Skip navigation.
Home
Free Online Computer Help Community

Windows 98/98SE/2000/XP/VISTA: Change serial / registration key without having to reinstall Microsoft Windows!

Computer Help's picture

Run multiple computers at home or run a business? Have you ran into a problem where you or someone else may have accidentally typed in the wrong Microsoft Windows registration or serial key on one of your systems? Or perhaps auditing issues? No problem, below are some simple instructions you can follow to do just that on all versions of Microsoft Windows (Win98) and higher!

To change your Product Key without Reinstall, you can do the following:

1. Run REGEDIT and go to: HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents, on the right double click on "oobetimer" and change at least one digit of this value to deactivate windows.
2. Choose run from start menu and type in this command:
%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a to get the activation screen and go to the second option which is activate by phone.
3. In the new screen choose the option to change product key, and type in the new product key (Corporate one only).
4. Close that window, reboot your system and enter the command in step 2 for the second time to verify your activation, you should see "windows is already activated".

NOTE: After inserting the NEW key in step 3 ... you will notice after hitting "enter" that the screen seems to default back to the initial activation screen.... IGNORE this, and proceed to step 4....

Thank you for reading. Questions and concerns can be addressed in the comments section below this blog page.
Feel free to add more information to this blog page by registering an account with us free of charge!