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Thread: Can I get product key from a junked Windows 7 PC?

  1. #1
    okrobie's Avatar
    okrobie is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Jacksonville FL USA

    Default Can I get product key from a junked Windows 7 PC?

    Hello, I recently bought an "as-is" laptop to fix up and sell. It is running well on Windows 7, but I wanted to install Windows 10. I decided to do it by using an ISO on a USB stick since I wanted to format the drive in the process. I retrieved my product key from the Windows 7 system and began installing Windows 10. It soon became time to enter the product key, but it would not accept the key. Since I don't know the history of this computer, it may very well be bootleg software. What cn I do to get a legitimate product key short of buying a retail version of Windows 7. Can I get the product key from a retired or junked Windows 7 computer with the product key on the label? How does it work and what is legal? Thanks for your help. Regards, Jim

  2. #2
    HappyAndyK's Avatar
    HappyAndyK is offline Site Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    The OEM Windows product key is tied to the hardware (laptop)
    The first time, you will have to upgrade from Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10, to get the free upgrade.

    Related reads:
    Digital Entitlement and Product Key Activation methods in Windows 10
    How does Windows 10 licensing status change with changes in hardware configuration.

  3. #3
    Hodag is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016


    All OEM installs come with a certificate of authenticity, usually in the form of a sticker and this sticker contains the product key. The stickers used to go on the bottom of the laptops, but a lot of them got damaged through wear and tear so the manufacturers started to get clever. Did you pull any of the components to see if the sticker is hiding underneath? Lenovo, for example, puts theirs into the battery bay and you cannot see it without removing the battery.

    Have a look, you might be surprised.

  4. #4
    h0rnytoad1 is offline Beginner
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    hello all,

    okrobie: what if... just do an in place upgrade from win 7 to 10 for now to get your win7 key to work with win10 ?

    here's how: Since your removed win7 , you'll have one extra step:

    start by reinstalling windows 7 appropriate for the key type (home or pro)

    and validate the win7 key after booting.

    Then do the inplace upgrade to win 10.

    Once win10 is installed , verify your key is valid in the system app

    Then format the drive and use the iso to install 10 fresh.

    let us know if this works.

    ps: you might get away with using the key on same hardware or from same manufacturer (but that one is a long shot)

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