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Windows Vista Activation Key

ftsos
ftsos asked
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Hi, My Operating System has become corrupt so Windows won't load on my laptop. I have Windows Vista. I can go into my HD to get my data. However, where do I go on my HD get the activation key because the sticker has peeled off my laptop.

Thanks.
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Commented:
there are some programs out there for finding activation key
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Commented:
If you have an XP install CD then make a UBCD4Win with it and your PC with the CD. Then look for the SIW utility on that CD and run the remote or offline version of it (there are two versions and I don't remember the exact name). With it you can search for the activation keys of your installation if that info is still available on the corrupt HD:

http://ubcd4win.com

Commented:
How are you getting the data off the hard drive?  You can connect it to another computer directly or get a SATA/IDE - USB adapter.  In which case you don't need the activation key.

You can use Produkey to get the key though.  Just connect the drive to another computer and run the program.
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
If you have an OEM Certificate of Authentication on the case that matches the version of Vista installed you won't be asked for an activation key when you reinstall from the manufacturer's re-installation media as it's pre-activated.  It's no bad thing collecting your activation keys before starting again though as Produkey/MagicalJellyBean etc will get all the keys installed on your current partition.

There's a good chance that the Key that they get for Vista won't match the one that was originally stuck on the case though as it's a corporate activation code belonging to the PC manufacturer.  The stickers are simply proof that you have a licensed version on your machine.

Author

Commented:
Hi Guys,

I am accessing the Hard Disk via USB HD adapter. Will produkey be able to extract the key like that?

Commented:
Yep.  Go to File > Select Source and and try the second or third option.  Either one should work, if not just pick whichever one gets you the key.
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Yes, run it from a command line with the switch /external to get it to search system partitons that are attached via USB

See the instructions on the product home page
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

Author

Commented:
I am a beginner, if my USB HD was on E, what command would I need to run?

Commented:
Try the second option in File | Select Source then click OK.  If it works it will list the product key.  Or try the third option and browse to e:\Windows.
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
As a beginner, download the version with the installer.
Run it, at the end of the install ProduKey will run
On the main window choose File > Select Source (F9)
Choose "Load the product keys from external Windows directory"
Use Browse to get to the E:\Windows folder
Click OK
Window will refresh with the Product Keys for the drive you selected
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Sorry Brett, I'll back out ;)

Author

Commented:
Thanks Brett, the second option worked.