Urgently need to extract Win98 CD KEY From CD

Hi ,
I have had Win98SE on quite a few machines in the past, however, i have not been using the software, .
but now I have the need to use it but cannot find the certificate with the cd key, It's imperitive that I use the 98Se at this time, But have Tried to retireve the code from the Disk Searching  same , at Precopy1.cab, but is unable to open this file to identify the KEY,
Could someone tell me how to do so, or an alternative means
the machine I am uising is runnig XP

Please keep in mind for reasons of my Own I must at this time use this software.

Your assistance is weel appreciated

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If you registered this copy of SE with Microsoft then contact them they might give you the key.
You see MS has an end user license that precludes hacking the key or using a universal key and because of that EE's guidelines also precludes us from informing you about these things.
You won't find the key in Precopy.cab, but if you really want to look, WinZip usually allows you to open them with a right-click > extract to....

Here's a list:


"for reasons of my Own I must at this time", I must preclude myself from further discussions in this matter.

Good word that, CrazyOne....


Pronunciation: pri-'klüd
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): pre·clud·ed; pre·clud·ing
Etymology: Latin praecludere, from prae- + claudere to close -- more at CLOSE
Date: 1629

1 archaic : CLOSE

2 : to make impossible by necessary consequence : rule out in advance
- pre·clu·sion  /-'klü-zh&n/ noun
- pre·clu·sive  /-'klü-siv, -ziv/ adjective
- pre·clu·sive·ly adverb


Pronunciation: 'pI-r&-sE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -cies
Etymology: Medieval Latin piratia, from Late Greek peirateia, from Greek peiratEs pirate
Date: 1537
1 : an act of robbery on the high seas; also : an act resembling such robbery
2 : robbery on the high seas
3 : the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright

Pronunciation: 'soft-"war, -"wer
Function: noun
Date: 1960
: something used or associated with and usually contrasted with hardware: as a : the entire set of programs, procedures, and related documentation associated with a system and especially a computer system; specifically : computer programs b : materials for use with audiovisual equipment


Pronunciation: -"rIt
Function: noun
Date: 1735
: the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, and sell the matter and form (as of a literary, musical, or artistic work)

Pronunciation: 'p&-nish-m&nt
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 : the act of punishing
2 a : suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution b : a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure
3 : severe, rough, or disastrous treatment

Pronunciation: &-'bet
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): abet·ted; abet·ting
Etymology: Middle English abetten, from Middle French abeter, from Old French, from a- (from Latin ad-) + beter to bait, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English b[AE]tan to bait
Date: 14th century
1 : to actively second and encourage (as an activity or plan) : FORWARD
2 : to assist or support in the achievement of a purpose <abetted the thief in his getaway>
synonym see INCITE
- abet·ment  /-m&nt/ noun
- abet·tor or abet·ter  /&-'be-t&r/ noun


Pronunciation: 'ok-sh&n
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin auction-, auctio, from augEre to increase -- more at EKE
Date: 1595
1 : a sale of property to the highest bidder
2 : the act or process of bidding in some card games


Pronunciation: 'pA-m&nt
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 : the act of paying
2 : something that is paid : PAY

Pronunciation: 'lE-g&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle French, from Latin legalis, from leg-, lex law
Date: circa 1500
1 : of or relating to law
2 a : deriving authority from or founded on law : DE JURE b : having a formal status derived from law often without a basis in actual fact : TITULAR <a corporation is a legal but not a real person> c : established by law; especially : STATUTORY
3 : conforming to or permitted by law or established rules
4 : recognized or made effective by a court of law as distinguished from a court of equity
5 : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of the profession of law or of one of its members
6 : created by the constructions of the law <a legal fiction>
synonym see LAWFUL
- le·gal·ly  /-g&-lE/ adverb


Pronunciation: 'ä-n&st
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French honeste, from Latin honestus honorable, from honos, honor honor
Date: 14th century
1 a : free from fraud or deception : LEGITIMATE, TRUTHFUL <an honest plea> b : GENUINE, REAL <making honest stops at stop signs -- Christian Science Monitor> c : HUMBLE, PLAIN <good honest food>
2 a : REPUTABLE, RESPECTABLE <honest decent people> b chiefly British : GOOD, WORTHY
3 : CREDITABLE, PRAISEWORTHY <an honest day's work>
4 a : marked by integrity b : marked by free, forthright, and sincere expression : FRANK <an honest appraisal> c : INNOCENT, SIMPLE
synonym see UPRIGHT

