Community Newsletter: Q&A forum: 10/08/04 I want my name, not someone else's, on my computer

by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) October 6, 2004 1:25 PM PDT

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10/08/04 I want my name, not someone else's, on my computer

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) ModeratorCNET staff - 10/6/04 1:25 PM

(First, a word of WARNING: This weeks answer and some recommendations suggest the task of editing your Windows registry, MAKE SURE back up your registry in case you do something wrong and also be that you are familiar with files you are planning to delete. You don't want to delete a file that is critical to your system; that can really wreak havoc in your computer. So be cautious and know what you are deleting before proceeding! Delete files and edit the Windows registry at your own risk. Thank you.)


Thank you Thomas L and all the participants in this past weeks Q&A!

Christina I hope Thomas L. fantastic winning answer, the honorable mentions, and member recommendation this week which ranges from websites recommended to registry utilities, helps you tackle your question. If you need further assistance please join us in this discussion below because the Windows registry is NOT something to simply play around with. So ask if you are unsure of something.

Members, if you have more questions, or additional advice, by all means free to post below in this thread.
The more we discuss the more we learn--its all up to you as a community to contribute.

Thanks again everyone!
-Lee Koo
CNET Community


Question:

When I click My Computer > System, a page comes up with some
information, including the name of whom the computer is
registered to. How can I change this name? I am giving my
computer to my daughter and want to put her name there
instead. I appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you.

Submitted by: Christina


Answer:

The name to whom the computer is registered is stored in the Windows Registry. If you are not familiar with the system Registry, use EXTREME caution when making any changes here.

However if you are familiar with the Registry, you can go straight to the Registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version and "RegisteredOwner" (Windows NT/2000/XP users).

or

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion and "RegisteredOwner" (Windows 9x/Me users)

Double-click RegisteredOwner in the right-hand pane and under Value data, change the name to whoever you'd like. Click OK and exit the Registry editor and you're done.


For those who are unfamiliar with the Windows Registry, here's how to perform this task:

When making changes to the Registry, ALWAYS back it up first; in case you make a mistake somewhere, you can restore the original Registry. Altering the Registry can be potentially dangerous and may cause serious problems to the Windows operating system. Even though this procedure is pretty simple and the risks are minimal, it's always best to play it safe. (Note: Steps 1 through 3 explain how to back up your Registry.)

1) Go to Start > Run, type regedit, and press ENTER or click OK.

2) A window opens up (this is the Registry); on the left are a series of file folders, and on the right are the values.

3) On the left side, right-click My Computer and choose Export. Type a name for your file and save it to a location you will remember in case you need to restore the backup. In a event that something does go wrong, to restore your Registry to the previous setting. Go to the location of the file you exported, double click the file and a message will appear and ask if you would like to add this information to the registry, click Yes and this will reload the previous Registry settings. Now, on to changing the registered name.

4) If the + (plus sign) next to My Computer is not already expanded, click it so that it shows a hyphen or minus sign. That will expand five folders with the + in front of them. **NOTE** From here on, clicking the plus sign will be denoted by an arrow or by hyphens, expanding the folders further.

5) Click the + in front of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT (for Windows 95/98/Me users, it is Windows without NT).

6) Then click the folder icon (not the +) for CurrentVersion.

***NOTE***
The entire path to the KEY for Windows NT, 2000, and XP is:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

For Windows 95/98, and Me, the path to the KEY is:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

7) On the right side, you will see a string named RegisteredOwner,
and your name should be beside that.

8) Double-click RegisteredOwner (not your name), and a box will open that will allow you to enter whatever name you like in the field called Value Data.

9) Make your changes and click OK.

10) (Optional step) At this point, if you want to change the organization name value in this field, simply double-click RegisteredOrganization as you did with RegisteredOwner and change the Value Data to the name you want.

11) Make your changes, click OK, and exit out of the Registry editor.

Now you can go back to your system properties and see that the name you entered is in there correctly. (Note: Some Windows OSs may require a reboot in order for the changes to take place.) Pretty simple, really. There are other prewritten programs or scripts that make this process faster and easier, but they often come with additional bloatware and risks.

If you are not comfortable with editing your Registry or would like to read more, go to Kelly's Korner (a very well-known, trusted source, just Google "KellysKorner," and it'll take you straight there). Under Cosmetic Tweaks, she has a script called Change Registered Owner and Organization. Download and run the script (note your virus warning MAY warn you, allow it to run once), and it changes the data for you. There are also programs available such as X-Teq Set-Up, but that may be too much of a tool for the job.

Keep it better built.
Best of luck,

Submitted by: Thomas L. of Silverton, Oregon

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