vjay912
1 Copper

Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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If your Windows Product Key label is worn off or unreadable you can forget about getting any help from Dell or Microsoft. You are basically on your own. Microsoft will send you to Dell. Dell will send you to Microsoft. Microsoft will try to charge you money. Dell will try to charge you money. You will spend an hour chasing your tail and you will get nowhere. It's a very simple and very common problem. It is bewildering to me that there is not some sort of procedure in place to deal with a worn off or unreadable COA label.

 

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pcdiversity
1 Copper

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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I have an alternative out of the box idea. I ran into this same problem with a totally unreadable Windows 7 COA. I noticed upon extemely close examination that the COA actually leaves very small indentations. If you take a very small amount of acrylic paint on your finger and very very lightly rub the area the numbers will start to reappear. It took about 30 - 45 minutes of tinkering and examining but now I can read all of my numbers. Only one number is within question. For clarity I could only read about 3 or 4 numbers / letters before this process. The numbers you see below were completely unreadable as was the words "Product Key". Hope this helps someone out. By the way my machine is totally dead right now without a hard drive so no software options will help me. I am sure there are others just like this.

rekhraj
1 Copper

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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If your Windows Product Key label is worn off or unreadable you can forget about getting any help from Dell or Microsoft. You are basically on your own. Microsoft will send you to Dell. Dell will send you to Microsoft. Microsoft will try to charge you money. Dell will try to charge you money. You will spend an hour chasing your tail and you will get nowhere. It's a very simple and very common problem. It is bewildering to me that there is not some sort of procedure in place to deal with a worn off or unreadable COA label.

 

 

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15 Replies
pcdiversity
1 Copper

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

Jump to solution

I have an alternative out of the box idea. I ran into this same problem with a totally unreadable Windows 7 COA. I noticed upon extemely close examination that the COA actually leaves very small indentations. If you take a very small amount of acrylic paint on your finger and very very lightly rub the area the numbers will start to reappear. It took about 30 - 45 minutes of tinkering and examining but now I can read all of my numbers. Only one number is within question. For clarity I could only read about 3 or 4 numbers / letters before this process. The numbers you see below were completely unreadable as was the words "Product Key". Hope this helps someone out. By the way my machine is totally dead right now without a hard drive so no software options will help me. I am sure there are others just like this.

jimroad471
2 Iron

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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this only works if software is installed legally...its a keyfinder that works

http://www.magicaljellybean.com/

i tried this on both my laptops and all the coa's jive and match

Yours Truly.

James

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Philip_Yip
6 Indium

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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this only works if software is installed legally...its a keyfinder that works

http://www.magicaljellybean.com/

i tried this on both my laptops and all the coa's jive and match

 

 

 

Key finders will give you the Dell SLP key and not the key on the COA.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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3september1939
1 Copper

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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Has not anybody realized that the Microsoft C o A labels produced after XP are made deliberately so that the print fades away in time. <conjecture>

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3september1939
1 Copper

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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<duplicate>

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rekhraj
1 Copper

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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If your Windows Product Key label is worn off or unreadable you can forget about getting any help from Dell or Microsoft. You are basically on your own. Microsoft will send you to Dell. Dell will send you to Microsoft. Microsoft will try to charge you money. Dell will try to charge you money. You will spend an hour chasing your tail and you will get nowhere. It's a very simple and very common problem. It is bewildering to me that there is not some sort of procedure in place to deal with a worn off or unreadable COA label.

 

 

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Philip_Yip
6 Indium

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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This is an old thread. If you are having problems reinstalling with a faded COA then follow my instructions here to download media from Microsoft and apply Dell OEM slp activation using the ABR program and Dell cert files: [View:dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/.../download-microsoft-windows]

This will make an install identical to the Dell Windows Vista/7 Reinstallation DVD without the need to call Dell or Microsoft.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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laptopuser8791
1 Copper

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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Simple yet very effective solution. I used a blunt pencil to dap blobs of acrylic paint onto the label 5 chracters at a time, let it dry about 30 seconds to a minute then dab with a dry tissue. Finally used a damp peice of tissue to VERY lightly wipe away the paint. Some paint sticks to the chracters because they are embossed and so you can read them. Took me 45-60 mins of blobbing and wiping. I tried reading without the paint and I could read most but not all characters by looking very closely. To give some idea I thought 96B72 was BCD72. I'm refurbishing a Samsung laptop I bought from ebay which has no hard drive but a worn COA sticker. I haven't yet tried installing a new OS with the key but I'm hopeful it'll work. Hope this helps someone and thanks to the user above for the excellent idea.

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TracyLF
1 Copper

RE: Cannot read Windows product key on sticker?

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Thank you, for such an imaginative solution. I agree with others that this <conjecture>. They could have laminated the labels or insisted OEM's place them within the battery compartment. I guess 86 BILLION dollars isn't enough money for some people? As we all know, the PK found with any "key-finder" will never be the individual sticker key. I had a Samsung which wore off w/o me even noticing. This solution worked a treat! Cheers!

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