locked
My product key has been stolen and is being used RRS feed

  • Question

  • My product key has been stolen because the one displayed under Start>Computer>Properties is different than the one on the bottom of my notebook and when I attempt to enter the product key I have under my notebook it says that it is already in use. please help me somebody!!
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 12:01 PM

Answers

  • In addition, the error "Key already in use" just means that you need to Activate by Phone instead of Activation over the Internet.

     

    Thank you,


    Darin MS
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:03 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:03 PM
  • If Windows 7 came preinstalled on your computer when you purchased it, the computer manufacturer uses a special product key at the factory when they install Windows 7.  That's why the product key is different from the unique product key affixed to your computer.  You have nothing to be alarmed about.
    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:03 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:24 PM
    Moderator
  • I never said they would be the same.  I just said that you can see what is in use.  The key on your sticker is only an emergency key in case the one the manufacturer used fails for some reason.  Quit worrying.  No one can copy your product key unless you yourself publish it in an email or on the web (like this forum) or something.  That's why Microsoft doesn't display it anywhere.  No hacker can get in and read it.  Your key is encrypted in the registry.  Even if you knew where to look in the registry you would then have to unencrypt it.  That is why you see warnings not to write your product key in emails and such.
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:03 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:30 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • Your product key is NOT displayed under Properties.  Windows does not display your product key anywhere.  What you are describing is your Product ID, which is generated when you install Windows.  Your product key is a string of 25 characters in five fields of five, like this

    *****-*****-Q8YQG-BFP4D-G3CBY

    If you count you will see that what your are looking at is something like this

    00426-956-0802731-85748

    If you want to see what product key is in use on your computer, use a free program like KeyFinder from Magical Jellybean Software.


    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2:08 PM
    Answerer
  • ok so I did that and it's still different, what should I do to retrieve my product key from whoever hacked my computer and took it?
    Mahvel
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:11 PM
  • If Windows 7 came preinstalled on your computer when you purchased it, the computer manufacturer uses a special product key at the factory when they install Windows 7.  That's why the product key is different from the unique product key affixed to your computer.  You have nothing to be alarmed about.
    Carey Frisch
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:03 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:24 PM
    Moderator
  • I never said they would be the same.  I just said that you can see what is in use.  The key on your sticker is only an emergency key in case the one the manufacturer used fails for some reason.  Quit worrying.  No one can copy your product key unless you yourself publish it in an email or on the web (like this forum) or something.  That's why Microsoft doesn't display it anywhere.  No hacker can get in and read it.  Your key is encrypted in the registry.  Even if you knew where to look in the registry you would then have to unencrypt it.  That is why you see warnings not to write your product key in emails and such.
    Colin Barnhorst Windows 7 Ultimate x64 on DIY with 6GB ram.
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:03 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:30 PM
    Answerer
  • In addition, the error "Key already in use" just means that you need to Activate by Phone instead of Activation over the Internet.

     

    Thank you,


    Darin MS
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:03 PM
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:03 PM