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If you lose your activation code you may get help from the product manufacturer if you can prove you have a legitimate copy. That may not be easy.

How can I get another activation code without paying for another CD?

If you've legitimately lost your activation code, you may be able to get assistance from Microsoft by calling them. This applies to both Windows and Office (the questioner didn't specify.) But you must have a legitimate copy of the product in order to do so.

It's possible that if you're unable to prove you have a legitimate copy you may not be able to get a new activation code, but I'm not sure exactly what kinds of proof they might require so do give them a try.

The lesson? Don't lose the code.

Article C1960 - May 30, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

July 5, 2004 5:11 PM

i cannot find my hot rod american street drag activation code and the company value soft refuse to send it to me after i emailed them what can I do?

July 5, 2004 9:01 PM

Other than calling them on the phone, you may be out of options.

September 27, 2004 6:00 PM

Please Read: I'm closing the comments on this article, because it's just turned into people asking for activation codes. This is not a place to get activation codes, regardless of whether you're legitimate or not.

Please read the article for my recommendation on how to go about getting an activation code if you are legally entitled to one.

Charles Tilley
August 22, 2009 8:22 PM

Download Belarc Advisor,run the program,all specs,programs,and product keys will be on the report.For future references,print the report,it will be about 5 pages long. Everything you need to know is there.

Alexa Michaud
February 4, 2010 1:54 PM

how do i get club penguin activation code

Dave C
March 31, 2010 8:44 PM

Just download "Magical Jellybean Keyfinder". It retrieves your product key from the registry. The name may be a little out there but it works as soon as you install it, no setup required.

Carlos Coquet
June 15, 2010 10:47 AM

Some people do not seem to know the difference between the product code or key code and the activation key. The key codes come with the product and are often stored in the installed program. On the other hand, the activation codes are those that the user must obtain AFTER installing the product. For example, QuickBooks will run for up to 30 days without activation. After that, it will not run. Some products, will actually give you a certain number of uses. There are a number of ways to get around the problem, like modifying the date in the computer or reinstalling the product freshly but, naturally, they are cumbersome.
QuickBooks is a serious problem for many clients because the different versions have come, thru the years with different phone numbers to call to get the activation codes. Clients who did not save them and purchase another computer are now faced with a serious problem because, sometimes, the telephone number given to activate is no longer valid. Clearly, in those cases they have very poor options: change to another product (which almost invariably means losing all prior information) or buy the current version of the product.
QuickBooks is nightmarish because almost every new version changes the format of its files and the general appearance of the program. Someone used to the old format, say 5 versions back, maybe uncomfortable with the new presentation, menus, etc.
There is another issue too: although accounting is at the bottom of the barrel in terms of difficulty of the tasks we normally ask a computer to do, Intuit, somehow seems to think they are writing a program to launch the Space Shuttle not to keep your books. Each version has greater and greater hardware demands and runs slower than the prior ones. So, having to buy the current QB version may entail more than the cost of the current version. It may require purchasing more memory or a larger hard disk.
So, saving activation keys for certain software may be more important than it sounds !!

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