This is just a little tech note for myself:
I did a fresh install of Windows 7 Pro with VLK (volume license key) and activated it via the slmgr /ipk, ato commands. Shortly after install I realized the user needed a larger hard drive so I imaged the drive (Partition Wizard 7) and swapped to the new larger drive. This worked for a while (probably 30 days since that’s how long the initial product lasts before prompting for activation) and then it started having pop-ups to Validate the product to make sure it’s Genuine. Tried reactivating, still go that message the next morning. I tried deactivating so I could reactivate, but I wasn’t able to make the deactivate stick. I ran the /dlv command, followed by /upk (at which point I saw the System screen didn’t have anything listed under Windows Activation), rebooted and checked the System screen again and it had reverted back to saying the product was properly activated. So that was a no go.
After that I called Microsoft:
If you ever need to contact MS beware…clicking on the wrong set of links or options and you’ll find yourself staring at a prompt to enter in your CC in order to buy a support ticket for $499. I don’t remember all the rules, but I’m pretty sure they offer free support (I didn’t pay anything this time) for Activation-related support requests. If you’re calling on a Volume License Key they have their own support line. You can Google “Volume License Support Center Worldwide” and you should get a list with phone numbers on it. The number I used was United States toll-free 888-352-7140 x4. The agent had me read off my Installation ID, then redirected to an automated service to read me off the Confirmation ID. In order to get to the place where I could enter in that Confirmation ID, I went to START and entered “slui 4” and ENTER. That brought up the Offline Activation wizard. I entered in the Confirmation ID and clicked Next and it was successful.