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Can't activate Windows 7 after re-installing


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Can't activate Windows 7 after re-installing

This question has been answered by topmahof

Hi Guys,

Just got my new Dell Studio 15 laptop delivered today, and I wasted no time in re-installing Windows 7 64-bit (I hate all the extras that come pre-loaded on laptops). Anyway, before I installed anything I set the laptop up and used a utility to extract the key (since I couldn't see one on the packaging and just in case there wasn't one pre-loaded on the motherboard). After that I put in my W7 DVD and wiped all the partitions so the HDD was totally blank, and proceeded to set up 2 partitions, one for W7, and one for Ubuntu 10.04 (which will get installed later). The installation went fine as expected, and when the wizard asked me for my key I skipped it (since you can put it in later and I'm not sure when the mobo would kick in and tell Windows everything was fine). Once the desktop loaded I noticed that W7 wasn't activated so I put in the key I had extracted earlier, but this comes up with an error.


Does anyone know where I can find a valid key or have any other advice for this situation?


Verified Answer
  • take the battery out and look around in the bay.

All Replies
  • so what  was the coa sticker on the laptop for?  win7, vista, or xp.  if you extracted a key for anything other than 7 then no, 7 won't activate. not with that key, anyway.

  • I installed the same version of Windows that came with the laptop, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

  • The extracted key was the Dell factory key for mass production, not your individual key. You must use the one on the sticker on the bottom of the computer. I hate to tell you this, but you did not need to reinstall windows on a new computer. There is no "junk" that needs to be wiped nowadays. All that's necessary is to uninstall anything you don't want so you preserve all the recovery & diagnostics options. You should read about the new Dell Media Reduction policy. You are lucky you received the dvd for windows.

  • Thanks for the advice, next time I won't be so hasty! Unfortunately I didn't receive a Windows DVD, it's one I had to install W7 on my desktop, and there isn't a key on the bottom of the laptop. Do Dell just not give you your key anymore? I've been through all the material and can't seem to find a key...

  • take the battery out and look around in the bay.

  • Genius! Thank you, I didn't think to look underneath the battery. Thank you all for your help, it is much appreciatedSmile

  • Thank you!!  I spent 3 days trying to get a key for Home Premium!  I would've never thought to look there!