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Paradigm67
1 Copper

Product key faded / burned

I ordered my Dell Vostro 1510 about a year ago (my warrenty expired 2 months ago) and I ordered it with Vista 32bit Bussiness preinstalled. At the time I decided I wanted XP, so I bought and installed XP home. I have recently reinstalled vista and have used up my 30 days before activation and I need to activate. However, my product code is burned off and I cannot read it.

I've contacted microsoft and they've told me to conctact Dell, whom which want me to pay for support they should be giving me for free, due to the fact that the code is mine.

How do I authenticate my version of windows without paying to call dell and have them tell me my code I should still have? I've heard something about the code being saved to the harddrive because it came preinstalled, how do i find my code and will it still be there if i have switched OS's.

 

Dell Customer support is the reason software pirates exist, it should not be that it takes more effort to use your software legally and responsibly. I do not condone piracy, but when thngs like this happen I begin to have sympathy.

 

Please help.

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9 Replies
hrova
4 Ruthenium

Re: Product key faded / burned

If you install using a Dell re installation DVD of Vista, you should not need the code.

Piracy is not the answer.

Community Member Since 2003

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Paradigm67
1 Copper

Re: Product key faded / burned

I never said piracy was the answer, and there is no more to story than I said. I installed it and it's asking me for a key. Do I have to do a fresh install in order to get rid of the key authentication? Or is there a way to repair it without loosing akk my files?

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hrova
4 Ruthenium

Re: Product key faded / burned

I have never heard of a Dell reinstallation OS requiring the key. If you are using the Dell supplied reinstallation media, then yes, do a clean install...

I just kind of assumed going from XP to Vista it would have been a clean install, so I guess there was more to the story... I should know not to assume anything....

Good luck. The clean install with the Dell disk is your answer.

EDIT: The only reason I made my piracy comment is that you stated you begin to have sympathy for them. I disagree with you on that, that's all.

Community Member Since 2003

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hrova
4 Ruthenium

Re: Product key faded / burned

Sorry to post again, but I have been thinking about your question - is there a way to get the key somewhere on your hard drive?

When you installed XP, I am guessing that had to be a clean install, which would have wiped your Vista key.  When you installed XP, if you used a Dell disk, you probably did not have to input the key...

When you upgraded to Vista, you have implied you did not do a clean install, just an upgrade. It is *possible* that XP key is somewhere on your machine, and it is *possible* that key may also work for your Vista installation. It'd be a long shot, but worth trying to avoid a clean install.

One product that people use to find product keys is Magic Jelly Bean Key Finder, found at the link below.

http://magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

Simply unzip the download and run the .exe file. It will report all found keys.

I don't have a lot of hope it will find a Windows key, and even if it does, it may not work on your Vista installation. If a valid key were on your machine, I think it would have been found by MS.

But... considering the time and effort for a clean install, checking would only take a few minutes. It wouldn't hurt to try.

Dell will not help you without the paid service call, as you have found out. so if the above does not work, it is either a fresh install or pay Dell. I can say I'd definitely vote for the fresh install.... Doing so is time consuming - especially getting all the software and data files back on the machine, but on the bright side, you'd be starting clean.

Good luck.

 

 

Community Member Since 2003

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Roger1955
3 Argentium

Re: Product key faded / burned

Hi, download Belarc advisor. It will give you all the information on your computer, including your windows operating system key.

Roger1955

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hrova
4 Ruthenium

Re: Product key faded / burned

Roger,

So the key is on his computer somewhere?  As I said in my post above yours, since there has been a fresh install over the Vista, and then an upgrade over the XP, I was wondering if the key is actually there.

I guess whether he uses Belarc or Magic Jelly Bean Key Finder, he'll find out.... I still have a feeling he'll have to do a clean reinstall.

Paradigm67, let us know what ends up working. I am curious about if the key is therre or not.....

Community Member Since 2003

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Paradigm67
1 Copper

Re: Product key faded / burned

The key is not on there; I did a fresh install. Sorry for any confusion. I got a virus a on XP a while ago and was having issues installing XP so I tried vista and it worked fine, I just need an authentication key. I didn't need one whne I installed originally, but it started asking me for the key after 30 days. The reason it may have seemed that I did an upgrade is that I dont want to have to reinstall because I have a lot of information and programs that would take ages to back up.

 

I'm bringing it to a friend of my dad's whom works on this kind of stuff. MOre to follow for those who have a continued interest in this situation.

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Paradigm67
1 Copper

Re: Product key faded / burned

Problem solved... kinda. We figured out why I needed a key, and I guess there was more to the story. I was actually installing onto my PC, not my laptop. I was referencing my laptop for ease of communication and did not realize that the reinstallation disk is limited to a single computer. My new question is twofold:

1. Is there a legal way to authenticate my vista on my PC, rather than my laptop

2. Why are they selling us non-complete versions of software?

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hrova
4 Ruthenium

Re: Product key faded / burned

Did the laptop originally have Vista? If so, the fresh reinstall should still not require a Key as long as it is a Dell Reinstall disk, even if it a Dell Vista disk from a different machine.

If the laptop did not come with Vista, you would need to purchase a separate license for it. You cannot transfer the license of OEM software from one machine to another, as per the Microsoft End User License Agreement....

The Dell reinstall disks are complete versions of the OS. They are not incomplete versions. If you mean why can't the license be transferred, it is because an OEM license costs less and therefore has more restrictions.

Hope this helps.

Community Member Since 2003

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