Windows 10: Cannot view product key on clean install Solved

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  1.    02 Feb 2017 #31

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    I just edited my previous post. Did you try to scratch off the grey/silver Microsoft box? It's like a lottery ticket. Scratch that off to uncover the product key. You should also be able to remove just that portion of the label and it will have adhesive under it to stick it to the computer.
    Yes, on the first CD, I ever so carefully used my thumbnail, and it did expose several of the keys, but there was glue on some parts and I destroyed the hidden keys. I'll look at that link you sent and see if it tells you exactly how to remove the sticker.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    02 Feb 2017 #32

    Well, didn't see anything about removing the sticker......I wonder if I used something like acetone or other solvent, if that would help, or just make it worse?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    02 Feb 2017 #33

    neverquit said: View Post
    Well, didn't see anything about removing the sticker......I wonder if I used something like acetone or other solvent, if that would help, or just make it worse?
    I think you might be misunderstanding the sticker. There is not a sticker over the product key. The product key is covered by the scratch off grey/silver stuff. The portion of the label the product key is printed on IS a sticker. It should peel off so you can stick it onto the computer that copy of Windows is installed on. You can see the edges of the peel off part containing the product key in the photos.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    02 Feb 2017 #34

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    I think you might be misunderstanding the sticker. There is not a sticker over the product key. The product key is covered by the scratch off grey/silver stuff. The portion of the label the product key is printed on IS a sticker. It should peel off so you can stick it onto the computer that copy of Windows is installed on. You can see the edges of the peel off part containing the product key in the photos.
    Yes, that's correct, the product key is on the sticker, and that would peel off the CD sleeve. The grey/silver scratch off with "MICROSOFT" printed on it, that is covering the product key is what I'm having an issue with. the first time I tried to remove it, I damaged some of the characters of the product key.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    03 Feb 2017 #35

    Try using a dime or the edge of a credit card, something blunt, not sharp. Makes more sense now, seeing what NavyLCDR posted.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    03 Feb 2017 #36

    Yep, I'll give it a shot, thanks
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    04 Feb 2017 #37

    I wouldn't recommend using a solvent. I would go with the coin or credit card like alphanumeric suggested and go slow with just enough pressure to remove only the coating.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    04 Feb 2017 #38

    Thanks, I'll do that.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 2,796
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 Build 17134.1 (Branch: RS4 Release Preview)
       04 Feb 2017 #39

    Just simply scratch off the grey surface of that Microsoft labeled grey area, DON'T try to peel it off, or you will never get your product key visible.

    EDIT: the grey sticker-like part should be some form of see through polymer, so only scratch that grey stuff away.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    18 Apr 2017 #40

    It's kind of interesting why MS decided to do scratch-offs for the COA; does anyone know why they went down this route? Just seems like an unnecessary step to annoy installers. Previous OEM Win10 dvd full install labels didn't have the scratch-offs. As it is, when I got my latest disks last week, they both have the scratch-off. I can see why people damage the COA though because while the scratch-off is really thin, the label underneath isn't hard enough to withstand someone actually scratching or, even worse, scraping the grey smear off.

    The grey gunk is really just a smear compared to something like a lottery ticket; to do it right, I tried a penny, nickel, dime and a quarter to remove the gunk. A smooth sided coin requires just too much pressure and doesn't have enough "edge" to do the "scratching". And a fingernail is not only too big but applies, again, too much pressure. The advantage of a dime is that it's just small enough and just "edgy" enough to supply the right pressure to skim the grey gunk off. It's almost like the reverse of applying CPU paste.

    You don't need to mush down or apply a lot of pressure to remove it, a gentle, gentle scratch is all that's required. Definitely not like a lottery ticket where you probably scratch back and forth fairly heavily. Plus, I used a magnifying glass (I'm definitely getting presbyopia) to make sure where ever I scraped had a legible letter/number and then didn't go back to that area with the coin.

    Finally, for some silly reason the grey gunk has 2 outside edges where there is a slightly thicker, heavier, and darker deposition of material. I found that spending extra time (but with the same lack of pressure) scraping ONLY those 2 stripes allowed the COA to be fully visible without damaging anything.

    It's not exactly the greatest application of label covering around and, again, the why is rather mysterious.....Patience and gentleness is all that's required to remove the grey stuff.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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