If you want to reinstall Windows 7, you’ll need to find a unique Windows 7 product key, also known as a Windows 7 serial key, activation key, or CD key.
Typically, this product key is on a sticker on your computer or in the documentation or disc sleeve that came with Windows 7. But even if you don’t have a physical copy of the product key, it’s not that product key. Went forever.
A copy of the Windows 7 key is stored in the registry. It’s encrypted and not easy to read, but a special program extracts it.
For more information about product keys and how they work in Windows, see the Windows Product Keys FAQ.
Find Product Key in Windows 7
The manual technique used to find product keys for earlier versions of Windows will not work on Windows 7. These manual procedures find only the product ID number for Windows 7, not the actual product key used for installation. So if you have done this kind of work before on Windows XP or Vista, you should use the process described below instead.
Follow the steps below to find your Windows 7 product key code.
Select a free product key finder program that supports Windows 7 from this list. Finding your Windows 7 product key The Product Key Finder finds product keys for Windows 7 Ultimate,: Enterprise, Professional, Home Premium, Home Basic, and Starter versions.
Download and run the Key Finder program. Follow the instructions provided by the software. The numbers and letters that the program displays indicate your Windows 7 product key.
The product key should be formatted as follows:
Obviously, it’s five sets of five letters and numbers.
Record this key code exactly as the program displays it. Most key finder tools let you export keys to a text file or copy them to the clipboard. If any character is written incorrectly, the Windows 7 installation that I tried with this product key will fail.
Reinstall Windows 7 using that product key
Some more options, if you need to install the Windows 7 operating system but can’t find your Windows 7 product key using the Product Key Finder, you can choose from two things:
The first thing to try is to ask Microsoft, for a replacement product key. This isn’t always working, but it’s worth a shot.
If Microsoft can’t go anywhere, you’ll have to buy a new copy of Windows 7 from NewEgg, or another retailer.