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Resolved Where is my Windows 8 product key?

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by g.watson, 2013/10/20.

  1. 2013/10/20
    g.watson

    g.watson Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Hi. I am running an Acer Aspire with Win8 already loaded when I bought it. What worries me is that I can't find the full Windows product key anywhere.

    Control panel > System gives me a Product ID (whatever that is) with four groups of 5 chars each. And if from there I click "View details in Windows Activation" I see a short "product key" (whatever that is) with half of it asterisked out (*****-PPKVT), which obviously is not the same key. I remember Windows product keys as five groups of five characters each.

    I'm worried in case one day I need to contact MS support and can't quote a product key.

    Also because I'm having a problem with Outlook 2007 (yes, I know, but I can't afford an upgrade and I'm quite happy with the 2007 version) and might need to do a Reset or Refresh of Win 8 to resolve it, and assume I might need the product key at that time.
     
  2. 2013/10/20
    Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

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    Russ,
    #2
    g.watson likes this.

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  4. 2013/10/20
    PeteC

    PeteC SuperGeek Staff

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    It would appear that it is embedded in the BIOS - read this
     
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  5. 2013/10/20
    g.watson

    g.watson Well-Known Member Thread Starter

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    Many thanks to both. The BIOS embedding was new to me - I've played with various settings there but never noticed it. As for Belarc Advisor - great! I have that on board, and have never noticed the product key line, and didn't think to look for it there. I'll save a copy of that report and print off a hardcopy, too, to cover all future questions.
     
  6. 2013/10/20
    James Martin

    James Martin Geek Member

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    Is it really necessary to have a copy of these keys on OEM (Dell, etc.) machines? I never needed one to reinstall Windows with.
     
  7. 2013/10/21
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    When you right click on Computer and select properties, in the section titled Windows Activation, it should say that Windows is activated and show the Product ID number used to activate it.
     
    Bill,
    #6
  8. 2013/10/21
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    Note that the Windows Product ID and Windows Product Key are two different strings. The one displayed in the System and PC Info screens is the Product ID. It's 20 characters, usually four groups of five letters and numbers within each group separated by dashes ( "- "). For example: 00345-12345-12345-AB345. If you're running an OEM version instead of retail, it will look similar to this instead: 00345-OEM-1234567-12345

    The Windows Product Key is similar but contain 25 characters, five groups of letters and numbers separated by dashes. For example: A12BC-DEF3GH-IJKL4-MNOP5-QR6S7. This is the one that used to be on the Windows sticker you'd find on the bottom or back of Windows computers and you'd type in to activate Windows.

    Belarc Advisor (free) will display both the Product ID and the Product Key. When it's done analyzing your system and brings the html page, click on the "Software Licenses" link on the left, look for the line that starts with "Microsoft - Windows ", like this:

    Microsoft - Windows 8.1 Professional 00345-12345-12345-AB345 (Key: A12BC-DEF3GH-IJKL4-MNOP5-QR6S7)

    (These are fake IDs and Keys)
     
  9. 2013/10/21
    Bill

    Bill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    Good point. The Product ID is created when you install Windows on your computer. They Key (sometimes called CD Key - even though Windows has come on DVDs for some time now) might be considered the license number for Windows. It is the same number as printed on the Microsoft CoA (certificate of authenticity) label that came with Windows and should be attached to the computer by the system builder.
     
    Bill,
    #8
  10. 2013/10/21
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    Correct. Apparently what was happening though is people were stealing those visible Product Keys. Not the sticker itself, but just jotting down the number or simply taking a picture of it with their cellphone so that they could then use it to activate a copy of Windows on some other computer.

    And that's why Microsoft no longer wants to hand out Windows stickers and ISO files, as well as killing TechNet subscriptions. To help cut back on piracy.
     
  11. 2013/10/21
    masterroming

    masterroming Well-Known Member

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    Oh no!! :eek: dammit! Seriously though, I love the way you thought you needed to point this out ;) :D :p
     
  12. 2013/10/21
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    :) Because if I didn't, and as you alluded to, you can bet someone *special* would start throwing a hissy fit because they can't get the #~) $@*% thing to work with Windows activation! :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: 2013/10/21
  13. 2013/10/21
    masterroming

    masterroming Well-Known Member

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    We have kids on this forum??? I mean I am young, but Kids!! :eek:
     
  14. 2013/10/21
    Steve R Jones

    Steve R Jones SuperGeek Staff

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    Age has nuttin to do with it;)
     
  15. 2013/10/21
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    That's why I had changed it from "kids" to "someone Special ". :)
     
  16. 2013/10/21
    masterroming

    masterroming Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you said so before... :confused:
     
  17. 2013/10/21
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    Right? "Special" as in someone that gets to ride on the "Special" bus. ;)
     
  18. 2013/10/21
    masterroming

    masterroming Well-Known Member

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    Haha, well I was 13 when I signed up to this forum... Probably the youngest here... Although I normally don't say that as people instantly doubt my suggestions... (Unless they know me...)
     
  19. 2013/10/21
    masterroming

    masterroming Well-Known Member

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    Wow, what have you been drinking today??? Something slightly stronger than Coffee me thinks ;)
     
  20. 2013/10/21
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    I was still editing while you quoting and replying?
     
  21. 2013/10/21
    masterroming

    masterroming Well-Known Member

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    Right, EVERYONE PAUSE :D
     

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