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How To Find Xp Pro Key When Cant Get Into Windows


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7 replies to this topic

#1 pandammonia

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 07:10 AM

Hi all, have recently had windows crash and need to do a repair install, thing is i haven't got the key anywhere. My pc came with windows installed and im using a friends disc to access recovery console. However ive read that during repair install ill need my product key, but as i said, its in my pc and i cant boot into windows to get it.
How can i recover my key?
I have a full backup done with nero, surely that would have my key on it, could i use my friends key temporarily to get back into wondows and the when i put my back-up on, will it put my real genuine key on?

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#2 acklan

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 07:22 PM

The only way to obtain the product, that I am aware of, is to either enter the registry while the OS is still accessible, or run a program like MagicalJellyBean or Belarc. They will reveal the product keys.
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#3 pandammonia

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 07:10 AM

I have no access to windows though.

#4 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 09:26 AM

Several things.

have recently had windows crash and need to do a repair install

A repair install will not require reactivation. Perhaps you mean a clean install? Even with a clean install you may not need to reactivate, it depends upon what type of computer you have, and what type of license you originally purchased with the computer, assuming that this is a legitamite copy of Windows. It is possible that what you have is not legit, as all licenses will come with a sticker that should be on the side, rear or bottom of your computer that contains the 25 digit license number.

Installing using your friends disk may not work even if you have your license number, as it must be an EXACT copy of your original version of XP.

However, all of that being said, you could slave the hard drive of your computer into a working computer and then navigate to and save
\Windows\system32\WPA.DBL
After reinstalling Windows, rename your new wpa.dbl to wpanew.dbl and copy and paste your WPA.DBL file in it's place. You might be able to skip reactivation. But maybe not. I would give this a 10% chance of success in your case. But it may be your only hope without your original disk and without a license.
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#5 mommabear

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 09:47 AM

I just found this and it might work. This is from the help file in the application:

If your system failed to boot up, please follow the steps shown below:
1) Create any bootable CD or USB flash drive to boot from. Use WinPE or BartPE for example.
2) Boot the dead system from this drive.
3) Find and copy the registry file C:\WINDOWS\System32\Config\software to anUSB or Floppy drive. Assumed that C:\WINDOWS is your Windows directory.
4) Run PWCDKEY in the manual recovery mode and enter the full path to the saved registry file.

Note. Sometimes a system does not start because of corruption in the registry. When you try to start or restart your Windows, you may receive the following error message:
Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate
So you need to refer to

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q307545
article to fix the problem first.


If that doesn't work, it also appears that it will allow you to browse to another location to search for the key, using manual. Take your backup to the friend's computer and try this application and see if it will search the cd for your key.

Often you have to access your Windows or Office license (CD) keys in order to install/reinstall the software or to find out if it's legally purchased. Passcape Win CD Keys is a program that can help you recover lost CD keys for the currently installed Microsoft products: Windows, Office, Visual Studio, FrontPage, OneNote, Visio, Money, SQL and other products (not listed here) that store their keys in the Windows registry.

Features
Recover ALL CD keys stored in the Windows Registry;
Choose between two (automatic and manual) recovery modes;
Export keys to text, html or excel files;
Prevent an unauthorized program execution;
Decrypt CD keys directly from Windows registry files. If your system is unbootable, just copy 'Software' registry file to a floppy or flash drive and then feed it to PWCDKEY;...

http://www.passcape.com/html/pwcdkey.html


I've just installed it to trial test it. It does recover the first 4 digits on automatic. So I'm assuming it will also do it on manual. So you can try this for free to see if it will work for you before deciding to buy it. You don't say exactly what kind of backup you have, but if it contains the system files or a copy of your registry, you should be able to find it.

#6 acklan

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 02:43 PM

Hi all, have recently had windows crash and need to do a repair install, thing is i haven't got the key anywhere. My pc came with windows installed and im using a friends disc to access recovery console. However ive read that during repair install ill need my product key, but as i said, its in my pc and i cant boot into windows to get it.
How can i recover my key?
I have a full backup done with nero, surely that would have my key on it, could i use my friends key temporarily to get back into wondows and the when i put my back-up on, will it put my real genuine key on?

I am sure you have a reason? You never said why you do not use your "Full Backup" to reconstitute your computer's operating system? Even if you only had a partially working OS you could then recover your Key.
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#7 arcman

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 03:52 PM

If you have a full copy of XP and a working computer with an internet connection and a CD burner you can make a boot cd that will have a tool you can use to extract your key.

Disk is called the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, based off of the Bart's PE boot disk project. Follow the build instructions on the site to create the CD. Once you have it booted the tool will be called Keyfinder PE.

http://www.ubcd4win.com
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#8 pandammonia

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 02:51 AM

Thanks all for your help. Will get to work trying your suggestions.
Acklan- i would love to use my back-up but its hard to re-install it when i cant even access windows.




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