Microsoft CD Keys, CD Key Generator, Genuine Advantage Validation

I am no fan of Microsoft for a lot of different reasons which I won't go through here. However, one of the things that I think is so insane is the silly CD Keys that they put on the cases of the CD. Anyone who is thorough enough to copy a CD would certainly copy the CD Key. However, the average guy who just files the CD away after a successful installation may very well separate the actual CD from the CD case (which are often not clearly marked). Fortunately just about any Microsoft CD Key will do. So this web site is to help out people who have legitimately bought/received a Microsoft CD (non-OEM variety), but have lost their CD case with the key. If you have a CD from Microsoft that you got from an OEMer (for example, it came with your computer), follow the link to MS OEM Numbers.

Windows XP

I just recently heard that XP installation CDs have a valid CD key right on the CD. Explore the CD and navigate to the i386 folder. Open the file UNATTEND.txt and scroll down to the last line. You will find your Windows XP Product key there. It was there on an old XP CD SP2 I had around. If you find a CD key on your installation CD, please let me know how it works out. My guess is that these keys on the CD are best to use as there would be the same CD key for thousands of computers (all the CDs which were printed with that key) so Microsoft would have a hard time invalidating a CD key which is used legitimately by thousands of computers. The CD I had has a key of "CD87T-HFP4C-V7X7H-8VY68-W7D7M". I wonder if that key will work for anyone else (my XP computers all have legitimate Microsoft keys already)?

This web page is now located at its 139th home, so it seems to bother the people at Microsoft. My reading of the law is that there is nothing illegal contained in it (as CD keys are neither copyrighted nor trademarked), but that doesn't keep them from complaining to our current host and getting the pages deleted. I was able to get a copy of a previous host's original complaint (they got another one later and booted me). They also got the DNS (domain name) for our friends at pulled until they stopped providing a permanent link to this page. Sigh! It would be best to bookmark the link is That page has a button along the top that will take you to the current server. What a bother, but it keeps the information accessible.

If you have a partially or fully functioning system, you can visit:,, or
to get the current keys you are using (so that you will have them if you need them later). Right now that seems the easiest way to go with the pitfalls that MS is making for us.

High School and University Students

It looks like Microsoft has opened up free versions of Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Virtual PC via download for students. They do have a verification program (which is understandable) so I can't say how well it works. Check out the full list at Good luck.

Genuine Advantage

In 2005 Microsoft started introducing a new program to trip users up, Genuine Advantage. It appears that Genuine Advantage is somewhat of a misnomer as the only useful thing it does is generate more revenue for Microsoft. For now the best way to avoid this 'license checker' is to never agree to the EULA that goes with it (for now watch for the title Genuine Advantage, but be cautious of any program that requires a new EULA). Given its very negative value to the customer, Microsoft insists that you agree to their terms in an agreement before installing it. If you don't agree it even gives you the option of never being asked again about it. Sadly this is only after the fact advice. I have heard that you can roll back your system to the previous state before the last set of updates and remove it.

With the latest version of Windowns Update, you can't get normal updates without verifying your license. However, you still get the security updates (which is good as Windows is like swiss cheese (full of holes) for viruses), but you can't get the latest enhancements (which is also good as you hardly need new bugs and holes for viruses to exploit). For example, you won't be able to get Internet Explorer (IE) 7, but you probably shouldn't be running IE or Outlook anyway. Those are the two best ways to get viruses. Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird are each quite nice and not nearly as virus prone as their Microsoft equivalents (and they are free).

Microsoft published a procedure that removes the pre-release verions of Genuine Advantage at For your convenience I have included the excerpt that worked for me (I have two systems which have Windows XP installed and two certificates of authenticity, but only one was installed with the 'correct' key for the CD I was using at the time). If you need to change your CD key as Genuine Advantage doesn't like your current one, visit for a description of how to change a bad key to a good one.

I have two systems that have Windows XP installed (along with other OSes of course) and one had been installed with a generated key (though I have two licenses for XP). When they switched to the real Genuine Advantage I was able to give in my real CD key (from the certificates) and stop the annoying messages. However, now I can't test methods to get around their license checks (they don't tell you how to go back to the old 'bad' key). Drats. On there is a package by Matt (no last name, I wonder why) which gets you around WGA (or Windows Genuine Advantage) checking. You can get it at programs/ If that link doesn't work for you, you can try

It is really five files. Opening it will show you the five files and you should open the file WP_Readme.txt. It explains what to do with the four other files. It mentions that it works with pirated copies of Windows XP and Office, but it will also work with a legally purchased copy of Windows XP and Office in case you have lost the legal key (this page does not encourage pirating software). Please try it out and let me know how it works for you. I have checked it for viruses and trojans, but we all need to be careful....

