unlock windows 7 premium product key to activate windows reinstall

jeffk1970jeffk1970 Member Posts: 3

First, I am not sure which series of laptop I have to know if I am even posting to the correct board here. I used a .vbs file to extract the windows 7 product key from my acer and thought it would be fine to use when I reinstalled  windows 7 premium but after the install it rejected the product key. When I contacted Microsoft they said it was an OEM SLP situation and that I would have to get the product key unlocked from the manufacturer which is Acer, or do they mean the retailer who sold the laptop, then I would likely have to provide proof of purchase.

Something tells me this whole idea is so that they can try to bill me to unlock the code so that I can activate the new Windows installation. I see on the support site that they mention purchasing recovery media. Thats kind of sleazy to do to customers who bought a laptop with windows installed.

So my question is how do I get my accurate product key to be able to activate my windows 7 re-install. I tried Magical Jellybean and it gives me the same product key which fails activation. What can I do to salvage this Acer laptop that works fine but simply needs Windows activated. I shouldnt have to buy another copy of Windows for it. There must be a solution that does not involve spending more money.

FAQ & Answers

  • mrpetemrpete Member Posts: 32

    You have at least one and maybe two ways you can go here.

     

    The first way is SLP. There is validation info inside your BIOS. It may only be there if the laptop shipped from the factory with Win7 installed. For sure it will not be there if the laptop shipped with Vista or XP, another format of info will be there in that case. But let's assume it was shipped with Win7 and has a Win7 COA on the bottom of the laptop or maybe under the battery. To reinstall this system the SLP way you need a disc from Acer to do the reinstall. I believe that if you get a system restore disc from Acer (they sell them) that you will end up with an image of the HDD the way that it shipped from the factory. That's not exactly a clean install, but it is somewhat close. I am not sure if Acer will sell you a reinstall disc, but maybe ... ask them.

     

    If you reinstall/restore from an Acer disc you will not have to enter a key as the validation is through the BIOS. Just look after the install is done and you have rebooted and in Control Panel / System it will show as validated.

     

    For sure Acer will charge to ship you a disc. From their point of view they shipped the laptop with a restore partition. They're going to expect you to use that. It is work for them to ship a disc ... they WILL charge you $.

     

    See the info at Wikipedia for more on SLP.

     

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Locked_Pre-installation

     

    A second possible way is non-SLP. This worked for me the one time I installed Win7 on an Acer laptop. It may well not work for you. Indeed I believe that this way is not supposed to work. YMMV.

     

    I installed with retail media. I suspect that you did that, too. I know you didn't use Acer specific media, otherwise you should have gotten SLP activation.

     

    Now enter the activation code from the COA on the laptop. You do have a COA, right? Surprisingly, that worked for me ... and via an online validation no less. I didn't even have to use the phone validation method. That shouldn't have worked, but it did.

     

    You can forget about that activation code you pulled from the system/HDD/registry via VBS/Magical Jellybean. It is a generic Acer "key" in use on thousands of laptops and only says "I am an Acer SLP validated system." That key cannot be used anywhere. I you go the SLP way via an Acer disc you will likely "get that key back." That key is an output, not an input.

     

    So, the first thing I suggest trying is to activate/validate with the code from your COA. If that does not work (likely won't) then ask Acer if they will sell you a disc. Good Luck!

  • jeffk1970jeffk1970 Member Posts: 3

    Yes I essentially used retail media to reinstall. It was the installer I downloaded from microsoft and put on usb. This laptop actually belongs to my brother-in-law. Of course, the COA sricker on the bottom of the laptop is so worn I can't see the product key or even the bar code anymore. It was just the SN on a sticker under the battery. Looks like I may have to reach out to Acer to see if they will sell us a disc. Something tells me I am not going to find the product key anywhere on the laptop now, especially after the reinstall. I found the SN in the BIOS before I noticed it under the battery but I am guessing the product key is not in the BIOS. I wish I could just upgrade him to Windows 10 without the product key or by using the generic one that jellybean spits out. I would try the upgrade but I am guessing the step that prompts for the product key is at the end of the install, which would screw me with an unactivated version of windows 10 instead of 7. Now I just need to find the best place on the Acer site to request a copy of the install disc, even though based on the SN it says the warranty has expired hahaha lovely! Any final input would be appreciated.

