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Windows 7: Recovering Windows Product Key

17 Oct 2013   #1
cosmarchy

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
 
 
Recovering Windows Product Key

I want to recover my Windows 7 product key but am not having much luck.

I have tried the following software(s):
speccy
magicaljellybean
nirsoft
produkey

but they have all recovered the wrong key. It is a laptop and the trouble is that half off the label has rubbed off where it rests on my lap. What is recovered is different from what I can see of the label.

Is there any software which will recover the correct product key?

Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Oct 2013   #2
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

Do all the utilities return the same product key? If so, perhaps the key on the bottom of the laptop is the wrong one. For instance, maybe the OS was re-installed from a different disk or something like that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2013   #3
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Order the Dell Recovery DVD, no product key need to reinstall.

How to use Dell Recovery Partition,make Recovery Disks & how to order Microsoft official Dell OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks.
Manuals | Dell US
RouteTo
Customer Support | Dell US
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17 Oct 2013   #4
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

If you are running the OS that was pre-installed with the PC, the product key will be different than the one that is on the COA label.
The pre-installed key is an OEM SLP (System Locked Pre-installation) key, and that is the key you find with those programs.
The key on the COA label is probably an OEM COA key.

If you want to do a clean install of Windows, you can not use the OEM SLP key.
For a clean install, you must use the key printed on the COA label, or purchase a new key.

I'm no installation or activation expert, but this is my understanding from my lurking here and reading about activation issues.

If you haven't done so, you should see if you can burn your own set of Recovery DVDs.
There should be a utility somewhere in Start Menu / All programs for this.
Most OEMs include this utility "out-of-the-box" and it's the Users responsibility to create these discs.
This would save you from having to order a set of recovery discs from Dell.
The first link theog gave you in post #3 should help you with recovery discs questions.

I've seen many threads here in SF where a user can not read the COA key because it is worn and unreadable.
Whenever someone buys a PC, they should record the COA key and keep it stored somewhere safe in case they ever need it.
Some people put plastic over the key, some manually type the key into a document, some scan it, ... whatever.
I think most people never save it, and later learn they need it.

I did read a thread a while ago where someone could not read the COA key.
In the end they scanned it, used "image program(s)" and edited so they could eventually get the key that was not "human readable".
I don't remember the details or know what program(s) they used, but I thought that was pretty cool.
I don't know if I could find that thread again, but if I do I'll post the link to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2013   #5
gregrocker

 

David's exactly right that you cannot use the key which activated factory preinstalled Win7.

If you can't read the COA sticker Product Key then make your Recovery Disks as a backup while the utility still works. I'd also save a backup image of your Win7.

Then when you need to reinstall try running Factory Recovery from its partition, saving the disks and image for backup. Or if you prefer you can apply the image.

If these fail you'll need to order your Recovery disks to use the preinstalled OS license that came with the PC, otherwise buy a new Key to insert.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2013   #6
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

This one?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidW7ncus View Post
I don't know if I could find that thread again, but if I do I'll post the link to it.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jagman55 View Post
Was able to read all the COA even though was unreadable with the naked eye.

I have an EPSON v500 scanner, using 800/1200 bpi and tweaking other settings, I scanned the COA sticker.

Then using ACDSEE (free trial), color changes, etc, and lots of zooming, you can see the number is: 6R778-Y2XMC ...................

that was invisible to the naked eye even with magnifying glass.

ACDSEE allows editing of jpg images with manipulations.

With a trial ACDSEE 6.0 and an EPSON scanner and lots of OLD fashion Missouri Mule Hardheadedness, I recovered my COA.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2013   #7
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by derekimo View Post
This one?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DavidW7ncus View Post
I don't know if I could find that thread again, but if I do I'll post the link to it.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jagman55 View Post
Was able to read all the COA even though was unreadable with the naked eye.

I have an EPSON v500 scanner, using 800/1200 bpi and tweaking other settings, I scanned the COA sticker.

Then using ACDSEE (free trial), color changes, etc, and lots of zooming, you can see the number is: 6R778-Y2XMC ...................

that was invisible to the naked eye even with magnifying glass.

ACDSEE allows editing of jpg images with manipulations.

With a trial ACDSEE 6.0 and an EPSON scanner and lots of OLD fashion Missouri Mule Hardheadedness, I recovered my COA.
That's it - You DA MAN! Great find...
If this technique works for recovering COA keys, maybe this could be a sticky ???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2013   #8
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Probably depends on the wear level too, someone else mentioned something about rubbing a pencil lead lightly on it too to see it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2013   #9
DocBrown

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

What should be a "Sticky" is to make several backups of your COA - Key Codes. Printed copies & text files stored on HD's & USB flash drives, CD's, or even floppy discs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2013   #10
gregrocker

 

Sometimes we get reports that MS Phone Activation will collect enough information to activate with a partial OEM product key. If one was going to buy a key anyway then I think I'd give that a try first after reinstall.

There is also a method to back up the OEM SLP activation file before reinstall and then afterwards reinstall it to activate, but it is not supported here by decision of the Admins due to the possibility of it being misused somehow. But it is searchable.
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