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Decoding Microsoft keys


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Don't suppose there's any way to recover the key from windows that won't boot the registry is intact?

Basically Computer A doesn't boot. I take Computer A's hard drive and put it as a secondary in Computer B.

I run the nifty util here on Computer B and tell it to get the Keys from Computer A's hard drive.

Any chance of that? (or a registry viewer for the same thing?)

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not an easy one, at least with my program. When I get some time I'll look into adding the ability to select where too look for the key, then you could mount the registry hive for the dead machine to your registry and read it.

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  • 7 months later...

I have a similar program and the changes I made to Office 2003 products was to change the second digit to reflect the service pack.

Office 2003 with no service packs


Office 2003 with SP1


This procedure also works with Visio, FrontPage, Project, etc.....

Edited by meister_sd
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  • 3 weeks later...

With the suggestions and testing help of Stealth111, I have been working on a new version of Keydecoder.

The current version I am working on has the following features for looking up Microsoft license numbers:

  1. Local Machine (default)
  2. Single Remote Machine
    • Enter the name of a remote machine you have access to via the Remote Registry service.

[*]List of Remote Machines

  • Specify text file with list of remote machines to access via remote registry service

[*]AD Query

  • Specify LDAP query of domain OU and return keys for all machines in that OU and it's sub OU's

[*]Offline Registry

  • You load the software registry hive under HKLM and specify the key name you assigned and it pulls the keys from there.

[*]Manual Decode

  • You enter the product name, and the hex data from the DigitalProductId field and it is decoded for you

[*]REG file (In progress)

  • Specify a registry file and it will scan the file looking for digitalproductid's and attempt to decode

All of the options are available via either gui or command line and the results can be save to a csv file.

I can't think of any other possible ways that one would want to try and access this information. But if anyone has any other suggestions let me know and I will look into added additional features.

At this time I have no intentions of providing any method to change the license numbers of any of the products.

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TRUST ME... IT IS SWEET!! IcemanND has really brought his program from a casual "might use" type of program, to the type of program I will come to rely on day in and day out administering and auditing my buildings and the 1000's of systems in them. Every day he has been adding and changing the program from some simple suggestions I had made to him, of things that I might like to see the program do. He has been right there with the changes.. And with the exception of 1 isolate bug that we are looking into with a "ROGUE" machine in one of my buildings that won't play nice, the program is ROCK SOLID!! Thanks again IcemanND!! :thumbup:thumbup The AD scan absolutely kicks a**, I am working on passing the outputted results of the .csv file into another script to change keys that don't match a check file.. Changing the keys via vb is cake, but automating the process of checking them against a database and then changing them is another thing. See, I have kids that will try to get the product keys from our maachines and use them at home, ect.. So I DEPLOY GENERIC keys to the whole building, ALL THE SAME.. But I have a database of the ACTUAL keys for each system, that I can run a file and change the whole domain back to their original keys with the simple run of a script, when it come time for an audit, so you can see why I praise this program so much, it is looking like the final peice of my big puzzle..

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New version: Will maintain the orignal basic version and the new version will be considered the Enterprise version 2.2.

If all you care about is the local machine you are running the utility on you only need the original. If you need to scan multiple systems from a list of machines, from a Active Directory list, offline registry, exported registry file, manual decode from direct data input, or want to search the entire registry from beginning to end and decide all possible DigitalProductIDs, then download the enterprise version.

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  • 8 months later...


Just letting you know it doesn't Report Vista keys correcty. I'm running Vista Business Edition (Enterprise) and it returns BBBBB-BBBBB-BBBBB-BBBBB-BBBBB. I've looked at the DigitalProductID key for Vista, and it is quite different to the previous versions. There's also an additional key there called DigitalProductID4 now, which has a lot of data in it, but I've knocked up a little script to scan through that and can't find anything that matches my key. Every second hex pair in DigitalProductID4 is a 00 though, so it may be necessary to ignore those.

It does report Office 2007 correctly though.



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They must have changed the vista key location or encoding type between my first version and the official release. I have not tried it since the final beta's. When I get a chance again I'll load up vista and see what I can find.

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I can confirm that the typical method of decoding the key does not work on SOME version of Vista. It does work on 32 bit Home Premium and Business. It does not work on Ultimate 64 bit. There is another key, DigitalProductID4, under the same registry branch, that might contain the information. However, a search for that only turns up this thread and 1 or 2 others.

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@orev - can you try doing a manual decode with Keydecoder enterprise 2.28.

Launch Keydecoder

Click Settings menu

Select Manual Decode

Enter Product name (anything you want)

Copy the registry data from DigitalProdID4 key into Digital Product ID field

Click Decode

And let me know if it properly decodes the key. I don't have access to a 64 bit version to test on. If it works I'll update the code.

or export the registry key and change the digitalproductid4 key name in the reg file to digitalproductid and run keydecoder against the reg file.

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OK, gave the manual decode a try, and no go. It does return something, but it's not the correct key. The ID4 field contains a lot more data than the regular ID field.

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@Gobby - Actually I thought the same thing earlier this evening, will add it and update main post sometime tomorrow. I was thinking about exporting a CSV file with the GUID, Application Name, CD-Key. Or possibly the option of which you want to export. Any preferences to a button in the app or a commandline switch?

@ALL - Does anyone have Visual Studio .NET? Does it work? If not can you get me the registry path to the GUID which contians the DigitalProductID and ProductName keys and I'll add it also if it doesn't already work.

No it didn't pull the Key ... I'm running MSVS 2005 pro on XP here at the office, registry path appears to be:


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