Looking for a safe and legal place to get Windows 7e


Standard Member
For one reason or ten I am looking at rewinding my HP laptop to windows 7 but am having a nightmare trying to find a source for the software (and product key) which won't come back to bite me in the ar*e. I bought the laptop with Windows 7 on board with the operating system on a partition.

I was eventually persuaded to take up Microsofts offer to upgrade, free, to Windows 10. I have now decided, for a number of reaons, to go back to Windows 7, which I legally bought of course when I bought the laptop.

No, Microsoft tell me I can no long do this as I have left it too long, the partition is no longer useable and Windows 7 is no longer being sold.

There are NUMEROUS online adverts for Windows 7 but I no longer know which ones I can trust and the vast majority are for online transfers, not cd based.

I want to do it safely and am happy to pay, has anyone got any ideas how, where and when? ALL I need is a legal and working copy of Windows 7 software, with product key.

Oh, the product key on my laptop, which was of course for Windows 7, is no longer valid as it has been 'addopted' by windows 10 when the free update was done !! Thank you Microsoft!!

Many thanks for any help and advice.


Distinguished Member
Windows 7 security updates finish at the end of next year so I hope this is either a a short term solution or you're not using it for internet stuff.

As far as I'm aware the only way to get a copy of Windows 7 at this point that complies with the original licence agreement is a second hand boxed copy.

It may also be legal to use a second hand OEM copy (based on a European court ruling) but finding reputable resellers can be tricky, a lot of the marketplace sites (the adverts you see) have been shown to only put minimal effort into determining the source of the keys they buy, so news stories about keys bought with stolen credit cards and the like are common (admittedly not relevent for Windows 7, but I wouldn't want to support a site like that).

I don't know of any of the normal computing shops which participate in that market. Possibly it's still a legal grey area, possibly the cost of doing business responsibly would be too much to be competitive.

Are the issues you're having ones that can be worked around, or is it something like poor Windows 10 drivers for your hardware?


Standard Member
Thanks for your interest and reply :) Bearing in mind that I have been a user since the days of the ZX81 and Spectrum ........... upgrading PC's and operating systems as time went on: I have recently accepted Microsoft's offer to upgrade free I have gradually discovered that a number of strategy war games I have been using for some years will not work on Windows 10. Bearing in mind that most of my software (all in fact) is based on windows 98 upwards Windows 10 has been the first upgrade that prevents me using them.

I finally decided that the easiest thing to do to save lots of constant adjustments and configurations to Windows 10 was to go back to 7, which seems to run everything without a problem.

I can appreciate that 10 is a cracking OS for the majority of users but the fact is that for me it's a disaster. Hence my question.

The laptop I use was issued with 7 but of course the partition with the backup on has helpfully been removed by 10. :-(


Distinguished Member
Bearing in mind that most of my software (all in fact) is based on windows 98 upwards Windows 10 has been the first upgrade that prevents me using them.
I'm also a gamer and I haven't noticed Windows 10 having a particularly big impact on old games compared to other versions. I think you've just been unlucky with your particular set of software.

Any twenty year old Mac OS program or a 20 year old phone app would not run at all on modern hardware, while plenty of Windows 98 games will still run on Windows in 2018.

Do you have a disc for any older versions of Windows? If so then you could run them in a virtual machine and play the game on Windows 10 that way.


Active Member
You can still download windows 7 OEM but not from the Microsoft download centre. You can get it from Heidoc.net using the Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool available.

The one thing I cannot say is if your original activation key on the green sticker will still work - some people say that once you upgrade to Windows 10 the original licence is inactivated and converted to a windows 10 digital licence

Download the tool and install the downloader and run it, you can then access windows 7 files. Choose the same windows version as you originally had. Install it and then try the product code on the green Microsoft security sticker underneath the laptop to activate it. You used to be able to buy Windows 7 activation keys from eBay, these came from decommissioned PC from the big brands Fujitsu etc. It may be worth having another look
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