: mod·er·a·tor

Pronunciation: 'mä-d&-"rA-t&r
Function: noun
Date: circa 1560
1 : one who arbitrates : MEDIATOR
2 : one who presides over an assembly, meeting, or discussion: as a : the presiding officer of a Presbyterian governing body b : the nonpartisan presiding officer of a town meeting c : the chairman of a discussion group
3 : a substance (as graphite) used for slowing down neutrons in a nuclear reactor
- mod·er·a·tor·ship  /-"ship/ noun


Pronunciation: 'ban
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): banned; ban·ning
Etymology: Middle English bannen to summon, curse, from Old English bannan to summon; akin to Old High German bannan to command, Latin fari to speak, Greek phanai to say, phOnE sound, voice
Date: 12th century
transitive senses
1 archaic : CURSE
2 : to prohibit especially by legal means <ban discrimination>; also : to prohibit the use, performance, or distribution of <ban a book> <ban a pesticide>
intransitive senses : to utter curses or maledictions


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1. CrazyOne is correct.
2. It is not on the CD.
3. Having been there myself, I will tell you a Google search will help, but might take a while.
4. No, I will not tell you the search words I finally used.  Sorry.
Hell of a post BillDL.    : D
LOL Bill, nicely done.
Hey coral
Merriam Webster Online > Ctrl +C > Ctrl + V > smile wryly to oneself.

Howz the flu/cold CrazyOne?


Here's an example from eBay UK:


There will be similar in your own regional ebay page.

I can't believe the cheek of this enterprising swine:


Win98 boot floppies for 2.99 GBP !!!

Let me see, 0.11 for a flank floppy, 0.50 for the gas to nip down to my mate's house and back, 0.04 for a sticky label,  0.01 for the ink to print it = 0.66 GBP.

At least he's not ripping you off, though, because he doesn't charge for postage !!


"Useful for reloading Windows operating system from CD-ROM, as well other tasks such as flashing Firmware on CDRW, DVD and CD-ROM Drives".

So the boot floppy has generic firmware rom-flashes on it !!!

Just a thought, Afimedis1, buy one and ask him to write a key on the label :-)

>>>Howz the flu/cold CrazyOne?

Getting better. Got some of my energy back and my temp is down below 100 degrees now. Thanks for asking
Afimedis1Author Commented:
I guess you all are beautiful in ya efforts, although some border on redicluous, I do appreciate the efforts, .
However, I had failed to mention that hte mother board  that I have on this machine does not carry a floppy comptroller, , At this exact,  I dont have that opton open to me. anyway thanks EBay UK, thats not  an opton that makes any kind a sense.
Afimedis1Author Commented:
I had tried the Google thing Initailly, as a quick fix, came up with the same conclusion I initially had tht the file  is located as I hinted previously, nad yes , there is various licenses d=for 98 for my with ms, the problem is the time  and maybe having to pay for it after having paid for all those copies  those past years, make no sense to me .
Sorry, but this type of question for ethical purposes will not help you. Try e-bay and buy a win98se cd rom as mentioned above.
Do you have any machines with 98 installed on them where you can boot it up.  If you do just pull the key off of that machine.
Hey CO. Glad you are feeling better, I just hope I don't catch it from you.   ; )

This is how you can find the key on the w98 HD:

Magical Jellybean http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml

The Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder is a freeware utility that retrieves your Product Key (cd key) used to install windows from your registry. It has the options to copy the key to clipboard, save it to a text file, or print it for safekeeping. It works on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Office 97, and Office XP.

<from PeteLong post >

find install key


Open Notepad and copy this exactly as you see it here.

@echo off
start /w regedit /e key.txt HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
type key.txt|find "ProductKey">mykey.txt
del key.txt

Save it on your desktop as key.bat
close notepad and doubleclick key.bat
It will put a text file on desktop named mykey.txt with your key in it.

Also you can open system.dat in Wordpad and use the search function to look for  ProductKey
system.dat is in the windows folder.

