Windows Vista home Basic asking for product key, but can't read the sticker

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Windows Vista home Basic asking for product key, but can't read the sticker

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My daughter's Dell laptop is suddenly saying Windows needs to be activated and asking for the product key. But, I can't read the sticker clearly now. is there a way to find the key installed on the computer?

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  • Do you have the Dell Vista Home Basic Reinstallation disc that came with the computer? Backup up all files onto an external hard drive and use it to reinstall Vista following the guide below (alterbnatively restore to the factory settings, mentioned at the top of the guide).

    Philip Yip

     

    Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.

  • Dracoprimus,

     

    If a Dell OEM operating system disk is used, no product key is needed. The Dell OEM disk will get the information from the motherboard.

     

    If you do not have the Dell Operating system disk, if in the United States, Request Backup Disks USA if in another Countr, contact Dell Tech Support in your Country.

     

    Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings

     

    How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft® Windows® on a Dell™ Computer

     

     

     

    Rick

    #DellRockStar

    What is a Dell Service Tag and how do I locate it? 

     

     

    Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks 

    Welcome to Dell Community!

  • Dell-branded XP disks do not ask for a product key, as it uses a generic self/auto activating key embedded on the disk (not in the BIOS) ... Dell-branded Windows 7 disks do ask for a key.  I am not sure if Dell-branded Vista disks do or not, it being in between the two.

    If it doesnt, then great ... you can reinstall and not worry about activating it.

    If it does, then there isn't much that can be done.  You could call Microsoft and plead your case, but I'm not sure how that would end if you can't provide them with a product key.  Even if you used a program (like Belarc or Magic Jelly Bean) to get your existing product key, if it came installed from Dell, it would return the generic self/auto code used by Dell, which will NOT work for manual activation, as it will not be accepted by the "enter a product key" wizard.

    If this has been working for some time already, you might be able to simply "fix" it, by running "chkdsk /r" and "sfc /scannow" (with the Windows DVD in the system) from the Command Prompt.

  • The Flash my Dell Branded 7 and my Dell Branded Vista DVDs never asked for a key when installed from BIOs, much in the same way as the XP one.

    Philip Yip

     

    Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.

  • Odd ... all the Dell W7 disks I've used (some on home/client machines, many in a business setting), it has asked for the PK.  If that's not the case for yours drac, that would be great ... my experience says it will prompt for the PK though.

  • Dracoprimus

    My daughter's Dell laptop is suddenly saying Windows needs to be activated and asking for the product key. But, I can't read the sticker clearly now. is there a way to find the key installed on the computer?

    The key should be under the battery, so it should be easy enough to read.

          

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