If any windows user wants to reinstall windows then to activate it, windows key is very important. Windows key is stored in windows in some directory, but it’s not easy to recover it. You can find product key in windows registry, but it’s not easy to decode it. So we need some help.
Windows key is stored in registry editor in key value pair, it is stored in binary format which normal user can’t read. Usually Microsoft stores product keys in great lengths which user can’t understand. Microsoft don’t want anybody to re-use a key from an old computer.
You can recover windows key even if you can’t boot up to windows. You just need to access hard disk in which windows is stored.
The product key is stored at one of the following three places:-
- Stored in software on PC:- Windows key is stored in registry of your PC/Laptop. You can extract this product key and re-enter it many times as you want. But it’s not easy, you have to use some software or need some code to extract it. Read further to know about this software.
- Printed on the sticker:- In some PCs product key is printed on a certificate of authenticity(COA) of you PC, which is generally present on back side of your PC
- Embedded in UEFI Firmware:- In some modern laptops/notebooks product key is embedded in your BIOS. So if a user reinstalls OS, it will automatically activate if version of OS is same. In this case you dosent need to know the product key
In 2nd and 3rd case you dosent need to do any extra task for activation when you reinstall your OS.
There are various software available on net from which you can extract product key.
Find key without using any software
In some forums there is also a code given from which you can easily extract product key
Code goes like this
Dim objshell,path,DigitalID, Result
Set objshell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
‘Set registry key path
Path = “HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\”
‘Registry key value
DigitalID = objshell.RegRead(Path & “DigitalProductId”)
‘Get ProductName, ProductID, ProductKey
ProductName = “Product Name: ” & objshell.RegRead(Path & “ProductName”)
ProductID = “Product ID: ” & objshell.RegRead(Path & “ProductID”)
ProductKey = “Installed Key: ” & ConvertToKey(DigitalID)
ProductData = ProductName & vbNewLine & ProductID & vbNewLine & ProductKey
‘Show messbox if save to a file
If vbYes = MsgBox(ProductData & vblf & vblf & “Save to a file?”, vbYesNo + vbQuestion, “BackUp Windows Key Information”) then
‘Convert binary to chars
Const KeyOffset = 52
Dim isWin8, Maps, i, j, Current, KeyOutput, Last, keypart1, insert
‘Check if OS is Windows 8
isWin8 = (Key(66) \ 6) And 1
Key(66) = (Key(66) And &HF7) Or ((isWin8 And 2) * 4)
i = 24
Maps = “BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789”
j = 14
Current = Current* 256
Current = Key(j + KeyOffset) + Current
Key(j + KeyOffset) = (Current \ 24)
Current=Current Mod 24
j = j -1
Loop While j >= 0
i = i -1
KeyOutput = Mid(Maps,Current+ 1, 1) & KeyOutput
Last = Current
Loop While i >= 0
keypart1 = Mid(KeyOutput, 2, Last)
insert = “N”
KeyOutput = Replace(KeyOutput, keypart1, keypart1 & insert, 2, 1, 0)
If Last = 0 Then KeyOutput = insert & KeyOutput
ConvertToKey = Mid(KeyOutput, 1, 5) & “-” & Mid(KeyOutput, 6, 5) & “-” & Mid(KeyOutput, 11, 5) & “-” & Mid(KeyOutput, 16, 5) & “-” & Mid(KeyOutput, 21, 5)
‘Save data to a file
Dim fso, fName, txt,objshell,UserName
Set objshell = CreateObject(“wscript.shell”)
‘Get current user name
UserName = objshell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings(“%UserName%”)
‘Create a text file on desktop
fName = “C:\Users\” & UserName & “\Desktop\WindowsKeyInfo.txt”
Set fso = CreateObject(“Scripting.FileSystemObject”)
Set txt = fso.CreateTextFile(fName)
Copy the code in notepad and save file as .vbs extension. It will create a file on desktop containing product key, ID and version of OS.
That’s it, so easy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here are some screenshots
Another easy way is to download Microsoft product key to recover windows key
It is known as the best software third party utility to know product key. It is free utility and really very useful. Some antivirus may detect it as false utility but you have ignore this warning
You can download this software from filehippo.com
Just extract it and run it and you will find all product keys on your PC.