New hard drive, no disk, no product code !


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After my sister dropped her 2nd hand Acer ASPIRE 5742 the laptop fails to boot up & the hard drive is noisy then stops. She's been told she need's a new hard drive which i can install, the problem is the windows sticker on the base is worn away so we don't know the product code of the pre installed Win 7 , i have downloaded the 'Windows 7 SP1 ISO' file from 'Digital River' & burnt that on to a DVD to install but before i do my question is, Can I install the 'Windows 7 SP1 ISO file' onto the new hard drive without the 'Product Code' then look for the the code using Key finder software, or will the insulation stop because of no product code.
 
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I have had success with Magical Jellybean. http://www.tomsguide.com/us/download/Magical-Jelly-Bean-Keyfinder,0301-49769.html

This link is the least offensive I could find as far as additional toolbars bundled in with the download so beware of and un-check anything you do not want to install. Best I could do in the time given.
Thanks for your reply, will use your advice to find the key code, but will I be able to install Win 7 on to the new hard drive without the product code ? then once Win 7 is installed use software to look for the original Win 7 key code that came pre installed on the laptop when new. Thanks
 

TrainableMan

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Peter, unless the BIOS utilizes SLIC then you cannot activate without the activation code; that is why Yoda is telling you your best chance of reading it from the damaged hard drive. If that doesn't work and you can't "guess it" from the label underneath then you will likely need to buy a new copy of W7.

Although personally I would probably try to contact Acer support for their suggestions before buying a new copy of W7. I suppose it's possible Acer maintains a list of licenses based on some unique code on or in the computer.
 
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@ Peter Duke,
.........the problem is the windows sticker on the base is worn away so we don't know the product code of the pre installed Win 7..............

Your Win 7 is an OEM version. A pre-installed os whose product key is applicable ONLY to that computer.
Key finders will not be able to find the correct product key. What they can find is generic product key for the computer manufacturers for the purpose of mass production. That set of product key can NOT be used to reinstall your Win 7. It won't work.
You MUST use the product key that is attached to the bottom of your computer in order to reinstall Win 7.
Failing that, you have only 2 choices.....
1. Request a new one from Microsoft.............http://support.microsoft.com/kb/811224

2. Buy a legit Win 7 license.
 
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To clarify..............
If one bought a retail version of Windows operating system, installed it, and later on, lost the product key, then Key Finders will be able to retrieve the product key.
Key Finders can not retrieve product key of pre-installed Windows operating system.
 
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TrainableMan

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Just to be clear, even though her license is OEM, her brother only wants to reinstall on THAT computer so that would be perfectly legal. Unfortunately, after a problem, is often the wrong time to be looking for important information like the product key. When the system was working the OP could have used SIW to extract the license or written it down before it was scratched away (assuming it was intact when she bought it) but now it may be gone for good.

If you can't recover it from the HD or get help from Acer support then I doubt Microsoft will do more than offer to sell you a new license. If you do end up having to buy a new license then consider buying a system builder license, because it cannot be moved and includes no Microsoft support, it will be cheaper than a full version. From a reputable online retailer Home Premium System Builder goes for about $100US (you will need to choose either 32 or 64 bit as they do not include both).
 

yodap

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Good points david and TM. I would hope MS would forgive a failed or damaged hdd and issue a new key. It's not the system board being replaced.
Which brings up the point that Peter is assuming it's the hard drive from the symptoms but the damage may go beyond that.

Good luck Peter and keep us informed.
 
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Thanks for all the info guys, will post reply when my sister comes up next week with laptop.
 
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@Peter
.......my question is, Can I install the 'Windows 7 SP1 ISO file' onto the new hard drive without the 'Product Code' then look for the the code using Key finder software, or will the insulation stop because of no product code.

To reiterate:
1. No keyfinders will be able to locate your pre-installed Win 7 product key.
2. Installation will NOT begin if you do not have a valid product key.

Sorry, you are in a tight spot.
 

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