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Windows 7: Windows.old - can't find product key

19 Nov 2013   #1
MrGordita

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 
Windows.old - can't find product key

Hi,

I had an issue with new motherboard and my old hard drive. It would not boot into windows so I did a reinstall on it. I had what I thought was the product key from when I originally downloaded Windows 7 from MSDNNA or however it exactly was before Dreamspark.

They key I had written down is actually the product ID and not the product KEY.

I have run Produkey in an attempt to find it using this line i read in another thread,

F:\Windows.old\Windows\System32\config\software

It gave me the correct key for my other program however for Windows 7 it gives me a default key that is not valid. Did I do something wrong with this or am I completely out of luck? I don't have access to the .edu email I used to get Windows 7 from the website 4 years ago.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Nov 2013   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Do you happen to have an image of your old installation ??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2013   #3
MrGordita

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

I do not believe so unless it created one during install I do not.

I guess I should note that I didn't reformat the drive just reinstalled Windows 7. Which is why I have Windows.old I believe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Nov 2013   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:


Note:
The manual techniques used to locate the product key for the perating systems like Windows 95 and Windows 98 will not work in Windows 7. Those manual procedures will only locate the product ID number, not the actual product key used for installation. Lucky for us, several free programs exist to help find product keys.

Source: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/produc...dows-7-key.htm

Unfortunately you cannot apply those keyfinder programs to windows.old - at least I don't know any way to do that. Maybe somebody else has an idea.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2013   #5
MrGordita

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Unfortunately I feel as if I am out of luck. I contacted the activation support number for Microsoft however they were very unhelpful. I gave them all of the information, school, email address, name and they said they could send a new link to the email however once I graduated I was moved to an alumni email and it is separate from my student email that I no longer have access to.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2013   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You really seem to be out of luck. That's why I always preach to make frequent images. With an old image it would be a breeze to find the key. I am really sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2013   #7
MrGordita

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Can you link to good instructions on doing that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2013   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

This is my favorite imaging program (tutorial)

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2013   #9
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MrGordita View Post
It gave me the correct key for my other program however for Windows 7 it gives me a default key that is not valid. Did I do something wrong with this or am I completely out of luck? I don't have access to the .edu email I used to get Windows 7 from the website 4 years ago.
What were the last 5 characters of the Key you found?
It would be very unusual to find a default key there in a 'working' installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2013   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NoelDP View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MrGordita View Post
It gave me the correct key for my other program however for Windows 7 it gives me a default key that is not valid. Did I do something wrong with this or am I completely out of luck? I don't have access to the .edu email I used to get Windows 7 from the website 4 years ago.
What were the last 5 characters of the Key you found?
It would be very unusual to find a default key there in a 'working' installation.
The problem seems to be that you don't find the key in Windows.old of Windows 7but it gives you the product ID. That was different with older Windows distros.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows.old - can't find product key




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