Donated Laptops Completely Wiped!! Help!


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I have 90 HP Elitebook laptops that were just donated to my middle school. They were completely wiped by the agency that donated them and this includes the Operating System. The current Memory and Processor will support nothing higher than Windows 7. I do not have a disk and and I need to be able to upload all 90 laptops with the windows software. My school Tech Specialist is trying everything on her end, but I am trying to help since this was my convoluted project. Please help! What do I do? How do I get my hands on a disk and potentially not have to pay fo too many licenses since they were free laptops. They're in beautiful condition and I would love to be able to use them.
 

TrainableMan

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Well it is possible the laptops may be pre-activated if the Win7 key is in the BIOS. Or by any chance is there a sticker with the activation/product key on each?

If they are all the same model and either of the above two conditions are true then ... you should be able to buy one HP Win 7 installation disk for that model use it to install on all 90 and then activate (automatically if pre-activated or by entering the product key if there is an activation sticker).

An HP rep should be able to sell you the right disk (for under $200) with the right Win7 version, for example Win7 Starter or Home, 32bit or 64bit ... whatever that particular model shipped with. And they can probably tell you if you will need to type in a product key or if they are pre-activated.

So the only real problem is ... if they did in fact have product key stickers, do NOT pre-activate & the stickers have been scratched off/are unreadable ... because then it will get pricey because you will need to buy a new Win7 license for each. If that is the case then don't buy the HP installation disk either because you will want to evaluate if the project is still practical.
 
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They still have the stickers. I just need to get my hands on a disk. Thank you for the help!
 

Ian

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If you've got the stickers with appropriate license keys, you should be able to create your own installation disc by supplying those details on the MS website:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows7

You'll need to enter the code from one of the laptops, it'll then let you download an ISO file which you can burn to a DVD :).
 

TrainableMan

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I'm pretty sure the Microsoft site's won't provide a link for OEM licenses so you will have to try Ian's link with one of the keys to see.

If you cannot get the Microsoft Win7 DVD, it may be worth buying one DVD from HP if they are all the same model, even though it often costs between $100-$200. Unlike the Microsoft Win7 DVD, HP Win7 DVDs are built with all the HP drivers for that computer which should make installation a little easier.

If you do use the standard Microsoft Win 7 DVD, I encourage your Tech Specialist to visit the HP website & create a flash drive with all the HP drivers for that model beforehand, because you normally need some of them. Also, if the drivers are "zip" files they should be unzipped/expanded before putting them on the flash drive.
 
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