My laptop crashed and I have to reinstall windows 7. I've managed to format my harddrive and get windows 7 to the installation phase but I cannot read my product key off the label. Is there any way I can retrieve this from Microsoft as I cannot get it from the laptop itself?
If the disk is Microsoft, I don't think so. If the disk came with the laptop, It may be possible that the manufacturer of the laptop may be able to help...don't know. As a future safeguard I would recommend doing as I do, and keep a complete record of all software licenses either on a separate drive from the OS, or if you have a good place to keep it, a hard copy record.
Another thought just occurred to me. I have sometimes been able to scan faded receipts using the inverse color setting on my printer. Don't know if your's has that, but if it is possible to scan, you might be able to adjust the brightness and contrast so that it is legible.
EDIT: Another method that might work, is to buy a roll of infrared film for your camera and shoot a picture of the label. That will sometimes make things more legible also.