Another Windows CD key recovery question...

By midashand ·
My sisters hard drive recently failed on her old IBM thinkpad (circa PII). I have been able to pull SOME data off the drive but cannot get it to boot in any way, shape, or form.

I'm kind of afraid to ask this, as I think I already know the answer... but here it goes anyways.

Is there any way to recover the CD key off this hard drive? My sister got it from a pawnshop and it had XP on it then. I wasn't around to oversee the purchase, and it wasn't until AFTER the drive failed that I found out there wasn't a XP CD Key sticker on the laptop.

I would try to use some kind of keyfinder but those will only work in the copy of windows is bootable.

So, any suggestions anyone?

Thanks in advance!

- Midashand

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -


by TheChas In reply to Another Windows CD key re ...

Well, if you can retrieve the registry files off of the computer, you can dig through them looking for the key. But, that will not be your only issue.

Windows keys work with specific sets of distribution CDs. The OEM key for an IBM may only work with an OEM XP CD for IBM systems.

You may need to use the key for the install CD you use, then go in and change the key to the IBM key before activating XP.

Laptops often don't come with CDs, but have a restore partition.

If you can access and copy the restore partition, you may not even need a key.


Collapse -


by midashand In reply to Well,

No dice on the recovery partition....

I'll see if I can't get into the registry and find it... although, aren't they encrypted in the registry or something?

Related Discussions

Related Forums