Win 10 Pro activation key from unused HDD


  1. Posts : 29
    Windows 10
       #1

    Win 10 Pro activation key from unused HDD


    I have an HDD drive from a computer that I no longer use. It has Win 10 Pro on it. Is there a way to find the activation key so that I can upgrade my current pc which has Win 10 Home on it?
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  2. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,492
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    showkey plus:
    ShowKeyPlus

    Use the Retrieve Key From Backup function in the upper right corner.
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  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,614
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #3

    crad said:
    I have an HDD drive from a computer that I no longer use. It has Win 10 Pro on it. Is there a way to find the activation key so that I can upgrade my current pc which has Win 10 Home on it?

    You can retrieve the installed key from the HDD with the 'Retrieve key from backup' option in ShowKeyPlus

    You'll need to point ShowKeyPlus to its SOFTWARE hive in Windows\System32\config. However, if the key you find ends with 3V66T then it's the generic Pro key, typically found if the W10 Pro was originally W7 Pro and upgraded to W10. A generic key will not activate Windows.
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  4. Posts : 29
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Thank you Navy and Bree for your answers. I will try ShowKeyPlus.
      My Computer

  5. x509's Avatar
    Posts : 853
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    Bree said:
    You can retrieve the installed key from the HDD with the 'Retrieve key from backup' option in ShowKeyPlus

    You'll need to point ShowKeyPlus to its SOFTWARE hive in Windows\System32\config. However, if the key you find ends with 3V66T then it's the generic Pro key, typically found if the W10 Pro was originally W7 Pro and upgraded to W10. A generic key will not activate Windows.
    Will this approach also work for unused VMs?
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  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,614
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    x509 said:
    Will this approach also work for unused VMs?
    If you can mount the .vhd or .vhdx file so that its Windows folder can be seen in File Explorer then yes, ShowKeyPlus can retrieve the key. The same applies to a mount Macrium Reflect image.
      My Computers


 

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