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Windows 7 download

Old 09-30-11, 01:04 AM
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Windows 7 download

Ok. Here's the deal. I bought a new laptop, with windows 7 preinstalled. The problem is, as we all know, a LOT of crap is installed as well. I would like to nuke the drive, and reinstall windows 7 from scratch. I of course have a product key for windows (on the back of the laptop), but I don't have media to do a clean install.

So, here's my question. Can I download windows 7 home premium (maybe a DVD image) from the microsoft site, without having to purchase it? After all, I have already purchased it with my laptop. I just want to do a complete clean install.
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Old 09-30-11, 07:40 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

you can buy technet and see if they will refund you after you cancel the next week. not sure if you can cancel.

or call your PC maker and ask for a hard copy of windows. usually it's like $25. there should also be a choice to burn a DVD image in your start menu. forgot the exact name
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Old 09-30-11, 07:43 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

Actually, I think I found my answer myself. After a decent googling session, I found the following site that has the various flavors of Windows 7 in ISO for direct download. Obviously you still need a license key, but I have that:

http://techdows.com/2011/07/download...oad-links.html

It seems legit? What do you think.
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Old 09-30-11, 10:01 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

It does seem legit, the only question is if your OEM license key will work on one of these downloads. Hard to say.

Probably worth your time/effort/money to contact the OEM and order the correct media.
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Old 09-30-11, 10:05 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

Well, I made the recovery disks for the laptop, so I can restore the current state of the laptop in case things go wrong.
I downloaded the windows home premium from techdows, and extracted the ISO on a DVD. I'll try and install that tonight and see if it accepts the key. If so, great! If not, I'll just go back to the previous state of the laptop using the recovery disks. Fun exercise, and I'll post back on the board with my findings.
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Old 09-30-11, 10:23 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

The license key on the back of the computer is NOT the key used for activating Windows. It's more of a serial number.

You're going to have to restore it, then run a program to retrieve the real product key.
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Old 09-30-11, 10:27 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
The license key on the back of the computer is NOT the key used for activating Windows. It's more of a serial number.

You're going to have to restore it, then run a program to retrieve the real product key.
Oh. Well, I haven't started the install yet, so now would be the time to find the actual license key. If it isn't the key on the sticker on the back, could you tell me how to find the actual key that I can use to activate (or register or whatever it is called these days in Microsoft terminology) this windows?

Thanks for pointing that out Drexl!
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Old 09-30-11, 10:34 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/produc...dows-7-key.htm

Also, if it comes down to it, you can always call Microsoft and see if they'll issue you a non-OEM product key so you can do a fresh install of Windows. They've been known to do this, but they are also capable of denying you, saying it is the OEMs responsibility to provide you with a new key or installation media.

Failing all that, you can spend the $150 on Microsoft Technet. It's an insanely good deal, really.
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Old 09-30-11, 11:20 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

I've had some success with win7 using different key types vs media. They usually won't activate online, but calling the 800 number the activation screen gives you and doing it manually seems to work most of the time.
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Old 09-30-11, 12:22 PM
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Re: Windows 7 download

This is for Vista but I've used the same process for Windows 7.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/hp-c...ctivation.html


ABR gets the activation code and registration key from your current install and reinstalls them on your fresh clean install. You just need a Windows Anytime DVD.
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Old 10-01-11, 02:09 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

Originally Posted by SomethingMore View Post
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/produc...dows-7-key.htm

Also, if it comes down to it, you can always call Microsoft and see if they'll issue you a non-OEM product key so you can do a fresh install of Windows. They've been known to do this, but they are also capable of denying you, saying it is the OEMs responsibility to provide you with a new key or installation media.

Failing all that, you can spend the $150 on Microsoft Technet. It's an insanely good deal, really.
Well, I reinstalled Windows 7, using the downloaded ISO I provided, and that worked well.

I then tried the windows 7 code that was recovered by magic beans, and that was not accepted.

I then tried the windows 7 code from the sticker on the back of the laptop, and it works great!

