Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Find Serial Numbers Hidden in Your Computer

You just purchased a new computer and it came loaded with software and tons of CDs. What would happen if that computer should happen to crash? Would you be able to find all the serial numbers necessary to reinstall all the programs that came bundled with your system? Could you see the print on the stickers?

What can you do to solve these problems?Well, the answer is in the Windows Registry. All of your serial numbers are stored there and you can find them if you know where to look. Don't worry, I'm not going to ask you to go into your Windows registry, I'm going to make things even easier with a free piece of software.

LicenseCrawler is a little gem you can use to scan your machine for serial numbers. The program is 100% free, make sure you don't pay for it.

After downloading the application, simply run it and it will return all the keys from your computer. When you first run the application, you'll have the option of searching your machine or another on your network by replacing localhost with another machine’s hostname or IP address that you have access to. You will need a user name and password for the remote machine with access to the registry. I would leave the registry setting set at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and simply hit the start button. The application will scour your machine and return a screen with all of your keys.

The key that comes up for Internet Explorer is actually your Windows Product Registration. You could use this key to reinstall Windows if necessary. All the other keys can be used to reinstall their respective applications. You will have to manually write them down as there is no copy  and paste functionality, no big deal for a free application.

Click this link to download LicenseCrawler to save your serial numbers.

To specifically find the serial numbers for Microsoft products, click this link to download the Magical JellyBean.

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