Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)
> What do I do? I can't find the product key, any thoughts?
The Windows 25-character Product Key (required to perform the
installation) is stored on the CD packaging on a bright orange sticker
that says "Do not lose this number." If it was an OEM (factory
installed) license, it's stored on a label that the PC manufacturer
affixed to the exterior of the PC case, or on the bottom of a laptop.
To recover a lost Product Key:
If your system still runs, you should be able to use Belarc
Advisor from http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html to find the
Product Key. (If you have a factory-installed OEM license, and
haven't since reinstalled the OS, the revealed Product Key is probably
of the drive image used at the factory and not _your_ specific Product
Key; therefore, it probably cannot be -- and definitely should not
be -- used for a re-installation.)
If it was a retail license and you have proof of purchase:
If it was an OEM license, you should contact the computer's
manufacturer; although very few manufacturers/vendors keep records of
the Product Keys they've sold, it's worth a try before you have to buy
a new license.