There is a new procedure for getting around Genuine Advantage with Windows XP SP3 which is a little cleaner than past approached. You can try it at: programs/ I am happy with SP2 and haven't tried it, so please let me know how it works for you. Thanks.

I have a link to a manual procedure for getting around activation. It also included a link to which does the update for you.

Vista and Genuine Advantage checks.

There seems to be a procedure for getting around the activation and check in procedures for Vista. You can find it (for now) at: I haven't been able to try it as I am avoiding Vista (I seem to be such a Luddite). Please let me know how it works for you and I can update these pages.

Windows Activation

With the advent of MS Office 2000 SR1 and all the XP and 2002 releases, MS seems to have gone the route of mandatory registration which makes reinstallations and such really difficult when you lose the old key. There is a program that seems to be able to test if a key meets the MS requirements and can also generate keys at random until it finds one that should work. It supports for Windows XP, Office XP and Visio XP called XPKey.exe.

There are new generations of key generators for Windows XP and Office which run faster and can generate SP1 and SP2 acceptable keys. I don't have any Windows XP SP1 CD's or MS Office (I run OpenOffice which is free, open source (so it should be available for a while), handles MS format files, and works pretty well (you can download from, so I can't test the new features. If the standard XPKey.exe doesn't work for you, try XPKeySP2.exe.

Recently (end of 2007) virus scanners have been flagging and deleting XPKeySP2.exe. They seem to think it is a trojan, but I have had my copy for over ten years and no one has reported it trying to get beyond firewalls. I am considering contacting McAfee and asking them to really check it (the error they give is that it looks like a generic trojan which is to say it was built with tools commonly used by hackers). If you learn anything more about this, please send it on to me. Thanks.

From what I have heard it can generate keys for both the older and newer versions of Windows XP and is much faster. XPKeySP2.exe also generates keys for Office XP (and these are reported to work with Office 2003, even home edition) and Windows Server 2003 keys. However, to generate SP2 keys for corporate (VLK) licenses, you need to specify the range of 640-500000 to 640-599999. Please let me know how it works for you at brian@brian.carr .name (take out the space). There is also a nicer program to activate your Windows XP installation without contacting Microsoft, KeyChng2.exe.

There is also a procedure to get past activation for XP as described at It did not work for one person, please let me know how it works for you.

Office 2007 Key Generator

Someone sent me a key generator that might be for Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007. You can try it at programs/ Just press the 'search' button and it will generate a key. The author is working on an addition to activate Vista, but that doesn't work yet. Please let me know how these work for you as I don't have Office 2007 so can't really test it. I myself have switched to OpenOffice as it is open source and free. It can read and write MS formatted files and works quite nicely (I use it at home and prefer it to MS Office which I use at work). You can get it at:

Traditional CD Keys

Another person sent me a procedure for getting around the need for a CD key with Win 98 and Win ME. Here are the instructions as they were sent to me. If they are useful to you let me know. If you can make them clearer, send a new version back to me. They also tell you where the CD Key and product ID are kept in the registry so that you can look them up with an existing installation.

If you want to make up your own key of the form nnn-nnnnnnn, it seems that the first three digits can be any number you like while the last seven digits must add up to a multiple of seven. A really boring (but easy to type key) is:


This key has been used successfully with:

I have also read that if you take an upgrade CD key and add one to the first set of numbers (whether three or four digit) then the CD key will be for the full edition.

If that didn't work, try this:


I am not sure what CD this is from, but I am compiling a list of all Microsoft applications that this CD Key works with. It seems to have been the standard with older CD's (95 thru 97). This key has been used successfully with:

If you are installing an OEM CD on a PC with an existing copy of Windows, you can sometimes get around the complaint that you it only works on new PC's by deleting or renaming the file 'c:\windows\'. Likewise, if you have an upgrade CD and it doesn't see the version of Windows that you need, often by just copying that file from an exisiting installation (or CD or diskette, wherever you can find it) will satisfy the installation program (pressing F8 will give you options on boot).

Please send me an E-mail (brian@brian.carr .name, take out the space) if you find other CD's that it works with.

98 CD's seem to require a longer CD Key (extra digit). If you need four digits for the first section, try:


This key has been used successfully with:

If you find another CD that this CD key works with, please let me know which CD at brian@brian.carr .name (take out the space).

So if the CD Key above did not work, try this:


This key has been used successfully with:

If that one doesn't work for you, try this:


This key has been used successfully with:

Please send me an E-mail (brian@brian.carr .name, take out the space) if you find other CD's that it works with. And thanks to the people who have helped keep me informed of what CD's require what key.

The format for the nnnn-nnnnnnn. The first four digits seem to make a difference, but even versus odd totals are rumored to indicate an OEM versus upgrade CD (this hasn't been worked out). The last seven digits still must add up to a multiple of seven, but certain combinations like all ones and anything ending with a zero are disallowed. 4157-7777777 seems to work and is easier to type.

