This is many people’s nightmare. Your computer crashes, resulting in you having to re-install Windows 7. Only then do you realise you cannot find your serial code. Normally this would require you to buy another Windows seven license, however there is another way. Read on to find out more.
Before we start, it should be said that this method will not grant you a full new serial code for Windows 7. If you are reading this article in the hope that you can get a free copy of Windows 7, then give up now as I do not tolerate Piracy. It only works if you had a fully licensed version but had to over-write it due to a crash. So, without further adieu, lets get started.
1. Gather the software
There is only one piece of software that you need for this, which is ‘LoadHive’ by Dagondesign, available here. This tool is used to recover the old system registry files and load them into the current system registry so that they can be accessed, but more on that later. You will also need to load up an online decryption tool from DagonDesign again, available here, although that won’t be necessary for a while yet.
Once you have the .exe file from the first link, load it up, and proceed to step 2.
2. Load The Old Data Hive
The data hive you require is that which contains the Windows 7 based registry settings from your old install. If you haven’t already, open the ‘LoadHive’ .exe file from the first link, and navigate to ‘C:/Windows.old/Windows/System32/config/‘ using the LoadHive interface. Double click on the file named ‘SOFTWARE,‘ and a pop-up should appear saying that it has been loaded into the system registry. DO NOT close this window.
3. Find The Key
Now that the data hive has been loaded into the system registry, use the search bar in the start menu and type in ‘regedit’ (without the quotation marks), and double-click the option that appears (there should only be one, named regedit). Once regedit has loaded, you should see a selection of files in the right hand menu. Navigate through ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARE_00MicrosoftWindows NTCurrent Version.’ Now in the right hand window there should be a fairly long list of options. Double click on the one named ‘DigitalProductId,’ and a window entitled ‘Edit Binary Value’ should appear. Locate the values marked by the number 1’s in the image below
Unfortunately I cannot show you my version of this file as it would open my serial code to pirates, however it is fairly simple to find these values. Just copy the values from your file (CTRL+C, in case you didn’t know) and then paste them into the input box on this website (in some cases copy and paste does not work, in which case you will have to input the numbers manually). Press decrypt, and you should be presented with your very own Windows 7 serial code. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe, it could save you an awful lot of hassle in the future if your serial code is not written on your computer.
Now you are good to close down all of the programs opened during this article, and can validate your copy of Windows 7 to use it to it’s full potential.