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# 40276 27-Aug-2009 15:47
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I have a windows XP desktop that for reasons unknown stopped booting correctly after a graphics card failure (replaced card but still no-go).  So I have gutted the machiine and installed new Mobo, CPU, HDD and video card and installed Windows7RC.
After re-installing all my apps I got round to putting the kids games on the new system.  However my son has lost the CD Key for one of the games and so I can't install it.
The old hard drive with windowsXP on it works when connected to tne new mobo (running Win7 as OS), it just can't boot from it.  Is there anywhere within the files I can go to find the missing CD Key.  If I had access to the registry via regedit I figured I could have looked for it that way.  But since the system won't boot I don't see how I can get into the registry for a look.  Is there another way to look at the registry?




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  # 251034 27-Aug-2009 16:17
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You could try Magical Jellybean from here:
http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

You can point it to the windows folder of the non-working XP install and it will show you any XP Keys, Office Keys etc but not sure if it will show games.

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  # 251040 27-Aug-2009 16:58
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or you can use regedit to read the old hives.

Start regiedit
Navigate to either local machine or users and select Load hive from the file menu

The hives from the old system will be in \windows\system32\config

You may have to fiddle the security on the old drive folders though

 
 
 
 




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  # 251207 28-Aug-2009 09:05
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Thanks for the responses.
I will download MJB and see if it helps.
As for the regedit, I am usually reluctant to do too much with the registry for fear of making my system unusable. Does loading a hive allow you to look at the data without saving it? and is there a way to 'register' the old data in the 'new' Win7 registry?
In the permissions, while in Win7 explorer I adjusted the access to 'full' for all users and dropped the UAC to its lowest level but it still denied me access to a couple of files.




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  # 252610 2-Sep-2009 15:31
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Don't know if this will help, but I used Belarc the other day for a similar issue the other day. It provides a very detailed report including hardware, software, peripherals etc.

www.belarc.com

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  # 252638 2-Sep-2009 16:13
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This Program will do that

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html





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  # 252944 3-Sep-2009 16:48
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Thanks for the suggestions guys, I will store them away for next time.
In the end, after some research about where windows hides things I tracked the key down to a File 'software'in the Windows\system32\config directory. After removing multiple layers of protection I was able to open it with Wordpad. It was then a 'simple' matter of trawling through 25Mb of text file to find the application and then identifying the appropriate character string.
The above applications will probably save me hours if the same happens again.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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