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Windows 7: Recover Product Key from Old Hard Disk?

09 Jul 2011   #11

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
to get key from externally connected HDD

In magical jellybean keyfinder, select 'tools' then 'load hive.' Select the "windows" folder on the externally connected drive.
Then the key and product ID information should display correctly. Select 'tools' and 'unload hive' to switch back to the current OS information.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Oct 2011   #12

-Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Right-click Magical Jellybean and Run as Administrator, then it should work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2012   #13

Windows XP, Windows 7
REAL FIX to "priviledge is not held by the client"

There are several tools to recover the license keys on damaged systems. Like others I ran into the "priviledge is not held by the client" type of error messages. The problem is this: Windows 7 with its new security does not permit access to the data. No amount of tweaking the security rights of the files and folders involved, no level of user privilege will make the programs work.

My hard disk was damaged to the point it could not boot, no matter what. I had connected it to a Windows 7 system to recover its files, and the software license keys.

The solution to the problem was to copy the folder C:\Windows\System32\Config to a place (a server or shared directory) where I could access it by a Windows XP system. I ran the key recovery software ON THE WINDOWS XP system and instructed it to use the HIVE I had copied. It worked.

Windows 7 has many important improvements. However its digital rights management does get in the way of legitimate work. For this reason it will become harder and harder to recover damaged systems as more of the world moves off of Windows XP.

My thanks to everyone who had contributed to this discussion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jun 2012   #14


Backup your product keys like you would a bank account number.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Recover Product Key from Old Hard Disk?

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