How do I find my Windows CD Key number?

Computer users, after years of not needing it, often loose their CD product registration key to their operating system. It is only when it is time to install a new hard drive that many users even begin to look for the product key.

There are things that can be done to locate the key without tearing the house apart.

Suggestion 1

Go to your drive that has your O/S on it, which is usually the C Drive.

Open the WINNT folder, go to the System32 file, open the $WINNT$ file. Scroll down until you see the product id.

Suggestion 2

Go to Magical Jelly Bean at the following URL

Suggestion 3

Rock CD is another good free program at the following URL


Changing the Product Key in Windows

Tech Republic, , Recently Published a Good Article on Changing the Product Key in Windows, the Article Follows

Determining if you have a valid product ID
Hopefully you already know if you're dealing with a pirated copy of XP. But if you're unsure, a quick way to tell is to install Service Pack 1. Shortly after releasing Windows XP, Microsoft realized that most pirated XP installations were using two specific VLKs, the most popular of which begins with "FCKGW.” These VLKs produce product IDs that match either XXXXX-640-0000356-23XXX or XXXXX-640-2001765-23XXX, where X is any number.
If you try to install SP1 and get the following error message:
 The Product Key used to install Windows is invalid. Please contact your system administrator or retailer immediately to obtain a valid Product Key…"
You are dealing with a pirated copy of Windows. For more information about obtaining a valid product key, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 326904.
You can also directly check the OS’sproduct ID by right-clicking on My Computer, clicking Properties, and selecting the General tab. The machine's product ID will be located under the Registered To section. If the ID matches either of the two models commonly associated with VLK fraud, you’ll need to obtain a valid XP product key before proceeding. None of the procedures described below will work without a legitimate product key.
Two methods of changing Windows XP's product key
You can change a Windows XP installation's product key either by editing the registry or by using one of two Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) scripts. The registry editing method is outlined in Knowledge Base articles 321636 and 328874 and works on Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional, and Windows XP Corporate Edition. The script method is outlined in article 328874 and is designed to work on Corporate Edition installations that use a VLK and do not require activation. It may work on a Home or Professional installation, but I have not tested this scenario.
The script method is the practical solution for changing the product keys on a large number of machines. Regardless of the method you choose, make sure to backup important data before changing a product ID, since an unexpected problem could render the machine unbootable and necessitate a complete reinstallation of Windows.

The following instructions involve editing your system registry. Using the Windows Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that require the reinstallation of your operating system and possible loss of data. TechRepublic does not support problems that arise from editing your registry. Use the Registry Editor and the following directions at your own risk.

Editing the registry
Begin by opening the Registry Editor and navigating to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents

In the right pane, right-click the ODBETimer binary value and select Modify. Change at least one character of this value to either a number from 0 to 9 or to a letter from A to F, then click OK and close the Registry Editor. This renders the current product key invalid and deactivates Windows.

Now, it’s time to reactivate Windows using your new product key. Click Start | Run and enter the following command in your Windows directory.

%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe /awhere %systemroot%

In many cases, this command will look like:
C:\windows\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a

At this point, Windows will launch the Product Activation Wizard.

Figure A

Select the option to telephone a Microsoft customer service representative to activate Windows, as shown in Figure A, and click Next. Now, select the Change Product Key option and enter your new product key as shown in Figure B. Finally, click Update and close the window. If Windows returns you to the previous screen, just select the Remind Me Later option. When the wizard is finished, reboot the system.

Figure B

When Windows reboots, your next step will depend on which Windows XP version you are using. If you have XP Home or Professional, you’ll be prompted to reactivate your copy of Windows through the normal activation process. If you have XP Corporate, no activation is required and your machine should have a valid product ID. You can verify this by running the %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a command again. When the wizard loads this time, you should see a message indicating that your copy of Windows has already been activated.


Cracking Windows Passwords

There are multiple ways to crack Windows passwords. The easiest way is to download Cain & Abel and use that (the interface is quite self-explanatory, so I won’t go into that). But that involves installing software. What happens if you don’t have access to a user account with Administrator privileges (because, for instance you forgot the password to the only one). What do you do then? Here’s a tutorial:

You’ll need the following piece of software: pwdump2. It is available for download at the following link:

Extract all those files to c:\pwdump2. Go into your command prompt (Start | Run | cmd), and enter the following command: cd c:\pwdump2
After that, enter pwdump2>passwd.txt
Now, go into c:\pwdump2 and open passwd.txt.
You should see usernames next to long strings of numbers and letters. go to the line containing the username of the administrator account. OK, now, what you need is the second string. The line is arranged like so:
Username:1st string:2nd string:3rd string:::
What you want is the 2nd string, or the “word” (if you will) between the 2nd and 3rd colons. Make sure not to get the colons in there. Copy the 2nd string to your clipboard (highlight it and press ctrl + c)and go to:

Paste the string into the “hash” box, and click Submit Hash.

It should give you your password. Let me know if you run into any issues, and I will answer your questions.