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

sudo hexdump -s 56 -e '"MSDM key: " /29 "%s\n"' /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM

It should look like:


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

sudo xxd /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM

And you will get an output as follows:

00000000: 4d53 444d 5500 0000 0309 4f45 4d43 0000  MSDMU.....OEMC..
00000010: 4f20 4520 4d20 4300 0003 0000 414d 4920  O E M C.....AMI 
00000020: 1300 0100 0100 0000 0000 0000 0100 0000  ................
00000030: 0000 0000 1d00 0000 4434 5143 4e2d 5039  ........XXXX-XX
00000040: 4647 342d 3842 524b 572d 5858 4734 582d  XXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-
00000050: 3643 4d38 52                             XXXXX

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

Use this to activate Windows 8/10