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How do I find out which product key was used to activate Windows?

I'm running Windows Vista now my Laptop came pre-installed with Vista and I have always used the recovery discs to format my system but I want to use a standard copy of vista and I no longer have my key, it rubbed off the bottom of my laptop so i removed it. Is there anyway i can get the key that my recovery discs use and will that be okay with a standard copy of vista home premium like the recovery discs install?

marked as duplicate by Sathyajith Bhat, random Oct 8 '10 at 18:58

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  • The serial tag here refers to serial ports, not serial numbers. – Joel Coehoorn Oct 8 '10 at 17:52
  • well it wouldn't let me use product key – Arch Angel Oct 8 '10 at 17:53
  • On a note i found an old program thanks everyone but I have a windows product key and a windows default product key. Can i use them for a retail disc? – Arch Angel Oct 8 '10 at 18:07

Belarc Advisor.

Download, install, run it, then it opens a page in your web browser displaying all kinds of facts and statistics about your PC...near the bottom, it has all the product keys, etc for all the install software, and, of course, the operating system...Hope that helps!

  • thanks, but my main query now is will the serial key work on a standard copy of Win Vista 32bit because it will be the code my recovery discs install – Arch Angel Oct 8 '10 at 17:51
  • yes, it should...if the key does not work, you can always call Microsoft and tell them the situation (that you are reinstalling Windows, and want to reuse the key, correct?) – studiohack Oct 8 '10 at 18:46
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    The key probably will NOT work with retail Windows Vista. OEM licenses (what computer makers buy) generally don't use keys that are compatible with retail purchases. – CarlF Oct 8 '10 at 19:14

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder is the easiest method I've ever found. For Vista, OEM product keys (those that come with a system) are not compatible with retail discs.

  • so basically having the code doesn't make any difference because i'll still have to use the recovery discs :(. – Arch Angel Oct 8 '10 at 18:05
  • +1 for Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder. It's helped me many times with Windows re-installs :) – Ryan Berger Oct 8 '10 at 18:07

Right click on Computer, go to Properties, and somewhere near the bottom should have your product key listed.

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    Thats my product ID not product key – Arch Angel Oct 8 '10 at 17:44

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