Question Restoring Windows 7 with only product key after fire?

Jan 23, 2019
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We have two machines running on a 3-user Windows 7 Home Premium license. Last year we had a house fire which was thankfully limited, but we did lose a shelf of books and software when the ceiling of our office collapsed. My physical copy of the Windows install discs was among the losses. This was not an issue until recently one of the computers had a HD issue, and I needed to replace it and reinstall Windows.

I had written down the product key, and still had it in my files, so I went to Microsoft's Win 7 ISO download page at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7 , thinking I could just download the image, and make a clean install. However, when I put in our product key (and yes, it's the 25 digit product key, not the other code), it said it was "invalid or unsupported". I used Belarc to ensure what I had in my files matches what the remaining computer was running and it was correct.

So, I'm unsure what to do or what went wrong. I tried the key several times, with no luck. It was typed in correctly. Any recommendations?
 
contact Microsoft support about it and see if they'll help you out.
Otherwise, might be time to just upgrade yourself to Windows 10.

Win10 doesn't require activation to work and is fully and completely usable without it, you just get a watermark in the bottom corner saying it's not activated yet, and you can't use the desktop personalize options (but you can still download an image and right click>set as desktop background)

And you may even be able to activate the copy of Windows 10 using the Windows 7 product key. And can even bark at Microsoft about it if it doesn't work to get them to give you a key.

Windows 10 can be downloaded and installed easily with a flash drive.
Just make sure the flash drive is at least 8GB in size and make sure to backup any files from it, then download and use the Media Creation Tool to make a bootable drive to install Windows 10 from on any computer.

I would honestly recommend you make the switch if security is important to you, since Microsoft will be dropping support for Windows 7 extremely soon.
But if you want to continue to use it, then as I said in the beginning, reach out to Microsoft about the key not working.

Here is the Media Creation Tool.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

For creating a bootable drive with Windows 7, use either the USB/DVD Tool or Rufus

Here is USB/DVD Tool
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=56485

Here is Rufus
 
Reactions: justinbower
Jan 23, 2019
4
0
10
0
contact Microsoft support about it and see if they'll help you out.
Otherwise, might be time to just upgrade yourself to Windows 10.

Win10 doesn't require activation to work and is fully and completely usable without it, you just get a watermark in the bottom corner saying it's not activated yet, and you can't use the desktop personalize options (but you can still download an image and right click>set as desktop background)

And you may even be able to activate the copy of Windows 10 using the Windows 7 product key. And can even bark at Microsoft about it if it doesn't work to get them to give you a key.

Windows 10 can be downloaded and installed easily with a flash drive.
Just make sure the flash drive is at least 8GB in size and make sure to backup any files from it, then download and use the Media Creation Tool to make a bootable drive to install Windows 10 from on any computer.

I would honestly recommend you make the switch if security is important to you, since Microsoft will be dropping support for Windows 7 extremely soon.
But if you want to continue to use it, then as I said in the beginning, reach out to Microsoft about the key not working.

Here is the Media Creation Tool.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

For creating a bootable drive with Windows 7, use either the USB/DVD Tool or Rufus

Here is USB/DVD Tool
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=56485

Here is Rufus
Many thanks, I hadn't thought about just trying to do the upgrade via the media creation tool. I'll try to bug Microsoft on it. Appreciated!
 

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