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Reliable method to pull Windows product key

Posted on 2013-01-11
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Last Modified: 2013-01-19
As a matter of course, I used to use Belarc to record product keys (Windows and Office were my primary values). I've found lately, however, that Belarc PKs for Office are often wrong. I've abandoned Belarc entirely. Is there a quick and dirty method of pulling the correct PK for Windows. (I'm now simply transcribing the Office PK from the packaging.)
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Question by:jdana
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11 Comments
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:mcsween
ID: 38768187
This key is encrypted in the registry so you have to use a third party tool to pull it.

http://recover-keys.com/

I would look into purchasing office through volume licensing so you get a MAK key that can be used on all your workstations.  If you only purchase 1 volume license you can install it as many times as you have legitimate licenses for.  For example, if you have 10 retail box copies of Office and purchase 1 volume license you can install it on 11 different systems legally using the MAK key.
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LVL 55

Accepted Solution

by:
Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 400 total points
ID: 38768188
The NirSoft utilities are among my all-time favorties...and free! Here's the link to his ProduKey utility:
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html
Regards, Joe
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38768201
We use this utility. It has woked well

http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/
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LVL 59

Assisted Solution

by:LeeTutor
LeeTutor earned 400 total points
ID: 38768202
This article lists 14 free Product Key finders:

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/productkeysactivation/tp/topkeyfinder.htm
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LVL 63

Assisted Solution

by:☠ MASQ ☠
☠ MASQ ☠ earned 400 total points
ID: 38768315
NirSoft's ProduKey (linked to above) is probably the best free product now that the MagicalJellyBean has been sold and is only available in a limited version without payment which does not retrieve all keys possible.  I'm not aware of any product that will find you a  single user key from  a multi-user (MAK) MS Office 201x license though as those are not retained in the registry and are used for activation with a separate validation process.

You also need to be aware that OEM keys will appear differently when retrieved from the ProductKeys shown on the Certificates of Authenticity as the OEM activation process uses an encrypted key licenced to the OEM.
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LVL 44

Assisted Solution

by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 400 total points
ID: 38768374
JellyBean was bought out and they removed the ability to get Win7 and newer, and Office 2007 and newer keys... you have to buy their RecoverKeys version for that.

Here is a free, open source key finder - Enchanted Keyfinder - which works with Win7, Office 2007 and newer.
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:Sandeep
Sandeep earned 400 total points
ID: 38768459
You can use
http://www.rjlsoftware.com/software/utility/winproductkey/download.shtml

Refer to http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/how-reveal-your-windows-product-key-all-current-versions-windows.htm

Also I found below at Microsoft Community.

ProduKey - FREE - a small utility that displays the ProductID and the CD-Key of Microsoft Office
(Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office 2007), Windows (Including Windows 7 and Windows Vista),
Exchange Server, and SQL Server installed on your computer. http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html -- Already advised above.

Product Key from WinGuggle 1.5
http://unlockforus.blogspot.com/2008/01/winguggle-get-your-windows-vista.html

From Magic JellyBean
http://magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

From Windows Product Key Viewer
http://www.rjlsoftware.com/software/utility/winproductkey/

How to see the product key in Vista (and Windows 7)
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/85023-product-key-number.html
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 38768595
jdana--From my experience http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html is the best.  (and the price is right)

Enchanted Key Finder provides the Product Key only for Windows.  (Product ID for Office.) http://sourceforge.net/projects/ekeyfinder/files/latest/download
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 38778190
jdana, how about some feedback?
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Author Closing Comment

by:jdana
ID: 38796858
joewinograd,

NK2Edit, one of NirSoft's other products, has saved my butt a couple of times. Thanks for the recommendation.

Thanks to everyone else for the terrific feedback.

J
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 38796931
Yep, NirSoft is great stuff! At last count, I have 15 on his utilities on my system.
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