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Licencing for laptop that has crashed/corrupted (Windows 7 Pro > Enterprise > Ultimate) RRS feed

  • Question

  • My Lenovo laptop recently has become unbootable. I have tried without success various methods to regain access to my OS. Link to a support thread on geekstogo will be posted later due to first post restrictions. First prize would be booting back into my system!

    My question is around licensing of the Windows OS. The laptop is on its third operating system all done legitimately as follows:

    (1) laptop purchased for me by educational institution and it came with "Windows 7 Pro OA MEA" (the pink sticker under my battery).
    (2) the educational institution installed Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit on the laptop and the machine arrived in my hands.
    (3) a year later I left the educational institution and received the Windows 7 Ultimate "upgrade" DVD (picture available), which I successfully used to "upgrade" away from the Enterprise version.
    (4) a year and a bit running windows 7 ultimate 64bit and I am now unable to boot into Windows OS

    Thank you

    Sunday, October 27, 2013 11:06 PM

Answers

  • Hi Noel, thank you for your continued interest.

    The bootsect.exe restoration of the MBR did not work unfortunately.

    I took the day off work to format and reinstall. Before doing so, I tried a system image restore using an image from 2 or 3 months ago. Previously, a system image from the day before the crash failed to reboot into an environment that allowed Windows to boot.

    Happily, the old system image has restored and I am now typing from that laptop! So I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit again. I am not sure what this means - the issue was not "outside of windows" after all? I am not sure whether this major issue will happen again? I haven't yet rebooted since my first successful boot into windows.

    Thank you kindly.

    Monday, November 11, 2013 6:21 PM

All replies

  • Monday, October 28, 2013 1:17 AM
    Moderator
  • You can get through the restrictions by replacing the 'http' at the front of the link with 'hxxp' - seeing what you've already attempted would help.

    Are you able to get into any of the Safe Modes?


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Monday, October 28, 2013 7:48 AM
    Moderator
  • As far as the licensing question is concerned...

    You are definitely licensed for the original Windows 7 Pro whatever happens with the others :)

    Enterprise, you are no longer Licensed for.

    Ultimate isn't quite so simple. It depends on what license it came with. Were you provided with a normal retail box, with two disks (x64 and x86 - 64-bit and 32-bit)?

    If not, then I can only think that they gave you an MSDN/AA Key (and we can check that out once we get your system booting, and see an MGADiag report) The problem here is that it may not be technically valid, since you're no longer in the institution. It would depend on the exact licensing terms.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Monday, October 28, 2013 7:55 AM
    Moderator
  • Yes, thank you Noel and Carey. Noel I also believe I am licensed for Pro and should be for Ultimate.
    I present the full thread of what I have been doing - short answer Carey yes we have tried a lot!
    http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/topic/334347-windows-7-startup-repair-boot-loop/

    Thank you for your help and interest. It looks as if I'm going to have to format the hard drive and clean install. I just can't boot into Windows at all but yet can access the drive and am currently doing so from linux on a flash/usb drive to copy files off the drive. The drive seems fine according to the Lenovo boot tools I tested. A real mystery.

    Monday, October 28, 2013 8:10 AM
  • Hi Noel and Carey. I'd really appreciate any input you have to offer. Both around the issues I've been having trying to boot into Windows. And also around my licencing and what I'm eligible for.

    If I cannot boot into Windows what options do I have and what am I now licenced for! How would and should I go about reinstalling? Please note all the things I've already tried in the support thread I posted at http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/topic/334347-windows-7-startup-repair-boot-loop/

    Thank you kindly

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 12:06 AM
  • Hi again. Well I'm stuck with a computer that won't boot and possibly two valid licences. I don't want to continue until I know I am going to be installing either Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit or Professional 64bit. I really do need your expertise with this please, as you can see this isn't the usual situation. I have posted the picture of my Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit disc in the geekstogo thread. I have the sticker under my battery for the Windows 7 Pro 64bit which came with the laptop when originally purchased. How I would dearly love to boot into Windows to solve this but myself and a number of other geeks have been unable to help. Please can you help me with this? Thank you
    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:33 PM
  • I can't honestly say that I'm surprised - I am disappointed.

    you probably need to reformat and reinstall using your Windows 7 Pro license.

    See here for assistance - unless you have the original Dell Recovery media....

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1649-clean-install-windows-7-a.html

    back up your data first, to external media!


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:45 PM
    Moderator
  • ...before you do that - retrieve the current licenses using Belarc Advisor (www.belarc.com) - post the last three groups of characters of the Product Key for Windows 7 Ultimate

    Also, post an MGADiag report....

    <boilerpate>To properly analyse and solve problems with Activation and Validation, we need to see a full copy of the report produced by the MGADiag tool
    (download and save to desktop - http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 )
     Once saved, run the tool.
    Click on the Continue button, which will produce the report.
     To copy the report to your response, click on the Copy button in the tool (ignore any error messages at this point), and then paste (using either r-click/Paste, or Ctrl+V ) into your response.
      - **in your own thread**, please</boilerplate>


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:48 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Noel,

    Thank you for your replies. I'm not sure if you're reading my answers. I have a Lenovo laptop currently running Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit into which I cannot boot. Both the Belarc Advisor software and the MGADiag tool require a Windows environment within which to run.

    From the geekstogo thread, here is a picture of my Windows installation media: http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_rel_module=post&attach_id=67226

    My original pink and white sticker under the laptop's battery starts "Windows (R) 7 Pro OA MEA" and has a couple of bar codes, a product key and some other numbers.

