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Windows 7: Lost Product Key?

24 Apr 2015   #11
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

HD/SSD has nothing to do with it. It's simply that you MUST use the manufacturer's Recovery media for the install.


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24 Apr 2015   #12
clarknova

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

That may yet be an option. Thanks for the info.
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24 Apr 2015   #13
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

Windows 7 uses a SLIC table in the BIOS. It has OEM activation info but no actual product code. To make use of it you need custom OEM install media that has extra code added to make use of the SLIC table. Regular Windows 7 install media doesn't have the extra code added. Knowing the OEM manufacturers Product code is only half the battle. As mentioned, by itself it will not activate online. Use anything other than the custom OEM media and you'll get prompted to enter a product code. That changed with Windows 8. Now the actual product code is stored in the BIOS. Even Retail DVD's will read and use it automatically. That's why its not printed on the COA sticker, no need to. If your PC had shipped with Windows 7 installed from the factory it would have had a Windows 7 COA sticker with an actual product code on it. That's the code you would enter if you were using regular off the shelf install media. You have downgrade rights but no usable COA sticker. That sucks.
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25 Apr 2015   #14
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Not quite, Alpha...
Windows 8Pro machines shipped with downgrade rights have BOTH the Windows 8 Key in BIOS, and a Windows7-compliant SLIC table. They will ONLY have the Windows 8 Sticker - and no Windows 7 COA.
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25 Apr 2015   #15
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NoelDP View Post
Not quite, Alpha...
Windows 8Pro machines shipped with downgrade rights have BOTH the Windows 8 Key in BIOS, and a Windows7-compliant SLIC table. They will ONLY have the Windows 8 Sticker - and no Windows 7 COA.
Yes, I think that's what I said, or was trying to say anyway. His PC has the SLIC table but he doesn't have the required install media to use it. He also doesn't have a Windows 7 COA sticker with a usable code he could enter manually.
I guess my "if it had shipped with Windows 7" comment confused things. What I meant was if it had shipped with Windows 7 installed from the factory, it would have had a usable Windows 7 COA sticker. But since it didn't, it doesn't. That's all. I can see why they don't add the extra sticker. Some people would try to use it on another PC to save a buck, etc.
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