Workstation Computer Windows 7 question


The great thing about this site is that it is filled with a bunch of techy, geeky knowledge that reaches far beyond just cryptocurrencies. So I have a simple question tap that knowledge. So here I go:

I have an HP Workstation computer that I use for Solidworks for 3D modeling and Industrial Design. I would like to put in an SSD drive as the boot drive and use the 2TB drive in it now as a storage drive. I don’t have a copy of Windows 7, but I do have the license information sticker on the machine. So now my question: Where can I get a copy of Windows 7 Professional to install on my new SSD so I can use the license info provided with the machine?

I could torrent it, but not sure about the ethics of that. I do have the license and would not be looking to rip of Microsoft. If this is not possible, I will just go out and purchase a legit copy.

Your insight will be greatly appreciated.



Windows 7 Pro X86 or x64?

I can download it from MSDN and you can use your own license if that helps? I have enough webspace kicking about for you :smile:



If you don’t want to take @AnimoEsto up on his generous offer to get it for you from MSDN, you could download it from Microsoft using their software recovery tool. You just have to input your product key for verification and then it will let you download.

Link to MS Software recovery:


I actually didnt know that link existed :smiley:


Thanks for the response guys! It is x64, but I think I will try to download it from MSDN once I get the SSD ordered (doing my research on them now, will probably pull the trigger in the coming weeks)

@animoesto I will let you know if I take you up on your offer. I will try it first on my end, then consult with you when I have issues (i am a mac guy at heart, but Solidworks REQUIRES a Windows workstation PC…grrr!)

Thanks all!


Noob! :laughing:


@mharter FYI:

If you’re interested, that’s a guide to show you how to install just the system files to the SDD, while keeping the user files on the HDD. I did this recently, it works like a charm.


I have a bad habit of using my way on things, which usually conflicts with the… whats the word… oh right legal/correct way of doing things :stuck_out_tongue: Was going to suggest torrent but I think my skull and crossbones flag can sit this one out.


As long as you torrent a retail version and use your own license I can’t see the issue - you would be compliant


Exactly. I did this many times before I had access to MSDN.


There is two scenarios here.

Your Window licence is tied to the manufacturer OEM (HP).
You can try to use a different image disc (from MSDN or another) to install on your SSD.
If you have your HP restore disc, you can attempt to install to the SSD. But most likely your main drive has a recovery partition in it that the disc connects to.
When you go activate the key (after your MSDN disc install), it will prompt you to say it doesn’t match.
You can attempt to call the number posted to have it activate. Tell them that you got a virus and had to reinstall everything onto your HP. Give them then your HP/Windows key to prove you have a key. They will see from their side that it is a legitimate key. Then they might give an alternative key to you to use.

Look up what’s called “Drive cloning software free”. There are plenty of cloners out there besides the professional Symantic (Ghost cloner).
Cloners will take an image of your current drive and map it onto your SSD. It will retain everything and have the imbedded HP/Windows key to it.
This is how we did it to avoid the reactivation of the key at chain stores for customers buying new bigger drives.

Try the first scenario and see if you get a prompt about using the key. I haven’t done something like this in a while though. Then let us know.

Source: I’m an IT-contractor at Microsoft. NO I cannot get you a free key.

@AnimoEsto A retail image version might work. But most the OEMs (HP, Samsung, Lenovo, and so on) have specific keys designed to only work with their registered hardware. He will most likely be prompted that it isn’t a valid key and have to call to have it corrected.


I reckon the drive clone option is what I would go for. You might have to reactivate Windows, but that is the only negative outcome of that operation and should be a matter of seconds, if you have a valid licence. Otherwise I have heard google can tell you interesting stories about picokms, or was that the other way around? :wink:


Definitely gonna look at that drive cloning software. The concept sounds absolutely perfect for what I want to do, and the easiest way as well. Much thanks!!


Belarc advisor will give you your keycode from an active windows install.Free

Acronis disk image works good to back up the system and reinstall cost around 60.00
Make the bart boot cd for acronis. back up reinstall to any computer.


Belarc is quite useful. I have used it before when I forgot my non MSDN key. If you need to retrieve your key before reinstalling/uprgrading to an SSD, I definitely recommend this as does the wise @vabchgent. Thanks for mentioning this.


Yea the disk image is nothing, its all about the licence. You can legally use any medium. We have hundreds of win 7 pro disks but usually use USB sticks to install. I have an image of all versions if you get stuck and could easily host one on a 150 Mbps connection from AUS.

With the user files I usually install OS on the SSD. With the spinning disk ready to go the quickest and best way to store your data on the spinner is to press on start then your user name, this takes you to your users mappings (this is not the same as going to c:\users\username). From there cut all folders you want remapped and past to your new location on the spinner. This will instantly remap all your documents, music etc etc and also move them if you already have files on spinner. If you already have your old documents, pictures etc on the spinner in correct location just say yes to merging and your done :-).


I would not recommend cloning from a spinner to a SSD, the partition offsets are setup differently during install and you will never get the performance you should from your SSD. This will also cause excess writes degrading the SSD quicker than it should.


Cool I didnt know this gave product keys. I usually use produkey, works great and gives you office keys too. Can also be used to audit a whole domain :slight_smile:


So I would be better off going with a fresh install on an SSD? Then transferring all of the files and what not that I want to reside on the SSD.

I’m really learning a lot in this thread…thanks all!


Yes 100%. If your going to spend the time and money to install a SSD then give it a clean fresh install. You will have problems for sure if you try clone. SSD to SSD or spinner to spinner is fine but not Spinner to SSD. The other issue is there will more then likely be un-movable blocks towards the end of your partition and the image will not be able to shrink small enough to fit on SSD.

Just leave your spinner unplugged until you have your system up and running on SSD then plug it in and easily remap documents like I said above. If you need to remap any other large folders like for example apple backup folder you can do this using a directory junction.

Happy to help any time, I do this stuff every day :smile: