How To Find Windows Server Product Keys

Find Lost Product Keys in Windows Server 2012, 2008, & More

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If you've found yourself here, I'm guessing that you're an administrator or other IT person in charge of the Windows Server environment at your company.

I'm also guessing that you may be fearing for your job right now, thanks to the fact that you need to reinstall Windows Server but you can't find the product key.

Fear not, my tech friend. So long as Windows Server is still installed, even if it's not working but still on a network accessible drive, you're probably in luck.

Several special tools, called key finder programs, are designed to extract the encrypted Windows Server product key that's stored in the Windows Registry. A few of these programs can even do so remotely.

Note: Please read through my Key Finder Programs FAQ and Windows Product Keys FAQ if you're unfamiliar with product keys with Microsoft's products.

The following procedure should only take a few minutes and works well to find lost product keys from installations of Windows Server 2012, Server 2008, Server 2003, including R2 versions. These steps also work for Windows 2000 and Windows NT.

How to Find Windows Server Product Keys

  1. Download Belarc Advisor. If you've ever used a system audit/information tool before then you'll be familiar with how Belarc works. If not, don't worry, it's not at all complicated.

    Note: Other key finders may work for your Server version of Windows as well, but I know Belarc very well and have tested it myself in Windows Server environments. See my List of Free Key Finder Tools if you want to look at other options, including ones that work remotely which Belarc does not do.

  1. Install Belarc Advisor. It's a small program and shouldn't adversely impact any other programs or services you're running on your Window Server computer.

  2. Run Belarc Advisor and wait while the analysis completes. This might take several minutes or longer, especially if you're on a slower server.

  3. Locate the Windows Server product key in the Software Licenses area of the results that Belarc displays, which you may have noticed is inside a browser window.

  1. Your Windows Server key will be a 25-character, alphanumeric code, in 5 sections of 5 characters, as in xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx.

    Important: The only exception to this is the Windows NT product key, which is only 20 characters long and looks like xxxxx-xxx-xxxxxxx-xxxxx.

  2. Record your valid Windows Server product key in your existing technology audit documentation or somewhere else where you and your team won't lose it.

Additional Help Finding Windows Server Keys

If Belarc Advisor wasn't helpful, you're of course welcome to try other product key finders, assuming they list the Windows Server version you're using as a supported operating system... not all of them do.

Beyond that, I'd recommend contacting your Microsoft sales representative, assuming you or your company have one. They may be able to provide you a copy of your original key, or even give you a new one.

If you don't have a sales rep at Microsoft, you may have luck requesting a replacement key from Microsoft directly.

While you probably don't want to hear the last idea, it's usually a fool proof one - buy a new copy of Windows Server and use that new product key.

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