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5 Posts

04-20-2021

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Finding Windows 7 (SP1) Product Key on Thinkpad W520

2021-04-20, 3:21 AM

I need to replace my hard drive, and would like to install Windows 7 clean, instead of cloning my drive. However, I cannot find a twenty-five character key like Microsoft wants me to input on their website. I have been able to find two versions of a product key within my system, but both are twenty characters. The simplest method that I've used to look for the key is to bring up System under Control Panel. One of the two keys listed in the registry matches what is displayed in System. Another method I've tried is using the productkey.vbs file that Lenovo provides and recommends. Finally, I tried a command line...command. It was given on WikiHow as follows:

 

wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

 

Opening the VBS file returns error code 80070002.  The above command displays ERROR: Description = Invalid query. What gives?

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304 Posts

09-04-2019

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Re:Finding Windows 7 (SP1) Product Key on Thinkpad W520

2021-04-20, 4:55 AM

W10 still free upgrade. Why bother with 7?

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5 Posts

04-20-2021

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Re:Finding Windows 7 (SP1) Product Key on Thinkpad W520

2021-04-20, 11:46 AM

Because that's what I want.

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4353 Posts

12-11-2015

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Re:Finding Windows 7 (SP1) Product Key on Thinkpad W520

2021-04-20, 13:17 PM

Your system came with the COEM version of Windows 7, and since Microsoft fully ended support for Windows 7 in January 2020, the COEM version is no longer available from its website.      The Microsoft Download site will only accept a retail Product Key (and that will soon end), so your options are to either find an old retail Product Key, purchase a retail copy of Windows 7, or upgrade to Windows 10 while it is still free and use Classic Shell to make it look like Windows 7.     

 

Note:    My advice is to stay away from the hacked version of Windows 7 Ultimate sometimes found online, because it usually includes malware, and the hacking causes many services  to not run properly. 

 

There will be no new security updates to Windows 7, and soon the major browsers will stop supporting it too, so you really should consider upgrading now if you plan to use your ThinkPad online. 

 

 

Best of luck, 

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5 Posts

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Re:Finding Windows 7 (SP1) Product Key on Thinkpad W520

2021-04-20, 13:52 PM

The download page alludes to their acceptance of an OEM key. Are you certain it won't work? If not, then I suppose I will either give in and clone my drive, or update to 10. I intend on getting a new desktop this year, and I would like to keep Windows 7 on this machine.

 

Update to the original issue: I have now found the correct key, but Microsoft says it's a single-use key and that I'd need a separate one to install on a new drive. They recommended talking with Lenovo. The issue with the VBS file was that it was looking in the wrong registry path. Instead of HKLM, my computer uses HKey_Local_Machine.

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4018 Posts

12-02-2007

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Re:Finding Windows 7 (SP1) Product Key on Thinkpad W520

2021-04-21, 15:38 PM

Hello,

 

Just to confirm, there is no Windows 7 Certificate of Authenticity with a Product ID Key affixed to the ThinkPad W520?  It could be located on the bottom of the unit, or behind the battery, depending upon the model and age of the laptop.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 



I am a volunteer and neither a Lenovo nor a Microsoft employee.

L380 YogaP72 (20MB-*)P50 (20EN-*)S230u (3347-4HU)T23 (2648-LU7)T42 (2378-R4U)T43p (2678-H7U)T61p (6459-CTO)W510 (4318-CTO)W530 (2441-4R3)W530 (2441-4R3)X100e (3508-CTO)X120e (0596-CTO)X220 (4286-CTO)X250 (20CM-*)Yoga 370

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5 Posts

04-20-2021

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Re:Finding Windows 7 (SP1) Product Key on Thinkpad W520

2021-04-21, 18:49 PM

No, all of my laptop's stickers fell off years ago. I don't even recall the Windows 7 sticker having the key on it, but it's long gone. In any case, Microsoft said that they'd need a new key from Lenovo, since it was a single-use key.

 

I am now wondering, however, if I can use the recovery partition on this hard drive to restore Windows to factory default on my new hard drive if I have both hooked up to my machine.

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4018 Posts

12-02-2007

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Re:Finding Windows 7 (SP1) Product Key on Thinkpad W520

2021-04-26, 7:13 AM

Hello,

 

If the ThinkPad W520 came from Lenovo with Windows 7 preloaded, it will have a Product ID Key for Windows 7 embedded in the BIOS (UEFI) firmware.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 



I am a volunteer and neither a Lenovo nor a Microsoft employee.

L380 YogaP72 (20MB-*)P50 (20EN-*)S230u (3347-4HU)T23 (2648-LU7)T42 (2378-R4U)T43p (2678-H7U)T61p (6459-CTO)W510 (4318-CTO)W530 (2441-4R3)W530 (2441-4R3)X100e (3508-CTO)X120e (0596-CTO)X220 (4286-CTO)X250 (20CM-*)Yoga 370

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4353 Posts

12-11-2015

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  • Message 9 of 9

Re:Finding Windows 7 (SP1) Product Key on Thinkpad W520

2021-04-26, 8:54 AM

If the product key is  indeed embedded in the BIOS (or stored in the Windows registry) a free tool called ProduKey from Nirsoft should be able to retrieve it.

 

ProduKey

https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

 

You will still need to obtain a COEM version of Windows 7 installation media, or obtain recovery media from Lenovo in order to reinstall.

 

 

Good Luck,

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