Question Can I reinstall Windows with no disk, product key, and without losing my files?

Oct 25, 2019
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For more info regarding my computer and what I've done with it, refer to this topic.

After trying many things to fix my computer that won't boot up Windows, I'm thinking I have to reinstall the OS. But there are some issues with this, the biggest one being that I have no product key and no installation disk - I don't even know what version of Windows I have besides 7. Second issue is that I can't access my desktop to do any sort of repairs in Safe Mode or anything.

I've seen some things in tutorials suggesting that there is a way to basically reinstall Windows from a disk without losing all my files by performing a repair from a disk and not formatting the partition. Can I just buy a Windows 7 disk from eBay? Or is there something I can download that will work? I'm just not sure how to do this since most things I've read say I need to have the product key for my machine.
 
For more info regarding my computer and what I've done with it, refer to this topic.

After trying many things to fix my computer that won't boot up Windows, I'm thinking I have to reinstall the OS. But there are some issues with this, the biggest one being that I have no product key and no installation disk - I don't even know what version of Windows I have besides 7. Second issue is that I can't access my desktop to do any sort of repairs in Safe Mode or anything.

I've seen some things in tutorials suggesting that there is a way to basically reinstall Windows from a disk without losing all my files by performing a repair from a disk and not formatting the partition. Can I just buy a Windows 7 disk from eBay? Or is there something I can download that will work? I'm just not sure how to do this since most things I've read say I need to have the product key for my machine.
I recently had an issue with W10 not being able to update, I just shoved all my files onto a different drive and did a clean install on the primary drive and moved everything back.
 
Oct 25, 2019
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I recently had an issue with W10 not being able to update, I just shoved all my files onto a different drive and did a clean install on the primary drive and moved everything back.
In my case, I can't access my files because I can't boot up properly. Plus I had updates turned off anyway because all they did was slow my machine down and I don't particularly need an up-to-date version of Windows.
 
Oct 25, 2019
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No disk and no product key means you’re not going to install that again. Time to upgrade to windows 10. Windows 7 is dead forever
I don't know if that's entirely true because I know at least a few folks who have reinstalled Windows with neither a disk nor a key. Whether or not the version of Windows they used was legal/legitimate is another question entirely, but I know it's doable. I just don't know how yet.

Also, I don't have any interest in upgrading to 10, at least not on my home computer, for two reasons: Windows 10 doesn't play nice with my internet and will connect but proceed to not work, and since my printer/scanner is relatively outdated, I would need to buy a whole new one because I do use it regularly. If I had it my way, I'd be on XP still because that's still my favorite version of Windows.
 
In my case, I can't access my files because I can't boot up properly. Plus I had updates turned off anyway because all they did was slow my machine down and I don't particularly need an up-to-date version of Windows.
You kinda do they patch vulnerabilities out regularly and 7 is EOL. You might have malware that’s causing your bolt issue. 10 is fine I really don’t get the entire “7 is so much better I’ll risk over a grand of PC for it”.

Get a boot SSD, make a fresh installation of whatever windows you want and transfer files across that way.
 
Oct 25, 2019
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What make/model computer do you have. Many computers have the COA and /or serial numbers on the case. Also, if your PC came with Windows preinstalled, you may have a reinstall partition.
I did find the product key on mine, but it didn't do me a lot of good because when I tried to download an ISO of my version of Windows, it told me that since Windows came pre-installed on the machine, I need to go to the manufacturer for help.

Is there a way to access the reinstall partition? Because right now, I'm thinking about just buying a Windows 7 installation/repair disk on eBay. Everything I'm finding on reinstalling from a DVD or USB doesn't really make much sense to me or involves steps I can't take (like loading Windows).
 
Oct 25, 2019
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You kinda do they patch vulnerabilities out regularly and 7 is EOL. You might have malware that’s causing your bolt issue. 10 is fine I really don’t get the entire “7 is so much better I’ll risk over a grand of PC for it”.

Get a boot SSD, make a fresh installation of whatever windows you want and transfer files across that way.
Honestly, my internet is so crummy that I don't think I could even download malware. Dial-up has some perks! But really, Windows 10 doesn't work with my internet or my printer, so if I were to upgrade to 10, I would need to buy a whole new printer/scanner and get a new ISP and I don't think I can afford better internet than what I've got. So it's not just me being faithful to this OS, it's that updating will cause issues that I need to spend more money to fix.
 

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Is there a way to access the reinstall partition? Because right now, I'm thinking about just buying a Windows 7 installation/repair disk on eBay. Everything I'm finding on reinstalling from a DVD or USB doesn't really make much sense to me or involves steps I can't take (like loading Windows).
Does that partition still exist?
How to invoke that will be outlined in the user manual.
 
Dec 22, 2019
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Download the iso file from Microsoft page, do the clean installation of the windows. i think everything will be sorted.
 
Oct 25, 2019
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Download the iso file from Microsoft page, do the clean installation of the windows. i think everything will be sorted.
I tried doing that and it told me I couldn't download the file because I had a pre-installed version of Windows and would need to contact the manufacturer, and since it seems like the people who made my computer (Lenovo) don't have typical tech support, that wouldn't have worked either.

Anyway, after some troubleshooting with friends who know their stuff, the consensus seems to be that the hard drive has failed and I need to decide if I want a new drive or a new machine, but that'll be a whole other topic.
 

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