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Find Windows license key using Knoppix

By rickporritt35 ·
Hi,

I have used Magic Jelly Bean & Belarc Advisor to find the Windows License Key before reinstalling Windows - great when you can get Windows to boot somehow first. But in the case of only being able to access the hdd files using Knoppix how can one find/extract the Product key this way?

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by wcp In reply to Find Windows license key ...

The main issue is to get the product key from a dead or non bootable XP system.

I have not used Knoppix but you may use a freeware Bart PE to find the Key.
This requires an additional XP system that is operational.

Basically you use Bart PE to boot from the unbootable Windows XP system and export a registry value that contains the Product Key. Merge the registry value to a working XP system and use Magic Jelly Bean or others to reveal the Product Key.

1. Create a Bart PE CD http://tinyurl.com/ehbh6
2. Download LoadHive from http://tinyurl.com/fzwvy and copy the file in a floppy.
3. Boot the unbootable XP system with BART PE.
4. Run LoadHive from the FD opening C:\Windows\System32\Config\Software.
5. Do not close the program.
6. Run Regedit and navigate to HKLM\Software_00\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion and highlight DigitalProductID on the right pane. Software_00 is a new registry key that was created by LoadHive.
7. Click on File and Export. Save it on the desktop if it is bigger that the floppy can handle.
8. Edit the content and keep only
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE_00\Microsot\Windows NT\CurrentVersion]
?DigitalProductID?= and the value.
9. Boot the operational Windows XP system.
10. Run regedit and export HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion to the Desktop or somewhere you can remember.
11. Merge the registry file from Step 8 by double clicking it.
12. Run Magic Jelly Bean to reveal the XP Product key and write it down.
13. Merge the registry file from Step 10 so it goes back to original status.

It is a lengthy process but it works.

If you need more info or help, please add a comment.

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by wcp In reply to

From Step 8, SOFTWARE_00 should have been SOFTWARE

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by rickporritt35 In reply to

Thanks for this ;^)

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by rickporritt35 In reply to Find Windows license key ...

Thanks WCP - great help. I tried to download BART PE once before and somehow got lost in the process! - this will give the incentive to try again ;^) Cheers.

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by rickporritt35 In reply to Find Windows license key ...

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