Product Key Anomoly

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Support' started by AlanHo, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. AlanHo

    AlanHo

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    I purchased 3 copies of Win8 Pro upgrades whilst the low price offer was available and installed them on our 3 computers (2 desktops and a laptop).

    I (carelessly) didn't keep a record of which product key I used to activate each computer and decided to tidy up my records in case I have to carry out a re-installation in the future.

    I used Belarc advisor to reveal the Windows 8 product key on each computer - but I am surprised to find that none of them correspond with the keys I was given by Microsoft to activate Windows 8 during installation.

    Hence I am unsure which key I will have to use for a future installation - can anyone please clarify.
     
    AlanHo, Feb 18, 2013
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  2. AlanHo

    davehc

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    Have you, by chance, installed the optional MS media centre on each? This will change the product key.
     
    davehc, Feb 18, 2013
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  3. AlanHo

    AlanHo

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    No - I just installed the Windows 8 upgrade and the Stardock Start 8 desktop add-on followed by my MS Office 2010 suite and some non-Microsoft software.

    The product keys revealed by Balarc advisor are in the same format as the keys used to activate windows (5 groups of 5 alpha numeric characters) but they bear no resemblance to the ones supplied in the MS Emails for activating each copy of windows.
     
    AlanHo, Feb 18, 2013
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  4. AlanHo

    davehc

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    Haven't you possibly, got the emails still lying in your deleted section?

    But, notwithstanding, try the attached.
     

    Attached Files:

    davehc, Feb 18, 2013
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  5. AlanHo

    AlanHo

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    Thanks for the keyfinder link - but it has come up with exactly the same product keys as Belarc Advisor and Piriform Speccy found.

    I still have the Microsoft Emails with the activation keys - but none correspond with the product keys being found by key finding software and I am not sure which Email applies to which computer...[​IMG]

    I suppose what I can do if I am ever faced with a windows reinstall is to first try and activate with the product key found by keyfinder. If this does not work, I can then successively try each of the 3 keys supplied by Microsoft until activation takes place. I started this thread in the hope I could tidy up my files and record the correct key for each computer. I suppose it is no big deal - it's just that I hate to leave an enigma unresolved.
     
    AlanHo, Feb 18, 2013
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  6. AlanHo

    AlanHo

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    I posted this problem on another windows forum and one of the members there kindly took the trouble to check his computer using Jelly bean to reveal the product code. This revealed a completely different product key to the one he was given by Microsoft. He is now as confused as me.

    I intend phoning Microsoft tomorrow to see what they say about the riddle.

    Watch this space.
     
    AlanHo, Feb 18, 2013
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  7. AlanHo

    Trouble noob whisperer Moderator

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    I've tried several of these keyfinder programs with Windows 8 and so far the only one that I have found the reliably reports the real Product Key from a Windows 8 installation is AIDA64 Extreme Edition.
    http://www.aida64.com/product/aida64-extreme-edition/overview
    Which of course is not free, but I do believe they have a free trial which may at least point you toward something reliable.
    Regards
    Randy
     
    Trouble, Feb 19, 2013
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  8. AlanHo

    davehc

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    Just read you OP again.
    I think it is possible that, as you are upgrading, the key finder(s) are finding the keys for the original OS?
    Do you still have those keys to check this. - With the laptop, it is probably written in the base, somewhere. I have not personally tried an upgrade, so cannot verify this. It seems on observation, to be a bug in the installation process, as you have paid for the upgrade keys. If you can verify, in your situation I would get in contact with MS and sort the problem out.
    Apart from the possibility mentioned earlier, if your original OSs cam preinstalled, most have their own generic keys, but the same situation/problem, applies.
     
    davehc, Feb 19, 2013
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  9. AlanHo

    AlanHo

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    Blimey - you are right. I tried AIDA64 Extreme Edition (was able to activate it) and it found the Win8 key I activated with - and not the one revealed by the other keyfinder programs. Thanks for the advice. I can now identify which key applies to each computer.

    However - you have now got me going on a new mission.

    My Samsung laptop is just 6 months old and came with Windows 7. There is a sticker on the underside of the laptop with the original product key. Installing the Win8 upgrade is the first change I have made to the OS. The product key found by the key finder software is not that key.

    My desktop is home built and I first installed Vista. The C: drive eventually failed and I installed Win7 onto the new and unused replacement hard drive. I have now over-written this OS with the Win8 upgrade. I do not have the Vista key but do have the Win7 key which is not the same as the one revealed by the key finders.
     
    AlanHo, Feb 19, 2013
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  10. AlanHo

    Trouble noob whisperer Moderator

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    You're welcome..... but;
    Now I'm a little confused. So let's try this.
    Download the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool from here go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012
    Save it to your desktop and when the download is complete (very small file) double click it, agree to the UAC prompt, click continue and then select the Windows Tab.
    That should provide you with the last three 5 digit hexadecimal numbers for the currently installed version of Windows (not any previous version) and should be enough to determine what number is where and on which computer.
    Hope this helps.
    Randy
     
    Trouble, Feb 19, 2013
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  11. AlanHo

    AlanHo

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    Randy

    I did as you suggested and it comes up with the product key provided by MS with the upgrade. So did AIDA64 Extreme Edition and Jelly Bean Keyfinder which I have only downloaded today.

    It is clear that Belarc Advisor and Piriform Speccy are wrong - but I cannot determine where the key code they report for each computer originates. For sure it is not the OEM Win7 on my laptop.
    However - my desktop started life with Vista but it has had Win7 on a new hard drive before the upgrade to Win8 so there is a possibility that they are finding the Vista key somehow. I have just looked at my Win7 DVD and found it was an upgrade version which reminded me that I did a clean install (not an upgrade) using the double install plus registry hack method.

    Anyway - I am now happy that I can identify which key applies to each computer in case I ever need to do new install of Win8. Even though this is unlikely because I take a weekly Acronis back-up of my C drive which would be my first recourse.

    Thanks for your interest.
     
    AlanHo, Feb 19, 2013
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  12. AlanHo

    Trouble noob whisperer Moderator

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    Thanks for the follow-up.
    So evidently there is a newer version of JellyBean Keyfinder that now works with Windows 8. That's good news.
    I was pretty certain that the Microsoft Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Tool would supply enough information for you to proceed with confidence and I knew that AIDA (latest version) worked already on Windows 8.
    Glad to here you're now in a happy place.
    Anything else...... we'll be here.
    Regards
    Randy
     
    Trouble, Feb 19, 2013
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