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How To Find the Windows 98 Product Key Code

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If you're preparing to reinstall Windows 98 you will need to locate your copy of the Windows 98 product key. Normally this product key is on a sticker on the side of your computer or located with the manual that came with Windows 98. If not, you'll need to locate the key from within the registry.

Note: No changes are made to the registry in these steps.

Follow the steps below to locate your Windows 98 product key code from the Windows 98 registry.

Important: Please read my Windows Product Keys FAQ for more information.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Less than 10 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Click on Start and then Run.

  2. In the text box in the Run window, type regedit and click OK. This will open the Registry Editor program.

    Note: Do not make any changes to any entry anywhere in Registry Editor to avoid causing serious system issues. These steps only direct you to view entries, not to make changes.

  3. Locate the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder under My Computer and click on the (+) sign next the folder name to expand the folder.

  4. In the resulting folders, locate and click on the (+) sign next to Software to expand this folder.

  5. In the resulting folders, locate and click on the (+) sign next to Microsoft to expand this folder.

  6. In the resulting folders, locate and click on the (+) sign next to Windows to expand this folder.

  7. In the resulting folders, locate and click on the Current Version folder.

  8. In the results that appear in the window on the right, locate the ProductID.

  9. The numbers and letters on this line represent the Windows 98 product key. The product key should be formatted like xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx - five sets of five letters and numbers.

  10. Write this product key down exactly as it is found here for use when reinstalling Windows 98.

    Note: If even one character is written down incorrectly, the installation of Windows 98 that you attempt with this product key will fail. Be sure to transcribe the key exactly.

  11. Close Registry Editor without making any changes.

Tips:

  1. If your system was purchased with Microsoft Windows pre-installed, and you have not reinstalled it or upgraded it yourself, the product key found by the steps on this page will only find the generic product key that your computer manufacturer used to install the operating system. This product key will not work when attempting to reinstall Windows. In this case, you must use the unique product key that is on the sticker attached to your computer case.

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