Tip

ProduKey freeware recovers lost Windows product keys and product IDs

Last June I wrote about the Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder, a tool that can be used to find product keys for a few Microsoft products -- namely, Windows itself, as well as Microsoft

Requires Free Membership to View

Office. This tool comes in handy if you need to reinstall the product or move it to another computer and can't remember (or find) the original license key.

Programmer Nir Sofer, who has authored many powerful Windows utilities, has written his own answer to the Keyfinder: a freeware tool named ProduKey.

When launched, ProduKey displays the names of all the products it can find keys for, the product ID number, the product key and even the computer it is installed in. Double-clicking on any entry brings up a detailed view that allows the information to be copied out to the Clipboard. The program can also save its output to an HTML, XML or delimited file and can read keys from all versions of Microsoft Office, Windows 2000 and higher and even installations of SQL Server.

ProduKey has several command-line options that make it more useful than Keyfinder. Here are five of them:

/remoteall: When ProduKey is launched with this switch, it enumerates every computer it can find on the local network via RPC (assuming RPC is allowed or enabled) and attempts to read product keys from each machine. Note: This may take some time, and you cannot run it unless you are logged in on an account with administrative privileges on each of the machines in question.

/remote: Retrieves product key information from a single specified computer on the network. The same security restrictions apply.

/remotefile < filename>: Reads product key information from all computers enumerated in a file. Security restrictions apply.

/windir: Retrieves product key information from another installation of Windows on the same computer. is the pathname to that installation's Windows directory (i.e., C:\Windows or C:\Winnt). (Note: This will only work on Windows 2000 and higher. For instance, if you boot a Windows NT 4.0 installation on the same computer as a Windows 2000 installation and try to use the program to read the product key information from the Windows 2000 directory, it will not work.)

/regfile: Reads in product key information from another Windows installation's software Registry file, usually found in %windir%\System32\Config. This feature also only works in Windows 2000 or higher.

One final note: ProduKey retrieves both the product ID and the product key for several programs. The product ID (a number like 76487-OEM-0051161-83542) identifies a product to Microsoft for online support; the product key (the 25-character alphanumeric) is the actual registration code for the product. Don't confuse the two!


About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Insight, (formerly the Windows Power Users Newsletter), a blog site devoted to hints, tips, tricks and news for users and administrators of Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Vista. He has more than 12 years of Windows experience under his belt, and contributes regularly to SearchWinComputing.com and SearchSQLServer.com.



This was first published in January 2006

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.