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How to change Visual Studio 2008 Product Key
Home » Microsoft, Visual Studio » How to change Visual Studio 2008 Product Key
By | 49 CommentsLeave a Comment
Last updated: Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In this article we will briefly describe how we can change the Visual Studio 2008 product key. As we know Visual Studio 2008 Trial doesn’t allow to change the product key and it shows as grayed out.

In case we want to create an installation CD from a trial using our product key we can simply copy all the files to our machines and change the setup.sdb product key line with our product key and burn the files to a writable media. The setup.sdb can be found in the setup folder.

In case we had already installed a trial version on our machine and expires we can change the key as follow:

1) Locate Visual Studio 2008 Edition (Professional or Team Suite)
Path for Team Suite:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite – ENU
2) Edit: setup.sdb
Change [Product Key]
3) Add/Remove Programs, Select Microsoft Visual Studio and click on change and reinitialize the license.

An example of how the [Product Key] is displayed inside the setup.sdb is shown:
Visual Studio 2008 Key

Comments

49 comments
  1. Steven
    February 5, 2009

    Sweet thanks man, it worked great:)
    So did the key:))

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  2. David
    March 30, 2009

    Good Day Glafkos Charalambous

    In your third point: the reinitialization process of the license,
    the interface shows options among which, “upgrade”
    Is that what you refer to?
    in this case it does not seem to work.

    Any suggestions, other than typing error?

    Thank you

    Much regard,
    David

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  3. Glafkos Charalambous
    March 30, 2009

    Hello David,

    On the Visual Studio 2005 Maintenance screen, enter the product key in the section Upgrade to Visual Studio 2005 Professional and then click Upgrade

    Reference: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms246600(VS.80).aspx

    I hope it makes sense now

    Regards,
    Glafkos

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  4. Sphinx
    April 8, 2009

    Works great! Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  5. Mohamed Hefny
    June 30, 2009

    It works! Thanks man

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  6. Kishore
    July 16, 2009

    It works fine. thanks for the info and your key. i have one small doubt. Will it work i install the updates on it, some thing like SP1.

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  7. bevybeast
    August 17, 2009

    Hi I will be happy, if some one send me the prodect key for visual studio 2008 sp1. mail Id: bevybeast@gmail.com

    Thank u Guys…

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  8. Andrew
    August 21, 2009

    Is there a way to change the key in Visual Studio AFTER it is already installed? Someone did a lot of work using his personal license. When he leaves, we need to use our own license.

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  9. Neeraj Kumar
    September 9, 2009

    Thanks Guys, Its working and really cool.

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  10. Sam
    September 23, 2009

    I wonder if some of the people above actually read your post :)
    - Asking for a key: look at the freckin screenshot of the file opened in notepad
    - Asking to change key: READ the post

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  11. MapleMystery
    September 24, 2009

    Thanks for your product key, worked great! (I bookmarked the image)
    And great guide :)

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  12. aries
    October 6, 2009

    i’v 80 days more of trial expiration, can i upgrade right now ? i’ve tried to upgrade as u mention in post but stil trial count is apprearing. can any one help ???

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  13. Tavo
    October 8, 2009

    This key could be used in TFS?

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  14. Barry
    October 26, 2009

    What does “reinitialize the license” mean? I don’t see anything like that.

    [Reply]

    navigato Reply:

    I have the same problem as Barry: I can’t find any item “reinitialize the license” on my Windows 7 system. This seems to be different to XP, where I found it. Anybody any ideas?

    [Reply]

    navigato Reply:

    I didn’t find any answer to my problem and for that reason I used an install dvd made as discribed above by Glafkos Charalambous which worked perfectly. I just removed my visual studio (and just this, no other programm like .net or sql-server or all the other tool that come with visual studio) before.

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  15. Núria
    January 2, 2010

    Hey!!!

    It worked great ;D

    Thanks a lot from Barcelona!!

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  16. Blazer
    January 12, 2010

    Thanks a bunch worked fine

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  17. Wastelander
    January 14, 2010

    So we just ignore the setud.sdb file in the msdn\setup folder and just change the one in the setup folder?

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  18. lallu
    January 27, 2010

    Somehow it again showing evaluation now after couple of months ;(
    looks that some module automatically check when u r on internet.
    so better to turn off internet when u run vs2008 else the above will fail then.
    any workarround, other key???

