Question about a partial XP CD Key RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi guys,

    I'm actually trying to help a friend of mine.  His machine came with XP Home SP2.  He has the CD and the label sticked on his case with the CD key.  He ran into a problem with his HDD and had to replace it.  His problem is quite simple : the CD-key on the label is partly erased.  Some caracters are partly readable while a few ones are clearly impossible to read.  By looking closely at the label I can only try figuring what those caracters were.  On 25 caracters I am able to clearly read 19 of those.  The first two groups of 5 caracters along with the last one are complete and easily readable.  Th 3rd and 4th ones are the ones giving me a real headache.

    What can I do to overcome that problem and recover the full key so I can help him finisish reinstalling his PC?

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 3:15 AM


  • Hello particko,

    If the computer is functional with the old hard disk drive installed, you can run the mgadiag utility to get the last three groups of product key characters:  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

    Or you can use a product key finding utility to get the whole key:  http://www.bing.com/search?q=magical+jelly+bean+keyfinder&src=IE-SearchBox&FORM=IE8SRC

    If the computer is from a name brand manufacturer and you are using the recovery or reinstallation disc that came with the computer, quite often their recovery or reinstallation CDs do not require the entry of a product key, as they use a company-specific deployment product key, which is not the PK on the Certificate of Authenticity (CoA) affixed to the computer case.

    Otherwise, you'll have to contact Microsoft by following the info in this MS KB article:  http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/811224
    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    • Marked as answer by Darin Smith MS Wednesday, August 12, 2009 6:14 PM
    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 2:27 PM