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Hey, Hey, Hey!
AskTheAdmin here again with another free tool that I can’t live without. As the admin I have literally over 10,000 servers in production. Most of them are on the same corporate open license program and have the same serial number and need no activation. BUT there are more than a few machines that are not owned by my company and were installed, configured and shipped to us as-is.
When one of these machines crash or are about to fail there is little I can do other than call the respective company’s support staff. I hate relying on other people!
Now perhaps I need to build a quick replacement for one of these machines – say a label printing machine on loan from UPS or in your case maybe your home file server. Now if you don’t have the serial (aka product key) number for reinstalling – it is going to be a real… pardon my French… BITCH!
If the machine is still up and running and you have access to it you can install a tiny program that will give you the serial numbers for installed Microsoft Products including Vista, XP, 2000 and any office suite right up to our current 2007 offering.
It is free, totally safe and something that lives on my memory stick (it’s a portable app). Let’s take a look at how it works.
You can download it securely from SourceForge [No Longer Available]. and the main site for it is over here.
No need to install it – just run the ‘exe’ from inside the zip file and it will return a screen that looks similar to this:
Your products will be displayed and there are the corresponding serial keys! Sweet! You will notice off the tools menu an option that looks like this:
It will let you change the registered user name for Windows or Office. Very handy.
When researching the newest version of this tool for my article (I was using a 2 year old version) I found this little chunk of information which made me smile:
It also has a community-updated configuration file that retrieves product keys for many other applications.
So it not only works for M$ applications but through a little forum magic you can make it work with almost anything that stores its password information in the registry! Double Sweet.
And then as if that wasn’t enough I continued reading and saw this:
Another feature is the ability to retrieve product keys from unbootable Windows installations.
Unbootable Windows Installations? This is a straight up life saver! Who knew I could like my little Magical JellyBean App any more! Just do yourself a favor and NOT tell people what it is called! Unless you are prepared for STRANGE and Dirty Looks!