Windows 7 activation/product key

Recently one of my friends gave me her Sony Vaio VGNSR520G laptop with Windows 7 on it. But I had issues with the hard drive (system repair loop) and I had to reset it to its factory settings, which included Windows XP and not Windows 7. I'm thinking of getting Windows 7 again, but I'm wondering if I would be able to use the activation code/product key from the Windows 7 before the factory reset. Is this possible?
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  1. Not unless you can either retrieve the key from the old install of Windows 7 (unlikely if you formatted the hard drive and restored it back to Windows XP), or get the key from her or her records. Otherwise you'll have to buy another license.
  2. Well, unfortunately for me, I don't think I'll be able to retrieve the key from the old install due to the factory reset. On top of that, my friend gave me her old laptop as she moved out of the country at the time. Currently, I have no clue where she is. So the only choice I have left is to buy another license/key?
  3. You can use the code if she gave you it and the license. if she kept it it wasn't legal anyway. If you lost the license/key Microsoft might give you a new new for $40 if you call and explain you lost the key.
  4. Best answer
    It appears the original OS was XP. Somehow, it ended up with a Win 7 install. Whether upgrade from XP or retail...we (and you) do not know.

    You got a free laptop. Invest another $100 in it for a valid Windows OS. Or go free with Linux.
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