upgrade Vista -->Windows 7

a friend has a laptop that came with vista preinstalled HP entertainment model -Vista Home
he also received an upgrade licence for it
now - after years - the laptop becomes slow, and he wants to re-install windows 7
of course, the factory restore takes him back to Vista

how can he get windows 7 upgrade again ?
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nobusAsked:
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Kash2nd Line EngineerCommented:
if the laptop is good spec then install Windows 10 in it.
Vista was CRAP, it is CRAP.
Windows 10 is a lot better and faster than it.
rindiCommented:
He'll have the upgrade license key, as well as the media for the upgrade. He should just be able to install Windows 7 from that media and use the key. It should work. I agree with the above though that he should use the free upgrade to windows 10 now, particularly if Windows 7 is still installed and he hasn't yet done the factory restore...
nobusAuthor Commented:
kash - i NEVER had problems with Vista - and i don't want Windows 10
anyhow - that is not the question
i doubt if he has the upgrade licence still - i already asked for it

so in short -  no upgrade licence, or media = no win 7 ?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Vista ... once they issued the service packs ... was indeed a very nice and stable platform.     My Vista Ultimate system ran VERY well ... I only upgraded it to '7 "because I could" -- not for any specific performance issue.    In fact I miss the really neat DreamScene backgrounds :-)

However ... back to the question.    I agree that if he doesn't still have the upgrade license, he's out of luck.    I think your conclusion is accurate:  "no upgrade licence, or media = no win 7"

If he has the license, the media issue can probably be resolved, but without a valid key there's not much you can do short of buying a new one.    Note that Windows 7 licenses are available on e-bay in the $50-60 range => if he wants Windows 7 that's probably the simplest way to resolve this.

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nobusAuthor Commented:
good suggestions guys - let the ideas come guys
i assume i cannot use the COA key sticker on the laptop for installing windows 7 ?
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Look at the sticker => it will show what version of Windows it's for.    But I suspect it's for Vista, since that was the system it was delivered with (and that the restore partition contained).
rindiCommented:
That would be the key for Vista, so no. Is Windows 7 still installed on it? I really suggest to upgrade to 10 if that is the case, as once that is done you should be worry free. You won't need to know any key to reinstall Windows 10 after that.
GauthierCommented:
If it is an HP and has an upgrade to Windows 7 most likely, the Microsoft sticker says Windows 7 and has a valid key for Windows 7, you can use this key to install with any OEM DVD.

Or your friend benefited from this:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2354554,00.asp
which means he must have received a disk (and Key) from HP, he must search for it.

Next month, installing Windows 10 will be possible with a valid Windows 7 sticker without having to do an upgrade from Windows 7, starting from Vista is not possible, without purchasing a Windows 10 License.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Agree that the free upgrade to Windows 10 is a good idea IF the system is still running '7 => but I imply from the initial post that it's already been restored Vista.    If not, it's certainly not a bad idea to at least try it => it won't wipe out the restore partition, so it'll still be possible to revert to Vista.    And you can do a "clean" install by using the media creation tool and choosing to keep "nothing".
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
The  Vista/Win 7 upgrade media from the major OEMs all came with CoA stickers.
Hopefully they attached that to the machine.  With that as proof of license they can then just use the OEM's installation media.  Win7 continued to use SLP2 so should detect the OEM BIOS and activate (Some installs asked for a Key but would allow a blank field to be entered).

It's not an "Upgrade" it replaces the Vista partition.
nobusAuthor Commented:
i'll post the sticker tomorrow - but it says Vista
i restored to Vista - but i took an image first - so if needed i can go back
but i did not see the upgrade offer to win 10

@Masq :  what is SLP2 ?
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
SLP is "System Locked PreInstallation"

Basically it simply means that Windows recognizes a special code in the BIOS and thus doesn't require activation.

Since you have an image of Windows 7, you might want to try '10 before messing around further.

All you need to do is

(a) restore the Windows 7 image; and then

(b)  Go to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Download the version appropriate for the system (32 or 64 bit) and then you can install Windows 10

Given the issues your friend's been having, I'd choose to keep "nothing" and just do a clean install.    Obviously you want to be sure you have everything you need to keep backed up before doing that.
nobusAuthor Commented:
that seems a good possibility, Garycase - i'll see what he has to say about that
rindiCommented:
Normally when upgrading I keep everything, just in case something goes wrong, I don't know what happens if the upgrade fails and you "don't keep everything". After the upgrade I then do a clean installation of Windows 10.... But you have a backup so that shouldn't be an issue.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The absolute BEST thing to do (which fortunately nobus already did) is to IMAGE a system BEFORE you do ANYTHING to it.

Then you can always recover if anything doesn't go right; or extract data from the image if you forgot to save something; etc.    The FIRST thing I do before I work on a system for someone is to image it.     Most of the time it's a waste of time ... but when you need it, you NEED it !
rindiCommented:
Well, he is a pro, isn't he? Anyway, if you restore the image you should at least be able to recover the Windows key...
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
The Windows Key will be a generic one and can't be used for activation.

