Monday, 29 June 2009

Windows and Office Product Key Finder Utility

We have one our client’s partner systems on our bench right now. We sold them the system as well as the software licensing.

We were not expecting to do a full OS reinstall. But, we are replacing the original DP35DP motherboard with a DP45SG series board since we cannot get the system to run completely stable. Our client does not have the keys with them.

The reason for the replacement is that we put together an upgrade for this partner not too long ago and that upgraded system is almost identical to this one, running on the DP45SG, and does not spontaneously combust every once in a while like this one seems to.

We have a copy of the Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 retail DVD here along with the Office 2007 Enterprise Home Use Program disk that are required for the rebuild.

What we need though are the key codes for the products.

Enter the Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder.

image

The key finder is an open source project and picks up the product keys for most Windows and Office products.

We save the keys to a text file on either a USB flash drive if there is only one partition on the system, or to the second partition just prior to flattening the system. Once we are done and the keys are back into the respective products, the text file gets wiped.

A ShadowProtect image is taken of the system before it gets flattened as well.

We keep a copy of the utility on our Technician’s Thumb Drive.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

Windows Live Writer

8 comments:

Daniel Mundy said...

I use produkey.exe from http://nirsoft.net for the same purpose. I don't believe it's any better or worse than Magic Jelly Bean, but I find nirsoft offers just about every little utility that I need in so many situations - email password viewer, network packet sniffer, registry scanner, etc etc.

geoff said...

Same here I use produkey as part of my script to audit machines for new accounts/customers. All have command line options and run from my usb stick or a network share.

winaudit
produkey
cpuid

give me all the specs and info I usually need.

Philip Elder SBS MVP said...

We actually use Everest Corporate Edition to do all of the above for our network audits. It picks everything up down to the serial numbers in the RAM sticks along with all product codes for software.

It can be run from a USB stick so it does not require an install routine. Being noninvasive gives us an advantage when needing to scope out a system without touching the OS.

The reports can be published in such a way as to make it easy for us to aggregate the data in a SQL db, Excel spreadsheet, or even Visio.

The Jelly Bean happnes to be a lot quicker and simpler to get to the Windows and Office key.

Philip

geoff said...

How do you go with the EULA isn't the corporate edition for internal use or does the corporate license allow for technician use?

Philip Elder SBS MVP said...

Geoff,

I am not sure what you are asking?

Philip

geoff said...

I have looked at the use of apps like Everest before but the licensing seemed a bit steep when you license them for unlimited or technician use. That's why I have used freeware apps that allow for for commercial use.

Was wondering if I am missing out not using Everest? Is it cost effective.

Philip Elder SBS MVP said...

Geoff,

Very much so. The benefit of Everest is the ability to run it either centrally on all workstations via a script and then grab all of the reports off of them, or plug in a USB flash drive and run the report if there are not too many systems in the audit.

It's reporting is second to none, and everything is neat, orderly, professional, and presentable as a detailed audit document.

Having different programs run a report is nowhere near the same quality in the finished product.

Our largest audit to date was for a multi-site non-profit via an 800 page book. Everest facilitated a quick systems assessment. We had to do user assessments as well, so we ran the report while interviewing the user via a script to automate everything except moving the \Temp to the USB flash drive.

BTW, for those that require an ongoing audit of their equipment, Everest Corporate can be set to run automatically and send all information gleaned into a SQL database for later reporting.

Philip

Tim Barrett said...

I use System Information for Windows (SIW) from www.gtopala.com. Pretty handy.