If you had to reinstall Windows tomorrow, do you know where your product ID is? If the answer is no, get this tiny free utility, which finds product IDs for dozens of popular programs (including Windows and Office) and lets you print or save the results.
This program does only one thing, but it does it so well I can’t help but love it. Double-click its icon and it sniffs out the product key used to install just about any version of Windows, including Vista x64 editions.
It also uncovers Office product IDs and reveals Dell service tags and finds product keys for a handful of other programs, like Adobe Acrobat and TechSmith SnagIt (another of my favorites). If you look through the included config file, you’ll see dozens of names and version numbers for familiar programs.
The point, of course, is to save this information so you can get to it quickly if you ever need to restore a license or reactivate a program. I save it as a text file on a USB key and also keep a printout in a locked file cabinet, along with receipts and manuals and other useful paperwork.
One nice little hidden feature (look on the Tools menu): You can edit the Registered Owner information for your machine, so it actually includes your name instead of Important Acme Customer or some such silliness. To do so in Windows Vista, you have to run the program as an administrator.