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We own a lot of Windows desktop keys (XP, Vista, and Windows 7) and have documented their usage and availability. Now the documentation has fallen behind and we don't know what keys are used where. Of course we don't want to accidentally use a license on two different computers so we're stuck, unable to format computers without having to buy a new key.

Is there an easy way to map the usage of ours keys? For example installing a software on the clients to check which key they are using.

So far we've found and tried Recover Keys, but it requires a lot of changes to work (firewall settings, registry changes, enabling printer sharing, etc.) which we don't want to force our users to do.

Do you know of any viable alternatives for what we are trying to do?

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I'm going to second what MDMarra said, and suggest that this is a good opportunity to convert over to a volume licensing agreement. I've done similar things in the past with PSExec to make a remote registry query, extract the product ID and convert that to a serial... but it's a pain and takes a while for a few machines on the same OS. I don't even want to think about doing that for lots of machines on different OSes. – HopelessN00b Oct 26 '12 at 13:52

Microsoft's VAMT will give you an overview of what licenses you have in use and their activation state. It won't break it down to specific keys, but you can use this to determine whether or not you're in compliance.

If you have more than a handful of computers, you really should be using volume licensing anyway, that way you either have a single MAK key, or you have a single KMS key that sits on a server and automatically activates your unkeyed clients. There's really no reason to purchase individual keys. After you hit about 10 or so licenses, it usually becomes a cost-saver. Not to mention that you get to avoid headaches like this.

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