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Replaced my hard drive- dont have a windows product key

I have a hp pavilion g7 and my hard drive crashed so i had to get a new one. When i got my laptop it had windows 8 installed on it. Now i have installed windows 7 on it and i dont know how to activate it..? Do I have to install windows 8 instead? If I do how do I get it activated?
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  1. Didn't you make a set of factory recovery discs using the HP disc-creator software in Windows while the laptop was working okay? That's one of the first things you are supposed to do when you buy a laptop in case the hard drive fails.

    Anyhow, it's best to re-install the same Windows version on it that it came with, just in case you discover that HP didn't release any Windows 7 drivers for it.

    Windows 8 key should be on a sticker underneath laptop.
  2. You need the key that came with your OS, if you don't have it on any documentation you can contact HP for it. I also think you will have to install windows 8, usually keys are not interchangeable between different OS's.
  3. Phillip Corcoran said:
    Didn't you make a set of factory recovery discs using the HP disc-creator software in Windows while the laptop was working okay? That's one of the first things you are supposed to do when you buy a laptop in case the hard drive fails.

    Anyhow, it's best to re-install the same Windows version on it that it came with, just in case you discover that HP didn't release any Windows 7 drivers for it.

    Windows 8 key should be on a sticker underneath laptop.
  4. You will have to use the windows 8 disc that came with the laptop (It should of been with the laptop when you first got it and also a recovery disc with drivers on it).

    The product key used on the windows 8 that was on the crashed/failed HDD was linked to your laptops motherboard/BIOS so you should be able to reinstall windows 8 and use the key that as Phillip said should below the laptop but in some cases i have found it on the computers battery and behind it.

    You will need to find the disc and reinstall windows 8....truthfully i think you did a bit of a panic install without realising what the outcome maybe.
  5. No I didn't :/ didn't know that.

    That's the problem. The sticker isn't there so idk what to do
  6. Open up the back and look behind the battery but be very carful. I found this a lot of with some dell and other manufacturer laptops. Also their should be a restore to default setting for your laptop, like a recovery partition on the laptops HDD that shows up as a separate drive that has a recovery and drivers, but you may of written over it when you rushed through the windows 7 install.
  7. If you still have the receipt of the laptop you can try to contact HP. You might not get a cd key but you might be able to buy a set of recovery cd's (which will be cheaper than a windows license). Otherwise you can buy your own windows key. If you are a student you usually can get a cheap windows key through your school/university.
  8. skhan97 said:
    I have a hp pavilion g7 and my hard drive crashed so i had to get a new one. When i got my laptop it had windows 8 installed on it. Now i have installed windows 7 on it and i dont know how to activate it..? Do I have to install windows 8 instead? If I do how do I get it activated?


    You would need to purchase Win 7 with a valid license key.
    Or, obtain the Factory reset DVD set from HP. This will be Win 8, and it may involve $$.
  9. You could of saved yourself a lot of time and money if you had just been patient and contacted HP or Microsoft for troubleshooting.
  10. Where did you get this window 7 copy you have installed? I mean did you get it from Amazon or something because if so their should be a key behind were the disc sits in the case or just on the side when you open the case.
  11. Wayfall said:
    Open up the back and look behind the battery but be very carful. I found this a lot of with some dell and other manufacturer laptops. Also their should be a restore to default setting for your laptop, like a recovery partition on the laptops HDD that shows up as a separate drive that has a recovery and drivers, but you may of written over it when you rushed through the windows 7 install.

    I already checked under the battery. No the recovery isnt there anymore :/
  12. Best answer
    Your drive died.
    You failed to create the Factory Reset DVD, like it prompted you to do when the system was new.
    You put in a new drive
    Installed Win 7 (from where?)

    You need to either purchase a valid, legal Win 7 license (or whatever other OS you want...8.1 or 10), or obtain the Factory Reset DVD from HP.
  13. Phillip Corcoran said:

    Windows 8 key should be on a sticker underneath laptop.


    Unless something have changed drastically in the last year or so, Microsoft doesn't COA's with product key on the royalty OEM machines. Its a bios key.
  14. skhan97 said:
    No I didn't :/ didn't know that.

    That's the problem. The sticker isn't there so idk what to do


    The sticker isn't there because they stopped using it with Windows 8 systems with the royalty OEM licenses.
  15. skhan97 said:
    I have a hp pavilion g7 and my hard drive crashed so i had to get a new one. When i got my laptop it had windows 8 installed on it. Now i have installed windows 7 on it and i dont know how to activate it..? Do I have to install windows 8 instead? If I do how do I get it activated?


    Its not clear from your posts what the license status of the Windows 7 you are using. You will need to provide more info on its history before we can assist you further with that.

    As for Windows 8, if it came from the factory with Windows 8, you have a license already. The easiest way is to obtain the restore media from HP. However, you can use a regular Windows 8 or 8.1 disk for the install, but it can be a bit more complicated. And you don't sound like the "more complicated install" type, but it can be done.
  16. Just to clarify, what OS did it come FROM THE FACTORY with?
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