First of a quick clarification regarding Windows licenses.
- An OEM Windows license are bundled with prebuilt computers from hardware manufacturers (like Dell and Asus). These keys are only valid for that specific computer. An OEM key can not be used on any other computers, even if you extract the license key.
- A Retail Windows license works similarly that it will only work on 1 computer, but you can choose which computer to use it on and reassign it to another computer if you’d like to.
To sum it up; an OEM key belongs to the computer while a retail key belongs to you.
Now there are still valid reasons to extract the OEM license key and that’s what we’re going to do today. The OEM key for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 are now stored in the BIOS/UEFI (using ACPI) and no longer written on physical stickers like it used to.
Easiest method is to use the builtin wmic interface by running this command in command prompt:
wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
Alternatively you can start PowerShell and type
get-wmiobject and enter
SoftwareLicensingService when it prompts for what Class to use.
get_win8key from Christian Korneck
This application reads the license key directly from the firmware/ACPI. It’s built in Python but has a binary .exe file ready to use on the github repo.
ProduKey from Nirsoft
Nir Sofer gets the job done as usual. This will also list other used license keys, not just the operating system. See example screenshot below, but note that my hardware has been modified and therefore has no OEM key.
This is a very powerful tool which you should use with great caution. This application talks directly with your firmware and since it also can WRITE data in addition to READ, you must be very careful so you don’t break anything. If the other steps above did not work, you can give RWEverything a try. See further instructions from this Stackexchange thread: https://superuser.com/a/593795/312773