I think those postings have sufficiently circumvented the ethical approach  :-)

See above under:

: mod·er·a·tor
Pronunciation: 'mä-d&-"rA-t&r


Pronunciation: 'ban

Afimedis1, I have just one further comment to make about your request.  You say that you have tried google.com to try and find the answer.  It won't work with your key words because, as previosly explained, the CD Key isn't on the CD.  You type it in when you install Windows.  All it does is ascertain if this key "pattern" is acceptable for that particular software "version".

Consider a systems administrator installing Windows 98 to multiple machines.  Do you think he/she is going to stand over each computer and wait for the "please insert your key from the licence" prompt.  Of course not, they automate it using a text-based file that answers as many of these prompts as possible so that it will install in "unattended" mode.  Of course, normally they have to add the Key to the text file, but there is a workaround where it won't ask.

Try google again and remember that you don't have a CD Key.

>>>sufficiently circumvented the ethical approach  :-)  <<<    Na, just bent it a little.  ; )
Afimedis1Author Commented:
It's  a bit unnerving, each instances some people attempts to responsd to this question, wihout fully  taken time undersnding the dept of it and the capabilityof the questionaire.
There are instances wherein an individual may  have certain, knowledge,training or certifications, but this does not nescessary means that he or she will know everything even  about the skill sof  that profession , that they may be participating .
It's obviuos  ego, imaturity, insecurity  and maybe even prejudices, controls some individual's ability to rationally respond to some situation.
I draw reference to most of the response to my question, because, it;s my opinion that . some  individuals have'nt taken time to articulate the question and develope a proper answer.

I make this, conclusion, based on the fact that I am a trained microsoft System Engineer, who is willing to acknowledge, that I dont know it all, and is willing to reach out to the community , in which this forum is establish, because I feel someone out there might be in a position to help me find a solution to an Issue, not because I am a dummy as some of the response would insinuate.
 Hereby , here is my challenge to some of you so-call expert, It would be more productive, if you iqnore responding to a question, if you cannot take the time to fully examine it and form a construction opinion, keeping all the proponient in mind, otherwise , it's just a was of my desk space putting up your off witted response, and in my opinion, I see you far from anything close to be classified as an expert to justify my accepting and allowing you to increase your points.

The fact is to date I am yet to sse a sinsible respone to be accepted.
Considering that my question is quite concise and clear.
We can't help you other than what we have already posted, Because what you ask EE does not allow us to tell you much more than contact MS or buy another copy of the CD regardless how many licenses or copies you have bought in the past that is purely irrelevant. Any other suggestion would violate MS end use license agreement so you need deal with them. We have already told you this. But you refuse to acknowledge that these are your choices as far as EE is concerned. If you continue ignore that advice then that is your problem. The question has been answered and if you persist in pushing it then we will let the site owners and staff deal you with you on this.

I fully agree with CrazyOne on this one.

Nobody is trying to make you look stupid.  On the contrary, we have taken some risks and attempted to give you some broad clues so that you can either search for your answer online in a more structured way, or figure out a solution.  I am surprised you haven't latched onto any of them yet, given your Microsoft Certification and obvious troubleshooting experience and ability to work araound a problem.

Usually members asking these questions are immediately chastised by the moderators and take heed of the warnings.

Would you believe me if I said I was a nuclear physicist?  I could well be one, and would have therefore have a legitimate need for your spare plutonium, but I could also quite easily be an international terrorist.  Do you want to take a risk?

You know, someone may have gone out on a limb if you had told us some baloney about the computer being for under-priviledged and disabled children or something, but it doesn't really raise much empathy for your plight when you say:

"Please keep in mind for reasons of my Own I must at this time use this software".

For reasons of MY own, I really need 100 bucks to pay my service bills this month.  Can you give me a loan?   Same thing, I paid more than that for my Win98 CD.  Why should I allow ou to use it for free, especially when you don't even try and give a sob-story reason?
Ditto the above 2 post!
As stated before, your question has us risking our site privileges to help you.  While I don't mind " skating on thin ice ", if you are going to jump up and down, I am going to the other side of the pond.

