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Windows 7 Product Key - where is it stored?


tallboy

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For some months I have been trying to load Windows 7 SP1 on my Dell Studio laptop - without any success. A moderator on the Microsoft Answers form has advised me (as a last resort) to perform a 'Repair Install' using the original Win 7 CD. The Dell Studio isn't supplied with one - just a 'Recovery' partition.

However, I do have the Windows 7 CD for my Eclipse PC. Hopefully I can use this, but I will need the Product Key for the Dell Studio installation, if I can locate it on the Dell Studio before I start the Repair Installation.

How do I find it? (i.e. Where is it stored?)

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lotvic

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You should have a sticker underneath the battery - take the battery out to see it.

Be aware that that key will require Activation as it will be different to the factory pre-activated key that laptop came with.

The factory pre-activated key cannot be input manually anyway (it would just come up with 'invalid key')

I am sorry but that is about the limit of my knowledge of Dell installed W7.

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tallboy

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Thanks for the info lotvic - I now have it. However, if it just comes up with 'invalid key', it isn't going to be a lot of use to me!

A few months into the Dell's life, the hard disk failed and a Dell authorised service guy made a visit & installed a new HD. How did he get around the install problem?

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difarn

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You may find it listed if you download Belarc Advisor. It gives the software licencse keys

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lotvic

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difarn, I believe that doesn't work for W7. The key it returns is false - it's not the real one used (it's not the factory pre-activated key nor the key on the sticker) it all changed with W7 which makes it unreadable with the free key finders AFAIK.

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difarn

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Lotvic - thanks for that - checked mine and it is indeed as you say.

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tallboy

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Thanks for the ideas lotvic & difarn. I guess one possible way around getting a successful Service Pack installation is not to do it at all but to upgrade the OS to Windows 8. I believe MS are peddling this for about £25 as an upgrade. At that cost it isn't worth spending even more sweat & tears trying to load Win7 SP1 - providing of course that Windows 8 works OK!

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lotvic

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tallboy, you should be okay using the key on the sticker under battery if you need to type a key in.

Also re SP1, this may be your problem:

Install Windows Update KB2454826

Install Windows Update KB2454826 from Windows Update (http://www.update.microsoft.com/) if it is not already installed. If you install the service pack from the Microsoft Download Center and do not install Windows Update KB245862, you could encounter a Stop error in Windows in rare cases.

Windows Update KB2454826 will automatically be installed when you install the service pack by using Windows Update. However, Windows Update KB2454826 is not automatically installed when you install the service pack from the Microsoft Download Center.

To check whether Windows Update KB2454826 is installed, click Start, type View installed updates in the Search programs and files box, and then press Enter. Notice whether Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2454826) is listed. If the update is not listed, you will have to install it from Windows Update (http://www.update.microsoft.com/) .

What I did with mine was download Windows Update KB2454826 and installed it (and I saved a copy of it for future use if needed) and then the stand alone iso for sp1 which I burnt to dvd and installed from that (it autoruns when put in tray).

7601.17514.101119-1850UpdateSpWave1-GRMSP1.1DVD.iso - This DVD image contains standalone update for all architectures.

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tallboy

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Thanks for the post lotvic. When I was trying one of the (failed) methods of installing SP1 suggested by the MS moderator, it came up with a MS Fix which, when applied, cleaned out the record of which updates were installed. (I don't think it removed the updates themselves.)

I'll try installing Windows Update KB2454826 and follow your instructions. I'll let you know if it works in due course.

Which Win 7 SP1 option is the right on for 64-bit Windows 7 Professional? (Since MS give several options). Please advise (If you know or can work it out from their nomenclature).

Thanks,tallboy

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lotvic

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If you go to Windows Update you can look at your history if that helps.

SP1 there is only one option for the standalone .iso This DVD image contains standalone update for all architectures (versions). It is the first in the download list 1.9 GB You will need a burning program to burn the .iso to dvd

From memory it asks you to validate windows and gives you a code to copy and paste before it downloads.

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tallboy

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Thanks lotvic. Windows reported that KB2454826 was already installed. After downloading SP1 & creating the installation disk, I tried installing it. I ended up in exactly the same situation as when I tried the normal Windows Update route. i.e. SP1 installs OK but fails on configuration. Windows then reverts the changes.

It always comes up with the same error: 'ERRORNOTFOUND (0x80070490) MS suggests three things to try:

  1. Run the System Update Readiness Tool. I did that - it didn't fix it.

  2. Run the Trouble Shooter. I've done that. It always reports that it has fixed a couple of errors, but doesn't fix the configuration problem.

  3. Turn off security programs. I've done that (did it again when loading the SP from disk), but that didn't fix it.

Hence the conclusion to to do a repair install or upgrade Win 7 to Win 8!

Thanks for all your help. If you (or anyone else reading the tale of woe) have any further things to try, please let me know.

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