Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetSoftware · 1 month ago

I own Windows but can't access my product key, is it possible to reinstall Windows without buying a new one?

I have been unable to boot Windows due to a problem caused after I tried to dual boot linux with Windows. I have decided the best course of action is to back up my important files (which I am able to access via the Ubuntu live USB)/ wipe the Hard Drive and reinstall Windows 10.

As mentioned before, I am unable to boot windows, although I am able to access all of the files I had on Windows. Is there any way I can activate windows without buying a new product key?


I WOULD boot Windows from grub, but I have been unable to install grub. And I can only use the Ubuntu Live USB, not the Ubuntu that is installed on my machine.

Update 2:

As some of you pointed out, after reinstalling Windows I wasn't asked for another product key. Thank you for your answers, my computer is working fine again. :)

8 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    if Win10 came with your PC, then there is no Product Key. just use an official ISO from MS to reinstall.

    if you bought it yourself, then you need to have the Key. if you cannot find it, then you need to buy a new one. and keep it somewhere safe from now on!

  • garry
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    no its not registered or else you would have the key .

  • Bill-M
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Windows 10 Product Key is stored in the BIOS.  You can't access it.

    You can reinstall Windows 10 by using Microsoft Media Creation Tool

    Just go to the Media Creation Tool Web Site.

    If you can get Windows 10 to start then click on "UPDATE NOW"

    Otherwise on a different computer,  download the Tool. Run it and it will put Windows 10 ISO on a USB stick then you boot off of that to install Windows 10.

    When you install Windows 10 it will automatically pick up the Product Key.

    When Using the Tool, about the second step it will ask you for the Product Key. Click "I don't have a product key".

    When you log on use the same Microsoft Account.

    Dual Booting  Windows 10 and Linux.

    Use TWO Separate Hard Drives.  (Not Partitions).  Then when you turn on the PC press F12 to open the Boot Menu and pick which Hard Drive you want to boot form.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You can boot Ubuntu? That means the boot loader is working. Since you can still access your windows partition (through Ubuntu), I suggest you try to manually boot windows through GRUB.

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  • L.N.
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Most Windows 10 installs use a digital license and will reactivate once you reconnect to the Internet provided no major changes have been made to your hardware. Download the current image using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to make a bootable flash drive.

  • 1 month ago

    There is no way to extract the activation code.  It is not stored in a readable fashion in the system.  That prevents people from pirating the key.

    Assuming that your PC came with Windows preinstalled, it will be running an OEM version of Windows that does not have an activation code.  Rather it polls the hardware in the computer and if it is on the right model of computer it will install and activate.  This is supplied by the vendor and not be Microsoft.  (In fact, microsoft will not assist you with activating an OEM version of Windows.)

    Contact the vendor and they normally can ship you a reinstall disk (or flash drive) for a nominal shipping fee (usually in the $10 to $20 range.)

  • 1 month ago

    You can use the MagicJellyBean tool to pull your key out of the registry.  Write it down and you'll always have it. 

  • 1 month ago

    If you haven't made any recent hardware changes to your system, then it should activate without a product key.

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