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I have gotten a virus and my computer is so messed up that I can't even get into safe mode. I have tried to get rid of the virus and failed and this Poking to repair the installation. I need a way to retrieve the xp product key from a boot cd so I can enter it after the repair.

Any ideas of free software that will decrypt the product key that runs from a boot cd?


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Retrieve the key from the boot CD? That does not happen. You will have to find some way to boot into the computer and use some free software to find the key entered in your computer when WinXP was originally installed. – VenkatH Jul 3 '12 at 17:08
It will be printed on your installation disk. You cannot decrypt code from disc. Because it is not store anywhere in the disk. – ichathan Jul 3 '12 at 17:10
This looks like the typical "help me cracking MS Win with an excuse". – Bruno9779 Jul 3 '12 at 17:11
@Bruno9779, do you think my answer has a sufficient disclaimer? – soandos Jul 3 '12 at 17:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The installation CD does not have the serial key on it. The serial key IS on the messed up computer. To get at it, just pull out the HD, attach it to some other machine, and then use a program called ProduKey to find of the serial key of a machine that already has windows installed on it.

A few notes of caution:

  1. If you use a windows serial that is already in use, flags will trip, and your copy will be marked invalid by microsoft as soon as it connects to the internet
  2. Copying someone else's serial key to create two licenced machines is illegal.
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Be aware that you cannot use SLP keys for installs from normal installation media. If your current Windows installation was done by a OEM any key finder tool will only give you the OEM's SLP key as this was used to activate Windows. In this case you should backup oembios.bin, oembios.dat, oembios.sig and from your current install, install Windows XP without a key (requires a disc with SP3 integrated), replace the oembios files with those from your backup and then finally enter your OEM's SLP key. – Gurken Papst Jul 3 '12 at 17:28

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