Windows

Video: Change the registration information in Windows Vista and XP

Bill Detwiler explains how to change Windows XP and Vista registration information with a registry hack or TechRepublic's Registration Changer tools.

There are a number of reasons you might want to change or update the registration information for your Windows system, but since it requires a registry edit, it can be kind of a pain. If you don't like editing the Windows registry directly, there's a nice little tool that will automate this task for you.

In this week's TR Dojo episode, I show you how to change the registration information on your Windows system using TechRepublic's Vista and XP Registration Changer tools. You can download the free tools from TechRepublic's software directory:

To use the Vista version of our tool, you'll need to download and install the Elevation PowerToys for Windows Vista from Microsoft. And just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you actually DO it, I'd like to know how common changing the registration information on Windows machines is with TechRepublic members.

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or you can also read Shutlz's articles:

You can also sign up to receive the latest TR Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

19 comments
rod.garnett
rod.garnett

Bill I am in amazement at all you know and can do. I have a very selfish questions. I had a good hp pen 4 computer with xp pro. This year I sold it to a student and bought an Acer core 2 dual, intel inside 3gb of everything.320 gb drive and I also have a wd 160 external had drive i have no clue how to turn on or use. I hate this new computer as it runs on vista 32. Ever since I got the computer i had to buy most everything new as all my items like web cam would not run on Vista. Why can't microsoft give us windows 7 when this OS has been such a miserable failure. If they just can't give it to us why not at the very least a exceptional low price. If that fails is there some way to get evrything vista 32 off this machine and start over again with my new never used windows xp pro disk.I will be dead before they stop supporting Xp pro. I would like to have the new win 7 but after just buying this machine and selling mine so chaep to help a student I can affoerd another 100.00 plus to get win 7. I am a retired minister on a very small disibilty .I was always in a non profit situation but never quite this desperate to keep my only real source with the outside world working.I am trying to recover from a stroke so I need well writen info suitable for a dummie.

trafficbiz
trafficbiz

what reason do i have to change registry info of my windows xp?

trafficbiz
trafficbiz

what reason do i have to change registry info of my xp?

mikemc3
mikemc3

Pretty much ANYONE with basic scripting skills could make their own app to do this. But thanks to TechRepublic for doing the work. VERY simple VBScript with HTA wrapper. But again, TechRepublic did the leg work for this so props to them :)

Michael.Ceccanese
Michael.Ceccanese

This was great but what we really need is a Microsoft Office registered owner and company changer!!!!!

bruski127
bruski127

This was helpful. I have changes registration information in the past on friends machines as they have been passed down to one another, but didn't realize there was a tool with a GUI interface.Thanks Tech Republic. nice job. Bruce

cdpohl
cdpohl

Could you give some reasons why I would want to change registry info. If I hold a legit copy would I not have all I need?

brett
brett

This is a great tool. It seems that the idea could be expanded to include a number of other registry changes.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

In the above TR Dojo post, I show you how to change the registered owner and registered company on Windows XP and Vista systems using a registry hack or TechRepublic's Vista and XP Registration Changer tools. Original post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=1132 There are many reasons you might want to change the registration information on a Windows machine, but I'd like to know how common the practice is among out members. Have you ever changed the registration information on a Windows machine? Take the poll in the above post and let me know.

gcdimarketing
gcdimarketing

Since it seems you didn't watch or read the TRDojo lesson, I wouldn't recommend it at all.

trafficbiz
trafficbiz

great article but why no explanation as to what would that abilty to change xp registry is good?????

Murfski-19971052791951115876031193613182
Murfski-19971052791951115876031193613182

The only way I've found is to use a decent registry editor. I use Registrar Registry Manager, but there are lots of others out there; just find one you like. You have to know the current RegOwner data, but just do a search and replace with the new data. It's kind of a pain, and most users will never notice, but it does make me feel better. Someone with better scripting skills than mine could probably write a utility to do it all automatically, but I still get a bit paranoid about allowing automated changes to the registry.

cjhend
cjhend

All you have to do is search the registry for the exact name that is registered in your Office install. Change all the occurrences of the name you find and your Office will have a new owner.

scsa20
scsa20

One reason why was mention in the video which is if the company's name has changed you might want to update the registration details to reflect the new name. Another reason (on a personal note) is if you are selling your computer to someone else you might want to update it to show the new person's name instead of your's for privacy reasons. Just a few examples.

khdetw
khdetw

Seems like overkill for this application - a simple .reg script is all you need (and a lot faster to use on multiple systems) since you already know the keys that need to be modified. If the tool were expanded for general registry work it would be useful, especially if it helped determine which keys do what and would generate a script to automate the changes on multiple machines once they're determined.

Drawsalot
Drawsalot

I've never had the need to change registration information, but this did spark a thought. Lately, since I changed to Windows 7 a few programs have said they were incompatible or updates were coming soon based on the version number Windows reported to them "os_ver=6.1". I wonder if this information could be altered in the Registry and whether it would alter this result. Although, could this change also affect Windows' ability to get updates?

riggy001
riggy001

I changed the picture from the WinXP logo to a small dog taking a dump, and changed the description to something about being cobbled together from parts that fell off the truck. I did something funny with the Customer Support info too, since I built it myself and was therefore the de facto customer support company.

mike21b
mike21b

Editing the registry is easy. Screwing up the registry is equally easy. I've had to go in there and edit out references to uninstalled programs in order to reinstall them - lots of times. Worst case - I'm left with a computer that won't boot. Just restore from today's WHS backup and I'm off and running again. For really critical files - especially today's emails and files that I've created - just snag them before you do the restore (or do a WHS backup just before you mess around in the registry) XP is far more stable than any previous Windows version when it comes to numerous installs / uninstalls, but in about a year or two, the system slows down from bloat. Time for a reformat and reinstall at that point. Edit - Win2000 was pretty good but I couldn't stay with it forever

riggy001
riggy001

You misunderstood the question. You answered that you regularly change data in the system registry (system.dat and user.dat), not that you change the registration information. To see the registration information on your computer, right-click the My Computer icon on your desktop, and click properties. Alternately, open the control panel and double-click System. The registration information tells you about the Windows version, system info (hardware), customer support, computer name and workgroup, whether Windows is activated, and a picture which is usually either a manufacturer logo or a Windows logo.