Ubuntu – Retrieve Windows 8 Product Key from mainboard


My new laptop came preinstalled with Windows 8. Naively, as I am, I just formatted the harddrive and installed fine old Ubuntu. Now I want to install Windows 8 for dual boot again, but I have no DVD and do download the ISO one needs a product key. That key is not on the back of the laptop anymore but somewhere on the mainboard.

Is there any way to recover the product key from the mainboard using Ubuntu?

Best Answer

Usually, OEM manufacturers have preloaded a key electronically on a ROM. Windows will identify this and automatically activate your installation. So, usually, you don't need to know this code. However, you may see some trace of this using

sudo dmidecode

listed as OEM-specific Types, encoded/encrypted, which may hold it. Major OEMs like HP and Dell use this. Ask on Windows websites for more details; this is the wrong place. The only detail I remember is that one needs an OEM version of the Windows installation disc (i.e. non-retail).

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