Recover OEM Windows license

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Moliere
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Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Moliere » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:54 pm

Here's the situation, I have a laptop that had a hard drive failure. It didn't come with any discs and the Windows 8 license is not on any stickers on the laptop itself. So, if I install a new hard drive how do I get the Windows 8 license? Will Best Buy, Toshiba, or Microsoft be able to look up the laptop serial number and find an associated Windows license?
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Paingod
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Paingod » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:00 pm

I've seen a lot of people have nightmare issues getting recovery media for laptops. You'll have to start with Toshiba and hope they can find and verify your order using the serial number or other code they may work with that should be stamped/stuck on the laptop. Microsoft wouldn't give you the time of day, and Best Buy will shrug and offer to sell you a new copy of Windows 10 instead. Once you've jumped through enough hoops with Toshiba, they should send you the recovery media (if you don't have it) and/or provide you with the key for your current machine.

This is one of the reasons I buy a lot of Dell at work, and recommend it to people who aren't overly picky.

Dell will let you download the ISO for Windows (to make your own recovery/boot disc), and it doesn't need a key. You just plug it in, it says "Oh, this is a Dell computer, and I'm a Dell OS - so everything's OK! Installing..." and it gets over it. You can even swap across PC's, so when I get a laptop with a Windows 7 64-bit OS disc, I don't need to get another for any other computer that uses it. That disc works on any of them (and maybe on anything made by Dell, not that I've ever done that; I mean, I've certainly never used a 64-bit disc to wipe and reinstall over 32-bit installs, or to wipe and reinstall over Windows 8 when Dell said doing that wasn't supported ... or anything like that).

I haven't done testing with this theme on Windows 10 yet... but I plan to, today or tomorrow, in fact. We just bought a new laptop and I saved a couple hundred dollars by getting a 3rd party M.2 Solid State drive instead of going through Dell. I expect I'll be able to connect the drive, pop in the Windows 10 USB drive, and be off and running without a key.
Last edited by Paingod on Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Rip » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:10 pm

My experience with HP is they no longer send a disk but will be happy to for $50.

Sadly by the time it arrived I had gotten my hands on the old system and took an identical unit and imaged it over to the new SSD for the failed one. Had to play what do you want to hear, with an activation support guy for a few minutes but got the job done.

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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Daehawk » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:50 pm

Moliere wrote:Here's the situation, I have a laptop that had a hard drive failure. It didn't come with any discs and the Windows 8 license is not on any stickers on the laptop itself. So, if I install a new hard drive how do I get the Windows 8 license? Will Best Buy, Toshiba, or Microsoft be able to look up the laptop serial number and find an associated Windows license?
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Moliere » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:09 pm

Thanks. I will have to see if the BIOS has it or if I can get the defective hard drive to boot one last time.
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Daehawk » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:20 pm

YW hope it helps. One trick for a failing HD is to stick it in the freezer for 30 min then quickly hook it up and grab what you can. It worked for me. I had a ton on mine and it worked twice but the third time it didn't but by then I had gotten most of my files off it. It was not an SSD though.
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:21 pm

Moliere wrote:Thanks. I will have to see if the BIOS has it or if I can get the defective hard drive to boot one last time.
If you're unable to find anything in the BIOS, since you have a faulty HD, it'd be more effective to create and use a bootable rescue disc/flash drive, such as Hiren's Boot CD, which includes the nifty ProduKey utility (a simple tool that can recover your Windows Product Key even from an otherwise non-functional system). That way, you needn't place any undue strain upon an already faulty drive.
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:04 pm

Great topic.

Let us know if you get it Moliere.

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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Paingod » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:52 pm

Daehawk wrote:YW hope it helps. One trick for a failing HD is to stick it in the freezer for 30 min then quickly hook it up and grab what you can. It worked for me. I had a ton on mine and it worked twice but the third time it didn't but by then I had gotten most of my files off it. It was not an SSD though.
Don't forget to seal it in a plastic bag first to keep condensation out. I've used this a few times and had it work once or twice. It's not a certainty, but at that point it's already dead ... sooo...
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by LordMortis » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:45 pm

What is the model of the machine? I find google plus make and model to be fairly informative when it come to thing like recovery or setting up machine.

My guess is:

1) Rip is probably right. Toshiba will want to bend you over for a recovery CD. That's my experience with Lenovo: $40 a pop. Dell, OTOH, had done for free to a few dollars.