So, I'm not certain what that other code is that magic beans found, but it didn't do any good. The good thing about this story is that I have now a perfectly clean, activated windows 7 on my new laptop without spending another $!

Thanks everyone for your help!
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Old 10-01-11, 07:32 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
The license key on the back of the computer is NOT the key used for activating Windows. It's more of a serial number.

You're going to have to restore it, then run a program to retrieve the real product key.

The Product Key that's on the Microsoft Windows 2k/XP/Vista/7 Product Key sticker on the side/back/bottom of the computer is the Product Key that belongs to that computer. Whatever Key the computer manufacturer may have used to activate that copy of Windows on that computer (and the other 500 computers lined up next to it) would only be a temporary Key to get the operating system activated. The Product Keys the computer manufacturers used in their Reinstallation media were bought and paid for to be used on many thousands of Reinstallation CDs/DVDs, keyed to their proprietary bios'. Any computer I have ever chosen to reinstall a clean copy of Windows on (from the genuine M$ disc, as opposed to recovery media) has accepted the key on the side/back/bottom of the computer. Any keys that have ever presented any trouble were resolved by calling M$ to activate. Activation has always been successful using the Key from the Product Key sticker on the side/back/bottom of the computer. The only times I've ever had to use Magical Jellybean Keyfinder (or equivalent) to extract the Product Key from the operating system is when the Product Key sticker was either unreadable or missing. -kd5-

Last edited by kd5; 10-01-11 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 10-01-11, 09:35 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

Originally Posted by SomethingMore View Post
Failing all that, you can spend the $150 on Microsoft Technet. It's an insanely good deal, really.
I just took a peek over there to see what you can get. It's downright comical how poorly that site loaded in the mac version of Firefox.
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Old 10-01-11, 11:09 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

mac + firefox. There's your problem.

It loads fine for me in Chrome and IE9.

FWIW, here's the link to MS technet where you can see what's available: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/s...s/default.aspx
Note that "Professional" or "Enterprise" versions of software are typically omitted from the standard subscription.
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Old 10-02-11, 09:30 AM
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Re: Windows 7 download

A few notes:

The download links from Digital River are legit. However, You can't legally download them unless you purchased a license from Digital River. The links provided in the blog post linked above are "backdoor" links to their ISO files.

The keys on the COA (Certificate of Authenticity) stickers on the side of PCs are legit, and will work for reinstalling Windows. However, starting in 2005, the keys issued on the COA stickers for major OEMs will not work with online activation. Phone activation will still work for these keys, as kd5 pointed out. The COA's for these types of keys are easily identifiable the inclusion of the word "OEMAct" on the COA.

The major OEMs do not use the keys provided on the COAs that they put on their PCs. Instead they use what's called SLP (System Locked Preinstallation) or Royalty-OEM keys. They use the same key for every copy of a specific edition of Windows that they ship, one that's locked to that OEM's BIOS via a SLIC (Software Licensing Description Table) included in the BIOS . The combination of SLP key and SLIC check at boot causes Windows to bypass the normal activation process and validate the copy as genuine. These are not "temporary" keys, and can be used an infinite number of times on a specific OEM's machines; Microsoft relies on the OEM to only install the OS on machines properly licensed for it (i.e., with a ligitimate COA).

The program/guide linked to Kdogg above backups the SLP key and SLIC info saved on a "preactivated" Royalty OEM Windows installation, and can then restore this "preactivation" on a new install of Windows. They key it backups is the same as what any other keyfinder would located, but without the SLIC info, it's useless. You need both the SLP and SLIC info for preactivation to work.

More info on how Windows Product Activation (WPA) works:
http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/ProductActivation.htm
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=171017
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Product_Activation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_...reinstallation

Final note: Every legit ISO/disc of Windows 7 contains the install info for all editions of Windows 7, but is limited to one specific edition by the included ei.cfg file. Modifying or removing the ei.cfg file allows the installation of other editions. So you only need one legit version of Windows 7 in order to be able to install all editions/license types:
http://code.kliu.org/misc/winisoutils/
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