Question Windows 7 installation media

Feb 8, 2019
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Hey y'all. So I'm having a problem, and from what I can tell what I'm trying to do is NOT illegal, if it is please correct me and I'll gladly cease and desist.

Basically I want to duplicate a Windows 7 installation media. There's a USB, you pop it in the machine, you boot up and you can install Windows 7 from it. It's not cracked; you still have to have your codes and everything. The problem is, every time I try to clone the drive or make an .ISO, I am blocked. When trying at work I got a warning about being unable to access the "system volume information"; I tweaked it and could see the folder but it still wouldn't allow me to clone it. I popped it in my machine at home and it spat out an error message when I tried to make an .ISO. That's never happened before. There's a Win7 install CD that I successfully backed up with no problem, but it's not Win7 Pro which is what I prefer.

I'm just trying to future-proof, it's the last such USB we've got with Win7 install on it, and there's a machine I've got that'll have an aneurysm if you install Win10 straight onto it. You have to install 7, get it all set up then upgrade.

is there a way to do what I'm suggesting? The online solutions don't work and Microsoft won't let me download my own installation media, because I no longer have any of the discs or CD keys.
 
Feb 8, 2019
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Surely if you've still got your code/key, which you stated you'd need to, then you'd have a key you could provide to MS to get a W7 ISO?
https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows7
No, I have the code/sticker on the side of the machine, my CDs and CD keys have all been lost (people chucked them out because they were all used up). Isn't the code on the side of the machine and the key you get from Windows the same thing?? I've always just entered them into the Windows installer and it works fine.

Sorry, not an IT person as you can tell.
 
Feb 8, 2019
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That's exactly what you need. If it's a retail copy, just put the code in the site I linked & it'll elt you download the relevant ISO.
If it's an OEM copy of Windows however, I don't believe it will.
Ah, so they ARE different.

Still, why can't I clone this USB? I've tried a few different ways. Is there something different about it compared to the others??
 
Feb 8, 2019
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So you have an official W7 install USB? Can you not create an ISO of the USB, and then create bootable media from the ISO?
Correct. It has some sort of anti-copy feature. My attempts to bypass it have failed.

I'm now virtually certain it's meant for business use; I've looked it up online. I think I know who it belongs to, I'll return it at the first opportunity.
 

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