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.


Click on Start and select “Run”


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


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






Scroll down and expand Microsoft


Scroll down and expand WindowsNT


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.


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


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)


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.


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.