I’m replacing a disk drive in a laptop and I realized that I wasn’t sure which Windows 8 key I had used on the laptop. So, I did a couple of searches and I was referred to Belarc Advisor. I downloaded it, ran it, and it gave me the information I was looking for. Sort of.
Unfortunately, the product key that was listed for Windows (under Software Licenses) was not on my list. The reason for that is that I had already upgraded from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1. So, my product key for Windows had changed. The product key that was listed for Internet Explorer, though, did match one of the keys on my list.
So, if you need to reinstall Windows 8.x, can’t remember which of your keys was on that particular machine, you started out on 8.0 and upgraded to 8.1, give Belarc Advisor a try, find the Internet Explorer license key and that “should” be your original Windows 8.0 key.
Update : An additional note, you might want to make sure to activate Windows 8 before letting the Windows 8.1 update install. The 8.1 update pulls down a new product key, which is not valid if 8 was not activated before it was installed. On the “you may have a counterfeit copy of Windows screen” (no, they don’t call it that), click “enter key,” enter your Windows 8 key, and it will activate for you. (If the key is valid and hasn’t been used too many times, that is.)