Windows 98

If your computer came with Windows 98 (i.e. you did not upgrade your computer to Windows 98), you may need to use an OEM number which you find via this link.

With Windows 98, MS seems to have gone crazy with the length of the CD Key or Product Key. There see to only be about three common families of CD keys, OEM, full retail, and upgrade retail. The main thing seems to be just using a CD key from the same family. Two less common families are corporate (which can sometimes bypass the mandatory registration process) and academic.

Windows 98 Second Edition keys are broken out in a separate section below.
Some Windows 98 CD Keys you can try are:

Windows 98 Second Edition Upgrade CD Key that should bypass the requirement to have Win95 installed:

Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) CD Keys you can try are:

If any of these keys work for you, could you send me the key which worked for you (first five characters is fine, I know the rest), the language of your version (English, Spanish, etc.) and anything else you know about its origin. I would like to be able to advise people which key to try as it is such a pain to type in these absurdly long keys. Send them to me at brian@brian.carr .name (take out the space). If you have to use yet another Windows 98 CD Key, you could also send me the key along with what you know about this version and I will post it here in case the CD case gets separated from the CD and you can use this page as an archive of the key.

A most kind person sent me a load of other Windows OS keys. I will present them all in a separate page for you to look through if none of the above worked.

As a last resort, one person called Microsoft at 1-800-652-2342 when no keys worked with his version of Windows 98. They then promptly looked up a working key for his computer and sent a CD key to him directly via E-Mail (with no hassles).

99 CD's have gone back to the shorter CD Key, but they have different formats from the older keys. Try these:


This key is from MS Money 99. Both this key and the following have been used with Visual Studio 6 Professional Edition. The above key has been used with Visual Basic 6 Fundamentals.


This key is from MS Works 99.

A Serial Number for Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition is:


This serial number is also supposed to work with Visual C++, FoxPro, J++, ... as the Product ID for the 6.0 Professional Edition.

A CD Key for Publisher 98:


A CD Key for Office 2000 and Office 10 beta is:


with product ID of:


Rumor has it that the 711-0000007 is the only part that matters and it must meet the old nnn-nnnnnn requirements. Also, if the CD Key does not work for you, it has been reported that you can edit the product ID in the registry to match the one shown here and then the CD Key will be accepted (I haven't tried this as I don't have Office 2000).

CDs Key for Office 2000 are:

Previously this list had included GC6J3-GTQ62-FP876-94FBR-D3DX8 but Office 2000 has invalidated all installations using this key whenever SR-1 or SR-1A is installed. There is an article talking about this at Hope you don't get hit with this 'invalidated registration'.

CD Keys for Office 2000 Professional are:

CD Keys that worked for Office 2000 Premium are:

A CD Key that worked for Works Suite 2000 is:

CD Keys that worked for Office 2000 Small Business are:

CD Keys for Office 10 for Mac are:

With Office 2000 SR1 Microsoft has added a wrinkle of limiting you to 48 uses after you enter the CD key until you register. Once you register you get back another CD Code that you have to enter with the CD Key (how many numbers do you have to type in correctly to be qualified to use Office 2000). Further, this CD Code changes with each installation (can't be reused over and over again on multiple PC's). Any ideas on how to simplify this installation process would be appreciated.

Also, if you install the service pack for Office 2000, it will try to register with Microsoft and the program will stop working if you don't have an unused CD Key. XPKey.exe (above) might be able to give you a key that works or, if you are running under Windows XP, you might be able to back out the service pack by doing a System Restore (file accessories system tools system restore) to the point before the installation of the service pack.

Another approach is to call Microsoft on one of their 800 numbers any time you run into this glitch (and again assuming you are doing a legal reinstallation of your software). That way they have to pay (for the long distance charges) for your inconvenience. If it gets too expensive, they may give up on trying to force everyone to register every single installation (and reinstallation).

A CD Key for Works 4.5a OEM version is:


This was just tried as a guess and worked. I would be interested if it worked for any other MS applications.

CD Keys for Word 2000 are:

CD Keys for Front Page 2000 upgrade and full version are:

CD Keys for Project 2000 Pro are:

A CD Key for Visio 2000 is:

CD Keys for Windows 2000 Professional are:

A way to alter your CD (new copy) so that it doesn't require a CD key at all is listed at

There are also directions on how to alter a Windows 2000 evaluation copy to a regular full version at: href=

There are also directions on how to alter a Windows XP CD from retail, volume, or OEM to one of the other types. It is at: That site also has links to how to install Office and Exchange 2003 without any CD key.

