Windows 10: "Windows.old.old" (Help requested) Solved

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  1. Posts : 13
    Windows 10, Linux Mint
       17 Apr 2015 #1

    "Windows.old.old" (Help requested)


    Backstory: I broke my windows 7 installation awhile ago and went to linux, without deleting the broken installation. Later when I discovered windows 10 I decided to go and use it but it broke, so I again installed windows 10.

    This is 3 windows installations on one partition, and I was wondering if its possible to see the backup files from my windows 7 installation. I need this so that I can get the windows product key from windows 7 because the sticker on my laptop is unreadable.

    The laptop itself is the only remaining component from the purchase, from TOSHIBA. There is a HDDRECOVERY partition, but I tried to boot it and got a winload.exe error.

    I want the key so that when windows 10 gets a full release I'll be able to downgrade to windows 7 > and then use the upgrade back to windows 10.

    Thanks in advanced, and sorry if my question isn't clear.

    EDIT 1: I should have mentioned that the linux wasn't installed to the same partition as the broken windows, I just never used the broken windows until I installed my first copy of windows 10.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    17 Apr 2015 #2

    If this is an OEM system, most likely there is no key there... the key is embedded in your BIOS.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    17 Apr 2015 #3

    If your windows.old/recovery partition contains the following hive Windows\system32\config\SOFTWARE, we can retrieve your key - but AFAIK, windows.old only backs-up the System hive.

    BTW that's if a retail or COA (sticker key) was used - the OEM key is available on the net - for that you will need an OEM certificate to match the SLIC in your bios.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    17 Apr 2015 #4

    Mystere said: View Post
    If this is an OEM system, most likely there is no key there... the key is embedded in your BIOS.
    Windows 8, 8.1 has the key tied to the board, did they put Windows 7 key in bios?? Just asking that would be a new one to me.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    17 Apr 2015 #5

    Produkey


    sniper said: View Post
    Backstory: I broke my windows 7 installation awhile ago and went to linux, without deleting the broken installation. Later when I discovered windows 10 I decided to go and use it but it broke, so I again installed windows 10.

    This is 3 windows installations on one partition, and I was wondering if its possible to see the backup files from my windows 7 installation. I need this so that I can get the windows product key from windows 7 because the sticker on my laptop is unreadable.

    The laptop itself is the only remaining component from the purchase, from TOSHIBA. There is a HDDRECOVERY partition, but I tried to boot it and got a winload.exe error.

    I want the key so that when windows 10 gets a full release I'll be able to downgrade to windows 7 > and then use the upgrade back to windows 10.

    Thanks in advanced, and sorry if my question isn't clear.

    EDIT 1: I should have mentioned that the linux wasn't installed to the same partition as the broken windows, I just never used the broken windows until I installed my first copy of windows 10.
    I have used Nirsoft's "Produkey" to recover product keys from mighty scambled messes.
    It's worth a shot--it's free
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...91071109,d.cGU
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    17 Apr 2015 #6

    Produkey


    eagle said: View Post
    Windows 8, 8.1 has the key tied to the board, did they put Windows 7 key in bios?? Just asking that would be a new one to me.
    Did you test Produkey?
    I just installed WSCC on Win10-- 10049.
    WSCC is a frontend for Nirsoft Utilities, Sysinternals Utilities, and Windows Utilities and contains Produkey as one of 264 utilities in that bundle.
    I ran Produkey in Win10-10049 and it works as well as it did in all previous systems.
    One of the first packages I install on a new system.
    Find it here.............. http://www.kls-soft.com/wscc/index.php
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 13
    Windows 10, Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       18 Apr 2015 #7

    I did look in the windows.old registry hive (all of them) and also scanned them with a key finder, but those are from my previous windows 10 installation. Like I said, I have installed windows 10 twice (with the original being win 7) and I am wondering where to find "Windows.old.old" (two installations ago) I have tried multiple product key finders. Also, I'm not sure if the system is OEM or how to check but I know that the sticker does in fact contain the product key for windows 7, its just faded.

    EDIT: I found that some people are able to scan the sticker (with a printer?) & manage to get the key out, but no luck for me.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 13
    Windows 10, Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       18 Apr 2015 #8

    Also, I cannot use the 0 key to open up the HDDRECOVERY, but I can still see it & view the files in it. I have used bcdedit to try to get it a bootable partition (I used openbcd as a template for it & edited it). I've tried to change the path to many different things but I can't get one to work. I've tried many different paths (i.e. \BOOT\BCD) Usually Always it gives me an error (0xc000007b) to an item in which I did ont make the path, but after looking in bcdedit the path was changed to it. (Example: changed the path to "\BIN\something.EXE" and after restart it says the path is "\BIN\BOOT_32.EXE") FYI my computer and its windows installation is x64 if it makes a difference.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    18 Apr 2015 #9

    Getting back to OEM is easy if you can get the $oem$\$$\System32\OEM folder from recovery - that contains the certificate and key and activation commands (not sure if Toshiba uses the same method)

    I mentioned the Software hive as it has both the installed key (Win10) and the 'original' key prior to upgrade (Win7) - see Showkey - Windows 10 Forums.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 13
    Windows 10, Linux Mint
    Thread Starter
       18 Apr 2015 #10

    Thanks, I'll take a look at this.
    EDIT:
    Doesn't work :I
    It shows 4 things,
    Product Name: "Windows 10 Pro Technical Preview"
    Product ID: (random numbers)
    Installed Key: (the key I'm assuming is on MS website for the preview)
    OEM Key: OEM key not present in firmware.

    I also tried the "Get key from backup" and attempted to have it open the SOFTWARE from
    "C:\Windows.old\WINDOWS\System32\config\SOFTWARE" but it gave me an error message.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I attempted to do this a second time but this time doing the exact same thing it tells me this when clicking the "SOFTWARE".
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next I tried to load the SOFTWARE from "C:\Windows.old\WINDOWS\System32\config\RegBack\SOFTWARE", but it tells me "Invalid Registry Hive selected".

    Any other ideas or am I out of luck?

    Let me try & explain a bit more in case I didn't make it comprehensible.. anyway
    So I had Windows 7, but at some random point (I don't recall what I did) it would give me the error winload.exe failed or whatever, and I wasn't any good at computers at the time so I just left the laptop to gather dust for awhile. Eventually I put in a linux live CD (ubuntu) and set up a new partition for a ubuntu installation. I was able to view the files for the broken windows but I didn't do anything to them. Moving on, lots of time passes and eventually I find windows 10. Since I was unable to enter windows to install it from the inside (I think you can do that?) I did it the same way I did linux, by a USB. *I put the ISO on a usb hdd with rufus*. I did not create a new partition, but instead I told it to install onto the same partition as the broken windows 7. It did make a windows.old (this was awhile ago so my memory is a bit sloppy) but I never bothered to check anything out. Even longer after, this windows broke too. I just installed Windows 10 again, on top of that. And now I'm here.
    If your windows.old/recovery partition contains the following hive Windows\system32\config\SOFTWARE, we can retrieve your key - but AFAIK, windows.old only backs-up the System hive.

    BTW that's if a retail or COA (sticker key) was used - the OEM key is available on the net - for that you will need an OEM certificate to match the SLIC in your bios.
    I don't understand your lingo :I I'll take a screenshot of the root of the HDDRECOVERY. Click image for larger version. 

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    I gave the partition a letter & here is it in explorer.

    Ignore the second last picture. (attachment), that was a mistake.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails QpQrFyr.png   O8HMdwI.png  
    Last edited by sniper; 18 Apr 2015 at 07:12.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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