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One of my computers recently got a virus and I had to reinstall Windows. I choose to keep the old Windows files when I re installed. It wasn't until the end of the installation when I was asked to input my windows key that I realize that heat or something has blackened out part of the key on the Windows sticker of the laptop.

Is there anyway of retrieving key from the old.Windows files that were left from the pervious Windows installation?

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The key on an OEM system is not the same as the one on the sticker - the key on the system is an SLP one and won't generally work with even an oem install disk iirc –  Journeyman Geek Feb 19 '12 at 3:48
    
You don't have the factory Recovery discs for that laptop? What brand is it, which OS? –  Moab Feb 19 '12 at 4:40
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It can be gleaned from the ntuser.dat file located in the old User account folder.

But as stated by Journeyman Geek, it probably is a VLK/SLP key and may not work when installing from a generic Windows Install disc.

You are better off to get your hands on the factory recovery disc set for your specific Laptop.

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