BITS & BYTES: Get product keys from your old computer

2013-06-19T16:46:00Z 2013-06-19T16:57:08Z BITS & BYTES: Get product keys from your old computerApril Miller Cripliver Times Business Columnist nwitimes.com

Q: I bought a new computer, and now I need to install my Office 2010 onto the new computer. Unfortunately, I’ve lost the product key. Is there a way to get the product key from my old computer?

A: Yes, you can use the utility called ProduKey for this. If you misplaced the product key for your Windows or Office installation, ProduKey from NirSoft will track it down quickly. Just run the program and it will instantly delve into the registry on your system and come up with the product keys for each of the supported Microsoft applications that you have installed.

ProduKey can identify product keys from various versions of Windows, Microsoft Office, Windows, SQL Server, and Exchange Server. Once ProduKey finds the product keys, it allows you to save them so that you can find them whenever you need to reinstall that software.

Keep in mind that there are two versions of this program: one for 32-bit and one for 64-bit operating systems. Both versions are available on the product download page. This free program is small and doesn’t require installation. The site lists system requirements as Windows 2000 thru Windows 7, but it ran fine on my Windows 8. The program does sport a remote connection feature, but I was unable to get that to work in Windows 8.

When you run ProduKey on a system, the program immediately gathers and displays the Product ID and CD Key codes for all the supported Microsoft products that you have installed. In addition to the key codes, you’ll see that ProduKey will display additional information, such as the installation folder and information about any installed service packs.

While having this information displayed within the program’s user interface is all that might be expected, ProduKey goes several steps further. To begin with, from the View menu you can add gridlines and add shading to every other row. This comes in handy if you have lots of rows in your display. ProduKey also provides you with a sort feature. Just click the column header to sort the data in ascending order. Click again to sort in descending order.

Another nice feature is the HTML report option. Select it from the View menu and you’ll see the Product Key List appear in a browser window. You’ll also see that the report.html file is automatically saved in the folder containing ProduKey’s executable file.

You can also specify other useful file types from the Save dialog box. For example, you can save the data as CSV (Comma Separated Values) and easily view the product key list in your spreadsheet application.

Download the free ProduKey utility from c|net at www.cnet.com and then search for ProduKey. Be sure to download the correct version: 32- or 64-bit, depending on your system’s bus.

Opinions are solely the writer's. April Miller Cripliver, of Chesterton, has a doctorate in management information systems and is a computer hardware and software consultant. E-mail your computer questions to nwitimes@cripliver.com, and specify your operating system and other pertinent PC information.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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