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November 6th, 2016, 08:00 PM #1
Windows Product Key missing two characters...
OK, tech question time. Thursday I bought a used computer from my employer (without a hard drive) for a princely sum of $10 as-is and no guarantee it would work. It's a Dell 980 with an i3 3.06GHz processor, 8GB DDR3 RAM, and a Radeon HD3450 video card with a splitter for dual monitors. I got it up and running with not too much work and threw in a used 2TB hard drive I bought for $35. On the case it has the Win7 label with almost all of the product key intact (last two characters are torn off).
Is there a way to find out the last two characters of the Win7 product key given that I have the other 23?
November 6th, 2016, 08:35 PM #2
That works from an installed copy of Windows. You don't have that, do you? In that case, go to the Dell website, and use the Service Tag to find out about your machine. I can't remember if it does or not, but it might have the key number recorded.
Last edited by paul9; November 6th, 2016 at 08:41 PM.
November 6th, 2016, 09:05 PM #3
Thanks Paul. I'll check with Dell.
November 6th, 2016, 09:22 PM #4
The Dell website shows that it has Win7 installed, and that it had a Product Key label installed, but not what the number was.
November 6th, 2016, 09:37 PM #5
Was the old HDD shot? Or just didn't come with one? If it had one, there might of been a hidden partition to restore the factory OS installation, if you could get that running, at least for a short while to use the tool Paul posted, you could probably obtain the key that way?
November 7th, 2016, 12:43 AM #6
The company destroys all the hard drives when the computers are sold.
I found a program that checks for valid codes. I generated all of the possible codes (650 of them) that it could be with the two missing characters and I have it running checks now. Hopefully it will find just one valid code, otherwise I won't know which it is. I suppose if it finds more than one valid code I can try to activate them one at a time. It should find the one tied to my hardware.
November 7th, 2016, 12:45 AM #7
IIRC, just about any Dell Windows 7 install DVD should install on the machine without using the key? They are (or were, at one time) coded to the BIOS.
November 7th, 2016, 12:55 AM #8
I'll try that if this method draws a blank. Thanks.
November 7th, 2016, 10:01 AM #9
I left the PID checker running overnight. In three hours it had checked all 650 possibilities I gave it and came up with one valid code. I'll plug it in after work and see how it works.
November 8th, 2016, 12:44 AM #10
Just to close this out, it worked like a charm. If I was missing more characters it would have taken a LOT longer. By the way the characters 015AEIOUSNLZ are not used in Product Keys so you can skip any keys with these characters. Here's the software I used: The Ultimate PID Checker Download
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