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How to Read Windows 8 BIOS Key from Windows 7


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#1 TheWizardOfAhhs

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 07:23 PM

I have a couple of PC's that were ordered with windows 7 Pro Preloaded.  They came with a WIndows 8.1 System Disk (Dell).

I would like to read the BIOS embedded Windows 8.1 Key.

 

All of the ones that work under windows 8, hang under windows 7.

 

I have tried:

 

pkeyuibx.exe

 

RWEverything

 

pkeyui.exe

 

Any suggestions?


Edited by hamluis, 17 June 2017 - 08:29 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to Win 8 - Hamluis.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 07:29 PM

If the computer has the key embedded in firmware you can pull it using produkey or firmwaretablesView. Look under the table named MSDM

 

FirmwareTablesView.png


Edited by JohnC_21, 28 July 2015 - 07:30 PM.


#3 TheWizardOfAhhs

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 07:54 PM

The Firmware Table View works fine as long as windows 8 is loaded.  the x64 version crashes in windows 7.

Produkey also works in windows 8, but only returns the windows 7 key under windows 7.

 

Windows 7 has a key that is different from the embedded BIOS windows 8.1 Key

 

What I am trying to do is read the Windows 8.1 BIOS embedded key from within windows 7 without loading windows 8.1.


Edited by TheWizardOfAhhs, 28 July 2015 - 08:24 PM.


#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 08:25 PM

You can use a live linux disk like Puppy 5.7 Slacko. When you boot to the Puppy desktop, click on the console icon in upper desktop. Type the following commands. A Ubuntu disk would work also slacko-5.7.0-PAE.iso

ls /sys/firmware/acpi/tables    This will give you a list of the tables. MSDM should be listed
hd /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM   This gives a hexdump of the MSDM table.

A person on the board was able to retrieve the key using this command as listed in the below link using Parted Magic.

hexdump -s 56 -e '"MSDM key: " /29 "%s\n"' /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM

http://malwaretips.com/threads/how-to-retrieve-your-windows-8-oem-key-with-linux.28560/



#5 TheWizardOfAhhs

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 03:56 AM

Puppy works fine.  May be a little harder on machines with no optical. tho. Thanks. 



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 07:36 AM

For machines with no Optical use the Puppy iso with Rufus to create a bootable USB flash drive.



#7 TheWizardOfAhhs

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 07:54 PM

A newer version of  firmwaretablesview does the trick now as well.



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 08:09 PM

Thanks for the heads up. Puppy is still good if there is no OS on the hard drive.



#9 jwoods301

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 01:24 AM

I would recommend ShowKeyPlus as well...

 

https://github.com/Superfly-Inc/ShowKeyPlus/releases



#10 Guest_Aaron_Warrior_*

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 02:08 AM

Since the thread is over can someone please explain what a "BIOS Key" is?  Does it have something to do with UEFI?

 

Why does a User need to know what it is?



#11 jwoods301

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 03:06 AM

An explanation -

 

https://www.ghacks.net/2012/11/23/bios-embedded-windows-8-product-keys/



#12 TheWizardOfAhhs

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 11:02 PM

There are many reasons why one might want the BIOS Key (btw bios keys only exist in national brand computers that were shipped with windows 8.0, 8.1 or 10)

It is a valid install key for the windows that was shipped with the machine.  It is also a valid key for use in installing and activating windows 10.

 

Let's say that you got a PC that was shipped with windows 8, but really wanted windows 7 and had a valid windows 7 retail install key and installation media.  

So you install windows 7 on the machine.  It will not take the embedded BIOS Key.

So after you have been using windows 7 for a while and now you want to upgrade to windows 10. 

It would be foolish to use your windows 7 key for this because there is an embedded windows 8 key in BIOS that will do this nicely.

The trouble is that this key only exists in BIOS and you need a special tool to read it.

So the procedure would be extract the BIOS Key, disconnect the internet(important), perform the upgrade to windows 10, then go to 'system' applet from control panel and change the key to the windows 8 BIOS Key before you reconnect the internet to activate

 

Now you can use that  windows 7 key on another machine.  And you can then activate a windows 10 upgrade on that machine with that windows 7 key as well.

 

 

So when I originally asked the question, the only tool that would properly read the BIOS Key on a windows 7 PC was to use the Self booting puppy CD described above.  Firmwaretablesview then modified their code to work under windows 7 and I have been using that to extract the key,

 

However, having just tried the showkey program referenced above, I will use that in the future.  It's a much better written program. 






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