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Windows 7: Non-booting Win 7; need version and serial key.

31 Oct 2014   #11

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

This is an example of the COA sticker that should be on the laptop.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2014   #12

Windows 7, Windows 8

This is how it is:

We have a Dell laptop in our office, bought from a local shop. I didn't use it regularly, but I have used it at times, so I know it runs Win 7. Whether it is Professional or Home Premium, or x32 or x64, I don't know. This laptop stopped booting, and I was asked to help as the warranty was over, and taking it to the shop and getting a format and reinstall would involve spending money, and there was no need to do this as I could do the necessary stuff on my own. The first thing I had to do was to recover data from the partition C:. Once the data was recovered, I would format and reinstall Windows. I would need the Windows DVD and the product key for that, but since the first priority was to recover data, I didn't think about this at that time.

First I booted from the Linux DVD (Puppy Linux), and it did allow me to recover some data, but there was a video DVD on the desktop, and it was taking too much time copying to the USB drive, so I cancelled it for the time being; I decided to copy it the next day. Then, a guy who has an annual contract for the desktops in the office came up, and we asked him to take a look at the laptop, and he booted from some DVD of his own, and said that the partition has got corrupted, which is strange, because I myself had booted from Puppy Linux, and everything seemed fine till then. Later, when I booted from Ubuntu, I found that the first two of the four partitions (including partition C:, which contains Win 7) didn't show up at all; there was some kind of error. This meant there was no way to recover data from the partition C: now, and the next step would be to format - reinstall.

But now I was stuck: I knew that it was Win 7, but not the version or anything. I have my own laptop, a Toshiba L755, which came with Win 7 Home Premium pre-installed, and there's a sticker on the laptop as well. But this office Dell laptop doesn't have any such sticker; maybe there was one earlier and someone removed it, or maybe it didn't come with a sticker at all; I don't know.

Now there was no way to recover the data, and no way to install without knowing the Windows version and the product key, which is why I made a thread here.

But since there is no way to get any info about the Win 7 version or the product key from within the laptop itself, the office finally decided that they'll contact the Dell shop from where we bought it on Monday, and ask them. I mentioned this in post #5. When we contact them, we'll ask them everything, starting from the version, to whether its x32 or x64, to the product key. Or maybe the office will just give them the laptop and ask them to do the whole format - reinstall.

Now I didn't mention all this in the first post itself, but no way can I understand how I am playing games, as I've been accused of in a previous post. Regardless of this, I'd like to thank everyone who has given replies. I don't know much about computers, I only know some basic stuff, and if there's a problem, I look around for a solution on the net, and usually I can solve the problem on my own, with the help I receive from forums, etc.

I haven't done any formatting and reinstalling since the past two years, so I don't remember correctly, but I think there was a time when you could install Windows (maybe it was 7 or maybe it was XP) by running the setup and skipping the product key part, and once Windows was installed, you could enter the product key, until which time, Windows would keep bugging you about the key. I last formatted and reinstalled Win 7 on my Toshiba laptop in 2012, and I must have entered my sticker product key in the beginning; I really don't remember.

Some people have mentioned the legal aspect of not having an OEM sticker, and that's fine, but its not my concern. If the Dell shop from where we got it didn't follow the rules, then it is something for my office to discuss with the shop.

Now that this sticker issue has come up, there is something that I'd like to say: two weeks ago, I asked a person returning from Dubai to buy a laptop for me. The one I got is a Dell laptop, an Inspiron 15 3537, i5, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, 1 GB graphics card, with Win 8 pre-installed. But - there is no product key sticker on it. There is an intel i5 sticker and there is an AMD Radeon sticker at the top, and there is a Service Tag sticker at the bottom, but no sticker which clearly mentions the product key, like the one I have on my Toshiba laptop (the Toshiba sticker is still there). I checked the battery, but nothing there as well. I searched around on the net and came to know that with newer laptops, the product key is already present in the machine itself, in the BIOS or UEFI or whatever; there's no need for the key unless you're doing a format-reinstall. Still, I've saved the product key, and also used Advanced Tokens Manager to do a backup. Control Panel - System and Security - System says "Windows currently running on your PC is activated". That means everything is alright, isn't it?

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2014   #13


Yes, WIndows 8 doesn't have a COA sticker but will reactivate after reinstall from the BIOS.

Let us know what you find out about the Win7 PC.

Everything needed is here to do a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Oct 2014   #14
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

The tutorial of Greg's has serve thousands of people. It will do you well.

At first I recommend just reading through the tutorial and get familiar with it and then do things step at a time.

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Non-booting Win 7; need version and serial key.

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