If an upgrade CoA has been added along the top line of the sticker it will say "Win Vista (version type) - Win 7 (version type) UPG Fulfill.  For the big OEM companies the sticker code (on the bottom right) should be X15-53773

Putting back the image and then running the Win 10 home upgrade from within Windows 7 (provided the ex-Vista hardware is up to it) does seem the better plan though (unless you happen to have the HP Win 7 Home Premium installation media handy)
GauthierCommented:
If you can mount the Windows 7 image on another PC, or extract the windows folder from it you can extract the Windows 7 Upgrade installation key from the windows folder with Nirsoft Produkey. Without having to do a full restore.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Honestly it's pointless retrieving the Key - the HP SLP installs a generic Key that is common to all HP machines.  Nor is the key needed - either to upgrade 7 to 10 or to reinstall 7 over Vista.
nobusAuthor Commented:
note that the win10 upgrade will be used if the rest does not work out
people here  like win7 better than 10
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... people here  like win7 better than 10 "  ==>  Not just over there :-)

Most folks I know prefer '7 over both 8 & 10
rindiCommented:
But support for Windows 7 will end towards the end of this decade, while Windows 10 will go on indefinitely. If you make use of the free upgrade offer you currently have, you can't go wrong, particularly if the PC should last longer.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Do you really think that systems that are old enough to have been running Windows 7 for the last few years are likely to still be in use at the end of this decade?

Nevertheless, I DO suggest that folks who don't want Windows 10 still do the following before the free offer expires next summer:

(a)  Image their Windows 7 system;
(b)  Do the free upgrade to Windows 10
(c)  Image the Windows 10 system
(d)  Restore the image  of Windows 7

Then if they should ever change their mind [either because they simply changed it or Windows 7 support has ended and they want to be on a supported OS]  they can simply restore the image of '10 :-)
rindiCommented:
Do you really think that systems that are old enough to have been running Windows 7 for the last few years are likely to still be in use at the end of this decade?

There are still many people who want to keep on using their XP systems, or even older Windows 9x systems... If the hardware still works at that age, and you don't fall asleep due to the speed of the system, why not?
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I agree completely => but you indicated you didn't with your comment above ["But support for Windows 7 will end towards the end of this decade, while Windows 10 will go on indefinitely. If you make use of the free upgrade offer you currently have, you can't go wrong, particularly if the PC should last longer"]

... which clearly implied you were advocating the Windows 10 upgrade instead of staying on '7
rindiCommented:
I think you misunderstood my comment above. I'm not agreeing to keeping on using XP or Windows 9x, I was just using that to compare Windows 7 PC's to when it gets unsupported. PC's that run fine with Windows 7 now also run just as well in most cases with Windows 10, and if the PC lasts over Windows 7's supported time, they will keep on running fine with Windows 10 as they do now, there is no reason to assume that they'll get slower just because the PC is older. They may just be a lot slower than a new PC would run then. When support for Windows 7 ends you should move on to a supported OS, and since at the moment the upgrade is free, you should take that offer.
nobusAuthor Commented:
end of windows 7 support is still a long way off
many people will be dead by then -  and won't care anymore guys - lol

**personally, i don't see why a perfect running system should be replaced when it may still run for 5 years
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I agree -- '7 is a VERY nice system and for those who are happy with it, there's no reason to switch.     It will run just fine for at least the 5 years until end-of-support ... and, for that matter, will keep on running just fine after that (albeit without Microsoft support).

If you DO think there's a chance you might want to eventually go to '10, the process I outlined above lets you take advantage of the free upgrade, while continuing to use '7 for as long as you want.
nobusAuthor Commented:
probably end of week we'll be able to continue this
it seems he got his hands on an upgrade media
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... it seems he got his hands on an upgrade media " ==> This should resolve it very easily ... just restore to factory, then apply the upgrade, and he'll be back to Wndows 7 :-)
rindiCommented:
And then hours and hours or days of getting 100's of updates installed.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Yes, indeed -- hours & hours of updates ... although if you simply set automatic updates and leave it on for a few days it will do most of them automatically [But not the "optionals"].

In any event, once it's restored; and fully up-to-date; I'd definitely make an IMAGE of the "clean, up-to-date" install, so if you ever needed to do this again it'll just be a matter of restoring the image.

... then you may also want to do what I suggested earlier => do the '10 upgrade and image it;  then restore the fully up-to-date '7 system that you friend wants to actually use.
rindiCommented:
Before running the updates, make sure SP1 is installed. And after that, the first check for updates alone, without installing anything, can take hours, so just be patient if you think nothing happens.

After the updates, I'd also run a disk cleanup so the old files which have been replaced by the updates get removed, and I'd also delete the contents of C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Downloads folder, and after that make an image backup.
nobusAuthor Commented:
yep - i do all that - no problem (i know my way around with most "normal" problems)
i tend to make an image too much, rather than too less
nobusAuthor Commented:
you know what happened guys...the usual
he arrived witha fresh install windows 7 cd - and we installed that
there goes all the effort i put into it -  but the end is all that counts
tx to all
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