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Windows 7: Lost product key. Am I hosed?

20 Sep 2010   #11
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Considering your win7's legality is questionable, you can try going back to Vista. You have the following options.

1) Download Vista repair disks (no these are NOT install disks), you can run various recovery options after booting from that disk. Its a ~120 mb download.

Windows Vista Recovery Disc Download — The NeoSmart Files

2) If you created recovery disks for the Vista oem install, boot from them and let them do their stuff. This will restore factory default state. You can also do this from the hidden recovery partition but depends on whether you deleted that during win7 install.

3) If you dont have a Vista install dvd, borrow one from a friend or download from a clean site. Then, activate by calling MS.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Sep 2010   #12
mborner

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

Wow! I'm really shocked nobody else has mentioned this. If all you need is your Vista product key, and you have a Compaq laptop, why not look for your product key where nearly every laptop manufacturer puts it permanently? Stuck to the bottom of your laptop!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #13
Gameover

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Wow, im surprised that you didn't read it properly. he had vista, now he has windows 7. the sticker under the laptop will be for vista. /facepalm
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Sep 2010   #14
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Gameover View Post
Wow, im surprised that you didn't read it properly. he had vista, now he has windows 7. the sticker under the laptop will be for vista. /facepalm
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mborner View Post
Wow! I'm really shocked nobody else has mentioned this. If all you need is your Vista product key, and you have a Compaq laptop, why not look for your product key where nearly every laptop manufacturer puts it permanently? Stuck to the bottom of your laptop!!
Gentleman, chill!

1) Since the laptop came with vista pre-installed, the key at the bottom is for Vista.

2) However, the bottom key is actually NOT the one used to activate the install, neither does it work for online activation. You need to call MS to activate if you reinstall with a generic install disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #15
Gameover

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Gameover View Post
Wow, im surprised that you didn't read it properly. he had vista, now he has windows 7. the sticker under the laptop will be for vista. /facepalm
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mborner View Post
Wow! I'm really shocked nobody else has mentioned this. If all you need is your Vista product key, and you have a Compaq laptop, why not look for your product key where nearly every laptop manufacturer puts it permanently? Stuck to the bottom of your laptop!!
Gentleman, chill!

1) Since the laptop came with vista pre-installed, the key at the bottom is for Vista.

2) However, the bottom key is actually NOT the one used to activate the install, neither does it work for online activation. You need to call MS to activate if you reinstall with a generic install disk.
THIS!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #16
mborner

Windows 7 Pro/32 Academic. Build 7600
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Gameover View Post
Wow, im surprised that you didn't read it properly. he had vista, now he has windows 7. the sticker under the laptop will be for vista. /facepalm
He already knows he can't install 7. Now he needs to re-install Vista but can't find his CD key, I told him where to find it. I guess you interpreted what he said differently than I.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hanshotfirst View Post
Now my laptop has crashed. Cant even get into it in Safe Mode. I need to re-install the OS, but I cant find the product key ANYWHERE.
Does anyone know if there is anything I can do? Or am I as hosed as I think I am?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
1) Since the laptop came with vista pre-installed, the key at the bottom is for Vista.

2) However, the bottom key is actually NOT the one used to activate the install, neither does it work for online activation. You need to call MS to activate if you reinstall with a generic install disk.
It's interesting because I just did a clean install on a Compaq laptop with no system discs. I dug up my full retail version and was able to install and activate using the CD key located on the bottom of the PC. No calls to MS needed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #17
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mborner View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Gameover View Post
Wow, im surprised that you didn't read it properly. he had vista, now he has windows 7. the sticker under the laptop will be for vista. /facepalm
He already knows he can't install 7. Now he needs to re-install Vista but can't find his CD key, I told him where to find it. I guess you interpreted what he said differently than I.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by hanshotfirst View Post
Now my laptop has crashed. Cant even get into it in Safe Mode. I need to re-install the OS, but I cant find the product key ANYWHERE.
Does anyone know if there is anything I can do? Or am I as hosed as I think I am?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
1) Since the laptop came with vista pre-installed, the key at the bottom is for Vista.

2) However, the bottom key is actually NOT the one used to activate the install, neither does it work for online activation. You need to call MS to activate if you reinstall with a generic install disk.
It's interesting because I just did a clean install on a Compaq laptop with no system discs. I dug up my full retail version and was able to install and activate using the CD key located on the bottom of the PC. No calls to MS needed.
Actually, this is not the first time I've heard this. Seems to be some kind of an (occasional) loophole in the scheme of things- MS disabled online activation of COA keys because of the rampant "pilferage" of such keys from boxes in computer shops, back in XP days.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #18
hanshotfirst

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Thanks for all the replies, everyone! Everything I tried didnt work, so I used an Ubuntu install disk to get it back on its feet. Now that I know (thank you) that I can call MS to activate Vista, it sounds like I just need to get my hands on a copy of Vista,which should be easy enough, and I'll be good to go. Actually, I like Ubuntu, but I'm looking to sell this machine, and I dont think it will be as sell-able with Ubuntu on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #19
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Why bother selling the machine with anything on it. Let the person who buys the machine be responsible for putting an operating system on their machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Sep 2010   #20
hanshotfirst

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Well, speaking only for myself, I'm not going to pay very much for a used machine, if I have to turn around and buy an OS that is almost as much as the machine was. Then your $200 notebook just became a $350 notebook. I cant see any intelligent buyer looking at it any differently. I want a fair price for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Lost product key. Am I hosed?




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