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windows xp pro key code number missing

By iokten ·
...I purchased a Windows XP PRO OEM version from a guy who used to build and sell computers. Later on we wanted to install this winxp onto a generic computer I put together, and found out we dont have the Key number fo the Win XP we purchased. The XP CD was in a sealed original package with no Key Code number. Either it fell off or the guy who sold it to us was supposed to give us one. We dont know.

We contacted to Microsoft to get a key number they said they could not help because it was not a Retail version even if we pay for it. WHen I told them this guy who sold it to us is no where to befound , may be out of business, shall we have to throw this away which we paid about $180.00? Microsoft, who are the manufacturer said they could not help.

I dont think this is a fair answer. Even if we wanted to pay for it, they said they could not give us a licence so we can install it.

Is there any way for us to be able to get into this Original, never been used Windows CD to retreive its Key number? Or is it a trash now?

I believe there is a solution for this rather that paying another $180 to buy another copy.

any suggestions?

thank you

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by TheChas In reply to windows xp pro key code n ...


If you cannot find the OEM who sold you the OEM copy of ANY version of Windows, you are out of luck.

First, part of the risk of OEM versions of most software is that you get NO, NADA, Zero support from the software manufacture.

Next, at least for Microsoft products, the key is NOT stored on the CD itself.
As part of the installer, Microsoft uses an algorithm that decodes the product key and determines if it is a valid key, then creates a serial number for your system.

There should have been a "Certificate of Authenticity" on the back side of the shrink wrap of the OEM CD package.
On that certificate, is your product key.


Search the web. Sites such as list current prices for many PC items including Windows. What you want to look for, is a license for the version of XP that you have. Or, a new OEM package.

Talk with your local PC dealers and service centers. They might know where the dealer who sold you your copy of XP ended up. Or, if he has a bad reputation, they might be willing to sell you a license or new copy of XP at a discount.

Watch for computer shows in your area. Often there are dealers that buy and sell software and licenses at a discount.


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by TheChas In reply to

Got your message.

You could still save a LOT going with the OEM version of XP Pro versus the full retail.

The OEM version typically sells for $140 US or less.

If you go with the retail upgrade version, I STRONGLY recommend performing a clean installation and not upgrade the existing system.

Note: to install the upgrade version of XP clean, you need to have your qualifying version of Windows installation CD and product key.

In the long run, a clean installation will take less time and effort that an upgrade.
Plus, the system WILL perform better.

Finally, I assume that you are new to TR.
It is considered polite practice to rate answers and close questions once you have your solution.


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by TheChas In reply to

Thanks for the kind words.

It is a shame that Microsoft assumes that if you can't find your product key that you are guilty of piracy.

It is also a shame that US laws do more to protect business profits than consumers.


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to windows xp pro key code n ...

As Chas said there should have been a COA of the back of the plastic shrink wrap actually it is in two parts the actual COA and a tab that stays on the Plastic. If it wasn't on the Shrink Wrap the most likely thing is that the person in question has loaded a computer and used that COA on the Chassis to make out that he/she is selling a legit copy of Windows or in your haste to get the product loaded you just ripped off the plastic and threw it away with the COA intact on the outer wrapper.

Either way MS is perfectly well within their rights in telling you as they have done as you do not have Consumer Protection Laws in the US with Teeth so MS doesn't have to support its products like they do in AU where they would be legally obliged to provide a replacement product Key even if it is an OEM copy of Windows.

The Product Key is Generic and any copy of XP works with a range of product keys so effectively the Product Key is not on the CD anymore but just a subroutine that will accept a product key if it falls within a certain range of available Keys. You can not even use a product key off another computer with the same version of Windows installed as you wouldn't be able to activate it though the product Key would certainly work.

About the only possible thing I can suggest is if it isn't a copy with SP 2 to ring MS and claim that when you installed SP2 the product is no longer recognized as a Genuine Product Key Sp 2 did exactly the same thing as SP 1 did but this time when you go to Windows Live Update you'll get a message that you do not have a Genuine Copy of Windows and you'll be kicked off and not allowed to proceed so in that case MS is duty bound to provide a new Key as one of their Patches has stopped your legally obtained product from working.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

I know that it happens a lot with Volume License copies of Windows but I'm not sure if it still happens to the OEM copies. Perhaps Chas could answer you on this one as he lives there and has a far better idea of the legal implications that are involved.


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by hozcanhan In reply to windows xp pro key code n ...

slm okten ;
legally it is a trash now. but how fair this is , it is a very controversial issue - more like a legal issue than a technical issue. Even though you can be quided to find your key number by M , once they said "no" it is illegal to use that cd from then on . Honestly speaking if you really paid that money I beleive that you should be offered a key . If you are refused one and you use illegal methods to unkey it , then it is a matter of legal issue. you are liable to indicement from then on you try to find the guy and prove your innocence . Is it worth the hassle ?

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by jclmaster In reply to windows xp pro key code n ...

"IF" you still have XP installed on the original computer you can get the product code by running a 3rd party utility! (ROCKXP for instance which you can find via GOOGLE!)

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by wlbowers In reply to windows xp pro key code n ...

Compaq and HP and some others put the COA sticker with the key on the machine.

They don't put the key software wise the cd.

Try ebay.


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by wlbowers In reply to

Ya can't get a code with any software if it hasn't been put in yet. Dudes.

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by density5 In reply to windows xp pro key code n ...

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