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Toshiba Satellite L445d Windows Key worn off COA sticker...

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 16, 2012 3:14:07 PM

Hey Everyone,

I am currently trying to repair my cousin's Toshiba L445d laptop that has a bad hard drive. The hard drive seems to be completely dead. For awhile it would try to do the "startup repair" but it could never fix the problem. So, I was able to access the "Recovery Partition" on the hard drive for a while (which is how I access command prompt to run chkdsk and such), but now the drive seems to be completely done. I get a blank screen when trying to boot.

So, I want to replace the hard drive for her but we've run into another issue.... the Windows 7 Home 32bit OEM key on the COA sticker is worn off. I can make out like 4-5 numbers out of the 16-20 digits, lol. Is there any way I can recover this product key? Perhaps through the manufacturer (Toshiba)? I have a windows 7 Pro 64bit OEM disc that I bought (from newegg) for my own desktop build, so I have (possibly?) a disc to reinstall the OS.

If my disc will not work, I have found http://www.mydigitallife.info/download-windows-7-iso-of... so I should be able to download her version (hopefully).

Any and all help is appreciated! Thanks!


Also, if I can't recover her key, I have a few XP home OEM keys from my past computers (one is a dell laptop, one is an HP compaq desktop, etc..) that I could give her but I don't have the recovery software. Is there any way/where to download an ISO of these XP versions so I can use these keys? I don't want a crack version or anything... I just want a bootable installation disc where I can use my legal, genuine product keys.
a b $ Windows 7
November 16, 2012 3:21:58 PM

Since you can't get it from the hard drive, contact toshiba.
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November 16, 2012 3:42:33 PM

rgd1101 said:
Since you can't get it from the hard drive, contact toshiba.


She has no receipt or "proof of purchase" as she bought it a few years ago (it is an obsolete item as well now) like many non-technical users would do, lol. Would you say Toshiba would be able to provide us with the key used on that laptop?

Also, would my Windows 7 Pro 64bit OEM disc from newegg work for installing her Windows 7 Home 32bit OEM from Toshiba?
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a b $ Windows 7
December 13, 2012 3:54:58 PM

Aunnix said:
She has no receipt or "proof of purchase" as she bought it a few years ago (it is an obsolete item as well now) like many non-technical users would do, lol. Would you say Toshiba would be able to provide us with the key used on that laptop?

Also, would my Windows 7 Pro 64bit OEM disc from newegg work for installing her Windows 7 Home 32bit OEM from Toshiba?


No but they should provide you a new key -- they will ask for the serial # and Model of the laptop and the portion of the key that you can read and with that info will normally provide you a new key -- If they will not contact MS and explain the situation to them and they willl usually provide you with a working key.

What I would do is create a multi boot install disk using your disk and this tutorial -- ( Tutorial Link ) -- by removing a file from the dvd while creating the copy it will create a bootable install disk that can be used to install any version of win 7 (this is perfectly legal !) -- Once you have created the new install disk use it to install the version that matches what came with the laptop (just press enter with the key blank at the step for entering the key). This will install the proper version to match what came with the laptop and will give you 30 days to activate by installing the key and using the activation wizard.

After it installs run the activation wizard and call MS when prompted (since the activation will fail since no key is entered it will provide a phone # to call for assistance - When they answer talk to the rep and explain the situation and give them the info that they ask for (usually laptop model and serial # - and any portion of the key that is legible) and the MS rep will normally help you in inputting the key and response code to get it to activate (they will also usually send you an E-mail with the info for future reference)

Since all laptops are sold with the OS installed with the model and serial # and any portion of the key they will usually provide you with the needed assistance to get it activated and working again !
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December 14, 2012 11:32:49 AM

JDFan said:
No but they should provide you a new key -- they will ask for the serial # and Model of the laptop and the portion of the key that you can read and with that info will normally provide you a new key -- If they will not contact MS and explain the situation to them and they willl usually provide you with a working key.

What I would do is create a multi boot install disk using your disk and this tutorial -- ( Tutorial Link ) -- by removing a file from the dvd while creating the copy it will create a bootable install disk that can be used to install any version of win 7 (this is perfectly legal !) -- Once you have created the new install disk use it to install the version that matches what came with the laptop (just press enter with the key blank at the step for entering the key). This will install the proper version to match what came with the laptop and will give you 30 days to activate by installing the key and using the activation wizard.

After it installs run the activation wizard and call MS when prompted (since the activation will fail since no key is entered it will provide a phone # to call for assistance - When they answer talk to the rep and explain the situation and give them the info that they ask for (usually laptop model and serial # - and any portion of the key that is legible) and the MS rep will normally help you in inputting the key and response code to get it to activate (they will also usually send you an E-mail with the info for future reference)

Since all laptops are sold with the OS installed with the model and serial # and any portion of the key they will usually provide you with the needed assistance to get it activated and working again !



Thanks! I will definitely give this a shot. I've already removed the bad hard drive, but I had an extra one so I will try it on that. Hopefully replacing the hard drive isn't going to be an issue when trying to acquire a new key.

I do have a problem with the new hard drive. I did a "clean wipe" of the hard drive and I was going to install a Windows XP OS on it. But halfway through the windows files being loaded, I get an error saying something like "hard drive controller (or controller driver) missing"... is this an easy fix? I haven't had a chance to check it out online much, but what I looked at briefly didn't seem helpful. Or, did I kill the drive? lol
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a b $ Windows 7
December 14, 2012 12:59:35 PM

What type of HDD and what connector type is it being connected to ?? -- Many newer SATA 3 drives and connectors need to have drivers loaded for the SATA controller before the HDD can be used and the windows OS does not know how to load them unlless you provide the driver during the install process (it usually is on the disk that came with the MOBO) - If the driver is not installed the OS can not find anything that is connected to those connections on the MOBO. It has been awhile since trying to install XP but IIRC the same goes for all SATA devices under XP since when XP released the HDDs were still mostly IDE so you need to provide drivers for SATA devices (IIRC when installing XP it should ask you to provide the drivers as part of the setup process.)

