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What do the sets of characters mean in Win 7 Product Key?

Last response: in Windows 7
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March 3, 2013 4:21:36 PM

Hello,
I had to replace HDD in my Gateway Laptop ID49c07u. Had to use iso from MS web link to re-install Win 7 Home Prem as recovery discs were corrupted. Now I can't read all the characters in my Product key, but can read most. Can you tell me what each set of 5 characters stands for and what the hardware config. characters would be for my laptop? I have all the specs from Belarc V.8.3 but need to activate Win7 with my key. I found my rcpt but no OS paperwork and Best Buy does not keep Key info on file. I can read 20 of the 25 char. and only 1 char. is completely missing. The other four char. I can partially read. Hope someone can help me so I can try to figure it out - (it's a puzzle!).
March 3, 2013 4:32:12 PM

Appears you'll have to contact Gateway. Microsoft has a page on this, as the product keys do get damaged or go missing. Don't waste time trying to decipher it. The pattern isn't logical to the end user. To reduce fraud, products keys are similar to one time pads... garbled nonsense.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/811224
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
March 3, 2013 4:35:04 PM

iamgoo2 said:
Hello,
I had to replace HDD in my Gateway Laptop ID49c07u. Had to use iso from MS web link to re-install Win 7 Home Prem as recovery discs were corrupted. Now I can't read all the characters in my Product key, but can read most. Can you tell me what each set of 5 characters stands for and what the hardware config. characters would be for my laptop? I have all the specs from Belarc V.8.3 but need to activate Win7 with my key. I found my rcpt but no OS paperwork and Best Buy does not keep Key info on file. I can read 20 of the 25 char. and only 1 char. is completely missing. The other four char. I can partially read. Hope someone can help me so I can try to figure it out - (it's a puzzle!).


They are pseudo-random and can't be figured out in a deterministic way. You'll have to call Microsoft or Gateway. If you have the rest of the information, they may be able to provide you the rest of the digits and/or a new key.
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March 3, 2013 5:15:58 PM

wdmfiber said:
Appears you'll have to contact Gateway. Microsoft has a page on this, as the product keys do get damaged or go missing. Don't waste time trying to decipher it. The pattern isn't logical to the end user. To reduce fraud, products keys are similar to one time pads... garbled nonsense.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/811224


Thanks for responding. I tried the Gateway website, but unfortunately, they want money to talk to someone on-line via email and I don't have a phone to call, even if I could get through which I heard was a nightmare. I really just want to try to figure out that one number of my key (the 1st digit) and the rest I think I can tell what they are - if someone can just tell me what to look for.

I read a post somewhere a few days ago that explained it, but I can't find it again. The post explained what each set of five characters was for and which characters were randomized in each set and how the check digits worked, etc. The post went into detail on the check digits and I think that is what I need to verify my key info.

I realize the keys are not easy to decipher, but I am only missing one character and the just a couple others are either 8's or B's and such. I was already able to get this far by taking a digital photo and adjusting the color and examining it for the characters. It worked pretty well. I hate to give up when I am so close. I have fixed multiple issues that came up with my Network when the HDD's crashed. Can you help me?

I can't afford to spend any money and I had two HDD failures in one week, so both laptops have been down and I was to sell the other one. I squeaked out the $$ at Xmas for the new HDD for the Gateway and have been piecing back my lost data from various backups.

I am disabled and have a hard time sitting at the PC, but I can use the laptop better. Not having a laptop working has been difficult. If you don't have the information, do you have any suggestions on where I can look or what search terms to use? I have tried to find the post again with no luck at all! Thanks!
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
March 3, 2013 7:42:53 PM

iamgoo2 said:
Thanks for responding. I tried the Gateway website, but unfortunately, they want money to talk to someone on-line via email and I don't have a phone to call, even if I could get through which I heard was a nightmare. I really just want to try to figure out that one number of my key (the 1st digit) and the rest I think I can tell what they are - if someone can just tell me what to look for.

I read a post somewhere a few days ago that explained it, but I can't find it again. The post explained what each set of five characters was for and which characters were randomized in each set and how the check digits worked, etc. The post went into detail on the check digits and I think that is what I need to verify my key info.

