Can I use a product key to identify the product?

I have a Windows product key but not sure which software it goes with.
I need to match it up to the right O/S since I have multiple disc.
Any way to use the key to identify?
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This may help: >

But the sticker is the way to check for sure.
The only way is to contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support:
nickg5Author Commented:
My product id could be as far back as Windows 2000 or even 1998.

edited by MASQ

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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
If you're asking about activation keys then no, you can't work out which media to use just from the Product Activation Key alone.  If you think the key has already been used you could try pulling the key information out of the working system to see if it matches but depending on the number of machines you have that could be "needle in a haystack" stuff.

Not much help to you now but always write the Key on the face of the original disk.

If you have more information with the Key - such as a label with a product code or part number that makes it a bit easier - if you can't find that info it's safe to post everything but the key itself on a public forum to help get it identified.

Also beware websites that will tell you what the key is for if you type it in online - they won't - they are just harvesting valid key combinations.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
If that's the activation code then
as an activation code format pre-dates Win98

If this is a Windows Key then you're looking at Win95 or NT Server

The current activation key pattern of 25 characters in 5 blocks of 5 was introduced with Win98

[ FWIW I've edited your key a little - we don't want to encourage piracy of 20 year old operating systems :) ]
nickg5Author Commented:
I do not think it is a key, it's a product id number.

☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
OK, the child hologram dates the CoA around the same period - if this isn't an operating system CoA its for a Microsoft Product on CD - because it's an OEM Cert it's going to be a bundled product that came with the PC.  The good news is that cert is just good to prove it's not pirated you won't need it to activate what ever it belongs to - which could be anything from Autoroute to Encarta (just because I can't think of a product from around then that begins with a Z :)) - will activate when installed and not ask for a code.


Just for completeness I ought to point out that the few, non-operating system, OEM products that Microsoft put out with those certificates that did require activation (Works or Office components like Word) had a separate sticker on the CD case with the code on it. So even if the product requires activation the info on your certificate won't help.

Unless - it's a certificate for Win95's original (version 1) release - if it is it should have been stuck onto the front of the user manual so you should see signs it's been torn out.  If it is then that IS the activation key too.

Sorry long edit - it's been a while since Win95 and I had to dig out some copies to check!!

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