    I'm still not 100% convinced that the issue I'm having will be resolved by a format and reinstall as the issue seems to be "outside of the operating system" somehow. Will the format clear out the boot partition where the MBR resides? Or will reinstalling windows on a formatted drive make windows create a new boot partition? Will the same apply if I only format the C: partition of my drive, which is currently partitioned into a smaller C: partition for the OS and programs and a larger D: partition for my data?

    Thank you




    • Edited by MorganC Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:46 PM
    Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:34 PM
  • Sorry about that - I was replying from the pub, so was a little distracted :)

    Back later with an alternative response that may be more to the point!


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 7:38 AM
    Moderator
  • The picture is of an MSDNAA disk - and is likely to be using a volume Key.

    You can try re-installing with that, but I suspect that the Key is going to be out-of-date now, and won't be able to activate (worth a try, though - especially if you require either BitLocker or MUI capability) You should be able to retrieve the Key from the registry using an offline tool such as nirsoft's ProduKey, from a BartPE boot, or if you slave the drive to another machine.

    You can force a rewrite of the MBR from the boot disk, see here  - http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/20864-mbr-restore-windows-7-master-boot-record.html 

    I'd back up everything to external media first to be on the safe side, then wipe the C: partition and recreate it (is there a System Reserved partition as well?) then reinstall Windows into the new partition.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 7:49 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you Noel.

    I don't believe I've tried the bootsect.exe restoration of the MBR, this is clearly different to the bootrec /fixmbr and similar commands I've tried. If have backed up everything so am ready to try the bootsect.exe as a final stab.

    If that fails, then I'm ready to re-install. If I format C: then there will be no pre-existing OS. Thus, my Win7 Ultimate disc would probably not work as it says "Pre-existing OS License and Product Key Required". I could perhaps upgrade to Ultimate *after* installing Professional. However, I don't use the additional features that Ultimate provides. The bonus would be that I have system images of the C: partition which means if I got Win7 Ultimate installed I'd be able to just restore my system image making life easy. I suspect the C: partition would need to be exactly the same physical size?

    The first step thus appears to be to delete the C: partition and re-create it. What software/commands do you suggest?

    The next step would then be to install Windows 7 Professional and use the Product Key under my battery. What ISO should I burn as a Win7 Pro bootable disc?

    Then I can decide if I want to try upgrade to Win7 Ultimate and restore my system image, or if I want to just start again with Win7 Pro.

    Thank you very kindly for your time and advice with this.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:04 PM
  • Download the SP1
    Refresh for your chosen language and edition from the links on these pages...

    http://www.heidoc.net/joomla/technology-science/microsoft

    The links are for
    downloads from the Digital River server run for MS.

    All the commands you need are available on the DVD boot - see this tutorial...

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1649-clean-install-windows-7-a.html?ltr=C

    Don't forget that a System Image (done properly) contains the installed OS as well - so you may just need to restore the fully-functional image to an empty disk (what software did you use for it?)

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/675-system-image-recovery.html may apply.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Noel, thank you.

    I use Windows Backup and Restore to make system images. This, as well as the inbulit MS security essentials, are to me the biggest improvements of Windows 7. They both work. The System Imaging really works and I've restored many times so that I am confident it works well.

    I had hoped the restore of the system image would help me out of the current disaster. However, following the restore operation (usually takes around 30 minutes), the system reboots and I get stuck in the BSOD - System Repair look again. Presumably deleting and recreating the C: partition would remove the cause, and then I could just restore a system image from the burned win7 installation ISO (or my own disc). The HEIDOC.NET link is unfortunately dead, although it is linked in many places on the web it seems the DNS server is down. I have previously downloaded an ISO which I believe was for Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1 ISO called "X17-24281.iso" [3.09 GB (3,319,478,272 bytes)] - perhaps you can confirm this is the one? Else can you provide another link to the same please?

    I am going to do the following once home at the laptop:

    (1) attempt the bootsect.exe restoration of the MBR as suggested (thank you)

    (2) delete the C: partition and recreate it, then attempt to restore the system image using Startup Repair or just the tools on the installation media

    (3) else, do a clean install of Windows 7 Professional 64bit, using the burned ISO

    I am loathe to intoduce more factors at this stage, but I see huge benefit in actually creating another partition and installing Ubuntu so that this is less of an issue in the future. I've not got a lot of experience with this, but I'll ask about it on my geekstogo thread. I've learned one thing from all my years - it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. As prepared as I am, I am still hit by this unfixable problem. Windows 7 has self-destructed and I potentially lose my Windows 7 Ultimate licence. That is really not acceptable.

    Thank you for your help. Really appreciated.

    Thursday, October 31, 2013 4:51 PM
  • Any success with this yet?


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 4:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Noel, thank you for your continued interest.

    The bootsect.exe restoration of the MBR did not work unfortunately.

    I took the day off work to format and reinstall. Before doing so, I tried a system image restore using an image from 2 or 3 months ago. Previously, a system image from the day before the crash failed to reboot into an environment that allowed Windows to boot.

    Happily, the old system image has restored and I am now typing from that laptop! So I am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit again. I am not sure what this means - the issue was not "outside of windows" after all? I am not sure whether this major issue will happen again? I haven't yet rebooted since my first successful boot into windows.

    Thank you kindly.

    Monday, November 11, 2013 6:21 PM
  • Good luck with it!

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi
    CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    No - I do not work for Microsoft, or any of its contractors.

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013 2:58 PM
    Moderator