But No there should not be any damage - worse case you reformat the HDD and start over after getting the MOBO drivers from the manufacturer's website.
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December 14, 2012 2:08:36 PM

JDFan said:
What type of HDD and what connector type is it being connected to ?? -- Many newer SATA 3 drives and connectors need to have drivers loaded for the SATA controller before the HDD can be used and the windows OS does not know how to load them unlless you provide the driver during the install process (it usually is on the disk that came with the MOBO) - If the driver is not installed the OS can not find anything that is connected to those connections on the MOBO. It has been awhile since trying to install XP but IIRC the same goes for all SATA devices under XP since when XP released the HDDs were still mostly IDE so you need to provide drivers for SATA devices (IIRC when installing XP it should ask you to provide the drivers as part of the setup process.)

But No there should not be any damage - worse case you reformat the HDD and start over after getting the MOBO drivers from the manufacturer's website.


The HDD is a Fujitsu SATA drive (either 2 or 3, not sure as I'm at work right now... but I'm guessing 3 because the laptop was new enough to have Windows 7 installed).

I was wondering if it is a MOBO error or HDD error. I thought maybe it was a HDD issue since it's the HDD controller. I wasn't sure how to go about fixing it unless I can find the controller driver online to burn to a disk and boot from in order to fix the HDD. Hopefully you're correct and it's a MOBO issue.. It will be much easier to install the driver for the MOBO (at least tracking them down and such....).

The reason for XP is because I have an old copy from a previous rig that I've loaded Linux on to run as a server. And, I wasn't sure if I would be able to salvage the Windows 7 install.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 14, 2012 3:23:29 PM

Aunnix said:
The HDD is a Fujitsu SATA drive (either 2 or 3, not sure as I'm at work right now... but I'm guessing 3 because the laptop was new enough to have Windows 7 installed).

I was wondering if it is a MOBO error or HDD error. I thought maybe it was a HDD issue since it's the HDD controller. I wasn't sure how to go about fixing it unless I can find the controller driver online to burn to a disk and boot from in order to fix the HDD. Hopefully you're correct and it's a MOBO issue.. It will be much easier to install the driver for the MOBO (at least tracking them down and such....).

The reason for XP is because I have an old copy from a previous rig that I've loaded Linux on to run as a server. And, I wasn't sure if I would be able to salvage the Windows 7 install.


Just checked and Here is an excerpt from an article that explains it :

Quote:
Well the problem is that your good old Windows XP installation CD, when it was made, never knew about SATA drives so obviously, it doesn't include the driver. When you try to install your operating system, you will notice that the installation procedure fails and usually a blue screen is displayed declaring a missing driver for the hard drive.

No reason to worry. There is a very easy solution that will make the SATA hard drive act as if it were an IDE one. By following the simple steps below, you can put your computer into SATA Compatibility Mode and once again be able to use your Windows XP operating system.

1- Turn on your computer. While the computer starts keep pressing and releasing the F2 button to enter the BIOS system. (Some computers may use a different Functions key to load BIOS)

2- When you enter BIOS, navigate to the Advance menu and under that section choose SATA Controller Mode.

3- Change SATA controller Mode to [Compatibility].

4- Save the new settings and exit BIOS. Let your computer start up

5- Now install Windows XP as normal

There are other more complicated solutions to this problem. One is to use utility programs to manipulate the XP installation package and include the required driver. However, for a single computer user, the task may be to complicated and time consuming.


So you may need to make the change to that setting in your BIOS or find an article that explains the process for making the driver available during install.
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December 14, 2012 4:35:01 PM

JDFan said:
Just checked and Here is an excerpt from an article that explains it :

Quote:
Well the problem is that your good old Windows XP installation CD, when it was made, never knew about SATA drives so obviously, it doesn't include the driver. When you try to install your operating system, you will notice that the installation procedure fails and usually a blue screen is displayed declaring a missing driver for the hard drive.

No reason to worry. There is a very easy solution that will make the SATA hard drive act as if it were an IDE one. By following the simple steps below, you can put your computer into SATA Compatibility Mode and once again be able to use your Windows XP operating system.

1- Turn on your computer. While the computer starts keep pressing and releasing the F2 button to enter the BIOS system. (Some computers may use a different Functions key to load BIOS)

2- When you enter BIOS, navigate to the Advance menu and under that section choose SATA Controller Mode.

3- Change SATA controller Mode to [Compatibility].

4- Save the new settings and exit BIOS. Let your computer start up

5- Now install Windows XP as normal

There are other more complicated solutions to this problem. One is to use utility programs to manipulate the XP installation package and include the required driver. However, for a single computer user, the task may be to complicated and time consuming.


Awesome! Thanks! I'm sure the bios tweaks should help me out as I have not tried to change that setting. And, I have wiped or "cleaned" hard drives before and never had this issue. So, I was hoping the "clean" wasn't what caused the problem. I should have tried my Windows 7 disc just to see if it would load the files. I will make the changes tonight in the bios and see if that gets XP to install. It would be nice to get the Windows 7 issue (what you posted to me above earlier) working, but since it's an older laptop I may just stick with XP as it should perform better.

If I'm able to make the boot disc above that you were talking about... would that work for both OEM and retail versions? Not sure if it matters, but the windows 7 disc I have right now is an OEM version (from Newegg.. not an HP or Dell, etc. version) so hopefully that won't matter when creating the new bootable disc.
So you may need to make the change to that setting in your BIOS or find an article that explains the process for making the driver available during install.

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