I recently pretty much screwed myself over with Windows 8. I was trying to recover my applications and program settings via the Windows old folder. Whatever I did I cannot boot into my computer when I get to a lock screen. It freezes if I try to login. If I reset all or refresh using the installation disk under repair, it asks for an installation disk which I have and when taken out and put back in it says it's not valid. I've tried auto help, and it failed. Is there any way for me to access the CD key? I bought Windows 8 OEM from NCIX online shopping, and for some reason I can't find the CD key on the disk or the CD carton.

I don't know how to reverse my problem, and it may be my only hope to find the CD key and use my CD for a fresh install. Could I boot into Linux and find it somehow? Anything is good as I don't have money to buy Windows!

  • Not sure ahout PASSWORD-recovery. The install key is not quiet a password. New-ish tag with only two uses though, so no prior case as a reference. – Hennes Sep 14 '13 at 7:01
  • theres a ton of things wrong with your question. first, what kind of computer are you using? laptop? desktop? whats the model number. secondly, what on earth are you talking about? how did you screw yourself? Were you trying to recovery your apps because you reinstalled windows? how did u install windows the first time but can't do it again? please re-read your question in someone else point of view, and see that its full of holes and details in which no one is going to be able to help you. – Sickest Sep 14 '13 at 7:30
  • if you bought a desktop or laptop the cd keys are normally on the bottom of a laptop or back of a desktop from what i remember. – Sickest Sep 14 '13 at 7:33
  • I would reccomend going raymond.cc/blog/… This website helped me out with all my questions as well as I didn't actually use it turns out while i was trying to recover files from windows.old i moved the windows folder to C:\Windows\Windows\EverythingElseHere so it couldn't boot properly. Anyway fixed it up but now just to be on the safe side im backing everything up and re-installing windows – user2434321 Sep 14 '13 at 8:34

You can use tools like LicenseCrawler,Magical Jelley Bean,ProduKey etc to recover your activation key. I’ll be using LicenseCrawler to demonstarte this.

BartPE (Bart's Preinstalled Environment) is a lightweight variant of the 32-bit version of Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, similar to Windows Preinstallation Environment.BartPE allows a user to boot Windows, even if a hardware or software fault has disabled the installed operating system(s) on the internal hard drive — for instance, to recover files.

This article here explains how to create a bootable Bart-PE media.

Lets assume that you have booted into Bart-PE right away.

The Registry is where a lot of your system’s configuration is kept. Registry Hive is a file containing a portion of the Registry. You’d want to load a Hive when you want to change or recover a configuration setting that lives in an inactive Hive.


1)Open Regedit. Click the orange Go button, click the Run menu item, then type in REGEDIT and then Enter.

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2)Now expand and select the Local Machine key, then select Load Hive from the File menu.

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3)load your old registry into your current registry. You find the Software hive on the old hard drive under Windows\System32\Config\software.

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Enter in a Key name under which this Hive will be mounted, under the Local Machine key.

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And there you have it – it’s mounted under the Key name of RegBackup.

4)Start LicenseCrawler and select All_Keys.

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5)Well, you should Unload the Hive once your done with it, by selecting the Key name (RegBackup), then from the File menu, choose Unload Hive. enter image description here

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