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Windows 7: Recovering Windows Product Key

18 Oct 2013   #11

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
David's exactly right that you cannot use the key which activated factory preinstalled Win7.

If you can't read the COA sticker Product Key then make your Recovery Disks as a backup, try running Factory Recovery from its partition.

If these fail you'll need to order your Recovery disks to use the preinstalled OS license that came with the PC, otherwise buy a new Key to insert.
Thank you Greg for the follow up agreeing with what i posted...:)

I don't think the OP said re-installing is what is needed (now)...they just want the Win 7 key.
So I wouldn't advise to try any type of re-install now...

Having said that, I would advise to create a System Backup Image before doing anything such as re-install, "disk management change", well - any system change!
And with that, I'm really going off topic

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2013   #12

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
What should be a "Sticky" is to make several backups of your COA - Key Codes. Printed copies & text files stored on HD's & USB flash drives, CD's, or even floppy discs
The thing is that info won't help the new poster here that has not backed up the key and can't read it.
I was thinking try to help those that are in that situation (unreadable key) - it seems to happen all too often from the threads I've seen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2013   #13
Microsoft MVP


Good point, David. If the OS doesn't need reinstall now then make your Dell - create backup discs and if it's is still in good shape save a Win7 backup image: Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

This way if you need to recover you have multiple choices: Run System Image Recovery in 20 minutes and you'll be right back to where you were when the image was made, run Dell Windows 7 PC Restore from Win7 or boot into it if Win7 won't boot, and as a backup boot the Recovery disks which restore the OS and the Recovery partition if it fails.

With Dell they will also give you the option to order a Reinstallation DVD which is a clean copy of Win7 for reinstall with only a Dell logo on the Properties page and self-activation. I would probably order this now to do a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which is a superior install anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Oct 2013   #14

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium

Thanks guys for your replies.
I didn't have a scanner so I took a picture on my phone. After opening with and playing with the colours for a while, I got all but one character. Armed with a list of valid characters it was only a matter of trial and error entering them one by one until I got the right code.

Thanks once again :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2013   #15

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

That's great to hear and nice work on getting the key!
Thanks for sharing that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2015   #16

Windows 10, 7 Home Premium

Used the MAG diagnostic as instructed and am simply following the additional instructions to fix this reinstall on an HP laptop. Can anyone tell me how half a COA code will work through this tool? Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Dec 2015   #17

Windows 10, 7 Home Premium

Need help with COA from MGA download info and I also don't know how to start my own thread, I'm trying though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Recovering Windows Product Key

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