If you’re planning on doing a reinstall of Windows but can’t find your product key, you’re in luck because it’s stored in the Windows Registry. It’s just not easy to find, and it’s impossible to read without some help. Luckily, we’re here to help.
Windows 7 Serial Key Free
As you can see in the screenshot above, the product ID is stored in the registry but is in a binary format that can’t be read by humans unless you are some sort of Cylon. You aren’t, are you?
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We’re not really sure why Microsoft went to great lengths to make it difficult to see the product keys for their software, especially since they are stored right in there in the registry and can be read by software, if not by humans. We can only assume that they don’t want anybody to re-use a key from an old computer.
Windows 7 Product Key Serial Key Free Latest Working For Windows 7, Windows 7 Home Basic,Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Professional Keys.These Product key, Serial Key and Activation Key Work On All system 32 Bit and 64 Bit.these are working Keys. Is there any way to verify if an individual Windows 7 serial number is genuine, before installing or activating it? Is there anyone who can maybe check it up, who I can email the serial to (once I receive it) to check that it is in fact genuine? There is no publically available way to check the validity of a product key itself. How to determine if a Windows 7 key code is valid or not? They might be able to decipher it from the product serial number below it. Version of IE or download a new alternate browser to. How to Find Your Windows PC’s Serial Number. Chris Hoffman @chrisbhoffman Updated December 28. On Windows 7, press Windows + R, type “cmd” into the Run dialog, and then press Enter. At the Command Prompt, type the following command and then press Enter: wmic bios get serialnumber. Check the BIOS.
The great thing is that you can even recover a key, even from a computer that won’t boot anymore. All you need is access to the disk drive from a working computer. Keep reading for more.
Three Places You Might Find the Key
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The key you need will be in one of three places:
- Stored in software on your PC: When you (or your PC manufacturer) installs Windows, Windows stores its product key in the registry. You can extract this product key, and–often–enter it when reinstalling Windows on your PC. Crucially, you’ll need to grab it from your operating system before you begin reinstalling Windows or it could be deleted if you format your hard drive.
- Printed on a sticker: Some PCs use a technology called “System Locked Pre-installation,” or SLP. If your PC uses this, the product key on your PC–the one stored in the registry, and the one key-viewer applications display–will be different from the actual key your PC needs. The actual key is on a certificate of authenticity (COA) sticker on your PC or its power supply. The one in the registry and key-viewer application is a red herring. This system was common for Windows 7 PCs.
- Embedded in your PC’s UEFI firmware: Many newer PCs that come with Windows 8 or 10 use a new method. The key for the version of Windows the PC comes with is stored in the computer’s UEFI firmware or BIOS. You don’t even need to know it–assuming you’re installing the same edition of Windows the PC came with, it should automatically activate and work without you needing to enter a key. It’ll all happen automatically.
Be sure to use the same version and edition of Windows the computer came with. In other words, if it came with Windows 7 Home Premium, you can’t install Windows 7 Professional.
If the Key Is Stored in Your PC’s Hardware
Let’s start with the simplest situation. On newer Windows 8 and 10 computers, the key isn’t stored in software where it can be wiped, or on a sticker where it could be smudged off or removed. No one can glance at your computer’s sticker to steal its product key. Instead, the key is stored in the computer’s UEFI firmware or BIOS by the manufacturer.
You don’t have to do anything special if you have this. You should just be able to reinstall the same edition of Windows the PC came with and it should just work without even asking you for a key. (Still, it may be best to find the product key using one of the below methods and write it down before reinstalling Windows–just in case.)
If you want to find the UEFI-embedded key and write it down, you can do so quite simply. Just open the Start menu, type “powershell”, and run the Powershell application that comes up.
Then, enter the following command and press Enter:
You should be rewarded with your embedded license key. Write it down and store it in a safe place.
Read the Key From the Certificate of Authenticity Sticker
If you have a Windows 7-era PC, there’s a good chance the PC’s key is a single key the manufacturer uses for all their PCs. Thanks to “System Locked Pre-installation,” you’re not allowed to use that key to install Windows. If you try, you’ll get error messages about the key being invalid.
Win 7 Serial Generator
To check, you’ll need to look for a certificate of authenticity sticker on your computer. The COA sticker verifies that the computer came with an authentic copy of Windows, and that sticker has a product key printed on it. You’ll need that product key to reinstall Windows–and, if the manufacturer used System Locked Pre-installation, that key is different from the one your PC came with in software.
Examine your computer to find the key. On a laptop, it may be on the bottom of the laptop. If your laptop has a removable battery, it may be under the battery. If there’s some sort of compartment you can open, it might be in there. It may even be stuck to the laptop’s charger brick. If it’s a desktop, look on the side of the desktop’s case. If it’s not there, check the top, back, bottom, and anywhere else it might be.
If the key has rubbed off of the sticker, there’s not much you can do. You can try contacting your computer’s manufacturer and explaining what happened, but we can’t guarantee they’ll help. Microsoft would always be happy to sell you another key, though!
