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Windows 7: Cannot obtain Windows 7 product key

07 Aug 2010   #1

Windows 7 Starter
Cannot obtain Windows 7 product key


I've got a problem with my Windows 7 serial number... It got scratched and blurred off of the back of my netbook due to use :/. I've tried several different key finders, and they've all given me the same key as a result, but the key they've given me doesn't match what's left of the key on the bottom.

(As far as I know, the key on the bottom is located on the lower left part of the sticker, under the serial bar. Most of the sticker has lost its text, but that's where the product key was located on my Windows XP. The ten characters still left are clear enough as to realize they're not the same as the one the programs give me).

Should I trust the programs? I really need the key to reinstall the OS (as there are lots of other problems with the machine too :\).
Thank you (very much) in advance...


My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Aug 2010   #2

Windows 8.1 x64 x3 + Windows 10 Preview

This is a common issue - and unfortunately one that may be un-solvable

When the manufacturer of your PC made your system they used a system image to add the operating system and all the other Bloat free software - this included a special key that does not work like normal keys.

this key will be automatically re-used and activated if you restore using the manufacturer's own restore method - disk or recovery system

To enable you to re-install by other methods the manufacturer also includes another normal key printed on the base of the unit. This will also only work with your system but is not the same as the built in one.

your keyfinder programs are reporting the default built in key which is correct - but this key will only work under the OEM recovery system.

The only way I know of obtaining the external key is to contact the manufacturer and asking them to provide it - as long as you have proof of ownership of the system they may provide this but this would depend on them
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2010   #3

Windows 7 Starter

Ahh, I see. Thank you very much.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Aug 2010   #4

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

What programs did you use to view the installed key ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 7 Starter

Hah, I erased them just before I checked my email. I think they were Magical Jellybean, Winkeyfinder, Product Key Finder, Keyfinder Thing and Produkey. (I tried to be thorough).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

I've just tried Belarc Advisor which we've used at work before and it came back with the correct key for one of my systems but I am using a retail Windows 7 version and not oem.

Attached Thumbnails
Cannot obtain Windows 7 product key-ptoduct-keys.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2010   #7

Windows 8.1 x64 x3 + Windows 10 Preview

This is a manifestation of the SLIK system that has been abused in the passed to circumvent the licencing by faking an OEM bios

the key itself is not used to activate or authenticate as is the case with non-OEM systems., it merely allows the direct/auto activation.

A similar thing applies with a Windows 7 install, installed without entering a key. if you run a key finder it will produce a standard key - windows will not run without a key of some type, so a dummy key is included on the install media.

If you install a fresh system without using the OEM restore option you need a conventional key - this is the one supplied affixed to the base of the OEM system
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Have you tried creating recovery media to use:

System Image Recovery
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cannot obtain Windows 7 product key

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