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Discussion Starter #1
Stop whatever you're doing. This will only take a few seconds, and it could save your tail some day.

I bumped into a nifty program that you need to download and run, like, right now. Before your hard drive dies and you need to retrieve your original Windows XP Produc Activation Key - you know, that 25-character string that looks something like T9TRD-9CTTR-V8X7W-R8888-6TPYR? It's the one you need in order to install and activate Windows XP. That's what I'm talking about.

A guy by the name of Serge Kandakov (at least, he claims that's his name) has created a tremendously useful utility called ViewKeyXP

http://www.digitalnowhere.com/filelib/winxp/viewkeyxp.exe

that reaches into your Windows Registry, assembles all the lost pieces, and re-creates your original WinXP activation key. It's a tiny program that won't take you long to download, and runs in a snap. I strongly suggest that you download it right now while you're thinking about it, run it, and print your Product Activation Key.

Gratuitous tip: Remember how to print a copy of a Windows dialog box? When the box is on top, hold down the Alt key and push the PrtScr (or PrintScreen) button. Click Start | All Programs | Accessories | WordPad. Then click Edit | Paste (or hit Ctrl+V), and click the Print button.

If you bought your PC with Windows XP pre-installed, there should be a sticker on the chassis of the machine that displays your 25-character Windows XP activation key. Compare the Product Activation Key you just printed with the one on the sticker. If they match, you're cool, and can skip down to the next article. If they don't match, Microsoft will want to hear about it. Send them a message http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/htt/ , telling them when and where you bought the machine. Then get out a big permanent marker and print the real Product Activation Key on the chassis, next to the sticker.

If you bought Windows XP on a CD, go find the CD. Yes, dig it out. Don't worry. I'll wait. Good.

Is the CD still in its original jewel case, can you read the 25-character Product Activation Key on the sticker stuck on the case, and does the key on the case match the key you just printed? If so, congratulations - your filing system is a whole lot better than mine. But keep reading. There's one final step you should take, to make sure you can find the Product Activation Key when you need it most.

What, you can't find the original jewel case? Or maybe the printing on the sticker is so smudged you can't really tell the difference between an "8" and a "B"? Not to worry.

Get a fine-tipped permanent ink marker. (I use a Sharpie, but you may have something else sitting around.) Take a minute and write the Product Activation Key on the top of the CD. That's the side with the hologram. Do it right now, and you'll never need to worry about it again.

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STILL Stuck in a treestand....
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Just a thought, what to say it's not reacking in to your computer and taking out more than just your code key. Your letting it in so it could get any information you've got stored on there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Drupy

1. It was recommended by at reliable source -Woody's Windows World

2. Your zone alarm would notify you if it was "calling home"

3. I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theory

4. Sometimes you just got to trust a little:angel:


Must say I like that AIDA32 program
 

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STILL Stuck in a treestand....
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I'm not saying it's going to do something like that I'm just saying there's always a chance. People like us (you,me,John and so) tend to watch our backs on issues like this. One reason I questioned you on this was to allow others to think about what could happen if they used a program like this and did get to their files. While this one might be ok I'm sure there's others that claim the same thing and then first thing they do is steel you information.
 

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There is also another utility like the one mentioned here, only for many more Microsoft products is Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder. From the website:

The 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, .NET, Office 97, and Office XP. This version adds support for multiple installations of Office and the ability to change the Windows XP, 98, and ME installation key.
 
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