-1

My girlfriend's laptop's HDD died and her (pretty old i3 Dell) got a new one. I was planing to install previous Windows 7 Home Premium using product key from the back of her laptop, but its all worn out. I have my own laptop (it used to have Windows 7 as well, but the sticker is worn out too).

I want to get her genuine Windows, so I am kinda bummed what to do now. What can I do?

12
  • How dead, exactly, is the old HDD? Does it contain the factory Windows installation? Or perhaps a “custom” installation? – Daniel B Aug 31 '14 at 10:10
  • It used to have factory. I don't know she took her pc to service and they got her a new hdd. – nerijusgood Aug 31 '14 at 10:13
  • 1
    Sounds like you’re SOL, sorry. Windows 7 isn’t that expensive though, better get it while you still can. – Daniel B Aug 31 '14 at 10:19
  • 3
    Could you not just buy the DELL recovery disks for the laptop? It'll be less money than buying a new Win 7 license... Each DELL has a service tag so they can send you the exact disks you need. – Kinnectus Aug 31 '14 at 10:29
  • 1
    @DanielB I'm pretty sure Win7 still used the type-specific product keys - i.e.: You can't use an OEM license with a Retail disc (there's actually mechanisms built-in to the OS to prevent this). So, unless they have an OEM install disc, they can't use the original license (legal or not). – Iszi Sep 2 '14 at 16:51
0

Without having to contact Dell support, and suffer whatever delays they may incur, your options are fairly limited:

To use the original license that came with her laptop, or another license that came pre-loaded on another system:

You will either need the Product Key which will be provided on a sticker attached to the system's case, or a tool like ProduKey which can recover the key from the HDD if it is still usable and has not been wiped.

You will also need an OEM install disc (These used to automatically ship with a new system. These days, you usually need to request them and pay a small fee.) for the OS - a Retail or Volume License installation image will not work.

Technically, using an OEM license on a system other than the one that was shipped with it is against Microsoft licensing terms. Using an OEM license on multiple systems at the same time is definitely against the license terms, and may cause problems with activation when two or more systems are recognized to still be active with the same Product Key.

To use a Retail license which was previously installed on her laptop, or another one that was previously used on another system:

You will need a Product Key, either from the retail package in which the installation disc came or obtained via a recovery tool like ProduKey.

You will also need a Retail installation disc (one that came in a package bought separately from the computer) - an OEM or Volume License installation image will not work.

Using a Retail license on multiple systems at the same time is against the Microsoft's license terms, and may cause problems with activation when two or more systems are recognized to still be active with the same Product Key.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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