Vista Key Problem RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello, I bought a Toshiba Satellite laptop preinstalled with Vista. The laptop has been overheating and crashing, and on one of the recent crashes it corrupted the boot sector and my laptop refused to start, not even into safe mode. I spent a whole day trying to get it to boot, repair it, etc. Using windows repair cds and everything. Nothing worked. When I got this laptop it came with no recover discs, or windows install discs. So finally I had to borrow a friend's windows vista cd, and got a version that is the same as what I installed (so I thought) windows vista basic. I put this cd in, and booted from it... It ended up installing itself over my old operating system, wiping out all my files and folders (Formatted witout asking). But I got my laptop booting up again.
    Unfortunately, windows is now asking for a serial and saying mine is invalid. I have the CD key on the bottom of my case, which I can put in, but it says it's not valid for this version of windows. My laptop has a windows basic sticker on it, etc. So I thought it was the right version.

    Is there a way to check which version my key is valid for? And is there a way to get a copy of the OS?
    Sunday, February 14, 2010 9:47 AM


  • Hello Zarath42,

     Windows that come Pre-installed on a computer is known as an OEM version of Windows.  What you have described sounds like the disk that you got from your friend was for a Retail version of Windows.  An OEM Product Key will not work in Retail software. 

      All computers that come with Windows pre-installed are required to come with some way for the user to reinstall the OEM version of Windows.  In the old days, Manufacturers would include a seperate Recovery Disk with the computer.  Now days (to save money I presume) most manufacturers will include the OEM Recovery software on a partition on the computer's hard drive.  

      Since Windows has been reinstalled using a Retail disk, it is likely that the Recovery Softare (on the computer's hard drive) was overwritten, so the only ways, I can think of, for you to reinstall using the proper OEM software is to either find a friend with a Toshiba computer and use his Recovery software or contact Toshiba and get a replacment copy (Many Manufacturers will have the ability to order replacement software on thier website).

    Sorry I couldn't be more help,
    Darin MS  
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, February 16, 2010 8:48 PM
    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 8:48 PM