I have a PC which has windows 7 license but I installed windows from an image I downloaded and it is already activated. For validating genuine Microsoft, I need to enter my own product key but the necessary activation tools do not exist in my windows folder. What should I do?

I googled stuff but because the keywords are too broad I couldn't find a useful tool.

DAZ doesn't work, activation button doesn't show up.

enter image description here

When I enter my original key to Windows Anytime Upgrade, I get this error:

enter image description here

When I attempt using slmgr, I get this error: enter image description here

I used sfc /scannow And this is the situation enter image description here

Now slmgr is existing, I entered slmgr.vbs -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (replacing X es with the cd key) the operation successful. Now I have installed Microsoft Security essentials, which means the problem is solved.

Main steps are here

  1. Open command prompt (cmd) in admin mode
  2. Enter "sfc /scannow"
  3. Enter slmgr.vbs -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
  4. Success
  • 7
    I'm guessing its one of those stripped down installs that removes stuff. Honestly downloading a legit copy off microsoft and reinstalling sounds like a better option
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 18 '12 at 1:44
  • 3
    Why is it not an option? Jun 20 '12 at 3:34
  • 2
    @SimonSheehan it's like a relationship consultant telling the couple to divorce and get married again. Jun 20 '12 at 3:41
  • 2
    You can download full ISO files legally from Microsoft. I don't understand your reference Jun 20 '12 at 4:16
  • 1
    > The question is widely applicable to a large audience. I highly doubt that. From what I have seen, it looks more like most activation cracks use loaders or patches as opposed to pre-activated, pre-installed keys since they would be pointless because Microsoft can easily and quickly blacklist them (viz “Devil’s Own”). I suspect that, if anything, this pre-activated ISO is a rarity in the bootleg underground. (You really should have just gotten a clean ISO from MS or at least one of the “untouched” ISOs from “the scene”; at least then you could check the hash to be sure it’s not infected.)
    – Synetech
    Jun 21 '12 at 2:10

In your Control Panel -> System, the "Windows Activation" section is totally missing. This probably means that Activation was hacked, and that required system components have been deleted.

Try to Run as Administrator the following command : slui.exe 3. It normally brings up the Windows Activation dialog.

If this doesn't work, try to run the System Update Readiness Tool for Windows and the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, as sometimes they fix a problem or two.

You could also try sfc /scannow, as described in this article.

If all else fails, and you have the Windows 7 installation media, try doing Repair Install as described in this article.

If nothing works, then this version of Windows was too damaged by the crack. I suggest in this case to reformat the hard disk and reinstal Windows from scratch. It might be a good idea to do this in any case, rather than use an unknown and maybe virus-ridden image.

  • 1
    the steps at the end of the question solves the problem. I'll give you the boudnty reward after 19 hours because system doesnt allow me now. (it says that I can do it after 19 hours) you can help future reades by modifying your answer accordingly. Jun 20 '12 at 7:19
  • 1
    These steps still work on windows 8.1 If anybody runs into this problem again. Mar 11 '15 at 18:42

You have no idea what else could have been on that ISO you downloaded, there easily could have been a rootkit or some form of trojan on it. I would recommend downloading a ISO directly from Microsoft. You said in your comments you are resistant to this option because you want to save documents and installed programs. Windows has built in a very good transfer wizard that will help you migrate all of your files and settings to the new install, just save it to a external drive before you reinstall windows. You may need to reinstall the software but most of the settings and saves for those programs should get restored.

If you are feeling confidant that you did not get a virus/trojan bundled in with your hacked copy of windows you can attempt a "upgrade/repair" install with the official ISO, that should install all of the tools needed to activate windows.


Try this.

  1. Click on Start (the Orb) and type ‘cmd’ in the search box.
  2. This will open Command Prompt, or you can add Command Prompt in your right-click menu.
  3. Now type the following in Command Prompt and press Enter. slmgr.vbs -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX (Note: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX should be your product key)
  4. Once done, type slmgr.vbs -ato to activate your Windows 7.

I got these steps from http://www.sizzledcore.com/2009/10/26/how-to-change-windows-7-product-key/

  • I dont have thaat slmgr.vbs file Jun 18 '12 at 1:27
  • 1
    Hmmm, I wonder if that could work. I suppose theoretically, if he uses DAZ's loader to install the key, then click the uninstall button to remove the custom boot-loader, it may work. But then, if that does work, why not just use a legitimate key-changer?
    – Synetech
    Jun 20 '12 at 2:26
  • daz doesn't work, install and uninstall buttons are disabled Jun 20 '12 at 3:26

It is likely the that version of windows that you installed does not contain the infrastructure needed to activate properly. There is nothing you can do other than get a real version of windows, and get a fresh install.

  • that activation section does not exist on my pc, probably because it's pre activated Jun 20 '12 at 3:25
  • @ugurcode Even if it is preactivated, it will be there (mine is an OEM licence, and it is still there).
    – soandos
    Jun 20 '12 at 3:25
  • I added a screenshot for you Jun 20 '12 at 3:29
  • Odd. Nothing I can do then (see update)
    – soandos
    Jun 20 '12 at 3:32

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