to find my windows cd key from startup? I'm kinda fucked here since my windows crashed, and I need to backup some important stuff on my pc. I went to install a copy of windows over top of the last one just so I could go in and back my stuff up, then format and reinstall a fresh copy of windows afterwards. No when it's asking me for my CD key, I don't have my original one and I tried to use a couple I found on the net but no luck at all, they don't work. Is there any possible way to get into the registry or find my orig CD key without being in Windows itself? I do have an original CD but I didn't buy it from a store the computer was custom built so I am kind of stuck there. sums it up.