I just received a Win7 Pro USB recovery key for $20 from Dell to try and resurrect an Inspiron 545 that had a bad HDD. When I try to use the recovery key my PC freezes on the Dell splash screen. USB mouse and keyboard don't work either. I called tech support and they said that I now have to pay $120 to get the recovery key to work. What is going on?!
If you have a valid COA, there is a possiblity you can download windows 7 from microsoft. I don't have the exact address but you can google microsoft windows 7 download and there is a microsoft.com page you can go to. You will have to put in your COA which is the sticker with the letters and numbers on it. If its valid etc., it will ask you the language and bit type, 32 or x64. Then you can make your own USB or DVD of it.
I tried that but they said my version was installed by the manufacturer and I have to contact them.
Microsoft do not allow you to Download Windows 7 with an OEM license. They do however let you Download Windows 10 TH2 which accepts your Windows 7 OEM product key...
See here for details:
1. Dell officially issued machines with Windows 7 installed thru September 2016. (Less than 5 months ago.)
2. Dell does issue Windows 7 recovery USB drives for out of warranty computers that were issued with Windows 7 -- particularly those that were forced to Windows 10 by MS sneak update.
3. The recovery media loads properly, but does throw the grammatically incorrect error.
4. FYI: the only solution seems to be contacting Dell support and having them issue a recovery DVD for Windows. (They will not issue a driver disc, but will direct the user to download the drivers.)
Just to preface this, I live in California (in the USA so no "wrong forum" comments, please).
That said, I just got the exact same error as the rest of these people, misspelling and all, from a Dell direct Win 7 recovery key for Windows 7 Home Premium. It was for my Studio XPS 7100 desktop. About 8 years old, and out of warranty.
Out of the blue, my hard drive dies. The computer - CPU, motherboard, memory, etc, - is all fine, according to diagnostics, but the hard drive is no longer being recognized properly. Several phone calls to tech support and eventually the sales department (after being routed there) and 20 dollars later, I end up with a Dell Direct USB recovery key for Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit.
Note: BOUGHT FROM DELL!! The package had Dell's logo all over it (as does the recovery key itself - it also has the Microsoft tm logo) and the return address is from a Dell facility in Lebanon, Tennessee here in the USA. (Lebanon the city, not the country).
I get the EXACT same issue as the rest of these people. "Protection error..." (up at the top) and beneath that the bit about missing or corrupted "informations" (with the misspelling of informations as shown).
Being out of warranty, they won't even let me talk to an actual technician unless I sign up for a ridiculously expensive extended warranty package (~240 dollars for a year, roughly - or a 1 time help charge of only ~120 dollars). They also claim that they don't send out Windows DVD's anymore, which (quoting from the above post):
"4. FYI: the only solution seems to be contacting Dell support and having them issue a recovery DVD for Windows. (They will not issue a driver disc, but will direct the user to download the drivers.)"
So, now they don't even send a recovery DVD, or so I have been given to understand. Meaning that the only solution seems to be to pay them lots of money to tell you why the USB recovery key doesn't work as advertised - after you already paid for it. If someone from Dell (or not from Dell) has a working solution, I'd love to hear about it, but please, no more posts about how the key "wasn't from Dell" or "Dell doesn't send out keys to people out of warranty" or "it wasn't from the USA" etc.
I'm using the key with the original hard drive, I never switched from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and Microsoft won't let me download a copy because it was bundled with my computer, and they tell me (after I spoke to their tech support) that while I need to talk to Dell (the manufacturer of the computer) about getting a recovery device (aka: the recovery key having the errors), the license for my copy of windows 7 home premium is still legit according to them.
In other words, if I try to replace my hard drive, Dell can't/won't help because their keys are coded and encrypted to the original drives. If I try to restore the original hard drive using the specially coded recovery key I bought and paid Dell for, I get an error message saying that data is either missing or corrupted (exactly as shown by these other people), and if I ask how to DEAL with the error message, I get told to pay for a warranty package that is effectively more expensive than just buying a new copy of Windows + a new hard drive to install it on.
Am I missing something here?
No need to faff about with Windows 7... You have already previously installed Windows 10. You can Download Windows 10 Version 1809 Directly From Microsoft without the need to input a Product Key:
During installation you can skip the input for a Product Key and Install Windows 10 Home. It will activate automatically when online as your system hardware profile (motherboard details only - meaning you can change your HDD out to a SSD and reactivate with no issues) is already registered with a Microsoft Product Activation Server (which happened when you upgraded to Windows 10 Home). You can also input your Windows 7 Home Premium Key during this screen.
When making Bootable Media note that this system has a Legacy BIOS. For system drivers, most drivers will be inbuilt into Windows 10 or obtained automatically via Windows Update.