Office 2013 is worse! I question whether Microsoft know the meaning of the words 'regression testing', since 8, 8.1 and Office 2013 have introduced new bugs in features that worked fine in Windows 7 and Office 2010. And shipping apps that consume all of your screen and have no 'off' button - so the only way to kill them is with the 3-finger salute and task manager - should be a criminal offence!

    • ?
      April 9, 2014 at 1:38 am

      You can run multiple operating systems on one computer.

  34. John
    March 20, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Another way to get an Windows 7 license for 'free' is get it through an MSDN (or an MSDN Academic) license if you got one or know some one who has one. Ubuntu is also an option too.

    • Chris
      March 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      That is my favorite thing about being a student in computer science... The amount of free software I am able to get. MSDN is great.

  35. Kyle B
    March 20, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Reddit softwareswap, cheap way to get a windows 7 key (or any other software for that matter) normally you can get windows 7 for 20 dollars (Retail keys at that). You can then use KMS to check validity hasn't failed me.

    • JC
      March 22, 2014 at 4:45 am

      Where do you get this specific Reddit App? Can't seem to find it for IOS?

  36. tom g
    March 20, 2014 at 9:12 am

    People should look into some type of linux like Ubunntu, Limux Mint or Fedora (just to name a few)! They are getting better and their FREE! They would get better faster if more people used them. Not many Virus' either!

    • Spendthrift Moneypants
      March 20, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      "They are getting better and THEY'RE free." Just sayin'...

    • Steve Montgomery
      March 20, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      You might also look into student discounts through Microsoft. I've bought copies of Win 7 and 8 using this excellent service. I paid less than fifty bucks for each of these complete packages. I just had to show that I had a school email addy. I'm not sure that MS still offers this program, but it's definitely worth checking into!

    • Tom S
      March 21, 2014 at 3:03 am

      was using Ubuntu, just tried Mint, liked it better

    • Rod.whodesign
      March 27, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      I was looking at Ubuntu because Windows 8 is driving me nuts. I'm not a techie, but it seems I can't use any of my existing software that I rely on (3D Studio, Photoshop, etc. ) because Ubuntu is Linux based. So pretty unhappy now, looks like I have to pay Microsoft more money to get windows 7. Any advice on alternatives welcome...

    • Jeremy Kuehnau
      September 13, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Telling people to just use Linux instead is a terrible response to this.

      People use Windows because they don't want to deal with Linux's hang-ups. They want software that just works, they want software that compatible with a majority of the market and more importantly they don't want to have to jump through hoops to do anything on it.

      Until Linux is more friendly, it's just not an option for Windows users to transfer over to Linux. In some situations like Android smart phones and tablets, it works perfectly fine because the OS is friendly, condensed and easy to use. People want to click a button and go, not have to program their own god damn drivers.

  37. Alex
    March 19, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    tell me this article is a joke, right?
    what's for tomorror? "How to make an omelette using 2 eggs, in under 3 hours, spending less than 100 bucks" ?

    • Db
      March 20, 2014 at 5:01 am

      You have been awarded the "Grumpy Pants" comment of the week. Congrats.

    • Jeff
      August 27, 2014 at 12:44 am

      I agree, the author is an idiot. $100 for windows is NOT cheap.

  38. steve
    March 19, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I don't consider buying new hardware as a cheap means of obtaining win7.

  39. David
    March 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    This is the one thing that can be risky on ebay, I bought some windows 7 keys cheap, they were emailed to me, I installed the OS and registered the key, it worked fine for a few months then my windows said it was an unauthorized key and I had to buy a new one. I am not sure if this seller was using a unauthorized keymaker, or if he sold the same keys over and over or what.

    • kloroform
      February 14, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      he sold it over and over

  40. Tony P
    March 19, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Why not download free from microsoft as per makeuseof article?

    • Colin
      March 20, 2014 at 1:05 am

      You must already have the key/license for your computer for this to work. No upgrade/changing to a diffent product.