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Software keys are used to validate your copy of a piece of software is genuine. Windows computers, when supplied by manufacturers, usually use what is known as a O.E.M Key. This is a key the manufacturer uses to install Windows on all it's computers. This key is not the same as the key printed on the "Sticker of Authenticity" attached to the outside of the computer. For this reason, if you have an office of computers supplied by (say) Lenovo, you will likely see that the Windows keys for these computers is the same. This is correct and not a fault in Open-AudIT.

 

Open-AudIT will retrieve quite a few Windows software keys such as Windows XP, Office 2003, etc as well as many third party programs such as Adobe Acrobat, AutoCAD, Crystal Reports, VMware Workstation, etc.

 

Unfortunately not all (Microsoft) keys can be retrieved. Microsoft changed the way it "stores" keys for Windows and Office and not all versions store their key on the hard drive. Some versions of Windows 7 (Enterprise and Professional being two examples) do not record the key at all on the hard drive. They may use a service called MAK (Multiple Activation Keys) and/or KMS (Key Management Service) and/or VLK (Volume License Keys) These keys are non-existent and an attempt to retrieve them results in a string like "BBBB-BBBB-BBBB-BBBB-BBBB".

 

So called "Click-to-Run" keys are also not able to be retrieved.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/what-is-click-to-run-HA101868855.aspx

 

Microsoft article about Volume Activation

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ff716616.aspx

 

NOTE - Volume License Keys CANNOT BE RETRIEVED. The most that can be retrieved are the last 5 alpha-numeric characters. Belarc Advisor (et al) also cannot retrieve these keys. On the Belarc web page result, note the section of text that reads "Key: ends with". This is NOT the same as the string that comes before it, that is the product id. The product id is NOT the key. Once again - VOLUME LICENSE KEYS CANNOT BE RETRIEVED. If anyone can prove me different, please do let me know (smile).

 

 

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