Get Windows Firmware Embedded Activation Key

Firmware-embedded activation keys have become the standard method for OEM providers to deliver license keys on devices. Gone are the days of a Microsoft label stuck on the device with a license code that may come off or degrade over time. We now have a product key stored in the device firmware which allows it to survive re-imaging and negate the need for a label.

There are occasions where one might wish to retrieve the embedded key and this post provides a quick reference for the PowerShell command to do so.

It is preferable to use the newer CIM cmdlets than the old WMI versions – if you wish to understand why then I suggest this Microsoft post as a good starting primer –

(Get-CimInstance -Query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey

If you are running an older machine/PowerShell version then you’ll need to use the classic WMI cmdlet instead.

(Get-WmiObject -Query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey

Regardless of the cmdlet used you should see a string returned if there is an embedded activation key.

PS C:\> (Get-CimInstance -Query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey
PS C:\>

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