Windows Product Key

  morddwyd 21:20 29 Apr 2013

The sticker on my laptop has become unreadable and I need the product key.

I know there's a relatively easy way of extracting it from the registry, but I can't for the life of me remember it!

Can somebody give me a steer please?

  sidecar sid 21:52 29 Apr 2013
  lotvic 22:17 29 Apr 2013

What make is the laptop? and from what type of DVD are you going to reinstall? because if using (most of the big) manufacturers DVD's you do not need the product key. You will also not need a key if you perform a system recovery.

Also note that the individual product key on the sticker on bottom of laptop is different to the mass one used for pre-activated oem factory installs. The pre-activated oem factory key cannot be used for an ordinary install as it won't be accepted AFAIK

This thread on HP has good info on what end users are faced with when trying to install with the 'mass' oem factory key. scroll down to posts halfway down.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:31 29 Apr 2013

Make an image of the drive using something like acronis

Its quicker to restore a working image than reinstall windows, all update and programs. You will not need to worry about the key or reactivating windows.

  morddwyd 09:54 30 Apr 2013


sidecar sid has it, though I'm not at all sure how the make of the laptop is relevant, or an Acronis backup!

For the, SIW still does it.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:06 30 Apr 2013

The key found by SIW is (as stated earlier)a mass product install key from the manufacturer's and will not match what was on your sticker.

Making an image of your disk with Acronis circumvents the need for a key as you just restore the image (similar to a factory reset but to the date you made the image) thus no need to worry about reinstalling everything from scratch.

  lotvic 10:21 30 Apr 2013

Relevant because: As per Fruit Bat /\0/\ says at 10:06AM

  rdave13 17:16 30 Apr 2013

And MagicalJellyBean won't find the OEM key on the sticker either.

  morddwyd 20:08 30 Apr 2013

"Relevant because: As per Fruit Bat /\0/\ says at 10:06AM"

Still not sure of the relevance.

I have my regular father and grandfather Acronis images.

Are you saying I can extract my key from an Acronis Image, or, as I suspect, there is no way of recovering this information?

  lotvic 21:17 30 Apr 2013

If the key found by SIW and/or MagicalJellyBean is the mass factory pre-activated product key then it is a different key to the one on the sticker that you can no longer read. So the Product Key that was on Sticker is lost forever if you can't read it.

If at some time in past the op sys has been reinstalled using the key on the sticker then they will match. So SIW and/or MagicalJellyBean will retrieve it from your working installation on C: drive

My apologies for assuming that your reason for wanting the product key was for re-installation purposes, obviously if you have Acronis images you have no need to install from dvd.

  morddwyd 08:33 01 May 2013


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