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Windows 7 COA

Posted on 2013-10-24
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Last Modified: 2013-10-30
I have a system with the COA pasted to the machine. I must reinstall from scratch but do not have any distribution media. My question is this:

Am I allowed to reinstall free? If so, does Microsoft have the install software online to allow the download. If they do,what is the link?
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Question by:RayRider
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39598291
Your system MAY have come with a program that allowed you to create backup copies of the DVDs (they were possibly saved on the computer as files).  If not, you need to contact the maker of the computer to obtain media.  You would indeed use the key on the computer to install, but you have to get the media from the maker of the computer, not Microsoft.
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jcimarron earned 500 total points
ID: 39598343
RayRider--
You can download any versions of Win 7 from here.
For SP1
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/i-do-not-have-windows-7-media-but-i-do-have-my/5ce13741-ac25-4969-ae82-2494726aac1c

For original Win 7 (non-SP1)
http://technetwindows.blogspot.in/2012/10/windows-7-iso-download-free.html

This is all legal, since you will be using the product key you now have.  
Be sure to download the exact version of Win 7 that you now have installed on the PC.
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by:Darr247
ID: 39599515
However, if what you have is an OEM SLP version, if you can get the installation media from the manufacturer, you won't need to enter any key. It will see the manufacturer's key embedded in the media, check the info in the BIOS and validate itself at every boot.

Sometimes they charge extra for install media; sometimes not.
Is the machine still under warranty?
Who built it?

Sometimes with a legacy machine you'll only be able to validate by phone (if you install from the downloaded media and use the key printed on the CoA). i.e. if you try to validate online it will fail with a certain error.
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Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39607640
I have a Windows 7 disk that I created from a genuine copy of Windows 7 that has all the versions on it. Windows 7 was the perfect operating system as far as re-installing because it didn't seem to matter what media you used because the key would activated.

Windows 8 on the other hand pulls the key from the BIOS in most cases so you have to have the manufactures media.

I have been doing re-installs of Windows 7 with a generic disk and the key from the sticker for years and haven't had one problem. Just make sure that your clock is set to the correct time before you try activating or doing Windows Updates because you might receive errors if it isn't.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 39609062
Most Win 7 disks have all versions.  It is the Product Key that determines which version is activated.
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Author Closing Comment

by:RayRider
ID: 39612604
I am getting messages that I did not get a solution. I closed this before on my Android device.
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