Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have an HP-G71-340US notebook that I purchased 11/29/09.

When I power it up, a black screen comes on that shows "serial number not found" and it also says that my copy of Windows 7 Home Basic is not genuine – but my computer came with Windows 7 Home Premium.

In BIOS, my serial number is not shown either and I did pull out the little battery to reset it which allowed me to bypass the suddenly new locked BIOS that needed a password to enter.

I'm sure this is a masterpiece created by my 6 or 9 yr old child while trying to play on my laptop.

Can I fix these two problems?

share|improve this question
If your computer came with Home Premium, how come you have an installation of Home Basic? Why would your Home Premium serial work for another version? – slhck Nov 11 '12 at 10:42
You need this code for Premium as Basic has other keys. – Rob Nov 11 '12 at 10:50
EXACTLY slhck! Why do I now have an installation of Home Basic? And my PRODUCT KEY for Premium DOES NOT work for the BASIC.. The serial number I'm talking about that is not found is the HP Product Serial Number. – sara Nov 11 '12 at 11:45
Do you know if your children could have re-installed Windows? Product keys don't work for other versions, so it'd be best to get back to your Premium version. (By the way, you need to reply to users with @, like @slhck) – slhck Nov 11 '12 at 13:01
"In BIOS, my serial number is not shown either", any other info missing in the bios? – Moab Nov 11 '12 at 15:37

Judging by the comments (blanked BIOS serial, etc) it looks like your computer has suffered a BIOS damage, perhaps because someone tried and failed a BIOS update (but usually the computer doesn't start at all) or by accident.

You see, on modern computers these information are still flashed somewhere in the motherboard ROM, so could be subject to overwriting.

If you can't use recovery DVD to reinstall the software (I expect the same result but I would give it a try) you should call HP and report this as a hardware failure.

share|improve this answer

I have worked on a computer recently that this happened to.

I was able to fix the missing information in the motherboard ROM. Here's the forum post that helped me:

I started researching why this has happened. your answer made better sense then what i could come up with.

As for the "Windows is not genuine" issue what i have discovered that with no serial number or any other info in the ROM then Windows itself will not activate for you. On an HP 71 at least you must fix this first.

Once i entered in the serial number pcid etc. Windows activated itself.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.