The following tools and instructions involve editing your system registry. Using the Windows Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that require the reinstallation of your operating system and possible loss of data. Prior to edit, you should create a Restore Point AND backup your Registry Keys.
Good source of information and free tool: www.winkeyfinder.com
Their tool, Win Keyfinder will easily retrieve/change your product key
Win keyfinder helps you retrieve your windows Xp, win 2000, windows me, 98, 2003 and .NET Product keys from the registry and display it for you.
Usually the keys are encoded and stored in the registry. Win KeyFinder decodes it and also allows you to change Windows XP, 2003, and .Net Product Keys just by pressing a button. It is simple and easy to use.
Here are some key features of “Win KeyFinder” v1.73 Final:
· View/Change XP Key
· View/Change MS Office Key
· View Win98 Key
· View Win2000 Key
· View .Net Key
· View Win2003 Key
· Back up WinXP Activation
· Save Your Product Key By Encrypting It
· Generate Unique Passwords By Entering your Combination of KeyCode
· Now Support MS office 2000 Key Viewing and Key changing but only if MS Office Service Pack 2 has been installed.
· Backup Activation With Volume Serial number
· Restore Activation with Volume serial number
To Change a Product Key in Vista/ 7:
1. Click on Start Menu
2. Click on Control Panel
3. Click on System
4. Click Change product key
1. Click on Start menu.
2. right click on My Computer and select Properties.
3. Click Change product key
To Change the Product Key in Windows XP:
Begin by opening the Registry Editor and navigating to
In the right pane, right-click the ODBETimer binary value and select Modify. Change at least one character of this value to either a number from 0 to 9 or to a letter from A to F, then click OK and close the Registry Editor. This renders the current product key invalid and deactivates Windows.
Now, it’s time to reactivate Windows using your new product key. Click Start | Run and enter the command:
At this point, Windows will launch the Product Activation Wizard.
Select the option to telephone a Microsoft customer service representative to activate Windows, click Next. Now, select the Change Product Key option and enter your new product key. Finally, click Update and close the window. If Windows returns you to the previous screen, just select the Remind Me Later option. When the wizard is finished, reboot the system.
When Windows reboots, your next step will depend on which Windows XP version you are using. If you have XP Home or Professional, you’ll be prompted to reactivate your copy of Windows through the normal activation process. If you have XP Corporate, no activation is required and your machine should have a valid product ID. You can verify this by running the %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a command again. When the wizard loads this time, you should see a message indicating that your copy of Windows has already been activated.