Okay, so I am trying to work on a coworkers computer, and I am having a hard time acquiring the license for a clean Windows 7 installer. When I go to Microsoft's website it asks for a product key, in which I input the product key located on the sticker on the underside of the laptop, it then gives me an error telling me that since Windows 7 was pre-installed on the laptop previously, I have to contact the laptop manufacturer to obtain this installer. Now I've read in several forums that acquiring these keys from the manufacturers is hard to get, if at all. Do I have any other options to downloading a clean Win7 installer without contacting Sony, or downloading an illegal copy? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Windows 7 Clean Install on Sony Vaio
Posted 11 May 2018 - 01:28 AM
If this is a computer owned by your co worker and used for their own personal use then we are happy to help.
However if its a company owned computer then it would be wise to consult the company's IT department or IT specialist.
If its a computer used privately then as the operating system was preinstalled the installation disc can be obtained , usually,( for a fee) from the manufacturer. The product serial code often to be found on the certificate of authenticity affixed to the base or side of the computer case can be used although it is rarely necessary if the often hidden "Recovery Partition" is used to format and reinstall the operating system.
The keystrokes required to access the Recovery Partition will be specified in the owners manual, but if for any reason that is not available to you it can usually be downloaded from the manufacturer's website ( or provide us with the manufacture's name, the model number and serial number and we will look it up for you.
using the recovery partition in this way will clear all data from the computer IE all documents, photos, music settings etc will be gone, so do make sure all important stuff is safely backed up with multiple copies before starting.
You co worker should have made a Win 7 recovery disc or system image so using this system image is an alternative to the above and will likely retain documents and the like up to the date the system image was created.
Post back if you need further directions or information on any of this.
Posted 11 May 2018 - 11:12 PM
Thanks for the feedback, wanted to inject some more information on the situation to help you better assist me, so for starters...
1. It is a personal computer of my co worker
2. My coworker does not have a Win7 disc or image
3. And all important documents or information is saved to their external drives and on clouds, so no worry in losing any or all data...
Which leads me to my next part...
So the initial problem with the system, is that it was pre-loaded with THREE networking softwares. As with anti-virus software, these kinds of programs clash with each other, or so it seemed. I tried disabling all of them, uninstalling them, making changes to each ones firewall, as well as Windows firewall, and to no avail. Other people I spoke with were also baffled by this.
Firstly, I'm not sure how they got away with packaging the software on the computer this way,
Second, my coworker didn't have any problems with the computer the first couple of months,
And lastly, even after several factory restores, the problem persisted.
I, as well as many others, believed that a clean install of a Windows program would fix the problem...
And it did...
I clean installed Windows 10 on the laptop, and it would connect to the internet fine, could download anything you wanted or needed, and browse the internet to your hearts content.
Problem with this is the laptop is fairly old, it has 4GB RAM with an older Intel CPU. Windows 10 runs sluggishly slow.
So now of course you see, that I know longer have access to the Recovery Partition as I deleted all the partitions to clean install Windows 10, and of course correct me if I am wrong, but using the Recovery Partition would have just factory restored it anyhow, correct?
Posted 12 May 2018 - 10:21 AM
OK all understood.
Do you wish to revert to Win 7 on this machine or are you happy to continue with Win 10?
Posted 12 May 2018 - 08:30 PM
Being as slow as Win10 runs on the machine I'd like a way to clean install Win7, but that's where I am at a loss. It seems unless I can acquire a new license then I am stuck repeatedly restoring the machine to factory settings which now is with Windows 10. So I'm kinda at a loss.
(Also wanted to point out, that while my coworker would love this machine to be in working order, there are no expectations that this gets fixed. See, I am working to get my A+ Certification and they provided this PC to me as practice. Basically, if I can't get it working for them, which I would prefer, then it would be mine to tinker with. I greatly appreciate the gesture, which is why I would much rather make it a working computer for them. Any further help would be greatly appreciated)
I've even thought that maybe later down the road closer to the exam, I might even be willing to purchase a newer CPU and/or expanding the RAM if at all possible just to run Win10. That being said, I have heard that Vaios are not the easiest to work on.
So anyway, in the meantime if I can find a way to clean install Win7, that's what I would prefer.
Posted 13 May 2018 - 03:05 AM
OK all understood.
I will provide the solution to your expressed requirement at the end of this post...... However here are some thoughts on the information you have provided so far.
1 You told us that the computer when new worked just fine in its "out of the box factory condition running Win 7 but after a few months problems developed and it ceased to work properly.....Logic would suggest therefore that restoring the computer to its "out of the box factory condition" would enable the computer to work properly again, yet you mention that you have performed this a number of times but without beneficial effect.... logic would therefore suggest that something happened in the first few months of its life to cause the problem.......or the Restore to factory was not completed properly or a hardware error became manifest. On the balance of probabilities its unlikely to be a hardware fault as the clean installation of Win 10 provides the functionality you require but with a lack of speed.
2 The fact that no one seems to have made a system image of the original Win 7 installation or even a system repair disc is a worrying feature, as these steps are very important ones that should never be overlooked. Had a disc image using either native Windows tools or third party tools ( Macrium Reflect Free version etc) then the machine could be up and running again correctly in less time than it takes to walk the dog!
3 You mention that 3 networking softwares were installed as part of the manufacturers pre installed package and you believe that this may be at the root of the problems.... however the computer worked well with the original installation for a few months, and this would tend to suggest that the 3 networking softwares are not necessarily prime suspects. You have not told us what 3 networking softwares were installed (their names and details etc, and the reasons/evidence you suspect them of causing the issues)
4 We have asked you to tell us the model number and details of the computer, (for further assistance) but you have not shared this information with us ...so we do not know what computer it is.... a laptop or an "all in one" etc....but it is recommended that before you do anything else you create a disc image or two, keep them safe (verified) on removable media and create a bootable media for accessing the disc image in the event that your machine will not boot.... This will enable you to at least restore the computer back to its existing working but slow Win 10 state should further mishaps occur. You would also be wise to visit the manufacturers website and download and keep safe on removable media the appropriate drivers for your computer for both win 7 and win 10 ( be sure to download the correct drivers as often the 32 bit versions are different to the 64 bit versions.
4a When it comes to installing the drivers first make sure that you have installed your anti virus and that your firewall is set to "on" then install the chipset driver, second the video driver and then check that your network driver is working satisfactorily if not install the network driver for ethernet or wi fi as appropriate, you can then update your anti virus....
Do not at any time allow access to the Internet ( even for a moment) without your anti virus and firewall being operative)
5 If you want to restore your computer to its working factory out of the box state then contact the manufacturer and ask for the installation disc(s) almost certainly they will make a charge, but do remember that Win 7 is only being supported with secuity updates until 2020 when all support will cease.
6 If you want to perform a clean install of Win 7 then you will need to buy the disc and licence, you may be able to find them on well known internet auction sites but please do your research, most thoroughly and carefully, (check the COA) and ensure that you are buying a legal, bona fide, correctly licenced product, suitable for your needs as regrettably there are some unreliable folks about!
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