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Windows Product Keys

By paulgagan ·
I need help. I deleted files that were crucial to the successful running of Windows on my other computer.

I tried to recover everything by doing a complete reinstallation of Windows, but the product key I entered was invalid. This product key came from RadioShack (where I bought the computer in the first place).

The computer is a model M GT200C NEC computer, CPU-AMD K6-2W.

We recieved neither a Windows 98 Startup Floppy or a CD from RadioShack when originally purchasing the computer, as I have kept everything that came with the computer (but we created a Windows 98 Startup floppy using MSDos, and used a Windows 98 SE CD from our second computer).

The computer came with Windows 98 SE already installed, and I have never needed to reinstall it until now.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

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With Windows 98

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Windows Product Keys

You need to use the Product Key that comes with the CD as this is embedded into the CD unlike the latter versions of Windows where 1 CD can take numerous Product Keys. So in this case you can use the Product Key that is on the COA on the other computer.

I'm not sure but normally when you don't get an Disc's with a new computer it's because they are actually loaded on a Hidden Partition which you can reload from or that you got such a cheap deal that they are an added extra. I'm not sure about Win 98SE but IBM used not to supply install Floppies with the Win 3X systems that they sold and that was in breach of both the MS EULA and Industrial Laws here so they where forced to latter start supplying install Disc's.

As I've never actually used a NEC computer I'm not sure about what they came with as I know quite a few NEC workers who regularly have Nervous Break Downs I tend to avoid their products. Granted they work at the Cash Register side of the business but I didn't think that was a good form of advertising for the company.


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Something that might work

by Tig2 In reply to Windows Product Keys

Had a truly ugly situation where I had an end user with a valid install of 98 but no key. I Googled "Windows 98 Product key" and got a bunch of hits- enough that I created an Excel sheet to store all of them. I had to try a bunch but found one that the system accepted.

I have heard that OEM installs are particularly good for this dodge as they tend to be image installs. I cannot say if that is accurate.

DO check for a partition recovery. Also- if you installed from a disk in your possession, do you have the key for that disk? If you don't have a printed key for the disk you used, go to the computer that is running that instance and check the registry for the key. It's in there.

Try Googling to find the correct place in the reg to find the key.

Good Luck!

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Tig means

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Something that might work

Magic Jellybean Key Finder available for download at

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Sheesh HAL!

by Tig2 In reply to Tig means

Completely missed that. Started to type in the reg path and thought better of it. Senility and fatigue, don't you know?

Didn't know that a key finder was even out there. Much safer than playing in the reg...

Thanks! :)

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I picked that one up when

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Sheesh HAL!

We had to alter 2,500 Product Keys on XP when SP1 became available apparently MS decided that the Volume License Key had been Spoofed so we had to get a new Product Key and alter every one of those computers.

It's really much faster than MS way of doing things as it only takes about 45 seconds to change the key and with that many machines every second counts.

Then MS released SP2 and we had to do it all over again. I don't know how much we finally charged for that lot but the first time there where 11 of us working over Easter to get them all changed. The second time we had to do it during Office Hours and it took quite a bit longer for some strange reason. But they didn't pay any Penalty Rates the second time and it must have saved them money because the accountant in charge said it would.


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