Sometimes there is need to newly install Windows OS. To do this task, we need Windows Product Key. But, where to find it?
Product key have next form
PRODUCT KEY: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
How to find it, depends from the way how we obtain OS.
A new PC is bought with running Windows. The product key was pre–installed on your PC. Certificate of Authenticity (COA) should be attached to the PC, or included with the packaging the PC came in. Also it can be in BIOS or EFI.
From an authorized retailer. The label with product key should be inside the package that Windows came in.
A digital copy purchased from a MS website. The product key can be found in the confirmation email you received after buying it. If Win 10 is bought, it can be distributed as a digital license, so then you won’t receive a product key.
Free upgrade to Windows 10 from Win 7 or Won 8.1. A digital license is distributed instead of a product key.
Usually COA sticker should be bonded on PC case, or under Laptop battery.
If you have running windows which should be newly installed, you can read it from OS. There is many ways to do it:
- Using Elevated Command Prompt:
wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
- Using a PowerShell windows with administrative privileges:
powershell "(Get-WmiObject -query ‘select * from SoftwareLicensingService’).OA3xOriginalProductKey"
- Using VBScript
- Using some Key Finders sotware as:
Product key stored on BIOS/EFI does not need always to be entered manually. Some version of Windows read it automatically. Normally, product key must be for verion of Windows you need to install. To read it from BIOS / EFI you need software as:
- Windows Product Key Tool
- EasyBCD software
- OEM Product Key
Be aware that some antivirus software recognize those programs as viruses and block their work.