Recovering Windows Product Key

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  1. Posts : 6,330
    Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM
       #11

    gregrocker said:
    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
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  2. Posts : 6,330
    Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM
       #12

    DocBrown said:
    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.
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  3.    #13

    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.
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  4. Posts : 13
    Windows 7 x64 Home Premium
    Thread Starter
       #14

    Thanks guys for your replies.
    I didn't have a scanner so I took a picture on my phone. After opening with paint.net 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.
    Brilliant.

    Thanks once again :)
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  5. Posts : 6,330
    Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM
       #15

    That's great to hear and nice work on getting the key!
    Thanks for sharing that.
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  6. Posts : 7
    Windows 10, 7 Home Premium
       #16

    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!
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  7. Posts : 7
    Windows 10, 7 Home Premium
       #17

    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 Computer


 
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