The easiest way to get access to your product key is with a third-party utility, and there’s nobody better at those than Nir Soft.Their utilities are always crapware-free, and are always really useful.
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.
Protip: 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.
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. 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. 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.The great thing is that you can even recover a key from a computer that won’t boot anymore.All you need is access to the disk drive from a working computer. the Nir Soft keyfinder won’t always work for OEM computers, depending on how they decided to activate the licenses they might have used a single license for all computers. 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.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.