Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-24-2018
Location: PS
Views: 687
Message 1 of 4

How to recover my Windows 7 activation key

Hello everybody,


I would like to ask for a help for what regards recovering the activation key for the preinstalled Windows 7.  My laptop is ThinkPad E540 and recently I had problems in accessing Windows in it so I formatted it and therefore I am not able to reactivate Windows 7. Is there a way for retrieving it through the serial number ?. Thank you very much.


Best regards,


Community Moderator
Community Moderator
Posts: 4,286
Registered: ‎11-18-2012
Location: US
Views: 666
Message 2 of 4

Re: How to recover my Windows 7 activation key

Welcome to the Lenovo Community !


If Windows 7 came pre-installed then there should be a Certificate of Authenticity sticker on the bottom of the laptop which will have your activation license key printed on it.  If it is not on the bottom of the machine then remove the battery and check the battery compartment.  Otherwise retrieving the license key using the serial number is not an option.

♦ Find a post helpful? Thank that member by clicking on the ☆Star☆ below
     to award them a Kudo.
♦ Posting a problem and a reply is helpful and it answers your question,
     please mark it as an "Accept As Solution"
♦ I'm not a Lenovo employee, just a volunteer geek who likes to help folks.
Sorry, I don't read unsolicited Private Messages. If you have an issue, posting in     the appropriate forum is the best way to get assistance.

Communities:    English English    Deutsche Deutsche     Español Español     Portugues Portugues     Russian flag Русскоязычное

Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 6,994
Registered: ‎01-13-2008
Location: US
Views: 640
Message 3 of 4

Re: How to recover my Windows 7 activation key

The way I read the E540 base spec, the only Win 7 preloads were via downgrade rights from 8.x.  In that case there won't be a Win 7 CoA sticker (IIRC...)


You can install 8.1 and it will (I think...) activate automatically.  If you want to activate '7 via your downgrade rights, it's possible but requires MS's bizarre procedure:


Try to activate with a key that's already in use on some other machine. That will fail.  It has to be a real Pro key to get you far enough into the process to be offered phone activation.  It has to be alreay in use to avoid having it be "consumed" by this activation.


They've edited those instructions to make it even less clear how to do it Smiley Sad


[edit to add] The couple of times I've done a downgrade activation to 7 Proon newer ThinkPads I just used the OEM key on the sticker on my T420.  Activated straight away with no complaints - so it was easier than described.  Don't know if that was because it was a Lenovo OEM key or ???  If you have access to such, give that a try.


Another option is to order '7 media from support.  It should activate automatically.  They will charge for it.




The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.

The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may contribute and benefit. ... GeezBlog


  Communities:   English    Deutsch    Español    Português    Русскоязычное    Česká    Slovenská    Українська   Polski    Moto English

Posts: 322
Registered: ‎04-18-2014
Location: GB
Views: 586
Message 4 of 4

Re: How to recover my Windows 7 activation key

Another option is to just buy a key from eBay. A quick search in the UK saw the cheapest Windows Pro key being sold for £3.88 or best offer.


If you are under warranty, you can also ask Lenovo to help as they can remote in and check your licence details as well as activate it (I've done this before on an X series ThinkPad).

I do not work for Lenovo, I only provide suggestions based on my personal experience and willingness to help others as a volunteer.

If my reply helps you in any way, press the star on the left to give Kudos.
If your question is answered, you can click on Accept as Solution.

Check out current deals!

Shop current deals

Top Kudoed Authors