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So I needed to re-install Windows 7 HP x64 on a customer's computer, and stupid me forgot to retrieve the CD key before doing so. Now, the CD key put in there is getting told it's invalid, and Windows is not genuine. I have access to the Inplace Upgrade folder and the old Windows folder, but the SOFTWARE registry key looks to be missing, so I can't seem to use a keyfinder. Is there something I'm missing here, or do I need to shell out some money for another key?

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If your customer has a license, he must have the key somewhere. Maybe a sticker on the computer? If he bought windows separately, it must be somewhere near the dvd. If not, why should you bother legalizing his windows? –  Jens Erat Oct 27 '11 at 17:50
    
Is the SOFTWARE hive the one with the encoded key or is it in the SYSTEM hive? –  Synetech Oct 27 '11 at 17:57
    
In the old Windows\System32\config folder, it has the hives there but they're in a TSF format, which I've never seen, so key finders don't seem to want to work on it. Also @Ranon, I believe you're right. There's a Vista sticker on it, and he had a genuine copy of 7 before cause he was running MSE –  Canadian Luke Oct 27 '11 at 18:15
    
@Luke You only need a genuine copy to download MSE, I don't think it checks on install. –  Scott Chamberlain Oct 27 '11 at 19:34
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Was this system originally Windows 7 from HP? If so you can order a recovery disc set, then you don't need a key, it will install one automatically during recovery...h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/… –  Moab Oct 27 '11 at 20:34

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