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Windows XP Pro activation code question.

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A quick and easy query for the Windows XP gurus, my son has managed to lose the 25 character identifying number that came with his copy of Windows XP Pro. This is not causing him problems since it has been activated for some time, it is only now that he has realised he no longer knows where the number is. I have tried searching my system for my number, but no joy. Does anyone have a solution to this problem other than my son and I tearing his place apart (it might yet come to that).Denis. The Ancient Brit.

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Hmmm... I think pretty much all you could do is call Micro$oft :(As far as I know the code wouldn't be held anywhere on your system. Unless someone else knows better...?You won't need it again unless you reinstall, but I'd do it now so you don't get a nasty surprise when you do...Please let us now how you get on.

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Thanks Andy,I think a call to MS is likely to be where my son and I are going to be heading. His system is running rock solid at the moment, but you never know when a re-install will become necessary and as you have pointed out, that is not the time for nasty surprises. Meanwhile we will try turning his flat over just in case we can find the number. I am going to claim any fiver

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Or - you could do something even simpler and download X-teq Systems' X-Setup from:http://www.xteq.com/On one of the pages of this lovely little XP utility, it will tell you the number you seek. This time write it down on every available horizontal surface in your house - and your sons forehead.EDIT: nope - sorry, please disregard all of the above. X-setup only diplays the windows PID, which is obviously no good to you. Sorry!Cheers,Paul

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Denis,Not sure if it may of help, but when I collected my new computer the nice man in PC World (god bless em) told me about the code number and that it was written down in the front of the hand book that came with said machine. He gave dire warnings at great length about what happens if the code number became lost but then with a cheery smile said, if that should ever happen look on the back of the tower as it is also attached there on a non removable sticker. The aim of this being should I ever sell them computer the new owner would still have access to the code number if required.Not saying this is the same with your sons make or model but I have just checked and it is indeed on the rear of the tower on a sticker on my tower so it may be the same in your sons case.RegardsPeter.

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That's all well and good for new machines, but not for upgrades.The number is on the CD case there typically (or sometimes on the CD itself for some reason I've never understood as you need to type it in when you can't read the number (a.k.a. when the CD is in the drive)).

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On my Win-XP CD, If I go to my computer and right click on my cd, I found a document called CD-KEY and it has the code on it. Jim

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Gentlemen,Thanks for all the help offered. I am due to visit my son this evening (He is a superb cook), so I will try the hints and tricks suggested. I am left impressed with the speed the Avsim community has responded to my request for assistance. What a great and knowledgeable bunch of guys you are.I am left wondering why MS makes such a secret of accessing the activation code. I have no problem with MS protecting themselves against piracy. If however their activation system is good as they claim, then being able to read activation code on any particular computer would only be of use to the user of that computer, for that computer only. Were I to reveal my code here, it would not be of use to anyone since my computer having been activated and registered with MS would preclude anyone from using my code a second time on a different computer. Then if I understood the logic and workings of MS, I would be rich beyond the dreams of avarice.It is nice to see PC World getting praise for once. There has been a spate of cases in the UK where customers having put their computers in for repair with PC World were subsequently visited by the police concerning the contents of their HD

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I searched through my XP Home CD but found no such file, nor anything that contained the code, nor any file of 100 bytes in size or below... Chances are Denis and his son won't find such a file either. It's worth a try of course, but:As an alternative method, if you need it, there is in fact a registry hack you can do to deactivate (or delay, don't remember) the activation. Microsoft gave this information to their beta testers. The information is somewhere on the Internet, and I don't know the details right now... If you search for it, you will probably find it.This can be used in illegal context unfortunately so I'm not saying much more...Good luck anyway.DaveP.S. Denis, after reading what you say above I come to think that a reinstall could (but don't expect so) work out unless you format your drive and unless you do a major change of hardware. But I wouldn't rely on that anyway. Just a very last resort.

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I found my CD key so easily I feel I must be misunderstanding the question!If you go to Control Panel and select System, on the General tab, the CD key is there along with other general system info.Apologies if I'm being particularly stupid tonight... I'm "sampling" a really nice Australian Chardonnay ;)

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Following your instructions Murphy (with the exception of the Australian Chardonnay), I did the same. I found a number in xxxxx-OEM-xxxxxxx-xxxxx (5-3-7-5) format. Since it is my son and not I who has mislaid his XP activation number, I am able to compare this number with the number that came with my Windows XP disk and this number is in xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx (5-5-5-5-5) format.Whatever the number shown in the General Tab relates to, it differs from my XP activation code. Since someone in this forum has been so kind as to direct me to nifty utility that searches for and finds the XP activation code on one

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I just KNEW I was missing something! (-:You are of course, absolutely correct Denis. I have no idea what that number is in the System panel. If I had put my wine glass down and checked, I would have seen immediately that it differs from the Product Key, which is right in front of me on a small sticker on my computer case (as placed there by my supplier - I'm not that organised!)I'm glad to hear you solved your problem Denis.I recommend the odd glass of Chardonnay (or even Merlot) while perched in front of the PC - it can make simming and computing in general a less "stressful" experience! :(Now if only we had a "wine-chug" smilie as well as a "beer-chug"...

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