Obtaining Windows embedded serial key for Surface Pro 3 using Linux

So after switching to Ubuntu on my Surface Pro 3 it occurred to be I would like to virtualise my Windows 10 instance in VMware workstation 12.

Unfortunately before blasting my windows partition away I didn’t grab my Windows Serial Key that is embedded in the UEFI/BIOS.

If I was installing Windows 8/10 directly on the device I’d have no need for the key, as Microsoft check the hardware layer and activate automatically. Unfortunately as this instance of Windows 10 is in a VM, the required hardware layer is not exposed.

I noted there were some windows tools available to grab the embedded serial key, but as I have no windows running on the bare metal, I searched for and found a solution using linux.

Running the following command should spit out the key. I’ve done this on Ubuntu 16.04

It should look like:

If for some reason this command doesn’t work, you can also try this one:

And you will get an output as follows:

The last set of X’s will be the serial key.

Use this to activate Windows 8/10




  1. Nice work, but did you realise that the hex dump screenshot at the end (where you have X’d out the ASCII representation) is giving out your windows key?

    • Joshua Venter

      April 19, 2017 at 4:37 am

      Yep that’s definitely an over site on my part, thanks – fixed it up. Thanks for all your work on the surface builds!

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