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Can I get my XP key somehow?

By jimflint1 · 9 replies
Jan 29, 2011
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  1. I was having many problems so I tried a repair install of XP which wasn't finishing. Then I stupidly decided to do a clean reinstall of XP. However, when I got to the point of typing in the key, it wasn't where I thought I had put it. Now, I'm stuck on that screen. I can neither go back or forward. Is there a way to get the key from the point I'm at now? Or, if not, how should I get out of this situation?
  2. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    The best way is to contact Microsoft Support. They should be willing to mail you with a replacement key in about a week. You have to have the install CD/s with you when you contact them as they needed the numbers off the inner ring of the CD so that they can provide the correct product key. Of course this only applies to genuine MS product and not to a recovery CD from any OEM. In that case contact the OEM (Dell/HP/Compaq or whoever it may be).
  3. jimflint1

    jimflint1 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 212

    By "inner ring" do you mean the little clear ring in the middle of the cd? Because nothing is written there on the disk I have. Mine does have something written on the big section of the cd that says "Microsoft products are licensed to OEMs by Microsoft Licensing Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation." After that it gives a part number. I didn't get this OS from Dell, HP or anyone like that. I think I originally ordered it from MWave, Newegg, or someplace like that, but that was years ago, so things are kind of fuzzy.
  4. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    I think that's it.
  5. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,031   +53

    >jimflint1-- So you have a MS system disc, which you used to install windows to the point where it asks you to enter the product key, but you can't remember it ?
    There's no way around that, the system needs it to carry on.
    If you can't find it, then you will have to call MS, they will issue you with a new product key, but be aware,~ it will cost, almost the same as buying a new retail Windows OS from a shop or dealer.
    In the UK that's £68. If you have a real MS CD, you don't need another one, the product key is the valuable part, not the disc. ( If it was me, I would start looking around the house for the old product key you had, it's £68 cheaper........... )
  6. jimflint1

    jimflint1 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 212

    In reading and thinking about some of the original responses, I'm thinking I may have bought an OEM copy. It came with a key though, because I had to have typed it in originally when I built the computer. But I have torn up the room where I have all my computer stuff looking for it and have been unable to turn it up. I may have to buy a new OS after all. I've also tried Googling it, but though I found some keys for XP professional, was unable to turn up a home addition key. I tried the professional key just to see what would happen and was rejected. Which is probably just as well anyway since it was undoubtedly pirated.
  7. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,031   +53

    Probably not a great idea to look for a key on the 'net, even if you get one that seems to let you install XP, you won't get anywhere with updates from MS.
    Note that it's just the product key you need, it's the code on the sticker, OEM version is fine, you will have got a genuine key and sticker for your pc's case, when you bought it. The disc you use does not have to be the one you bought, it can be a borrowed one, but it must be the same type of Windows, as the product key was issued for. (ie Home, Pro). You can't use a 'Home' key with a 'Pro' XP. It's the Key that is valuable, not the disc, that's just one way of getting the code onto your hard drive. (In the future it may well be via download only.) When I buy anything with a 'key', I take a photo, and write it down in a diary too, just in case......
  8. sKEEz

    sKEEz TS Rookie

    You can navigate to the following directory and file on the XP install disk. "\I386\winnt.sif" Open the winnt.sif file with notpad.exe and you will see your code listed.
  9. doroty74

    doroty74 TS Rookie

    I respectfully disagree with who stated that you need to contact the microsoft support to know your own product key installed on your system. and the reason is simple, microsoft itself opened up in terms of releases about how to decrypt a product key likely to avoid to be contacted. there's plenty of free apps to do that and personally I recommend either Xp Key Viewer for its support to 64 bits version as well or even better Find My Windows Key because it's sort of universal and already supports windows 8
  10. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,031   +53

    Hi all, If you install 'Speccy' by Piriform, it finds and reports your own product key, but there are a few programs that will do the same. Of course you have to have Windows installed to see it !!

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