Is there anyway I can use the key on the label that came with my computer to reinstall the operating system?

by on March 21, 2013

Q: I am purchasing a Dell Latitude E4300 from my school at the end of the year. They are currently using volume licensing, and the laptop has Windows 7 Pro. When I purchase the laptop, it will not have an operating system once the licensing expires. The label on the bottom says the OEM was Windows Vista Business. Isn’t there a way to reinstall this operating system? The price for the laptop should be excellent, if not free. But I do not want to purchase software if I don’t need to. Thank you!

4 Responses to “Is there anyway I can use the key on the label that came with my computer to reinstall the operating system?”

    Hi Mrs.Beth! There are a few different ways to go about this….
    1. You could ask the school/The School’s IT Department if they can re-load the computer for you at some point and re-install the Key for you.
    2. You could ask them if they can provide you with the key as your computer needs to be rebuilt and you want to keep Windows 7.
    3. You could install a program such as BelArc Advisor and run an audit on your computer. This should provide you with any installation keys that have been used on your computer.

    Keep in mind that the third option could be viewed as theft. You should try to get the school to allow you to use the key legally and according to Microsoft’s licensing agreements.



    Basically, I am the IT department. As I said, we are a small school. I keep things running that trained people have put in place.I have very little IT training.
    As I understand it, the key will only work until the volume licensing expires in August. Then it will start having errors that say my copy of Windows 7 is not genuine. That is what happened last year when our licensing ran out.


      Hi Mrs. Beth – I have never heard of an installed volume license copy expiring. From my past experience with XP, Win7, when your volume license/MSDN/Open License contract expires your software continues to work but Microsoft will no longer provide you with support or issue you any further version updates to your software (Ex. You get the latest copy of Windows 8 when it comes out).

      You can view more information about what is available to you after your licensing contract expires here.

      Your best bet though might be to call Microsoft licensing to ask this question and find out for sure. If you do call and MS says something different please let me know, I would appreciate it. Microsoft Licensing is one of the hardest things to understand and keep up to date on.

      Thank you,

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