Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Determine Product Key From Unbootable Hard Drive

28 Jun 2014   #21
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Greg gave you a link to one of my Macrium tutorials which is a bit older but can be used. Here is a more recent version which also explains the recovery process.

Imaging with free Macrium


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
28 Jun 2014   #22
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

boweasel I would just like to mention a little information.

1. You do not need a COA key to install Windows 7. You do need it to activate Windows 7.

2. A hard drive that is running out of free space can cause all kinds of problems. Windows 7 and maybe other programs need elbow room to work properly. Normally that is 10 to 15 %.

From post #20

Quote:
It replaced a lot of bad clusters, before it told me it'd run out of space to replace the clusters. So far, as a slave drive I have not gotten the out-of-space msg.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2014   #23
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Run Produkey from your working system. Tick as below, then click OK.
Unfortunately this tool does not work for me. Whether it is because of chkdsk (still running, still on stage 4, replacing bad clusters like crazy, but also using 2GB - yes 2,000,000K - of my memory), or because of the state of the drive, is unknown. I am unable to provide screen captures at this point - it says 'Uploading File(s) - Please Wait', but it never finishes uploading - probably because of the memory tie up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

28 Jun 2014   #24
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
1. You do not need a COA key to install Windows 7. You do need it to activate Windows 7.
I appreciate the distinction but it has little practicable application since a non-activated Windows will expire in 30 days
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
2. A hard drive that is running out of free space can cause all kinds of problems. Windows 7 and maybe other programs need elbow room to work properly. Normally that is 10 to 15 %.
The E: drive, as it is now known did have 189GB of free space on a drive with a listed capacity of 250GB. In the last few minutes, while chkdsk is still running, the drive's properties have altered. It now shows a capacity of 0 bytes, used space of 0 bytes , and free space of 0 bytes. Chkdsk continues to run, but I expect it to give me the out of space msg when it tries to replace the next set of bad clusters.
*****
Hours later. The drive properties have not changed, and chkdsk seems like it will literally run for days. I killed the task, the memory freed up, and my drive properties are back to what they were before. Attached are several screen scans. I don't know how the 2 ProduKey images got out of order. Since ending chkdsk I tried that utility again, and again got no keys returned.

And how is it that Disk Management shows the E: drive as healthy? It's one of the unhealthiest drives I've ever seen.


Attached Thumbnails
Determine Product Key From Unbootable Hard Drive-capture2.png   Determine Product Key From Unbootable Hard Drive-capture3.png   Determine Product Key From Unbootable Hard Drive-capture4.png   Determine Product Key From Unbootable Hard Drive-capture5.png  
Attached Images
Determine Product Key From Unbootable Hard Drive-capture1.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2014   #25
gregrocker

 

This is typical of a failing Hard Drive which Disk Check may have run into the ground trying to repair the file system. What was needed to know the exact condition of the drive itself (as opposed to the resident file system) is the HD Diagnostic run from boot disk or Windows while drive is slaved. You can still do that, or read the SMART status at a glance using CrystalDiskInfo - Software.

I understand you'd already started Disk Check but it is frustrating still that the cautious procedure I gave you was not followed. Your key might still have been read before Disk Check and may still yet but the likelihood has decreased since this looks like the same neverending Disk Check loop we get in Startup Repair when it cannot fix a failed file system due to drive failure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2014   #26
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I understand you'd already started Disk Check but it is frustrating still that the cautious procedure I gave you was not followed. Your key might still have been read before Disk Check and may still yet but the likelihood has decreased since this looks like the same neverending Disk Check loop we get in Startup Repair when it cannot fix a failed file system due to drive failure.
Some times I'm not very good at reading between the lines. Just ask my wife. A slap upside the head followed by bellowing in my ear 'Just end the check disk' is all that would've been required.
Attached Crystal Disk info


Attached Thumbnails
Determine Product Key From Unbootable Hard Drive-capture6.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2014   #27
gregrocker

 

When would I ask your wife?

I'd try the Product Key scan again..

Do you have a spare hard drive to try a test image from the failing HD?

If not then since you have tons of space on the host PC HD, you can store the image there following Imaging with free Macrium - Windows 7 Help Forums , then apply the image to a test space you shrink to slightly larger size than image. Partition or Volume - Shrink

Then install EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required) to host OS to add the newly imaged OS to a Dual Boot.

If it applies and will not start then Adjust Win7 to boot on new hardware with Paragon Adaptive Restore CD.

At any time you can Delete the test partition in Disk Mgmt and Extend C over it.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2014   #28
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
When would I ask your wife?
Either the next time you're over for Yuengling Lager...., or it was a rhetorical question
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I'd try the Product Key scan again..
I still get nothing. Could I be using the wrong tool? I'm running something called produkey-x64, because THIS computer is 64 bit. But the slaved drive? I dunno, although I do not see a program files (x86) folder under Windows.
Edit - Downloaded the regular zip version. Still nothing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2014   #29
gregrocker

 

Then it's 64 bit, with a plain Programs file and another x86.

Install Macrium and try to save an image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2014   #30
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi boweasel,

Have you tried this? How To Recover Windows 7/8 Product Key From Unbootable Drive

Another method to extract it from Registry http://www.prime-expert.com/articles...m-registry.php
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Determine Product Key From Unbootable Hard Drive




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Windows 7 Product key on case, but no hard drive.
Hi, Have a pc with the Windows 7 Product key sticker on the case, but no hard drive. Can I install a hard drive and use this product key? Thanks, Joe
General Discussion
Trying to determine if my hard drive is about to die
I don't know if this is a hardware or a software issue, so I put it in this section. I'm really worried that one of my hard drives is failing, but I don't know for sure. Here's the story: Fed up with Windows 8.1, I decided to go back to Windows 7 Pro. So I copied all my personal files onto my...
Hardware & Devices
Reformatted hard drive, Windows product key not accepted
Hi guys, my Asus notebook came with Vista and the tech installed the Win 7 upgrade a few years ago. (I have the upgrade disks but there is no product key on them and the tech has left the country.) I recently reformatted the hard drive and inserted the Asus rescue and driver disks to get a clean...
Windows Updates & Activation
How Determine If Hard Drive Is Physical or Virtual?
How can one determine if a hard drive is physical or virtual? (From software--without opening up the computer.)
General Discussion
Determine if a Product Key is already in use on another machine?
I have multiple users, all remote and I have another machine I need to load with Windows 7, I know one of the retail versions of windows 7 I have has yet to be used, just not sure which one... Other than walking all users through the process of checking product codes to find which one is not in...
Windows Updates & Activation
New Hard Drive won't take same product key?
I just bought a new Hard drive and I installed windows 7 onto it, but whenever I put in my product key, it says the key is not valid. Does this mean I have to buy a brand new Windows 7 or is there a way around this?
Installation & Setup


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:09.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App