Retrieving XP CD-Key from the Registry

Do you not know your computer operating systems’ serial number and you need it? If you want to re-install windows, or do any major updating it may require you to enter you serial number to confirm you indeed have a license for the software. This tutorial will guide you through using a website and information from your registry to get your CD-Key. This way, you wont have to download any software, as most of these utilities have viruses associated with them. First we need to get some information from the registry.

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Click on Start and select “Run”

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Type in “regedit” into the run box that comes up. This will launch the registry editor.

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This is the registry editor with all trees minimized. This tool will allow us to make many changes within all of our applications and the operating system. You can severely damage your computer in here, so please be careful not to mess with anything unless told to do so. To continue with our tutorial we need to locate the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

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Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

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Expand SOFTWARE

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Scroll down and expand Microsoft

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Scroll down and expand WindowsNT

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Highlight CurrentVersion. This will show you a whole bunch of keys in the right pane of the editor. I have blacked out the ones that will give out valuable information.

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Look for the key in the right pane called “DigitalProductID” and double click on it.

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The above box has the key in it but it is embedded and only part of this is the key. I whited out a lot of it to ensure that my key could not be compromised. Here is a guide to show you which numbers to write down (you should end up with 30 characters)

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Start from the top and write all of the digits down. You will need to type them back in (sorry – cannot copy paste from here in the registry) Once you have your 30 digits we are now ready to get our product key. We are going to go to a website to convert this key.

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A site called DagonDesign has a web based tool for converting this string into a usable key for us. Click on the link above to go to the site and you will see the box as pictured above. Type your 30 characters in the box and press “Decrypt Code” and it will give you your Windows CD-Key. This ends this tutorial. Thank-you for reading.

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  • MARLON

    THAT TUTORIAL WAS AWESOME. I FIX CPU’S ON THE SIDE AND I CANT TELL YOU HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN ME THEIR PCS TO UPGRADE AND DONT KNOW THE CD KEY. THANKX

  • This is an excellent tutorial. If an existing Key retriever won’t work, this will without a doubt.

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  • I had to use this tonight. Worked like a charm.

  • Tanna

    Thanks so much for this! Awesome tutorial.

  • I’m surprised to see this is how easy it is to find the serial…anyway..

    Great tutorial….Bookmarked 😉

    Keep it up !

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  • AsH

    omg!! i nid help!!

    the OEM i used says UNAUTHORIZED PRODUCT KEY?
    could any1 help..

    btw, the this is good man.. you can help many troubles people like me (myself of course, im really troubled *sigh*)..

    nice work man..
    appreciate it, the only thing is mine is UNAUTHORIZED.. 🙁

  • Ahmad

    i have more then 30 digits what should i do ?

  • Then you might be looking at the wrong section of the string. Should only be bites 34 through 42 (which can be identified by the values on the left – then you count in order to the right).

  • Ramli

    “Start from the top and write all of the digits down. You will need to type them back in (sorry – cannot copy paste from here in the registry) Once you have your 30 digits we are now ready to get our product key…”

    Start from where? From “A0 00 00 03 00 00 00…” then continue with the next line until we get 30 characters?

    Please explain. Thank you.

  • I am using Keyfinder (Opensource Porject) to view all app keys in your computer.

  • This a very nice guide. I have in the past lost the cd case to windows so this is fantastic for me.

  • BIRATHEEBAN

    THANKS

  • Betty
  • Jon

    Yeah, I don’t get how to write down the 30 digits…that box has way over 30 digits and you don’t specify: top to bottom, left to right? I don’t get it!

  • Lettie

    This worked great for me as well. And it took just a second to see that the 30 digits locations is represented by the “1”‘s in your example. (I have had my motherboard replaced, so hope that Windows will not have a problem with this change when I reinstall the O.S.)

    Thank you very mcuh!
    Lettie

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  • Guest

    This worked great for me as well Thank you so much !!

  • Stephen

    A nice post! I have also found another ways to retrieve Windows XP product key: http://www.top-password.com/blog/2-options-to-find-windows-xp-product-key/

  • Richard

    I run Vista and, using Wine in Ubuntu, I am able to follow everything up to the opening the “Current Version” folder in the registry. At this point, the “DigitalProductID” is not visible in the registry,

    Any ideas?

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