CD Keys Windows 2000 Server are:

CD Keys that have worked for Windows 2000 Advanced Server are:

CD Keys that worked for Outlook 2000 are:

Some keys that came with Windows ME (Millenium) are:

Some CD Keys that worked for Windows Millenium Upgrade are:

Some CD Keys that worked with Office XP are:

CD Keys for Windows XP Professional are:

If you get stuck with the mandatory registration problem, you can always call Microsoft at 1-800-652-2342. If you have a reasonable story they will sometimes give you a new key to use. It takes time to get through, but at least it is at Microsoft's expense (as they are the ones who initiated the silly mandatory registration it is good that they bear some of the expense).

I found another program, KeyChang.exe, that should be able to change your Windows XP key to one generated by XPKey.exe and then activate your version without really contacting Microsoft. First run XPKey as described earlier and get a couple of keys. Then run "KeyChang.exe" and folllow the directions. When asked for the CD Key, enter one of the keys you generated previously. Once you reboot the system all should be changed and you will have a unique CD key that should allow you to download the Windows XP SP1 update. Let me know how it works for you.

NOTE: The program "KeyChang.exe" has a warning note which states you must have a Windows Installation CD available when changing the CD Key, however I have never had to use one so you should be OK even if you don't have the CD handy.

Microsoft is concerned about the use of corporate CD keys to avoid activation. There is a most informative web page by for what to do with Service Pack 1 of Windows XP which blocks out certain commonly used corporate CD keys. However, this page was pulled for a while at the request of Microsoft. In case you can't access it now, I made an excerpt of this page so you can see the sort of useful information that Microsoft finds objectionable.

If when upgrading, you get GetIUMS problems with msdart.dll, just download MDAC 2.8 from and install it. Then your problems should go away.

CD Keys for Windows XP Home Edition are:

A CD Key for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is:

CD Keys for Microsoft Windows XP Professional Corporate:

A CD Key for Publisher 2000 is:

CD Keys for Publisher XP are:

A CD Key for Visio Enterprise Network Tools is:

CD Keys for Works Suite 2001 are:

CD Keys for Publisher 2002 are:

A CD Key for Project Pro 2002 is:

A CD Key for Visual Pro 2002 is:

A CD Key for Visual Studio .NET is:

A CD Key for Visual FoxPro 7.0 is:

A CD Key for Visual FoxPro 8.0 is:

A CD Key for Office XP Pro 2002 is:

A CD Key for Project 2002 Pro is:

A CD Key for Works Suite 2002 is:

A CD Key for Word 2002 is:

CD Keys for Microsoft Office 2003 are:

A CD Key for Microsoft Frontpage 2003 is:

A CD Key for Works Suite 2003 is:

CD Keys for Publisher 2003 are:

CD Keys for Windows Advanced Server 2003 are:

These keys will probably stop working once Microsoft black lists them so they won't activate (will install). However, here is a link to a thread which talks about how to convert an evaluation copy of Advanced Server 2003 into a regular copy.

A CD Key for Office Mac 2004 (for Mac's) is:

A CD Key for Works Suite 2004 (including Word 2002) is:

A CD Key for Microsoft Office S & T Edition 2003 Trial with Microsoft Works 7.0 2004 Standard and Microsoft MSN Encarta Standard is:

CD Keys for Windows Longhorn 4015 beta is:

CD Keys for Microsoft Office 2003 Professional:

CD Keys for Microsoft Windows XP Professional X64 Edition Corporate Keys:

CD Keys for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 X64 Edition:

CD Keys for Microsoft Visual FoxPro 9.0:

CD Keys for Microsoft Operations Manager 2005:

CD Keys for Microsoft Office Communicator 2005:

CD Keys for Microsoft ISA Server 2004:

CD Keys for Microsoft Business Network Professional Server v1.0:

CD Key for Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007

CD Key for Microsoft Office Visio\Project Professional 2007

CD Key for Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007

As these codes have been published on the web, they still allow activation, but do not get past Genuine Advantage so you won't get non-security updates (no enhancements, just security fixes). What to do?

CD Key for Microsoft Expression Web

CD Key for Microsoft Windows Vista

CD Keys for Rise of Nations

CD Keys for Rise of Nations Thrones & Patriots Expansion

CD Key for Microsoft Visual Basic Express

CD Keys for Microsoft Media Center 2004 or 2005

CD Keys for Microsoft Windows 7 Starter (OEM-8992752) (OEM-8992707)

CD Keys for Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic (OEM-8992752)

CD Keys for Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (OEM-8992687)

CD Keys for Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (OEM-8992671)

CD Keys for Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (OEM-8992662)

CD Keys for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010

Windows Media Player 11 now only functions if your system has passsed validation. There are numerous work arounds which you can find described on

A most kind person sent me a load of other Windows OS keys. I will present them all in a separate page for you to look through if none of the above worked.

Hope your reinstallation goes well.

A special thanks to all the people who helped with contributions to this page. Also a big "your welcome" to anyone who sent me a thank you note. These notes help inspire me to keep this page up to date (though I don't usually reply to most such notes, they are appreciated).

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