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Windows 7: New install - forgot key - in _old folder from previous install?

06 Jun 2011   #11
questionesse

win7 prof.
 
 

I am talking about the system backup on my server which should have the key since it's a complete backup, or am I mistaken?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Jun 2011   #12
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by questionesse View Post
I am talking about the system backup on my server which should have the key since it's a complete backup, or am I mistaken?
You say you have the trial version of Windows 7. If that is the case then any backup you create whether it be on a server or a local hard drive will not be able to conjure up a legitimate product key.

If you want to upgrade to the full version of Windows 7 you will need to buy a product key to unlock it. If you are on a domain, you will need to speak to the network administrator.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2011   #13
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Give this Windows 7 Key finder a try. Use it on the same drive as your Win 7 install. It may return a key from your trial and maybe one from the windows_old if present.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Jun 2011   #14
questionesse

win7 prof.
 
 

ok, to clarify.
I HAD a win 7 student version before.
I NOW installed the iso that microsoft offers if you want a USB install for example
Windows 7 Professional (x86) – DVD
(German) http://msft-dnl.digitalrivercontent..../X15-65812.iso

I thought I had noted down the key from the old install but it was the product ID.

So if you don't enter a key this Version becomes a 30days trial which you can activate into a full one by inserting a key.

I now wonder how to get back the key and thought if there is something in the _old folder that gets created when installing a new windows over an old one.

Otherwise I will reinstall my backup of the OLD install, read out the Key and reinstall a new clean one since my old one was a little messy by time.

@britton30
I'll give it a try, thx.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2011   #15
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 10 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by questionesse View Post
ok, to clarify.
I HAD a win 7 student version before.
I NOW installed the iso that microsoft offers if you want a USB install for example
Windows 7 Professional (x86) DVD
(German) http://msft-dnl.digitalrivercontent..../X15-65812.iso

I thought I had noted down the key from the old install but it was the product ID.

So if you don't enter a key this Version becomes a 30days trial which you can activate into a full one by inserting a key.

I now wonder how to get back the key and thought if there is something in the _old folder that gets created when installing a new windows over an old one.

Otherwise I will reinstall my backup of the OLD install, read out the Key and reinstall a new clean one since my old one was a little messy by time.

@britton30
I'll give it a try, thx.
If you can't find your product key that may be your best option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2011   #16
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by questionesse View Post
Otherwise I will reinstall my backup of the OLD install, read out the Key and reinstall a new clean one since my old one was a little messy by time.@britton30I'll give it a try, thx.
Yeah that's a good idea, then email yourself the key and save it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #17
gnarlytom

Windows 7 x64
 
 
I have almost exactly the same issue

I have almost exactly the same issue.

really frustrating!

In 2010 i bought a student copy of windows 7. I installed it on a PC that i built myself.

last week i decided to re-install as windows was getting sluggish. so i just launched the windows installer which i just had saved on my hard drive.

except i never wrote down my product key, and as Ive now graduated i no longer have access to my old student email account.

looks like it might be an expensive error!

so frustrating. Ive tried loads of 'key finders' but none of them can find my own key in windows.old.

and I've tried restoring windows from the windows.old folder using the tutorial below but i can't get it to work...

How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder

it just says it can't find any of the folders when i get to the command prompt bit. grrrr!

does nobody have any ideas?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #18
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Go ahead and reinstall. When you get to the screen that ask to input your key, skip that and uncheck "Activate Windows when online". When you're done there will be nag pop ups asking you to activate, follow the prompts and you'll get to the phone activation method.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #19
FaberTech

Windows 7 x64 / Windows Server 2008 / Linux (Redhat & Deb distros) / OS X / More
 
 

I haven't used it in years but it worked last time i did.

KeyFinder | Magical Jelly Bean
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2012   #20
FaberTech

Windows 7 x64 / Windows Server 2008 / Linux (Redhat & Deb distros) / OS X / More
 
 

Here is another thread that solved this

How do I find my product key from windows.old?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 New install - forgot key - in _old folder from previous install?




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