|Microsoft doesn't do anything to the label to protect the Product Key from being worn off. I've seen that a few times on laptop computers. |
If Windows will not work properly but it's installation is still on the hard drive, see the Keyfinder FAQs
- the info after this line:
Q: Can I retrieve the product key from a non-booting Windows installation?
....and farther down the page if you have problems, the info after this line:
Q: Why did the hive load fail?
Loading the Hive will work regarding finding the Product Key
- if the operating system that was booted is in the same family as the operating system on your hard drive that has the non working Windows installation
- if the hard drive itself is NOT failing
- if the required data is still intact
- if no software cheat was used that nullified needing to enter a Product Key.
If the computer is a brand name computer that still had it's original brand name supplied software installation on it, the Product Key Windows is / was using is often different from the one on the official Microsoft label on the outside of the case - either Product Key will work.