How to get Win 10 license key from a dead laptop

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  1. Posts : 5
    win10
       #1

    How to get Win 10 license key from a dead laptop


    Yesterday morning when I started my laptop (Dell 7140) , it went into BSOD and will not restart after 100% data collection. I had to hold the power key for 10.15 sec to power it off. I powered it on again and it went to BSOD a few seconds after the display of the DELL logo. The BSOD says PNP_DETECTED_FATAL_ERROR.

    If I remember correctly , I saw "update and shut down" at my last shut down. But I cannot be sure if I had a good start up between the last shut down and the BSOD yesterday morning.

    Here was the sequence of diagnostic work I did

    1.After two times of Power up, BSOD, manual power down , the 3rd power up will allow me to go into recovery. I went to trouble shoot/advance option/ select 'uninstall updates'. The latest quality update was uninstall successfully. But uninstall of the latest feature update was not successful.

    2. Start the 7140 and got BSOD again.

    3. All Dell hardware diagnostic ran OK.

    4. Restart 7140, still BSOD.

    5.I used the WIN 10 install USB key (downloaded from Microsoft) to perform "Startup repair" , got "Startup repair could not repair your PC"

    6. I tried to do "System restore". But I did not have a system image to restore from.

    7.Tried start up in safe mode, But BSOD before anything happened.

    This laptop (Dell 7140) came with WIN8 pro pre-installed and was upgraded to WIN 10 a year ago. I am stuck now. I don't mind losing data and install from scratch. But I do not have the license key. On my other WIN7 laptops, the license key sticker was on the bottom. But I found nothing on my 7140. I used the WIN10 USB before. It does not ask for license key for system repair. But it will ask when install from scratch.

    Can some one suggest on how I can get my license key from my WIN 10 system which cannot come up.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 1,484
    Win10 Pro
       #2

    MSWINUSER said:
    Yesterday morning when I started my laptop (Dell 7140) , it went into BSOD and will not restart after 100% data collection. I had to hold the power key for 10.15 sec to power it off. I powered it on again and it went to BSOD a few seconds after the display of the DELL logo. The BSOD says PNP_DETECTED_FATAL_ERROR.

    If I remember correctly , I saw "update and shut down" at my last shut down. But I cannot be sure if I had a good start up between the last shut down and the BSOD yesterday morning.

    Here was the sequence of diagnostic work I did

    1.After two times of Power up, BSOD, manual power down , the 3rd power up will allow me to go into recovery. I went to trouble shoot/advance option/ select 'uninstall updates'. The latest quality update was uninstall successfully. But uninstall of the latest feature update was not successful.

    2. Start the 7140 and got BSOD again.

    3. All Dell hardware diagnostic ran OK.

    4. Restart 7140, still BSOD.

    5.I used the WIN 10 install USB key (downloaded from Microsoft) to perform "Startup repair" , got "Startup repair could not repair your PC"

    6. I tried to do "System restore". But I did not have a system image to restore from.

    7.Tried start up in safe mode, But BSOD before anything happened.

    This laptop (Dell 7140) came with WIN8 pro pre-installed and was upgraded to WIN 10 a year ago. I am stuck now. I don't mind losing data and install from scratch. But I do not have the license key. On my other WIN7 laptops, the license key sticker was on the bottom. But I found nothing on my 7140. I used the WIN10 USB before. It does not ask for license key for system repair. But it will ask when install from scratch.

    Can some one suggest on how I can get my license key from my WIN 10 system which cannot come up.
    Welcome to the forum MSWINUSER.
    If you upgraded to Win10 via the free upgrade program then your license is an OEM and is not transferable to another PC.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 16,017
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #3

    Hello @MSWINUSER,
    Welcome to TenForums.

    Sometimes you can find the License / Product Key in the battery compartment.

    I hope this helps.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 34,961
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #4

    If the problem is your disk or O/S, you are free to either
    - if the disk is ok: clean install Win 10 (no key needed)
    - if the disk has failed, you can replace it. Again, you can clean install Win 10 (no key needed)

    If your laptop hardware other than your disk has failed, that's another story.

    Of course no clean install is needed if you have been using disk imaging regularly and routinely as is so very often recommended here, you can restore a disk image to the existing disk or the new disk as appropriate and have your PC running as it was when you created that disk image. (E.g. Macrium Reflect - free or paid for).

    Why is no key needed? Because your activation details are held on MS's activation servers against a hash of a form of your hardware id (that does not include RAM or disk - so you can change those freely).

    Even if you had a retail license and wished to transfer it to a new PC, if the activation was linked to a MS live id account used to log in, again, no key would be needed.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 17,272
    Windows 11 Pro
       #5

    I will second what @dalchina posted, you don"t need a product key.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 14,577
    Windows 10 IoT
       #6

    Paul Black said:
    Hello @MSWINUSER,
    Welcome to TenForums.

    Sometimes you can find the License / Product Key in the battery compartment.

    I hope this helps.
    Not anymore, well not since Windows 8 anyway. Factory OEM keys are now embedded in the BIOS. That's where the key is for Windows 8 on my ASUS laptop. Official install media should read it and use it automatically. All I got was a Windows 8 sticker with no product code on it. Its a unique key also, not a generic OEM key.
    And once I upgraded to Windows 10 it got a Digital License for Windows 10. I can now install and activate with the Generic Windows 10 key. Just a FYI post.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 24,631
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    MSWINUSER said:
    This laptop (Dell 7140) came with WIN8 pro pre-installed and was upgraded to WIN 10 a year ago. I am stuck now. I don't mind losing data and install from scratch. But I do not have the license key. On my other WIN7 laptops, the license key sticker was on the bottom. But I found nothing on my 7140...

    No, you won't have the key on a sticker. As it was supplied with Win8 pre-installed by the OEM, then it has its Win8 key embedded in the firmware. When you boot from a Win10 install usb it will read this key from the firmware, use it to choose the correct edition to install (Home or Pro) and to activate it.

    At no point will you be asked for a key, or even which edition to install. Setup handles it all based on the key it finds in the bios.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 14,577
    Windows 10 IoT
       #8

    Bree said:
    No, you won't have the key on a sticker. As it was supplied with Win8 pre-installed by the OEM, then it has its Win8 key embedded in the firmware. When you boot from a Win10 install usb it will read this key from the firmware, use it to choose the correct edition to install (Home or Pro) and to activate it.

    At no point will you be asked for a key, or even which edition to install. Setup handles it all based on the key it finds in the bios.
    Hopefully, that is how it was at first for my ASUS Windows 8 laptop. For what ever reason, at some point (build) my Windows 10 install media stopped reading it? I'm actually fine with that, it lets me clean install Pro or Pro Workstation etc without having to upgrade from Home to get there.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 5
    win10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Thanks for the confirmation. I started the install on the 7140 and got error 0xc1 windows could not load required file WinSetup.dll. Should this file be on the WIN 10 USB key ?
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 821
    Win 10
       #10

    MSWINUSER said:
    Thanks for the confirmation. I started the install on the 7140 and got error 0xc1 windows could not load required file WinSetup.dll. Should this file be on the WIN 10 USB key ?
    Yes. Error code 0xc1 means ERROR_BAD_EXE_FORMAT - %1 is not a valid Win32 application.

    If the Windows stick is OK, please check the hard drive and RAM of the computer.


    Friendly greetings
    Sorry for any mistakes. English is not my native language.
      My Computer


 

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