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Windows 7: New SSD. Am I unable to clean install windows 7?

22 Jun 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
New SSD. Am I unable to clean install windows 7?

Apologies if something like this has already been posted, I couldn't find this issue with my searches. :)

I have just bought an SSD to improve system speeds, so I obviously want this as my system drive. I currently have genuine OEM windows 7 ultimate x64 installed, however the sticker on my machine is damaged (and old) so I am unable to do a clean install, Microsoft support tells me that I can't recover my product key, have to get it from HP, HP tells me they can't provide it, only recovery CDs.

I just want my legitimate copy of Windows on my new SSD, this appears to be allowed under Windows licensing as it is the same machine, just a new drive.

Someone suggested using System Image and restore disc, however the old drive is larger than my SSD so i don't think this will work, and Microsoft Support said they would not recommend "migrating" my install.

I want to be able to upgrade to Windows 10 when it is released, will a product key be provided when the product is upgraded? If so I will wait to do a clean install then.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2015   #2

Windows 10 Pro X64

What are the sizes of the two drives and how full is the HDD?
You may be able to clone the HDD to the SSD using a program like Macrium Reflect Free or CloneZilla.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2015   #3
Microsoft MVP


I've never heard of Ultimate shipping with any PC that has a COA sticker affixed to the machine. Are you sure it wasn't upgraded with retail Win7 so that the Product Key might be able to be retrieved from the install using a keyfinder?

If you're happy with the install, you can clean it up significantly by following Clean Up Factory Bloatware, move the data off to be able to save it as an image to keep the present activation permanently and apply to the SSD using a free lightweight imaging program like our favorite here Macrium Imaging - Windows 7 Help Forums.

After image is up and running you can move the data back onto the hard drive and link it to User Folders - Change Default Location but if you have enough space on the hard drive I'd keep the old install on it as a secondary backup due to the activation issue.

There is also a way to back up the factory activation file if you're sure Ultimate was installed at factory (which again I've never heard of) but we are not allowed to support it here due to possible misuse so you would need to research it yourself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jun 2015   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Yes , if you install the Windows 10 Technical Preview now, you will get a license and there will be iso`s available to do a clean install.

This is what`s been said, but we have no proof until that day comes.

Download Windows 10 Insider Preview ISO - Microsoft Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 New SSD. Am I unable to clean install windows 7?

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