Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
New member
1 0 0 0
Message 1 of 3
Flag Post

Windows Vista product key recovery without original hdd or coa sticker

HP Recommended
HP Compaq dx2450 Microtower
Microsoft Windows Vista

Hello, I was asked to recycle an old HP Compaq dx2450 Microtower, which I removed from its case and turned into a linux machine.  The COA sticker for Windows Vista was pretty much not legible, all I could read was "Windows Vista".  The original hard drive failed shortly after opening the pc before I had a chance to back it up.  The drive has long since been scrapped.  It's not a huge concern, but I would like to know if it is possible to retrieve a Windows Vista product key using the computer's serial number, which I still have. I would use the Windows Vista OS for VM or similar use, as I like to mess with old stuff.  TL;DR: I have an old HP that used to run Vista, lost the COA and HDD, and want to recover the Vista key for other uses.  Anything I can do?

Level 16
Level 16
6,173 6,101 677 2,483
Message 2 of 3
Flag Post
HP Recommended

sorry, if your product key is no longer readable, you will not be able to recover it
See, if you can't find one on the net!
There are only activation keys for some Windows versions, you just need to have the installation support.
Unfortunately it seems to me that this does not always work, some may resell keys that do not work!

Please remember to mark the answers this can help other users
please click on the accept as solution button if message provided an answer to the problem

was this reply helpful , or just say "thank you " ? Click on the yes button


Was this reply helpful? Yes No
Level 8
2,012 1,999 75 210
Message 3 of 3
Flag Post
HP Recommended

@NERDBUG96 -- Anything I can do?


Search on eBay or Amazon or Facebook Marketplace for a "retail" copy of Windows Vista, with DVD & product-key included.


If you no longer have the product-key, and you cannot extract the product-key from the disk-drive,  there are no options that are allowed to be stated here, under this forum's "Rules of Participation".


I have an old HP that used to run Vista, lost the COA and HDD


For some models, HP offers a downloadable copy of the original operating system.

For some models, HP will ship you a copy of the original "factory-installed" operating system.





Was this reply helpful? Yes No
Warning Be alert for scammers posting fake support phone numbers and/or email addresses on the community. If you think you have received a fake HP Support message, please report it to us by clicking on "Flag Post".
† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation