Activation: product key from old HD?


Nigel Molesworth

I recently built a new PC, and installed a genuine copy of Vista Home
Premium, then activated it. Now I have fitted a new HD (I've still got the
old one) and done a fresh install.

When I try to activate, it says the product key is in use. This is a bit
odd, because I don't recall re-entering the it. However, I've got about 10
used product keys, and I don't know which one it was!

Is there a way to discover the product key from the old HD?

Nigel Molesworth

Is there a way to discover the product key from the old HD?

Just remembered Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder. How could I forget, although I
didn't know it worked on Vista.

Bistey Csaba

Well if you can boot, from the previous hdd you can use :

WGA Diagnostic Tool

It will tell you the last 3 part of the product key of that Vista
installation (should be enought to choose the key you need).

Or you can use 3rd party tools which can reveal the full product key.

By the way you gave the product key on install as activiation tell you
that the product key Vista was installed is already used on another PC
(most likely not on the one you currently installed it as only a hdd
change would not make WPA paranoid :))


Colin Barnhorst

Unfortunately one of the differences between activation on XP and on Vista
is that the system hard drive is given far greater weight in Vista. It is
quite possible that a different hard drive is sufficient to trigger
reactivation even though it would not do so in XP.

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