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  19. christli89
    March 11, 2010

    It works great!!! since 2 days i wasnt able to finish my lab….Thx so much

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  20. Wildhorsend
    March 19, 2010

    Step 3: Add/Remove Programs, Select Microsoft Visual Studio and click on change and reinitialize the license.
    I can not fount it on Window7. How to change it now.

    [Reply]

    Wildsoul Reply:

    I have this problem too. Got also win7

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  21. Sanish joseph
    March 30, 2010

    I was worrying about the key. And you just saved my life. Thank you very very much.
    10000 times thanks.

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  22. csullivan
    April 1, 2010

    That does not work for me. When selecting “save” in notepad it treats it as if it were “save as” then ask to overwrite before telling me “access is denied”.

    [Reply]

    knotbeer Reply:

    csullivan:

    I’m assuming you’re in Vista or 7? Either that or you are in XP but don’t have administrative rights on your account for that machine possibly?

    When you want to edit the file, first find your “notepad” icon, then right-click it and click “run as” and enter your credentials for a system administrator. Then, when notepad opens, find your file and I’ll bet you can save it.

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  23. NepaliReds
    April 27, 2010

    course it works!

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  24. Kai
    May 30, 2010

    we cannot do this on windows 7, can we? there is no text boxes to enter the key……….. ?????????? any ideas???

    [Reply]

    Kiyokodyele Reply:

    what kind of vs is that? lol
    i have vs2010 that doesn’t need to put the key. it automatically register it to microsoft.. but it seems this post was posted before the release of vs2010.

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  25. Muhittin KAPLAN
    June 14, 2010

    Good Job. Thanks

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  26. Bona
    August 23, 2010

    Great job. Thanks a lot.

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  27. lavruha
    November 10, 2010

    Wow! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  28. Jitedra Chaudhari
    December 18, 2010

    Gr8,
    All is well

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  29. sachin
    January 2, 2011

    this is not working in win 7. Can anybody help me?

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  30. Ismaiel
    January 16, 2011

    Thanks man, you are the one

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  31. Reena
    April 12, 2011

    Thanks Man!!!! It worked…

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  32. Olgui
    June 3, 2011

    Amazing!!! Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks!!!

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  33. Deepika
    June 6, 2011

    Thanks a ton
    u r gr8
    my prob of upgrading vs is solved

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  34. Sidra
    July 19, 2011

    This procedure did’nt work on my side , the file setup.sdb in my program files has no product key, what should i do next?????
    PLZ TELL

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  35. Aman Shankar Sharma
    September 6, 2011

    For all the people facing this issue please note that the Visual Studio team has addressed this issue in KB979576. Please visit _http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=151121 (remove the underscore) to download the patch that will allow you to upgrade your Visual Studio trial version to full version without having to edit the setup.sdb file.

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  36. hlteulings
    October 1, 2011

    One XP computer has a VS2008 license in About Box of 4 blocks of 5-3-7-5 numerals. Is that the Product Key?
    Setup.sdb shows nothing under [product key]

    My second XP computer has the 90-day trial version of VS2008.
    I edited this Product Key into setup.sdb

    Clicking Change does not show Reinitialize License but only:
    o Add or remove feature
    o Repair/reinstall
    o Uninstall
    o Upgrade to MS VS 2008, but with 5 blocks of 5 nrs

    Do I have the wrong Product Key? Where do I find the right one?
    Thanks for your help.

    [Reply]

    hlteulings Reply:

    It seems the product key is 5 x 5 characters. It is intentionally secret. It cannot be recovered from a particular installation?
    The product ID is to identify a copy and is not a product key.

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  37. Guillermo
    October 12, 2011

    I just love you!!!
    Worked perfectly!!!

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  38. VIRENDRA
    November 29, 2011

    THANK YOU

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  39. Deepa Revankar
    December 1, 2011

    Thanks a lot …it worked :)

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  40. Ashish
    December 17, 2011

    This is not working for windows 7. Can anybody please help?

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  41. Vineeth MV
    February 1, 2012

    Can we activate visual studio 2008 using 2010 product key?

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply
  42. deadly
    June 9, 2012
    Leave a reply
  43. uurtsaikh
    July 9, 2012

    Works fine thx man

    [Reply]

    Leave a reply

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