Find Windows XP Product Key From Your Installation CD [How To]
By on June 25th, 2008

Have you lost your Windows CD Key and are desperately looking for it? No backups, nothing. What do you do now? Well till you have your Original installation you can easily find the Product key without breaking a sweat.

Here are the simple steps you need to perform in order to get your Product Key from the installation CD.

(Note: This may only work for certain OEM CDs, if it does not work for you, you can check out our earlier post on how you can find your Windows XP Product key.)

  1. Insert the Installation CD into your CD / Drive Drive.
  2. Explore the CD and navigate to the i386 folder.
  3. Open the file UNATTEND.txt and scroll down to the last line.
  4. You will find your Windows XP Product key there.

We were able to find the CD key on a Windows XP Corporate Edition installation CD and would love to know if you were able to find it on your own installation CDs. Do let us know through your comments on how it went for you.

Via: [Cool Tech Tips]

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Author: Keith Dsouza Google Profile for Keith Dsouza
I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website. I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

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  • lalaal

    thx for the tip worked like a charm.

  • Vikram

    unattend.txt doesn’t work but winnt.sif works perfect.
    Thanks a ton !!

  • Mirod

    that’s exactelly what I have done, but unfortunatelly the product code i found in the unattend.txt file was not accepted. I did try it many times but it wasen’t accepted, I looked for another unattend.txt file but there wase’nt any.I have bought my win xp installation disc from a charity chop but the product code was missing.

  • Rigo

    Winnt worked for me like a charm, the unattended file is like example file, thanks a lot.

  • Bill

    Works great…thanks

  • karl

    Keith, this is gr8! It worked on media centre cd, xp pro oem + retail!


  • Ana

    Ok, you can also get the MS. Windows key finder free software and install it, it will give you your product key and then after that you can go ahead and reinstall your windows os.

  • Ryan

    Thanks a ton! I made a big mistake and this saved me! I reformatted my old Windows machine to donate and am installing it's old XP on my Mac (using VirtualBox) but I forgot to get the key off of it beforehand!

    This worked for me on Windows XP Professional w/ Service Pack 2.

  • Ryan

    Correction… Didn't work… Just let me install but didn't "verify".

  • Kitzmiller

    xp sp2 OEM, it works. Thanks

  • MInyminks

    could not find winnt.sif through search even after enabling view hidden files. any idea where it is located?

    unattend.txt displays retail key CD87T…. which does not work

    any help

  • Mike

    Hey, just wanted to say THANKS! the unattened.txt file worked fine for me. Excellent info. Sorry to the ppl it didn't work for, but worked great for me.
    Thanks again!!!!

  • Mayhem Development

    First of people…. You should NOT! be posting your product keys on a website that is public viewable… This will cause your current key to be used by another person and possible have it black listed.

    The file unattend.txt is used for the well known Unattended installations where you can put the cd in, Start the setup and go for a drive while your system installs completely without any prompts or gives you the ability to have certain/preset information filled in for a speedy installation.

    We are currently not aware of how this varies from cd to cd or version and service packs. But you will notice that a standard xp cd will not have this file at all.. If your cd has this file then u have received a cd from MS or your local supply that was used for a batch installation or unattended setup.

    This file will vary with versions of XP, For example.. Home/Pro.. SP1, SP2, SP3 and so on…

    Please once again people do not post your Product Keys on the internet as you can be held responsible in legal terms if this key is used by another person for an illegal activity.

  • Chinglen

    Thanx! Got my long lost key. This post are really useful.

  • Robert

    I am trying to reinstall Windows XP Pro from an upgrade cd. I have read all of the explainations and possible solutions on this site. I have found the unattend.txt file, and, like so many others, I got the standard key "jjwkh …" that didn't work. I also looked for the winnt.sif file both before and after enabling hidden files to be viewed. No luck! It's not there. I have also looked for the USWXP32P_ZX folder with hidden files viewed and, again, no luck. Of course, I am not sure exactly where on the disc the USW… file is supposed to be so I focused on the I386 file and then used the search function for the rest fo the disk. Does anyone have any more suggestions? I want to thank all those that have posted on this site. Whether or not each suggestion works, it is the desire to help that is appreciated. Thanks everyone!

  • DeenaKay

    Holy crap, I'd been online looking for keygen's and all sorts of stuff. I followed the directions, found the UNATTEND.TXT file and voila! Down at the bottom, there it was. Nice!

  • Andrew

    I have a windows xp home edition disc and i found the key on the bottom of the unattend.txt file

    thank you so much for the help

  • Tricia

    Thank you so much, never knew I could the key this way, yes it worked…….. will always keep this in mind!! Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

  • Jesse Moore

    Please note the OEM key on the CD will NOT work for online activation. This key is used for offline activation using the OEM SLP method of activation. If you attempt to use the key it will say invalid. If you have tried to say… Use an OEM HP CD to install a Dell, then you will be asked for a key during the install. Because the key specified during unattend install, will not match the System BIOS. Putting it simply, this will not work! :)

  • Ed Wilson

    These instructions worked great for me. I was able to retrieve the product key for my windows xp installation. Windows XP Professional. Thank you. I may have been up another 4 hours looking for that stupid piece of paper.

  • steve

    you are top of my next christmas list

    thanks so much


  • Lenny

    I was also tense about this problem and searching for product key in various files ,but now i got it. thanks a lot

  • Baruch Gerszewski

    Hello Keith

    I had lost my XP product key and was in a fix. But by using the info in your article "Find Windows XP Product Key From Your Installation CD [How To]" I was able to find it on the installation disk although the file "unattend.txt" was not at the bottom, I searched in the i386 folder and found it somewhere in the middle.

    Great! Thanks much! Baruch

  • drew

    great help

    handy to be able to find un-attended number in i386/wint.sif

  • Sacrosanct

    This key from Eamon (posted by triosproductsint) worken for me: RYQYT-JC2JX-8DMB6-2FX29-P849B

    Thanks for this site and for a wonderful help from the ones replying and posting their numbers….

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