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ZorkFoxfire

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This is my first time posting. *waves to everyone on the board!* :)

Now for my first post...

I work in a computer shop and I was reinstalling Windows 2000 on a customer's machine. So I am going through the setup wizard near the end and finally I get to the point where it asks me for a Product Key. Then I realize, "Oh f*ck! I forgot to do a regedit and write the code down on paper. No problem, I'll just call up the customer and ask for it." So I do that but he tells me that he just got this computer used at a computer trade show and that he recieved no software or booklets at all.

I hit F8 at boot time and tried to do a registry restore to get the old code back but there are no backups available. I happened to install SP4 before reinstalling so maybe there is some way to retrieve the registry from the backup that it made. Any suggestions?
 
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Windows 9x/ME/2K (doesn't work in NT):

When Windows is installed, the Setup program requires that you type in a 25-character Product Key that is on the back of the CD (jewel) case or on a certificate on the cover of user manual. During the Windows installation the product key is stored in the registry. You can find it on your computer by clicking start/run and type in "regedit" (no quotes). Click the plus signs to expand the branches in the registry until you reach:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version

Scroll to the right until you find your product key.

PS: Welcome! :)
 

ZorkFoxfire

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I already know where its located but I didn't expect it to be still there after an installation. But the problem is that theres no way to get back into windows. I'm sure I can still access the registry from DOS so I'll try that when I go into work Monday. Thanks! :)
 
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You can also try calling Microsoft Support. They have a way for you to activate it if I recall correctly.
 

JohnWill

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Originally posted by Cookies:
Windows 9x/ME/2K (doesn't work in NT):

When Windows is installed, the Setup program requires that you type in a 25-character Product Key that is on the back of the CD (jewel) case or on a certificate on the cover of user manual. During the Windows installation the product key is stored in the registry. You can find it on your computer by clicking start/run and type in "regedit" (no quotes). Click the plus signs to expand the branches in the registry until you reach:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version

Scroll to the right until you find your product key.

PS: Welcome! :)
The unencrypted key is not available directly in W2K or WXP. The only key I find under ProductId in W2K is: 51873-006-0993232-09165, which is NOT the CD-Key.
 
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johnwill, I know it does not work in xp, nor nt. However, I did not know it doesn't work in 2k. Sounds like you've tried navigating to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version.

Zork's primary post was to resolve finding the product key after a failed attempt to install 2k with no/unknown product key. Where did he get the cdr/s for 2k??

"..he just got this computer used at a computer trade show and that he recieved no software or booklets at all."

To that end, I'll stick with "You can also try calling Microsoft Support. They have a way for you to activate it if I recall correctly." until I hear otherwise.
 

ZorkFoxfire

Thread Starter
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Sep 14, 2003
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Now that I think about it, I was browsing through the registry on a 2000 machine last week at work and I found something I believe was a hexidecimal version of the registration key. If only I could remember where it was ;)
 
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Howdy ZorkFoxfire...

So I do that but he tells me that he just got this computer used at a computer trade show and that he recieved no software or booklets at all
No offense... IMHO if the customer doesn't have the W2k license, then you shouldn't install W2K on this pc ( this is only to protect yourself, and the company you work for )...
 

ZorkFoxfire

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 14, 2003
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I was on another message board and I noticed that somebody posted his or her product key! So I wrote it down and keyed it in. Problem solved! :-D

Now I'm reading and article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base on a problem I'm having reinstalling windows on an XP machine and I spot something... It seems you can do SHIFT-F10 at any time to bring up a command prompt! HAHA!! :-D :-D I just popped in my floppydisk with the Magic Jellybean Keyfinder and ran it from the command line. Sucess!!

Now I feel bad for ripping that guy's product key but hey, the dude was stupid to have posted it in the first place.

Here is where the product key is. But the code is in hexidecimal. I've used a few online tools to convert it but all I get is a decimal equivalent. When I convert to ascii, same thing.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows NT/Current Version/WPAEvents/OOBETimer

BTW, regedit can be run from the command line as well when you are in the wizard portion of the XP Setup. I can't confirm that any of this can be done on 2000 as of yet. I'm going to try it on my 2000 box as soon as I get home and I'm going to look for a professional hex/decimal/ascii conversion program :)

Thanks for the help Cookies, johnwill, and Jedi Master.
 
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