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access registry data from non-bootable faulty hdd

Posted on 2011-09-14
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a client who's HDD has been replaced by toshiba repair centre.
He has given me the suspect faulty HDD and I can retreive all files he wants saved, but he wants the licensing details of MS Office 2007 so it can be reinstalled on the new HDD.
I've tried in a number of systems to boot from the suspect hard drive, and i've even tried a boot from last known good etc., system detect and repair (when booting of the OS install disc, and even a repair install... no dice.
Is there a way I can access info from the registry and retreive the license key?
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Question by:Reece Dodds
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by:KGNickl
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There used to be something free that could load registry called Key Viewer, but the site is no longer active (http://www.alphacomps.com/tools/keyviewer/keyviewer.php).

There is a product that cost money ($10) that should do the trick: http://www.product-key.com/

However, if you do retrieve the CD key I would only write down the CD key for him. If he provides the office disk its ok to install, but make him type in the key, etc... If he doesn't have the software to install Office I would not provide it either. You can pretty should assume if he does not have the CD or CD Key its pirated, even if it isn't and he just lost the CD or threw it away.
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KGNickl earned 450 total points
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Oh, there is also something free I just came acroos called Magic Jelly Bean (http://www.magicaljellybean.com/). Their website has all the info and details you should need to know. Might want to give that a try!
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by:jgibbar
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In addition to KGN's software recommendation, the registry files on the Hard Drive should also be copied ASAP to a thumb drive as to not loose them if it crashed totally. The hive files are located @ C:\Windows\System32\config.

 In case he has a lot of custom settings, it makes it easier if you copy the NTUSER.DAT (HKCU) from his UserProfile directory where you can load it and export application settings once you get the system back up and running.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
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http://www.magicaljellybean.com/ listed above will do this.  Slave the dying drive to the PC and in magicaljellybean use the Tools > Load Hive option to point the software at the slaved drive.  You can then retrieve all the software keys on the old disk.
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by:Reece Dodds
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magicjellybean.com led me to the program called Recover Keys...
this program worked perfectly (not free, but i can claim the cost of it on tax).

thanks to jgibbar for lettings me know where the hive files live.
for anyone who wants to know which of the hive files stores the Microsoft licensing info, it is the SOFTWARE hive.

thanks again guys
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