How To-Find a lost Windows product key.

September 29, 2007

How To-Find a lost Windows product key.

Help I lost my product key and can’t reinstall. If you lost your Windows product key, or maybe you bough your computer with Windows pre-installed with no install CD with a product key sticker on it. In order for you to install reinstall or upgrade to Microsoft Windows you need to have access to the Windows Product Key for that version of the Windows OS (operating system).

Typically your Windows product key can be found on a sticker on the installation CD case or on a certificate of authenticity card. You can also find the product key on a small Microsoft sticker on the outside back of your computers case.

If you lose you Windows product key or you no longer have access to the product key, you will effectively lose your Windows licence if you ever need to re-install or upgrade the OS (operating system). These step will help you find you Windows product key. Remember to come back to WebTechGeek.com for more how to’s!

The Steps: A-B-C

There are several methods you can use to uncover your lost product key for the version of Windows that you currently have installed on your PC.

A. For older versions of Windows you can extract the product key from the Windows Registry. Click on the Start button > on the menu click on Run and then type regedit and press enter or click on OK.

For Windows 95 and Windows 98, browse to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ProductID

For Windows NT 4.0, browse to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProductID

B. Software: there are some freeware software programs that can help you:

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder: One of the best free tool for this task. In addition to finding and identifying product keys for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP, it can also uncover product keys for installed versions of Microsoft Office.

ROCKXP: is a free program that lets your retrieve and change your Windows XP Product Key.

Windows Key Finders: This is actually a group of tools that can be used for unearthing product keys for different versions of Windows.

C. Make sure you write down your Windows product key and put it in a very safe place for future reference. Remember to come back to WebTechGeek.com for more how to’s!

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