Q: Windows 7 Ultimate product key This thread is locked from future replies


I'm currently using a laptop purchased in china, running the windows 7 ultimate that came with it. I'm looking to do a fresh reinstall of windows using the same activation key. Does it matter which windows 7 ultimate image/CD I'm using? Can I use one downloaded off microsoft US's site/english language sites and still activate the product with my Chinese product key? Is the product key I have only used for a specific version of windows 7 ultimate? 




The product key is not language specific, if that is what you are asking. If its a laptop that came preinstalled with Windows 7 Ultimate, then there should be a recovery partition for reinstalling.

New computers that come preinstalled with Windows 7 often have what is called a recovery partition. This is used to reinstall the operating system in the event of a system crash. To access it, you will need to boot into when you start your computer by pressing a function key. This can be either F1, F2, F9, F10, F11, F12 or even DEL or Tab key. Consult the owners manual that came with your PC for instructions about how to reinstall Windows.

This is how the recovery partition is accessed for the most popular makes..

For Dell, press F8 on the keyboard until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears on the screen.

For HP, press F11 directly after powering up the unit

For LG, press F11 directly after powering up the unit

For Toshiba, press and hold '0' BEFORE and during the power up

For Acer, press and hold ALT + F10 as soon as you see the logo

For Asus, press F9 as soon as you see the Asus logo.

For Samsung, press F4 at power up..

For Fujitsu, press the F8 key repeatedly directly after powering up

For Advent, restart your computer. Then Press F10 repeatedly until the message "Starting System Recovery" is displayed

For Sony VAIO, restart and press "F8" or "F10" repeatedly until the "Advanced Boot Options" screen appears.

If the recovery partition is not functional, then follow the procedures below:

Download the corresponding edition of Windows 7 you have a license for from the following link. You can identify the edition on COA sticker attached to your machine, with at bottom or battery compartment (laptop) or top/side if its a desktop computer.

COA Certificate of Authenticity:

What is the Windows Certificate of Authenticity?

Windows 7 Home Premium (x86) - 32 bit

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) - 64 bit

Windows 7 Professional (x86) - 32 bit

Windows 7 Professional (x64) - 64 bit

Windows 7 Ultimate (x86)* - 32 bit

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)* - 64 bit

32 vs 64 bit

Is my PC running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows?

ImgBurn - In addtion to supporting the creation of CD's from .ISO files,
it supports a wide range of other image file formats, and it's free.

Note: Always use the slowest burn speed (4x or 2x) if offered a choice.

You can also create a bootable copy on a USB thumb drive:

Once one has the .iso file they may wish to use the Microsoft .iso to USB/DVD tool to create a bootable DVD or USB (requires a blank DVD or USB flash stick of at least 4 GB).


Boot from the Windows 7 DVD
Click Install Now
Accept License Agreement
When the option is displayed to select an installation type, click (Custom Advanced)

select the disk partition where you would like to install Windows 7 Click Next.

You will receive the following warning:

The partition you selected might contain files from a previous Windows Installation. If it does, these files and folders will be moved to a folder named Windows.old. You will be able to access the information in Windows.old, but you will be able to use your previous version of Windows.

(At all cost, do NOT click anything named Format or Delete or Partition. So even doing a custom install, your personal files are still preserved. Click OK

Setup will now start the installation. During the installation, your machine will be restarted several times.

When the installation is complete, you can complete the Out of Box experience such as selecting your laptop, create a username, password, your time zone. You can then proceed to download the latest updates for Windows and reinstall your applications and drivers.

You can then recover your personal files from the Windows.old folder and reinstall all your applications and drivers.

Manufacturer drivers: Dell, HPLenovoAcerToshibaAsus

Install and troubleshoot drivers:

Apply Windows Updates:

My recommendation would be to install the updates in batches, such 5 at a time, exclude hardware/driver updates. Avoid installing a combination of Microsoft Windows and Office updates at the same time. Also, try installing the small updates first. Avoid installing things like .NET Framework and SQL Express Updates.

Restart each time you install the updates (its a chore, but it guarantees a more reliable experience). Try starting out with Microsoft Office Updates for programs such as (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).

Another thing, try downloading the updates then install them. When prompted to restart, disconnect from the Internet and restart your computer.

Proceed with installing the additional updates.

If the computer continues to become non-responsive, try the following:


You can reset Windows Update components by running the Fixit on this page. But, if there's malware present, it will continue to reset the connection to the update servers:

How do I reset Windows Update components

Suggest you download and save the Fixit. Then configure the system to Clean boot prior to running it:

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista/Windows 7

Once the Fixit has been downloaded and the system booted to the Clean state, check to see that the native Windows firewall is now On if a 3rd party firewall was being used previously. Now run the Fixit and choose the Default mode. Restart once it's done and see if the system can connect to the update servers. If it can not, then run the Fixit again and choose the Aggressive mode. Restart when it's finished running and check for updates.

I suggest before shutting down and installing any updates, disconnect from the Internet first.



The parameter is incorrect.

Fix Windows corruption errors by using the DISM or System Update Readiness tool

Activating Windows 7:

Once you have installed it, all you need to do is change the product key located on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA). Lets take a look at how to do that.

Click Start, right click Computer

Click Properties

Scroll down to Windows activation.

You will notice it displays a time until Activation but be completed. Also the Product ID indicates it is using a default key, this is only for the 30 day grace period allowed until you must activate Windows 7.

Click the link, Change product key

Enter the product key located on the COA sticker located at the bottom or (sometimes in the battery compartment of your laptop), you can also find it at the top or side if its a Desktop computer.  It looks something like the following:

Proceed to enter the product key and click Next

Wait while Windows attempts to activate.

If all goes well, within a minute, you should see this screen.

You can further confirm Windows 7 is activated by checking the Windows Activation status:

Notice Windows 7 now displays OEM within the Product ID to indicate the product channel it is licensed from. Please note, this also works with Windows Vista if you are still running that version.

If you are unable to activate Windows 7 using the Change product key method, you can try phone activation and speak with a call agent who will assist with reactivating Windows 7:

How to activate Windows 7 manually (activate by phone)
1) Click Start, and in the Search box type:   slui.exe  4
2) Next press the ‘ENTER’ key
3) Select your ‘Country’ from the list.
4) Choose the ‘Phone Activation’ option.
5) Stay on the phone (do not select/press any options) and wait for a person to help you with activation.
6) Explain your problem clearly to the support person.


COA Certificate of Authenticity:

What is the Windows Certificate of Authenticity?

If you continue to experience problems with reinstallation, please review the following:

Option 1:

If the COA sticker is damaged, then you would need to use the recovery partition to reinstall Windows 7, this will exempt the need to use the product key to activate your Windows 7 installation.

Option 2:

If your recovery partition is not available or damaged, you should contact the manufacturer of your computer and request a recovery disc set you can use to reinstall Windows 7. They might charge a small shipping and handling fee. This will exempt the need to use the product key also.

Option 3:

If the neither options 1 or 2 is possible, then you need to invest in a new retail full version license.


1-888-678-3688 or






Gateway 1-866-539-3901










Acer 1-866-539-3901

Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT

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Views: 16,434 Last updated: March 17, 2018 Applies to: