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How Do I Find (or Identify) a Lost Windows Product Key?

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder is a freeware utility that retrieves your Product Key (cd key) used to install windows from your registry. It has the options to copy the key to clipboard, save it to a text file, or print it for safekeeping. It works on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Office 97, and Office XP. This version is a quick update to make it work with Windows Server 2003.* 07/15/2004

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - 326904 - You receive a "The product key used to install Windows is invalid" error message.* 07/15/2004

ProduKey is a small utility that displays the ProductID and the CD-Key of MS-Office, Windows, Exchange Server, and SQL Server installed on your computer. You can view this information for your current running operating system, or for another operating system/computer - by using command-line options. This utility can be useful if you lost the product key of your Windows/Office, and you want to reinstall it on your computer.* 02/01/2006

Retrieving a Lost Windows Install Key - Here's the situation: you want or need to reinstall Windows, but you discover that you have lost your Windows install key.

Note the word "reinstall". This is about retrieving your own serial from an existing Windows 95,98, 98se, 2000, or XP installation, which may or may not be corrupt. This is not about getting a cracked serial.

So what to do? Well, it depends on your operating system and the condition it is in, but regardless, you will see, that in all cases, it is quite a simple matter to recover your lost key, even if your only access to your system is with a boot disk to DOS.
by Vic Ferri* 09/13/2004

TechRepublic article written by Jason Hiner MCSE, CCNA - Learn the procedures and tools you can use to reveal a lost product key for a currently installed version of Windows.* 07/15/2004

Windows Key Finders - Here are a few useful utilities, compliments of Vic Ferri. These can come in handy in the event you lose your Windows Product key and need to recover it.* 07/15/2004

It doesn't seem that a solution is available for finding a Lost Product Key for MS Office 2k however.



How Do I Find Out What DLLs Are Installed On My PC?

DLL Informant - This tool can identify what DLLs are running and which programs they support. It can also detect duplicates and orphaned files no longer associated with a program. Freeware! 10/14/2005

DLL Show 2000 is a small system utility that displays a list of all running processes and their DLL dependencies. Click your mouse on a listed task or process to see the DLLs that process uses.

DLL Show displays comprehensive information about all running processes including memory load, priority and the DLLs they depend upon. DLL Show can also be used to print a hardcopy report of a selected module's dependencies.

DLL Show can also be used to display a list of all DLL and OCX modules currently installed on your system. DLL Show now includes a disk scanning mode that can be used to catalog files on all drives.
* Shareware! 10/14/2005




How Do I Find Out What Microsoft Programs Are Installed On My PC?

Microsoft® Software Inventory Analyzer - Using this tool, you can generate an inventory of core Microsoft products installed on your local computer, or throughout a network.* 03/02/2006




How Do I Fix the Master Boot Record (MBR)? 09/07/2006

The MS-DOS Fdisk utility usually updates the master boot record (MBR) only if no master boot record exists. Repartitioning with Fdisk does not rewrite this information.

Fdisk has an undocumented parameter called /mbr that causes it to write the master boot record to the hard disk without altering the partition table information.

At the end of the ROM BIOS bootstrap routine, the BIOS reads and executes the first physical sector of the first floppy or hard disk on the system. This first sector of the hard disk is called the master boot record (or sometimes the partition table or master boot block). There is a small program at the beginning of this sector of the hard disk. The partition information, or partition table, is stored at the end of this sector. This program uses the partition information to determine which partition is bootable (usually the first primary DOS partition) and attempts to boot from it.

This program is written to the disk by the fdisk /mbr command and is usually called the master boot record. During typical operation, Fdisk writes this program to the disk only if there is no master boot record.
*




How Do I Fix The NTLDR Is Missing Error? 07/28/2006

NTLDR Is Missing - When your computer starts, the BIOS attempts to find the primary hard drive's active partition to read the first sector for the MBR (Master Boot Record), it uses that info to load the rest of the OS.  For Windows NT4/2k/XP the NTLDR (New Technology Loader) takes it from there.  If you get the "NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart" what's most likely going on is the BIOS either didn't look for the right drive, didn't find the right partition, it wasn't active, didn't find the MBR, or the MBR didn't list NTLDR in the right place, or the location of NTLDR changed.




*These sites have been quoted directly as I believe what they say about their sites or they already know what to say, better than I do.
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