Rediscover The Windows Cd Key

You've already installed Win95 and you need to reinstall, but you've lost the CD KEY. What do you do? You've tried finding a key on the web, but it doesn't ever work. You've asked around for CD Keys and they don't work either. Life sucks.

The answer is on your hard disk -- if you haven't formatted it. You need a boot disk to start with. Hopefully, you have one. If not, make one, and then copy onto it, the files REGEDIT.EXE and EDIT.COM.

You will use Regedit to dump the registry to a text file. You will use Edit to search it for the key.

First, reboot the system into a command prompt. Then, tell Regedit to dump the registry:

regedit /R:C:windowuser.dat /L:C:windowssystem.dat dump.txt

That tells Regedit to use the specified registry files and dump it to the text file dump.txt. Now open dump.txt in Edit:

a:edit.com dump.txt

And do a search for the word "ProductID". It might take a few tries, but eventually, you'll hit upon a block of Win95 related data. Lo and behold, there's your CD Key! Write it down, and reinstall.