2) Most OEMs have an OEM version of Windows that only works with their hardware. Meaning my Dell OEM version of windows doesn't work with anything but Dells.


https://www.google.com/#q=toshiba+lapto ... overy+disk

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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Daehawk » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:46 am

I thought all laptops came with the OS disc. Seems not . they want another $40 or so for a disc .

EDIT: Its a HP laptop btw . I would advise no one ever buy a HP laptop and it has nothing to do with no disc included.
Last edited by Daehawk on Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Rip » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:35 am

Daehawk wrote:I thought all laptops came with the OS disc. Seems not . they want another $40 or so for a disc .
None of them do anymore. Usually all they send now is a disk of drivers that are 3 or 4 versions out of date the day you get it. The deal has been altered, pray they do not alter it further.

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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Daehawk » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:37 am

I know....the more things change the more they suck. :) Actually I really did think it was some kind of MS rule with their OS that a disc must be supplied free.
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by hitbyambulance » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:34 pm

with the HP laptop my parents got a few years ago, there was an option to make one (1) six-disc set of "factory-restore" DVD-Rs.

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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Punisher » Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:21 pm

hitbyambulance wrote:with the HP laptop my parents got a few years ago, there was an option to make one (1) six-disc set of "factory-restore" DVD-Rs.
This has been standard for years now. The ones that came with the discs are the odd man out...
But all of them should have the built in option to make them either via dvd or usb...
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by GreenGoo » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:11 pm

And now I need to do this, as it appears my 2 windows disks with keys have "disappeared".

I'll read the thread later to see if it had a happy ending or not.

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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:22 pm

Ok, it's been awhile since I read the thread so if this doesn't apply, sorry. It worked for me with a retail version of Win7.

Note: MS now provides iso's of their OS as long as you provide a valid key. Not sure how long they've been doing this (could be years, I haven't gone through them before).

I used the vbs script found at: how to geek.

I've included the script code here for ease of use. The code is simple and nothing nefarious.

Code: Select all

Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
MsgBox ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead("HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId"))

Function ConvertToKey(Key)
Const KeyOffset = 52
i = 28
Chars = "BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789"
Do
Cur = 0
x = 14
Do
Cur = Cur * 256
Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur
Key(x + KeyOffset) = (Cur \ 24) And 255
Cur = Cur Mod 24
x = x -1
Loop While x >= 0
i = i -1
KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
If (((29 - i) Mod 6) = 0) And (i <> -1) Then
i = i -1
KeyOutput = "-" & KeyOutput
End If
Loop While i >= 0
ConvertToKey = KeyOutput
End Function
Just cut and paste that code into notepad, save it with the .vbs extension and you're good to go. Just double click on the file and a popup will appear with your key. You can't select it but if you hit ctrl-c it will copy the key to your clipboard and then you can save it wherever you like.

The code just pulls it from the registry and converts from binary/hex/whatever.

Tested and confirmed it works.

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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by gameoverman » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:19 pm

I know a couple of people who bought laptops that didn't come with any kind of reinstall disc. I've told each person that the first thing you do is use the built in software that these computers come with to create your own USB back up stick. Since the computer is new it's the perfect time to create the backup, you haven't had the chance to screw anything up yet.

Seriously, how does one not do something like this?

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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:39 pm

Have you met people?
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Moliere
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Moliere » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:38 pm

GreenGoo wrote:I used the vbs script found at: how to geek.
Thanks! The PowerShell option worked for me.
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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:20 pm

GreenGoo wrote:And now I need to do this, as it appears my 2 windows disks with keys have "disappeared".

I'll read the thread later to see if it had a happy ending or not.
And...I found one of the disks when cleaning my desk. 2 and a half months later, apparently.

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Re: Recover OEM Windows license

Post by Daehawk » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:42 pm

I asked a MS support person for backup on this. It seems if you upgraded from Win 7 or 8.1 to Win 10 then you have a Digital License and its kept on MS's servers. All you have to do is install Win 10 and choose the option below where you enter the cd key usually and after install it with authenticate your copy after a few hours or days automatically. No need for a key. So now I can get busy on this laptop. Downloading Win 10 install to a flash drive now. god it must be USB 1.0 ts SO slow. But hey it was a free 8 gig drive.
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