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Ed Loewenton asked on

Q: Running old W7 machine w/o internet. Can I keep on forever as described, or should I hook up the router cable?

I previously asked about running an old DOS program on a new W10 machine. DOSBOX was suggested. Since then, my old W7 computer burned out (capacitors on the motherboard), and I got a refurbed box (it had a MB and i5 CPU, added SSD and W10 OS). Starting mostly with new software. The HD was, fortunately, still good.

Solved old DOS problem by having bad MB replaced with identical new one. It woke up as if nothing had happened. I am not connecting it to network - using it so far only to run my 1994 Quicken 8 for DOS. 

 It is mostly turned off. 

The BIOS clock or the likes must be keeping the system date current .I plan to back up just the Quicken folder to a thumb drive.

Today I started to get a msg upon booting that my W7 is not an authorized version.  Clearly the OS keeps in touch with the Mother Ship. Now it cannot.

I COULD connect a spare ethernet cable for web connection. It has a more or less up to date version of Norton antivirus.

Operating SystemsSoftwareNetworking

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Ed Loewenton

8/22/2022 - Mon
Scott Silva

The system didn't have to call home to see that the OS was now out of compliance since it keeps a hardware snapshot locally and sees that too much changed and it thinks its a different machine...
You might be able to reactivate over the phone still, as connecting to the internet won't resolve the licensing issue by itself...

Once Windows 7 has determined that it is authorized, it shouldn't need to re-connect with Microsoft.

Does the computer have a Windows 7 sticker with a readable product key?  I'll assume it does.

I'd download keyfinder from magicaljellybean.com and read and save the product key that is presently in use.  Compare it to the one on the sticker.

Others may advise otherwise, but I wouldn't worry much about connecting a Windows 7 computer with av briefly to the internet assuming (VERY important!) that you are careful about what sites you visit.


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Ed Loewenton

Acting on advice received, I looked for the Lic. key on old computer. There isn't one. I remember now - when W7 was installed, a new licensed copy was not available, according to local shop. They used a free copy "for a refurbished PC". Sticker on case says "Win7 Home Premium for Refurb PC", and there are several numbers associated with that.
Given this, might it be better - avoiding any surprising events or processes - not ever to let this old computer connect to the internet?
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Ed Loewenton

Thanks, Matty -

I will hold onto that advice until such time as I have an actual operational need to let the old computer connect to the net, or until it decides to stop functioning.
You think that is a bad idea, and asking for trouble. If so, please explain.
Everything I will ever need from it is already on the hard drive.

Ed Loewenton