What these guys are basically saying is that nobody can help you with your problem because they will be *breaking the law* (as Micro$oft would have put it).  You actually have two options:

1. (Legal means) Buy a new copy of Windows98/ contact Microsoft/ contact the retailer where you bought your copy of Win98 and ask them for a serial number;

2. (Illegal means) I guess the other members who have posted answers have given you enough "broad clues" to "help" you on this second option.

While we may want to help you in your dilemma, technically we cannot do so because of Micro$oft's end user license restrictions.  Only M$ and the retailer from where you purchased your Win98 copy can (legally) help you with your problem.

I suggest you take the first option.

Nuff said,
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
If you have a working system try

Magical Jellybean http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder.shtml

The Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder is a freeware utility that retrieves your Product Key (cd key) used to install windows from your registry. It has the options to copy the key to clipboard, save it to a text file, or print it for safekeeping. It works on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Office 97, and Office XP.

If you dont. my colleagues have allready given you the bad news

I would think that this question due to it question that exorts someone to illeagally provide information, break their contract with Microsoft and risk their membrship by accidently providing information, should be deleated from the list.

You all have a Happy Thanks giving. I know I will I just bought a house and do not have a mortgage! This is a day for me to celebrate.


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if your looking to extract the product key from windows it is as easy as just opening reg edit and using the find command with "productid", this will display the product Key used to install the OS.

p.s. there will be  a few but it is quite apreant which one it is.
Afimedis1Author Commented:
Ok to you all. I see I have stirred up an ornet nest, but it was'nt my intention, and secondly , would not jepardise anyone  to obtain, the information, i just thought, I might have been able to find the answer throuh this  medium. and I had done so on a spirr of the moment though

And yet the effort was actually to prepare the unit for an indivudual, who is quite needy.

I have actually found another sloution to the problem, which was to use another operating system, by taking out the HD and formating it on another machine and place another operating system on it.
And like a few of you have suggested , I guess i will contact MS to try and obtain a replacement CD Key

Therefore, please accept my apologies, for disturbing ya all, and thanks for all your efforts, but the fact is I feel that I still did not get the answer I was looking for.
Afimedis1Author Commented:
Thanks  for your efforts gonzal13 and congratulation on your new House, way to GO Guy, Enjoy, and a happy thanking Giveing to all
Congratulations there gonzal, but will you still afford to pay for your ISP dialup account now??  :-)

RCanswer, the problem that Afimedis1 has is that he doesn't actually have Windows installed yet, and had hoped that there was a method of extracting the relevant key details from the install CD.  If only it had been that easy, because providing information to find your product key for an already-installed operating system isn't quite in the same context from the software licensing point of view.

One thing you might need to watch for with that approach, Afimedis, is that the operating system installed on the hard drive in the other computer will have a lot of registry entries and settings in some of the systems files relating to hardware on THAT machine.

When you swap it into the other computer, you MAY receive error messages about configurations, and on occasion the computer might not be able to boot.  Most of the settings relating to the hardware will be contained in the registry key:


but there will be others.

Sometimes, in extreme cases where a user has a lot of hardware conflicts that cannot be easily resolved, they delete this entire key immediately before shutting down, and then reboot.  This forces a new search for hardware.

You might also like to consider removing as many physical devices from the computer before installing, ie. modems, sound cards, network cards.  AFTER installing, don't configure your display or install drivers for the graphics card, etc.  Leave everything just as the basic installation, and remove hardware entries from Device Manager just before you shut it down to remove the hard drive.
try ths out may be this work and can save ur time-<Product Key removed by SerCouWisMOD>
Here's mine:

Windows 98 SE key for pirate copy - full of viruses:
<Product Key removed by BillDL>

Windows 98 SE key for pirate copy - not bootable:
<Product Key removed by BillDL>

Windows 98 SE key for pirate copy - missing essential files:
<Product Key removed by BillDL>

Windows 98 SE key - Key has been blocked by MS from windows update
<Product Key removed by BillDL>

That's the kind of things you get when you don't buy the real thing.
Well I am at 58 a student at a local college. I just signed up for Visual basic. I have MS Visual basic at home and have just about worn out Microsoft's book on the subject. Still I need to go to the class.

The school book store has programd at great discounts. For example XP pro upgrade for 99 dollars!

