This can come installed in the new equipment that we buy or we can buy it ourselves. Be that as it may, what is essential is that in order for Windows to be 100% operational, it is essential to activate it.
Why is the Windows key essential
And is that in reality this is the key that identifies our own operating system and that way we can squeeze it to the fullest without any limitation. In fact, it is for the same that we pay the price that we pay either Microsoft or an official distributor. As we tell you, the software itself can be downloaded in a free. But of course, we are not always going to have that series of identification numbers at our fingertips, since on many occasions they are stored within the system.
We tell you all this because there may be some inconvenience in this regard. The problem with this is that, if we lose the Windows key, the software independently does not do much, at least in the long term.
Recover the key on a computer that does not work
Thus, at this point, we would be forced to purchase a new system with its corresponding serial number. In this way we could already take advantage of all the capabilities of Windows and update it in a convenient way. Well, once we know all this, it is also important to know that this key is saved in the system configuration.
Taking into account that it will not be necessary unless we are forced to format the operating system, as a general rule we do not take it into consideration. But it may be the case that suddenly we have some serious problem on the PC and we cannot access it. One of the most effective solutions in this case is to format it, but if we do not have the key we are talking about here, we lose it. Therefore, this can become a serious problem, something we will help with.
It goes without saying that at this point we will have to recover the license for later. format and re-enter it. For this, there are several software solutions that can be very helpful. This is the case with the free application called ProduKey.
Get the Windows license by removing the disk
Actually, here we talk about a simple application that we can download from the internet at no cost and it helps us to retrieve Windows license. As you can imagine, this can get us out of more than one trouble in the event that we have problems with the PC. In the assumption that the operating system of the software giant does not work well, we can always use another PC to download this application from the link above.
We must bear in mind that our Windows computer does not start and we need that key to reinstall it. Therefore, one of the solutions that we can use is thus removing the hard drive from our computer. It is true that for this we need to have certain hardware knowledge, but it is not complicated at all. Next, we will have to connect that hard drive to the other computer where we download ProduKey. We make it work as a secondary disk by, for example, an external disk cage that we connect via USB.
This will allow us to access the content of this without problem as if it were a conventional external USB disk. Then we have to locate ourselves in the following route of this:
And this is where the data related to the Windows license that interests us in this case is stored. next, we will have to execute the mentioned program and in the File menu click on Select Source. In the new window that appears we opted for the option Load the product keys from external Windows directory, where we select the Windows folder of the hard drive that we have connected.
Now in the program itself you will be able to access the password and it will allow us to retrieve it so that we can write it down, format the PC and enter it again.
Recover the license with a Linux ISO
But it can also be the case that we do not want to complicate ourselves by removing the hard drive from the computer, which is understandable, so we will teach you another recovery method. It is possible to recover the system key before formatting in a somewhat more direct way. For this we need a self-bootable operating system that runs from a pen drive. Keep in mind that many of the Linux distributions allow us to do this.
Are distros They are an excellent option because it is a free operating system that we can download from its corresponding official website. In this way we only have to download the ISO image of that Linux distribution to later make it bootable. There are many proposals of this type that we can use, as is the case with the popular Ubuntu. But there are many others that are preferred by users such as Zorin OS, Linux Mint, Fedora, etc.
Therefore, we only have to dump that image that we are commenting on to the corresponding USB memory that we are going to use later. Using one of the aforementioned distributions of the open source system, a ver recorded in memory, we are going to make the car bootable with a program specially indicated for it.
Therefore, we only have to lower the system ISO image Linux chosen and make it self-bootable with the indicated program, that is, Rufus. This is a very simple free application that allows us to convert any USB memory to the bootable car. What we must take into consideration here is that in order to deal with the files and folders that we need to deal with in this case, it is necessary to have some basic knowledge of Linux.
Therefore, we will use it to start the broken Windows PC and access the contents of the hard disk. Once we have that new system running, we open the application that acts as File Explorer in the linux distro that we use and we place ourselves in the following disk path:
As we saw previously, here we are going to find the folder called Config, which is the one that stores the data related to the Windows license. Thus, we copy it and in another location, for example, on a USB memory. In that disk location we create the path mentioned above Windows »and within it System32. In this way we achieve the same directory tree where the key is saved and ProduKey can locate it. In the folder we put the one copied before the damaged PC, Config. We can now extract the memory from the PC, with its Linux self-bootable ISO.
Next, we plug that USB into a healthy Windows PC with ProduKey running. Again we go to the File / Select Source menu. Now we click on Load the product keys from external Windows directory, as before, and select the Windows folder from the USB memory. ProduKey will recognize the windows key and it will show it so that we can use it after formatting.