Use NirSoft’s ProduKey to Recover Product Keys (Even if You Can’t Boot the PC)
The easiest way to get access to your product key is with a third-party utility, and there’s nobody better at those than NirSoft. Their utilities are always crapware-free, and are always really useful. The only issue with this particular utility is that some antivirus will detect it as a false positive, because some malware might try to steal your product key.
Note: the NirSoft keyfinder won’t always work for OEM computers, depending on how they decided to activate the licenses. If your OEM installed your computer and used a single key for all their PCs, this won’t work. It also doesn’t work for Office 2013.
All you have to do is download ProduKey, unzip it, and then run it to immediately see all of your product keys. It’s as simple as that.
If you want to recover a key from a dead computer, you can hook up the hard drive to a working PC, and then run ProduKey and use File > Select Source to point to the external Windows directory. You can then grab the keys from that computer easily.
You can also use a Linux live CD to pull the Windows directory off the other computer and onto a thumb drive, or just grab the registry files if you prefer. If you need help, we’ve got a guide to pulling data off a dead computer.
Find the Windows Key Without Any Software (Advanced Users Only)
Assuming you can boot your computer without any problems, you can easily create a simple VBscript that will read the value out of the registry and then translate it into the format that you need for reinstalling. We’re not sure where this script came from, but reader raphoenix posted it on our forum a long time ago, so we’re sharing it here for you.
Copy and paste the following into a Notepad window:
You’ll need to use File -> Save As, change the “Save as type” to “All Files” and then name it productkey.vbs or something similar ending with the vbs extension. We’d recommend saving to the desktop for easy access.
Once you’ve saved it, you can just double-click and the popup window will show you your product key.
Pro tip: If you use CTRL+C when the popup window is active, it will copy the contents of the window to the clipboard, and then you can paste it into Notepad or somewhere else.
The product key system is complicated to understand because Microsoft doesn’t really want typical Windows users to reinstall Windows on their PCs. Instead, they’d rather you use your computer manufacturer’s recovery media. But the recovery media is full of the bloatware you don’t want on your PC–that’s why so many geeks often opt to reinstall Windows on their new PCs.READ NEXT
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Windows doesn’t display your PC’s serial number anywhere in its interface, and neither do popular system information tools. But you can often find a PC’s serial number with a simple command, a peek in your BIOS, or on the hardware itself.
Run the WMIC Command
Open a Command Prompt window to get started. On Windows 10 or 8, right-click the Start button and select “Command Prompt”. On Windows 7, press Windows + R, type “cmd” into the Run dialog, and then press Enter.
At the Command Prompt, type the following command and then press Enter:
You’ll see the computer’s serial number displayed beneath the text “SerialNumber”. This command uses the Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) tool to pull the system’s serial number from its BIOS.
If you don’t see your PC’s serial number, blame your PC’s manufacturer. The number will only appear here if the PC manufacturer saved it to your computer’s BIOS or UEFI firmware. PC manufacturers don’t always fill in the number properly. In that case, you’ll see something like “0” or “To be filled by O.E.M.” instead of an actual serial number.
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This is also true if you built your own PC because the PC itself won’t have a serial number. However, you can look up the serial number of your motherboard and other components.
Check the BIOS
You may also be able to find the serial number in the BIOS or UEFI firmware settings screen. This technique won’t get you a serial number if the
wmic command didn’t, since the command pulls the serial number from the BIOS. However, checking the BIOS could be helpful if you can’t actually sign into Windows to run the
RELATED:What Does a PC’s BIOS Do, and When Should I Use It?
Access the BIOS or UEFI firmware settings screen and look around for a “Serial Number” somewhere on a system information screen. It’ll be in a different place on different PCs, but you can usually find it somewhere on the “Main” or “System” screen.
Find the Serial Number On the PC’s Hardware, Box, or Elsewhere
If you don’t see a serial number after running the
wmic command—or if you just can’t turn the PC on or don’t have access to it—there are several other places you might find the serial number:
- If you have a laptop, flip it over. On some laptops, you’ll see the number on a sticker. On others, you’ll see the number printed directly on the metal or plastic the laptop is made from. If your laptop has a removable battery, the serial number is sometimes on a sticker inside the battery compartment, under the battery.
- If you have a desktop PC, look at the back, top, or side of the case for some sort of sticker. The number may also be on a sticker inside the case, so you might have to open it up.
- If you can’t find the serial number on the PC itself, look online for instructions specific to your model. The manufacturer’s website should tell you exactly where to look.
- If you registered your PC with the manufacturer or received warranty service, the serial number should be included in the registration documentation, warranty service receipt, or email confirmation for the service.
- If you still have the original product box, it usually has the serial number printed on it—often on the same sticker with the bar code.
- If you purchased the PC online or in store, the serial number may be printed on the physical or email receipt you received.
And if you just can’t find your serial number at all, don’t give up hope. If you have proof of purchase, the manufacturer still may be able to help you with whatever service you need and may even be able to find out the serial number for you.
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