Recovering Office 2010 product key from dead Windows 7 system
December 19, 2012 1:49 AM   Subscribe

How might I recover an Office 2010 product key from a Windows install now located on an external hard drive?

The hard drive in my sister's laptop went mostly kapoot (would not boot into Windows, nor safe mode, nor would it allow a recovery/re-install of Windows on to it).

A new hard drive is now in the laptop and Windows 7 is re-installed and all is fine again, except for the lack of Office 2010. Dell never bothered to send along the product key for Office. Cool.

The old hard drive is plugged into a dock and we can retrieve some files from it.

Googling around I see there are tools like Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder which will scan a registry and extract the product key. I'm not sure how to achieve this with the registry contained on a separate hard drive however, in an instance of Windows that I can not boot into.

Any recommendations?
posted by dumbland to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Recover Keys says it can scan external drives, bootable or not. Not free, but cheaper than a new Office license. Keep in mind that Dell probably installed OEM licenses of Windows and Office, which require different installers with the key you are recovering. You might even have Office 2010 Starter on there, which is not a full install of Office.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:12 AM on December 19, 2012

Best answer: The Magical Jellybean Key Finder can certainly extract keys from a Windows installation on an external drive; all you have to do is point it at the relevant WINDOWS folder (if I recall correctly there's a File menu entry for this).
posted by flabdablet at 3:42 AM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've used Magical Jellybean Key Finder in the past with great success and it will work on an external hard drive. Their website says you need the $25 version for Office 2010 but they might be lying. It looks like ProduKey is a free utility that will work with Office 2010 and it works with an external drive.
posted by ChrisHartley at 6:00 AM on December 19, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone.

ProduKey eventually solved it, and it turned out to be Office 2007 and not 10. So MJKF would have worked fine too I think.

Much appreciated.
posted by dumbland at 10:54 PM on December 19, 2012

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