New hard drive and install problems.


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I've got a Toshiba satellite L500 laptop, running windows 7 home premium 64 bit. It recently became apparent (!) that the hard drive was failing. "No problem" I thought, go out and buy a replacement. So I bought a Western Digital 500Gb drive to replace the failing Toshiba 320Gb..

I had already made system restore disks from the "hidden partition" and had a "Product recovery" disk supplied with the laptop when new (Though the supplied disk is only for the 32 bit version)

Fitted the new HD, popped in the System restore disks, all seemed ok, lots of info on screen (Diskpart successful etc.)
leave it to run till the end and get a "Completed successfully, please remove disk" message.

At this point the 'puter shuts down and re-starts, and then shows "setting up " or similar.

Then I get the following message.. "Windows setup could not configure Windows to run on this computers hardware"

Tried the originally supplied disk, same thing/same end result.

Following advice on another forum, I downloaded a copy of windows 7 from this site, burnt it to disk and ran that. This loaded OK, but obviously I don't have an activation code.

Also when I try to recover my files from the backup I have on an external HD it seems to work but I can't find the files ??

Any help most appreciated...
 
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TrainableMan

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Does the original HD still work? If you can put the old hard drive back in and install SIW, then you can extract the W7 product key.

As for your backups, what files can't you find? If you used "W7 Backup" to create the backups then you will need to run W7 "Backup and Restore" to "Restore my files". W7 backups are stored in a compressed file structure and are not visible as individual files.
 
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Thanks for the reply, sadly the old drive is now Fubar' Tried running Drevitalise and after almost 2 days it had found nearly 3,000 bad sectors in 21490mb scanned of 305245 mb..

Reading elsewhere I've found something about changes to harddrives and their formatting ..something to do with re-formatting to 512 bytes ?? can't pretend I understood it.
 

TrainableMan

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Reformatting the drive to 512kb sectors would still erase it; whole idea is to recover your product key so that won't help.

Are you absolutely sure the key is not written on a sticker somewhere on the computer or the packaging it came in? If not, there is a good chance it uses SLIC technology; this is a method of storing the product key in the BIOS for preactivation at the factory. Unfortunately there is not an easy way to get it from there.

Your best option is to contact Toshiba support and explain the situation and ask them if they have a way to recover your product key from the BIOS. My best guess is they will have you buy their recovery disks for about $69 to $89, but it's still cheaper than buying a new W7 license (if they can promise it will use the SLIIC product key).

Your second best option would be to buy a System Builders OEM license; this will cost you around $100 for Home Premium, more if you have Professional or Ultimate, and be sure to specify 32- or 64-bit as needed because it will only include one.

I'm afraid I don't know a way that won't cost you money. People aren't really informed by the manufacturer until it's too late that they should back up such information while they can. You mentioned you took backups to an external drive so hopefully your data is saved, that is another thing people often don't think about till it's too late.
 
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The reason I came here to your forum was to find a *Free* alternative to Microsoft rip-off prices..

After all I bought a 'Puter with Microsoft installed...I would expect that Microsoft would back up their product.

Suggesting that I buy another Microsoft product is quite frankly insulting...
 

TrainableMan

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I don't work for Microsoft and I don't get paid to help here so I simply try to help to the best of my ability. There was no insult intended but I can understand your frustration.

I do not know why your restore disks failed but replacing those is the cheapest option I can think of; and that money would go to Toshiba, not Microsoft.

I assume your computer is no longer under warranty otherwise you could go that route with Toshiba.

At the very least contact Toshiba and ask of they have a tool which can extract your Product Key from the BIOS. If they do it would be pretty powerful and dangerous so I doubt they would share it but it can't hurt to ask.
 
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I don't work for Microsoft and I don't get paid to help here so I simply try to help to the best of my ability. There was no insult intended but I can understand your frustration.

I do not know why your restore disks failed but replacing those is the cheapest option I can think of; and that money would go to Toshiba, not Microsoft.

I assume your computer is no longer under warranty otherwise you could go that route with Toshiba.

At the very least contact Toshiba and ask of they have a tool which can extract your Product Key from the BIOS. If they do it would be pretty powerful and dangerous so I doubt they would share it but it can't hurt to ask.

In that case my apologies, I assumed (Incorrectly) that this was an official windows site (The logos seem to suggest that it is)

Sadly, as said the old hard drive is completely un-recoverable.. I'll try contacting Toshiba and see what they say...However I don't hold out much hope of any meaningful assistance.

Once again, I thank you for your assistance and apologise for the mis-understanding.. I genuinely thought this was a Microsoft site..
 

TrainableMan

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On the Microsoft-hosted Windows Forums most of the people answering questions there do not actually work for Microsoft either. Even individuals marked Microsoft MVPs, on our site and over on Microsoft's, are just private individuals who have taken very difficult Microsoft training, at quite a considerable cost to themselves or the companies they work for, to receive Microsoft certification.

But I may have found a way ...
I have never used this myself and to get it you have to join their forums but it may be worth it to you. On the site MyDigitalLife they have a tool (the OEMDUMP Utility) that is supposed to extract SLIC information from the BIOS.

Please be careful on that site and be sure to scan any downloads for viruses (you should be doing this to downloads from any site really). They are extremely smart but I suspect many of them are also hackers.
 

Shintaro

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Ok, so the best hard disk recover utility that I know of is SPINRITE. However it will cost you $89.

So unless there is something that you cannot live without on the disk, buying a new windows license is the easiest choice as Trainableman pointed out.

A Windows alternative if you dislike Windows that much....that really depends on your ability. If you choose a Linux variant you will need to invest more time learning about hardware and software.
The other alternative is Apple Mac's. I tend to refer to the Apple Mac user interface as "Footballer proof" if you get my drift.
 

TrainableMan

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If you want to try and recover lost data from the crashed hard drive you might try Spinrite but I really think that utility to extract your OEM product key from the BIOS SLIC table might be all you really need if you just need your old W7 key back so you can reinstall.
 
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SLiC key?? sorry not a scooby.. I don't do all that there computer clever stuff..I just switch it on and expect it to work mostly:confused:
 
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TrainableMan

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You have to have a valid Product key. If you never wrote it down while your computer was working and it is not printed on a sticker on your machine or on W7 DVDs then your only hope of not having to buy a replacement is to extract it from the BIOS chip embedded inside your computer.

Laptops and most newer computers are pre-activated at the factory. To do this, the License Key is stored in the BIOS in a SLIC (Software LICensing) Table, If you can run the OEMtool and extract your W7 license key from the BIOS then you can use that product key to activate a new W7 installation on that machine.
 

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