  • mrpetemrpete Member Posts: 32

    The idea here appears to be just to get the laptop functional again. You will likely eventually be able to get a perfectly clean OS install if you are able to get Win7 installed and then upgrade via clean install to Win10. That last bit can actually be done if some detailed prep work is done.

     

    The first and best route for you is to get the appropriate disc/discs from Acer. They will almost certainly want the "SNID" of the laptop. I think that that stands for serial number identifier or something like that. For me the SNID is on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop. That sticker seems to be a bit more "hardy" than the COA. I hope yours has not rubbed off. I hope your SNID is on the sticker under your battery. You should be able to identify the laptop model from the SNID. This could be total bunk, but someone told me the price from Acer for the disc/discs should be (was at one time?) $20. If Acer says no for some reason then there still may be other options on this route.

     

    The second and MUCH more costly route is to buy either retail or generic OEM OS install discs and a license key for any of these Windows versions: Win7, Win8/8.1, Win10. Since the laptop shipped with Win7 you know that the original drivers are available for that OS, but there's only 3 years left of life (read "security updates") left for that OS. If you go to 8/8.1 and then upgrade to Win10 or buy Win10 direct then "perfect" drivers are less certain.

     

    Your current installation of Win7 is from what is essentially a retail DVD. Likely the only way forward for you with that install is to feed it a retail license key. That's expensive. A reinstall will likely be needed.

     

    So ... the first thing you need to do here is make sure you can read the SNID off of the sticker on your laptop. If you cannot you may have trouble proceeding. Take the SNID and surf to the web page below, enter the SNID and see where that gets you. I hope it gets you the media you need. I doubt it will be free.

     

    http://us-store.acer.com/erecovery/rcd/

  • jeffk1970jeffk1970 Member Posts: 3

    Hi thanks for your ideas and input. Here are the latest developments and the options I seem to be down to. The SNID was no longer legible on the sticker on the bottom of the laptop and was not located under the battery and of course not in the BIOS. So I called Acer and gave them the SN and he was thankfully able to give me the SNID. He also told me that the laptop was originally sold with Linux on it instead of Windows. Since Acer does not have any recovery media avaialble I called their 3rd party outsourced company for parts etc called Grand Tech as a shot in the dark just to see if somehow they had a Windows disc that might somehow work. They only sell parts not reinstall disc anyway. I went to the link you posted and searched the SNID and it said "Recovery media is no longer available for the serial number you entered". Even if recovery media were available it would likely be Linux anyway. Obviously someone, likely a computer store, installed windows 7 on the laptop to make it easier to sell than with Linux on it so the product key might be a corporate key from a store that uses the same key for all its installs.

     

    So one option is I will check with bro-in-law to see if he remembers where the laptop was bought and to see if we can either get a product key to activate or bring it to them for them to enter it in if we have to.

     

    Or the other less painful option might hopefully be to go buy a retail version of windows 7 home premium which I might be able to find for between $50-100. Install that and use the newly purchased product key to activate. Is this even an option on an OEM SLP laptop? If so, how would I do this and override the SLP locking. Maybe I don't understand well enough or am overlooking something but I would love to be able to just overwrite with a new retail version and be done with this SLP handcuffing. 

     

    Is this possible? What do you think is my best option now?

  • mrpetemrpete Member Posts: 32

    OK ... so you have a laptop that shipped with Linux but does have an MS COA which is unreadable. That's a bit unusual.

     

    You asked: "Install [Win7] and use the newly purchased product key to activate. Is this even an option on an OEM SLP laptop? If so, how would I do this and override the SLP locking."

     

    The whole SLP thing in the BIOS is not a limitation. If it is there it is an option. In your case I have no idea if it is there. It would not stop you from installing retail or generic OEM Win7 and activating it with a legal key. It does not lock out other methods.

     

    That activation key that you pulled out with Magical Jellybean might be usable if the OS install was a legal, generic OEM OS install ("system builder"). No guarantees there.

     

    I sent you a PM.

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