Yep.  A lot of the online and static software warehouses (including Amazon) also have discounted software for students.  Usually you get an empty box, have a tutor sign the application form, and they post you the software.

I got Borland C++ Builder 5 for absolutely buttons this way.  The warehouse had such a box for version 3 marked as a "50% off Manager's Special", and I also got an extra 25% off THAT as a student discount.  Even though it was version 3, it was cheap enough this way for me to learn with.  By good fortune, Borland didn't have a back-stock of version 3, or 4, so they sent me version 5 plus some extra developer CD's as compensation!!

Deal of the century, but I then became too busy to take it much further than a very basic level :-)

Inside the book store is software department run by a private company. They sell the software to the students. I have bought in the past software from them and they are authentic. Prices are really at 1/2 price. Sign up for a course at a local college, go to the book store and they should have the same service. All you need is to show then your student ID. I am 58 and still love going to college. I have a program I copyrighted many years ago in basic, now I want to rewrite it in Visual Basic and amplify it. So far I read the Microsoft text  5 times and have the program at home. The text leaves allot to the imagination. I still need the class to put it all together.

Who says you "can't teach an old dog new tricks"  ;-)

Sounds like a great facility at that college, Joe.  Hope you eventually update that application into VB.  Perahps you will drop a link to it when done, assuming it is freeware or shareware, 'cause I'm too poor to pay for it  :-).
If you go to CONTROL PANEL, SYSTEM the code should be visable.
Get yourself a copy of win98se with the CD code embedded.  Then you don't need the key.

My guess is, since MS stopped support on it, then cracking it to get it to work is legal.
>>>My guess is, since MS stopped support on it, then cracking it to get it to work is legal.

No it is not leagal. MS stiil owns the copyrights and the EULA is still in affect. It is even illegal to do this with any MS product no matter how old it is becaues they still have ownership of the copyright.
Buy a cd rom from e-bay or half.com. Otherwise put an add in a paper 25 dollars and see if you can get a copy that way. The best, since Microsoft does not support it is purchase the XP home edition from one of the above sites.
i have not been using the software, .
but now I have the need to use it but cannot find the certificate ...

Out of curiosity what have you been using? Surely you can open files with another windows operating system!
>>>Surely you can open files with another windows operating system!

Could you explain more Joe I am not sure I understand your question.
WinXP should open the files, since it is downwardly compatible with WIN98.
Yep it should.
"No it is not leagal. MS stiil owns the copyrights and the EULA is still in affect. It is even illegal to do this with any MS product no matter how old it is becaues they still have ownership of the copyright."

Technically its illegal.  But I think that is bullcrap when a copy itself gives up on the product.  I'm not selling the code or modifying it.  It should therefor be released.

Don't copyrights have a 25 year expiration on them?  So DOS should be available soon.
Copyrights can be renewed I believe. A couple of years ago MS went after and won a judgment against a person who had made available for download old MS DOS OS's. So MS is serious about protecting their property regardless if they still sell or support it. I may not agree with MS but it is their products and they can and have legal rights to protect them for however long they want.
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I do not remember stating:  i have not been using the software, .
but now I have the need to use it but cannot find the certificate ...

Maybe I am becoming senile!!!!

In any case I cannot see why the *.Doc cannot be open even with a text editor?

Ok, I can't help it. I actually went throught this entire thread to get here. So I might as well say something. I had a W98SE CD but no key. I tried a rather novel approach. Honesty. I called MS, told them my situation, and you know what? Heh, they GAVE ME A NEW KEY!! Wow.
Agggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My dear Afemedis1, advice from the grand (& extremely humble, I pride myself on my humility!) Purplebyte. Take one black & decker cordless drill, cordless to avoid electrocution, insert a masonary drillbit approx. 5 inches long should do it, insert the aforementioned drillbit up the left nostrill and press the trigger. A need, urgent or otherwise, for a CD Key for Win98 SE flavour or not will be appropriately circumvented...................... Have a particularly nice day!!!! ( much whistling and walking into the sunset like a self satisfied prigg............assertions about the presence or lack of sanity will not be entered into................you should have read the SANITY clause.................now please leave my lift........................) Hrmph!!!!
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