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Windows 7: Lost product key >.<

28 Sep 2010   #1
Twilit Soul

Windows 7
 
 
Lost product key >.<

Hey, I've recently had to replace my hard drive and thus had to re-install Windows 7. The disc is one I got in the mail after ordering this laptop. I remember there being a product key on a sticker which was on the case for the disc...but..the sticker is gone?

I'm hoping there's another location for the key or I'm remembering wrong, and the key is actually somewhere else...but basically, I want to ask if there's anything I can do before this 29 days is up to activate? Am I able to order a new product key somehow without ordering an entirely new copy of windows?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Sep 2010   #2
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

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28 Sep 2010   #3
JMH

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit. SP1.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Twilit Soul View Post
Hey, I've recently had to replace my hard drive and thus had to re-install Windows 7. The disc is one I got in the mail after ordering this laptop. I remember there being a product key on a sticker which was on the case for the disc...but..the sticker is gone?

I'm hoping there's another location for the key or I'm remembering wrong, and the key is actually somewhere else...but basically, I want to ask if there's anything I can do before this 29 days is up to activate? Am I able to order a new product key somehow without ordering an entirely new copy of windows?
Twilit Soul,

*****Looks as though Richard has the answer that you require - *****

My understanding was that in order to install or reinstall Microsoft Windows you must have access to a Product Key for that version of the operating system.
[The product key can typically be found on a yellow sticker on the CD case of the installation CD, or on a small Microsoft sticker on the outside of the PC's case (if the OS came preinstalled on the machine)]
If you no longer have access to the product key then you will effectively "lose" a Windows license if you ever have to reinstall the operating system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Sep 2010   #4
Twilit Soul

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
The program got me a product key, but...when I tried to use it, I got:

"The product key you have entered appears to be a default product key and cannot be used for activation. Type a different Windows 7 Home Premium product key."

But I just got an idea! I'm gonna try loading up my old hard drive (I'm on my third now XD That old one was the first, which kept saying "failure imminent," which had this version from the same cd of Windows 7 activated on it). I can probably use that product key on this hard drive, and get Windows 7 activated again. Then I'll store that product key in the case of my cd...mhm mhm I shall see if this works.

But by the way, JMH, you don't need a product key to install Windows 7. They give you a month to activate it and well I'm not sure what happens if you fail to activate it by then. Never had that problem, or risked it until now.

I rather don't feel like pulling out the screwdrivers and switching the hard drives out of this laptop again tonight so I'll probably come back tomorrow to post on how it worked out...

Thanks for the responses =)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #5
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Magic Jelly bean usually works, unless you had an OEM key.
Look at your computer, do you see any key numbers. That one may work.
Pick it up, look at the bottom, sides etc.

It will look something like this

xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-
With numbers and letters.
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28 Sep 2010   #6
Twilit Soul

Windows 7
 
 

What's OEM? I had a disc from the whole "order a computer, get a cd with Windows 7 for free" deal that was going on right before Windows 7 was released.

The only thing I can find on my computer is the Service Tag...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #7
DocBrown

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer

What is the company that made the computer ?
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28 Sep 2010   #8
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

If the HDD was replaced (and you didn't image the old install onto the new), then Jelly Bean is going to find the default key used when Windows was installed (it's what it uses when you don't enter a key during the install). If you can't get the old HDD online (or at least a backup image of what was on the disk when it died), you're going to be out of luck. You'll have to contact the OEM/computer vendor that sold you the laptop and installed the OS, and likely provide proof of purchase and the CoA from the packaging to get a new key if they're willing to provide you one. If not, you are probably up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2010   #9
Twilit Soul

Windows 7
 
 

I refuse to believe I've lost all my paddles! But when I find the time today I should be able to load up that other hard drive. Unless the "failure imminent" decides to bring itself into existence at the worst possible time today.

And the company who made this computer was Dell.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2010   #10
gregrocker

 

Your Product Key should be safeguarded like a $100 bill.

If you had the same OS activated on the old HD, then plug it back in and audit the key from it using Magic Jellybean or Belarc Advisor. Then insert the Product Key at Computer>Properties activation link.

It may require a robocall to sort the key.

Did you know you could have used the built-in drive imaging in Win7 to image your old Win7 to the new HD and it would have saved your activation as well as programs, files and settings in place?
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 Lost product key >.<




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