Finding the product key and more in Windows XP and later?

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QUESTION :

In Windows XP and later, is there a way to find…

  • Product key
  • Owner and Company information
  • Device drivers
  • Windows version
  • List of users

and more in the Windows registry? I’m asking because I’m writing a little gift for my boss (I work at a computer repair center.) that will automate the process of backing up a users data and reinstalling Windows from a modified Ubuntu live CD.

ANSWER :

Former repair technician here. The easiest way to do all of this may be to boot WinPE from, say, Hiren’s Boot CD (which can be installed to a USB thumbdrive, hint-hint).

1, 2, 4: There’s a program on Hiren’s for that.

3: I am unsure of the best way to back-up drivers but it is usually advisable to install the latest versions anyhow.

5: Load the registry hives and look at HKEY_USERS, the same place the User Profiles dialog is populated from in XP. It is the “right” way rather than looking at the Documents and Settings folder.

Hiren’s Boot CD has so much more functionality, including a copy of Ghost (which you must have an existing license to use) and tons of other software.

Hope this has been helpful!

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