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Windows 7: Re-install windows 7 pro with OEM key

25 Sep 2016   #1

Windows 7 Pro
Re-install windows 7 pro with OEM key

This is my first post here so please be patient with me...

I have a Dell Latitude with Windows 7 Pro pre-installed. I have messed around with settings and some how deleted a bunch on things that have caused issues. I feel its better to just reinstall windows for a fresh start.

I have the Key on the bottom of the laptop so typed it into Microsoft's website to get the installation package but was told that as it was pre-installed (OEM??) I couldn't download it. I have spent several hours now searching the internet to find some answers and nothing seems definitive.

Can I re-install windows some how using the key I have? Any help would be fantastic, thank you

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2016   #2

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

You can use the Heidoc ISO downloader available here:

The ISO's are downloaded from MS servers.
You don't need to enter a key to download.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Sep 2016   #3

Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x86

In most cases where Windows is factory installed on a PC, there is a recovery partition set up on the hard drive.
Some key or key combination during boot-up will take you to that partition where you can then re-install Windows
just like it was at the factory. You do need to save all your data files, assuming you don't already keep backups, before you do the Factory Restore, because it will wipe out everything on your C: partition and replace it with a fresh install of Windows.

I've done Factory Restores for my customers in the past and the Key was not even asked for.

Good Luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Sep 2016   #4

Windows 10 Pro x64

How are you getting along with this, were you able to download the Windows 7 Pro iso file yet ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2017   #5

Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x86

While doing a Factory Restore can be OK, like when a PC is sold or given away, but doing it to fix problems that have happened, I prefer to just RESTORE a whole C: drive backup that I made soon after the initial setup.
I install a new OS and then I set it all up to my own likes and specifications, and then I back it up.
If you have spare HD's, a Clone of that newly set up drive can be very useful too, like if there's a HD CRASH on that main drive.

Clones are not so easy on a Laptop, that has only space for one drive, but doing a backup of C: to an external HD is really pretty simple. I use Ghost 11.5, run from a DOS boot disk, to do all my backups and clones.

My old favorite saying is "the only bad backup is the one you decided to NOT make".

Cheers mates!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Re-install windows 7 pro with OEM key

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