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Where do I download Windows 7 (legally from Microsoft)?

I have lost my Windows 7 installation DVD, but I do have the license key. How can I get a Windows 7 DVD? Can I download an ISO image somewhere? While installing can I use my original Windows 7 Key?


UPDATE: Sadly someone at Microsoft has discovered this back door in to their ISO library and plugged it, The links to the ISOs no longer function. I am leaving this question up for historical purposes.

Digital river is the distribution company Microsoft uses for it's digital downloads. This site has aggregated a list of the files they use for when distributing downloads (here for SP1). I have used it before and but not recently, however the links should still be good. Your license key will work as long as you download the same edition (Home Premium/Professional/Ultimate) as your key corresponds to. The architecture (64-bit vs. 32-bit) and language do not matter with activation.

Windows 7 RTM

Windows 7 SP1

  • 2
    Thanks for your answer, Scott. We would prefer it however if instead of just providing a link, you included a bit more of the information on the page. Our goal is for users to be able to get the answer here when possible. Thanks!
    – nhinkle
    Apr 18 '11 at 0:42
  • @nhinkle, I updated my post to be a bit more descriptive of what the link is and where they got the data from. Apr 18 '11 at 0:47
  • For other language versions, you can find them on p2p (be sure to check the sha1 afterwards with MSDN/Technet – faket tend to crop up these days…)
    – kinokijuf
    Jan 13 '12 at 16:56
  • Is it a good idea to link to MDL?
    – Synetech
    Feb 9 '12 at 4:21
  • @Synetech a friend was chatting with a Microsoft rep online, and the rep pointed him to these links to download - so I assume it's safe if Microsoft is pointing people to them
    – cutrightjm
    Jan 9 '14 at 4:21

To help verify that your downloads of the Digital River ISOs are good, below are the SHA-1 hashes for the ISOs, copied from Microsoft TechNet. Each link is a permalink to the corresponding TechNet page from which I got the hash. I've personally downloaded all the ISOs and verified the hashes.

Windows 7 RTM

Windows 7 SP1

  • 1
    Hashes are also available on technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/… (page requires JavaScript) without Windows Live ID. Jun 30 '12 at 20:25
  • @GurkenPapst Thanks, I've updated with the links that don't require Windows Live ID.
    – jjlin
    Jun 30 '12 at 21:33
  • These are requiring a subscription.
    – Pilgrim
    Aug 9 '14 at 2:04
  • Microsoft is retiring TechNet. But my post only concerns the hashes; get the actual ISOs from the accepted answer.
    – jjlin
    Aug 9 '14 at 5:44

As described in this Microsoft KB article, if it is a retail copy, you have the following recourse:

To request replacement hardware or software, contact the Microsoft Supplemental Parts team at the appropriate contact number that is provided in the "Contact Information" section. You must be in possession of the product (if it is damaged or defective) and be able to provide proof of purchase. The customer service representative will advise you of any replacement costs or shipping and handling fees that may be charged. If a product is no longer under warranty, the replacement item may no longer be available.

If it is an OEM copy, then they advise you to contact your OEM for the replacement disc instead.

  • I purchased a Dell laptop in which the Windows 7 was pre installed. Now Windows 7 got corrupted. Beneath the latop I can see the key sticker. So can I use the key? Dell didn't give me any Windows 7 installation discs with the laptop.
    – MoG
    Apr 18 '11 at 0:42
  • 2
    Since Windows was pre-installed on your laptop, it is an OEM copy. Are you sure they did not provide you a way to boot into PC Restore? Try pressing F8 when the computer boots, you may boot into Dell's system restore software, which will reload the OS from a hidden partition on the hard drive. Apr 18 '11 at 0:45
  • You are right Stephen. Dell did provide a Windows recovery drive. I tried pressing F8, while system boots and tried installing. After installing Windows7 from the recovery drive, Blue screen error pops up as soon as Windows gets started. After googling for each and every Blue screen error which comes up after booting, came to know that Drivers are not installed properly. I guess the blue screen is because of the old drivers that are present in the recovery drive. So no use of installing the Windows 7 from recovery drive. Now my plan is to download the image and install separately.
    – MoG
    Apr 18 '11 at 1:30
  • (P.S: When Windows 7 is installed directly from Recovery, it hardly takes 10mins and this will install Windows 7 + Drivers)
    – MoG
    Apr 18 '11 at 1:30
  • @Stephen Jennings, do u have any idea on above?
    – MoG
    Apr 18 '11 at 2:39

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