Solved How do I find my product key?

October 31, 2015 at 20:10:31
Specs: Windows 95, Pentium 4/ PC2700
I have a couple of copies of windows 95. One of them is installed on a machine already. I can't remember which installation media was used. I want to install the other copy on another machine. How can I find my product key within windows to know which installation media to use?

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✔ Best Answer
November 1, 2015 at 19:49:25
Just open 'my computer'. Right click on 'my computer' and choose 'properties'. The product ID will show there. For windows 95 the product key and product ID are the same. By the time windows 98 came along MS apparently decided that wasn't a good idea and separated the two. Now, even using the same key, separate installations produce different IDs.

There's also a small utility called 'diag.exe' that will extract the key from the registry for both 95 and 98 if you want to go that route. (I tried to find a download for that but the old link is dead and apparently there's other 'diag.exe' files that aren't for that purpose. I can email it to you if you want it.) It's only a 23K file and runs from command prompt.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS



#1
November 1, 2015 at 03:29:03
The Key is in the Windows Registry, it's just a case of knowing where in the Registry to look for it: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/produ...

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#2
November 1, 2015 at 06:10:39
There is no key on the disc if that's what you're asking.

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#3
November 1, 2015 at 16:33:23
I ran regedit.
Located HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS
And then selected CurrentVersion.

I do not see a registry entry for ProductKey. There is an entry for ProductID, but it is not 5 groups of 5 digits. It is 5-3-6-5 digits long, the second one being OEM. I opened up my windows 95 retail version box and found the Certificate of Authenticity. It shows the product key as a group of digits 3-7 in length. And someone penciled in the ProductID number on it, but it does not match the one on the machine nor does it contain OEM in it.

Edit: I tired to run Belarc and Magical Jelly Bean, but both just say they expected a newer version of windows and can not run or something along those lines.

Also, I searched through my software disc's and found a recovery CD (which I have never used) for an NEC ready computer and it has a Product ID# printed on its Certificate of Authenticity but no ProductKey unlike the other Certificate I mentioned above.

Anyway, I'm just thinking maybe these recovery discs & OEM CD's don't even ask you for a product key, which is why I am not seeing one in the registry?

Then again, I did do something different during the install. I can't remember how exactly. I seem to remember the retail floppy set I have being windows 95a or b. And I needed 95c for the USB support. And I may have used both that floppy install set and a different OEM disk w/USB support to get those drivers during install somehow. The PC will ask me for floppy disks when I want to change something, which seems to indicate to me that it is the retail version.

message edited by ISAmad


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Related Solutions

#4
November 1, 2015 at 19:49:25
✔ Best Answer
Just open 'my computer'. Right click on 'my computer' and choose 'properties'. The product ID will show there. For windows 95 the product key and product ID are the same. By the time windows 98 came along MS apparently decided that wasn't a good idea and separated the two. Now, even using the same key, separate installations produce different IDs.

There's also a small utility called 'diag.exe' that will extract the key from the registry for both 95 and 98 if you want to go that route. (I tried to find a download for that but the old link is dead and apparently there's other 'diag.exe' files that aren't for that purpose. I can email it to you if you want it.) It's only a 23K file and runs from command prompt.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS


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#5
November 3, 2015 at 10:57:32
To install Win95, you will need a boot floppy + the CD. You can download a boot floppy creator from bootdisk.com. If you don't have a Win95 disc, you can find the ISO online. It's not "illegal" as long as you have a product key. Personally, I wouldn't bother with any other Win95 version than OSR2.5 aka Win95C. I think it's available at WinWorldPC.com.

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