My Hard Drive crashed. Apparently it was fried up and I lost everything. I thought that was my only problem...wrong! I had my computer repaired with a new Hard Drive, but now I have less than a month to enter my product key for my Windows 7 Operating System - Home Premium - until it expires, which I assume means I can no longer use my computer as I will not have an operating system to operate on. The problem is that I do not have my product key. I do have the original disks that came with my computer from Dell. My software was preinstalled, but I guess they send the disks in cases like this. I called Microsoft and they were very nice, but since I purchased my computer directly from Dell and the software was preinstalled I was told to contact Dell to see if I can get a new product key. I tried calling Dell but I only got as far as extending my warranty... Anyone know what I can do to get a new product key without purchasing a new Microsoft OS?
Dell will not provide a product key. It was included with your original system. If it is a laptop, check under the battery in the battery compartment. If you use Dell installation discs, you should not need to enter a product key, so if whoever "repaired" your computer and reinstalled Windows didn't use a Dell installation disc, and/or did not activate, then you can either use Dell media to reinstall or activate the current installation with your key.
Please securely wipe your system with DBAN and then clean install Windows 7 using the Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD. See here:
In particular here:
Dell Reinstallation media will not ask you for a product key you can boot from it and install. Driver disks however are not reinstallation media. The main requirement is that the Media match the version of Windows 7 aka Starter, Home, Pro, Ultimate.
Ubuntu 12.04.5 and Higher works just fine and its free.
Installing straight from my disk provided by Dell with the purchase of my laptop worked! now when I go to computer > system properties it now says windows is activated instead of counting down the days left for Windows to be usable since I did not have a product key. Thanks everyone!!!!
Thanks for posting your success.
Once you have all the system drivers installed and updated Windows fully, you can install Dell Backup and Recovery and this will make a new factory settings and a internal partition for future use.
See here for details: