Recovering my XP Key

I had misplaced my CD key and I wasn’t about to pay Microsoft for the privilege of getting my key back so I used “XP KeY ReCoVeRER AND DiSCOVErER 5.12”, XPkey.exe (findable on Kazaa). It’s a 49,152 byte long executable. I had to try about 10 “valid” keys before one worked. Many of the keys generated were deemed invalid by Windows. See “Checking the Product ID” to see why.

  • Log in as the local Administrator
  • Click Start > Run > and type in Regedit
  • Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\wpaevents
  • In the right pane, right-click OOBETimer, and then click Modify
  • Change at least one digit of this value to deactivate Windows
  • Click Start > Run and type in: “%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a”
  • Click Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to activate Windows, and then click Next
  • Click Change Product Key (at the bottom)
  • Enter your valid Corporate Product Key
  • Press Update and close the window.
  • If you are returned to the previous window, click Remind me later
  • Restart your computer

“Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder v1.41”, keyfinder.exe, weighing 262,727 bytes was also helpful. I don’t think it actually changed my keys though.. I used the Microsoft method, which is next.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q328874 was kind of helpful.

http://www.labmice.net/WindowsXP/articles/changeID.htm was quite useful. Here’s the most useful bit of that page:

Checking the Product ID
During the installation of Windows XP Professional, you are prompted to enter a 25 digit Windows XP Product Key, which Windows XP promptly converts it into the system’s product ID. Because of security concerns about piracy, Microsoft does not provide a tool that allows you to view the Product Key (or CD Key) that was used to install the operating system. However, Windows XP Service Pack 1 ships with a list of the two product IDs that are created by the pirated product volume license product keys. (The Product ID can be found by right clicking My Computer and choosing Properties) To determine eligibility for the update, Service Pack 1 compares the Windows XP product ID on the system to this list. The comparison and the list reside locally on the users PC and no information is sent to Microsoft as part of this process. Service Pack 1 for Windows XP will fail to install on installations of Windows with one of the following product IDs: XXXXX-640-0000356-23XXX and XXXXX-640-2001765-23XXX

6 Comments

  1. jeff says:

    hey good post man i had to just reinstall and i got no key. however when i try to update mt browser etc it says the key is not genuine .. what can i do ?? I have lost my original cd and cant be bothered phoning up ms and waiting.

  2. Lee says:

    I don’t yet have a perfect fix for that. But there is info on the net about disabling Microsoft Genuine Advantage. Take a peek around. I haven’t taken the time to try getting it to work but it doesn’t look too hard.

  3. Jon says:

    Hey i have the same problem, was able to get the software i had reinstalled and activated, but cant get the updates. any help would be great

  4. Lee says:

    A year ago or so Microsoft changed their method of checking for a “genuine” version of their software. The workaround mentioned above won’t work for more recent updates. Sorry.

  5. INNOBATE says:

    INNOBATE Product Key Recovery, is a utility software tool, which decrypts the stored Windows Product Key on your Microsoft Windows 2000, 2003 and Windows XP family of operating systems. This tool allows your to save your Windows computer system’s product key code to a text file as a backup. For a Windows XP Computer system this utility software tool gives the user the ability to check if their installation of XP has been pre-activated.

  6. joao says:

    Perfect!! thanks, my OEM number does not came with the computer….HP

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