Microsoft activation - are they thick?

I reinstalled Win 7 Pro on an HP laptop. I entered the key code from the COA. I was offline, so I didn't try activating it until I got the wifi going.

The next day while online, I tried to activate it. It said it wasn't valid. I phoned Microsoft. They said they couldn't activate it because it was an OEM key. I even read it out to him and he 'confirmed' that. There was no 'oem' on the COA, but there was an 'oem' in the 'Product ID' on the activation page. He said I would have to contact HP to get it activated.

Next to 'Product ID' was a link that said 'Change product key'. So I entered it again, and hey presto, it activated successfully.

geek_r.g.nixon, Apr 27, 5:01 am

The OEM key is a placeholder built into the image. If you never entered the actual product key on the COA while installing, the install couldn't activate a key that wasn't typed in.

geek_black-heart, Apr 27, 11:08 am

I typed in the product key while installing.

geek_r.g.nixon, Apr 27, 6:50 pm

I tried loading W7 onto a vista PC and used an unused product key from one of our dells at work.
All went well but a few days later got message about not being genuine so I just reentered the same key and everything sweet from there onwards.

Incidentally, wife's laptop started playing up and reloaded with a Casper clone back up and am getting the copy of windows not genuine?

geek_fishb8, Jan 8, 9:11 am