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HDD with windows 7 installed issues

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So I built a new pc sorta. Some older and used parts etc but regardless its new to me.
Grabbed a old HDD (250gb) popped it in and booted off it to see what it had, It was a windows 7 install with my step dads account and password, It brought back some memories the password hint was done by me and probably the password too. Anyways we cant remember the password as this HDD is atleast 4years old and hasn't been used in 2+years.

So I thought windows recovery by pushing F8. Well turns out unlike with windows 8 were you can go ahead and reinstall windows on windows 7 apparently it still wanted the password...
So that means I cant save that windows 7 install?

I wanted to keep it since its legit from a pre built gateway pc my parents used to have. Regardless I did grab my windows 8 cd that I have and booted from disc, It starts to load then I get "A device has stopped working properly" on a blue screen.
So I took the disc out HDD boots... Disc back, boot from disc, same error. windows 7 seems to be stopping me from erasing it with my windows 8 disc...

I put my ssd into the pc, along with the hdd. booted from disc same error, removed the hdd booted from disc. Installed windows 8 to the ssd just fine.
Put the hdd back in with the disc as boot option #1, ssd as #2, usb #3 and hdd #4. booted from disc. got the same error that "a device has stopped working properly" on a blue screen.

Removed the ssd and the disc. booted off the hdd it works...
Now I figure that I can probably boot the ssd into windows 8 and format the hdd that way then install windows 8 to the hdd?

I am scared of formatting the hdd then having it still not allow me to install windows 8 then I lost a windows 7 install for no reason.

Is there a way I can refresh that hdd? I would really like to keep that windows 7 install and use it my parents want windows 7 more than windows 8 they don't like it. So how can I get that HDD windows 7 to reinstall or refresh. (We don't have the pc case anymore, so the code is gone with it :,( but I do have another pc that has a windows 7 key will that work?)

I was thinking to use my hp pavilion windows 7 key to download a windows 7 install disc and try to refresh the hdd that way?... idk what to do...
post #2 of 15
Maybe I am misunderstanding, but why are you doing Windows recovery? Just boot from your Windows 7 disk\card, pick install, and when it asks you what disk to install it to delete the partitions and start over.
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I do not have a windows 7 disk. Only windows 8.
The hdd will not let me boot from windows 8 disc to wipe the hdd. But the hdd does let me boot off it.

I can probably put the hdd in once booted from a ssd and wipe but I want to keep the windows 7 install and also I want to remove the ssd later and use the hdd with windows 7 and keep windows 7 on that hdd.
Edited by Donvanhugenstyn - 2/23/16 at 12:46pm
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have a hp pavilion with windows 7 key on the side of it. Would that work to download windows 7 from Microsoft? And then to install it?

The hdd I'm trying to reset has windows 7 from a old gateway pc tower. I'm not even sure gateway is in business still but we don't have the case with the windows 7 code anymore.

The hp pavilion is on windows 10 now so the code it has isn't in use probably? Probably has more than 1 use for a single code too?
Edited by Donvanhugenstyn - 2/23/16 at 12:47pm
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donvanhugenstyn View Post

I have a hp pavilion with windows 7 key on the side of it. Would that work to download windows 7 from Microsoft? And then to install it?

The hdd I'm trying to reset has windows 7 from a old gateway pc tower. I'm not even sure gateway is in business still but we don't have the case with the windows 7 code anymore.

The hp pavilion is on windows 10 now so the code it has isn't in use probably? Probably has more than 1 use for a single code too?

Probably not, but it won't matter because you do not need a CD key to boot the Windows 7 installer. You need a CD key to actually install of course but you should be able to download the Windows 7 install files, make a bootable install drive on a USB stick or CD, and then boot to it and delete the partition(s).
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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce65 View Post

Probably not, but it won't matter because you do not need a CD key to boot the Windows 7 installer. You need a CD key to actually install of course but you should be able to download the Windows 7 install files, make a bootable install drive on a USB stick or CD, and then boot to it and delete the partition(s).

So you are saying that because its already been installed that to do a fresh install should not be a problem because the key was already input before?
That would be awesome. I will grab a windows 7 download and report back if I am successful.

I am not very hopeful because like I said I cant do F8 recovery and re install without password, and when I try to boot a windows 8 disc it tells me the hdd stopped working.
Even if I had the ssd and the hdd plugged in when I boot from disc the hdd stops working. Yet I can boot from the hdd and I let it sit nothing happens it doesn't stop working its like they know theres a password and think im a thief or something... Its very frustrating even a thief should be allowed to wipe the data and re install windows jeeze lol.

Question. Can I boot from the disc and safely plug in sata? I will plug in the power, turn the pc on, boot from disc and once it loads plug the sata into the hdd. or is that a bad idea? will it still detect the hdd that way? because if I plug the sata in first it wont let me boot from disc... it shuts off and stops me with a "device has stopped working" error.
post #7 of 15
Well no, you said Windows 8 would not allow you to wipe the disk, this will wipe the disk.
Here's the thing. You have a computer that you built. That computer does not have a legit windows 7 license. You also have an old HDD that has a Windows 7 installation on it. It may have at one point contained a legit Windows 7 license. You can't just take a HDD with Windows installed on it and pop it into a completely different computer, it won't work. You're going to have to do a Windows installation on that drive one way or another (this isn't strictly 100% true but it is true enough for our purposes). You expressed concern about "losing" this Windows installation but it is already lost, you can't use it.
This is just from a technical standpoint and doesn't even begin to address the licensing. As far as the licensing goes, we can assist with technical things but the licensing is your responsibility. With that said, the most common licensing model is for it to be tied to the machine (which MS usually defines as being the motherboard). So in other words, even if that HDD has a legit Windows 7 license and even if you are no longer using the computer it was originally installed on, the licensing agreement most likely prohibits you from transferring it to another machine. So regardless of how you go about installing Windows, you are still going to have to get your hands on a license.
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post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well that's annoying considering if I had the password it would work..
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Is there a way I can crack or remove the password?
I'll use Google later today because if I can find out, change or remove the password my issues are solved.
post #10 of 15
Cracking the password has nothing to do with it. You can't just take a hard drive with a Windows 7 on it, install it in a completely different machine, and expect it to boot. It won't. Nor will the license authenticate. Good luck though.
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