I realize the keys are not easy to decipher, but I am only missing one character and the just a couple others are either 8's or B's and such. I was already able to get this far by taking a digital photo and adjusting the color and examining it for the characters. It worked pretty well. I hate to give up when I am so close. I have fixed multiple issues that came up with my Network when the HDD's crashed. Can you help me?

I can't afford to spend any money and I had two HDD failures in one week, so both laptops have been down and I was to sell the other one. I squeaked out the $$ at Xmas for the new HDD for the Gateway and have been piecing back my lost data from various backups.

I am disabled and have a hard time sitting at the PC, but I can use the laptop better. Not having a laptop working has been difficult. If you don't have the information, do you have any suggestions on where I can look or what search terms to use? I have tried to find the post again with no luck at all! Thanks!


if it's just one character that you can't make out, you can try and brute force it. Just try A-Z and 0-9 until it works.
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a b D Laptop
a c 416 $ Windows 7
March 3, 2013 8:20:27 PM

Computers, which are built by large manufactures that come with Windows Pre-Installed, come with two (2) Product Keys:

A) OEM SLP: This key comes pre-installed in Windows, when it comes from the Factory. This key is geared to work with the OEM Bios Flag found only on that Manufacturer's computer hardware. So when Windows was installed using the OEM SLP key (at the factory) Windows looks at the motherboard and sees the proper OEM Bios Flag (for that Manufacturer and that version of Windows) and Self-Activates. That's why you did not need to Activate your computer after you brought it home.

B) COA SLP: This is the Product key that you see on the sticker on the side (or bottom or sometimes in a laptop's battery compartment) of your computer. It is a valid product key, but should only be used in limited situations (such as this case when the OEM SLP key stops self-activating for whatever reason). The key must be activated by Phone.


In other words: No you can't use the "other so called key" they are tied together.

microsoft.com
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March 3, 2013 10:17:39 PM

Pinhedd said:
if it's just one character that you can't make out, you can try and brute force it. Just try A-Z and 0-9 until it works.


Thanks for responding. I got tired after the alphabet! I have 2 other letters that I am not sure about and tried different combos for awhile to narrow it down, but no luck, darn it.

What would happen if I just took out the HD from the Gateway laptop and put it in the HP laptop? Would my system auto-detect the different hardware or would it freak out?

I can read the key on the HP laptop no problem, but it wouldn't work on the Gateway to activate. Could I put the HD from the Gateway into the HP without having to re-format the HD?

They both have Win 7 Home Prem. OS., but the HP came with a different brand of HD from the Gateway, which has a Western Digital Scorpio drive. I don't know if that matters. Sorry, I am a novice and Grandma!

Julia
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a b D Laptop
a b $ Windows 7
March 4, 2013 1:28:51 AM

iamgoo2 said:
Thanks for responding. I got tired after the alphabet! I have 2 other letters that I am not sure about and tried different combos for awhile to narrow it down, but no luck, darn it.

What would happen if I just took out the HD from the Gateway laptop and put it in the HP laptop? Would my system auto-detect the different hardware or would it freak out?

I can read the key on the HP laptop no problem, but it wouldn't work on the Gateway to activate. Could I put the HD from the Gateway into the HP without having to re-format the HD?

They both have Win 7 Home Prem. OS., but the HP came with a different brand of HD from the Gateway, which has a Western Digital Scorpio drive. I don't know if that matters. Sorry, I am a novice and Grandma!

Julia


My suggestion would be to call Microsoft, explain your situation, and tell them that Gateway refused to help you. Microsoft absolutely hates it when their OEM partners give their customers a hard time because it makes Microsoft look like the bad guys.
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March 4, 2013 5:59:25 PM

Pinhedd said:
My suggestion would be to call Microsoft, explain your situation, and tell them that Gateway refused to help you. Microsoft absolutely hates it when their OEM partners give their customers a hard time because it makes Microsoft look like the bad guys.



That's a good idea, I will try and see if they can help me. Thanks so much!
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