How to Extract the Windows XP SP3 Product Key From the Installation Disc

Written by david somerset
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How to Extract the Windows XP SP3 Product Key From the Installation Disc
If you have an installation CD, you may be able to find the CD key. (cd on cd image by Stephen Kirkby from

The product key of your copy of Microsoft Windows XP is the number that you have to type in during installation to successfully install the operating system on your PC. If you have lost your CD key, you cannot reinstall your copy of Windows XP. Many corporations, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and advanced users install Windows in unattended mode. If you have a CD that has been used to install Windows XP in this mode it is possible to extract the product key from the installation disc.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Windows installation CD-ROM

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  1. 1

    Insert your Windows XP installation CD-ROM into your computer's CD drive.

  2. 2

    Browse to the "i386" folder on the installation CD.

  3. 3

    Double-click on the file named "UNATTEND.txt" in the window. Scroll down to the bottom of the file. Locate your product key after the parameter "ProductID."

  4. 4

    Copy and paste the product key into a safe place on your computer in case you need to find it again.

Tips and warnings

  • You can extract the product key only from OEM, Corporate Edition, or other discs that have been set up to install Windows XP in unattended mode.

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