(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.)
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There is a simple solution to Christina's question regarding changing the registered owner of a Windows PC. I will caution though that it involves editing the windows registry which ought to be done by someone experienced in that task. Backing up the registry is always recomended as certain changes could prevent your computer from operating correctly.
Christina did not mention which operating system she is using so the registry key to be edited will depend on which one she has.
From any operating system you can click start, run, and in the "open" box type regedit and hit enter. This will open the windows regitry for editing. You will see folders representing the hierarchal registry information on the left. In the pane on the right are the values for the key that is currently highlighted on the left.
You will want start at HKEY_LOCAL _MACHINE. you can navigate this the same way you would with windows explorer. Click the + sign to expand the sub keys to the ones listed below.
In Windows 9x, and Me navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion . In the right pane under the name column are the values for this key. Under the data column are the string data for each of the values listed. Under the name column find the value RegisteredOwner. Double click on it. The string data editor for this vaue will open up. The string data will show the owner registered when Windows was installed. You can now change this value to the name you wish and then simply hit enter. Close out of the registry editor. You should now be able to see the new name under system properties.
For Windows NT, 2000, and XP the process is the same except the key is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion. Edit this key the same way as mentioned above to change the registered owner.
As an aside note. The registered organization value is also in this key (usually right above registered owner) and if you need to change that as well it can be done the same way in the registry editor.
Submitted by: Alvin W. of Dayville CT
So you are willing to offer your PC to your daughter, thus transferring the license to her. There are a few, but important, aspects to consider.
First, the technical aspect. It is quite easy, as you'll see below, if you take special attention. Some functional issues too, as taking care of your own data, as well as your daughter's security, assuming that she is a minor.
To proceed changing the Registration Name to your daughter's one, you'll have to edit the Registry. It is a very important database for Windows, so you should follow the steps carefully, and at your own risk.
Don't be afraid, as you'll see, it is quite easy. Anyway, it is always advisable to backup the Registry first; this important point could be discussed in another topic.
So, do the following, carefully:
1. Click Start, then Run, then type "regedit", without the quotes.
It will open a browser that you'll have to drill down to access a special key, containing the Registration Name.
2. Drill down as follows:
On the right pane, you'll see a "key" called "RegisteredOwner"
3. Double click it, and simply change the name. Click OK, then press Enter.
4. Exit the Registry, and reboot.
Done! The registered owner will be your daughter, as you can verify like you did for your own name.
You'll probably want to create an account for her. If the account is limited or not, it's your choice.
To do that, open the Control Panel (Start, Control Panel), and then select "User Accounts".
Choose "Create a new account", type in her name, and follow the instructions. You'll have the possibility to choose the type of account you wish. Some valuable information is displayed helping your choice.
Remember to back-up all your personal relevant data to the support that fits best to your needs, as to a CD or DVD, for instance.
As you probably installed the Office suite, you may want her name to appear on the documents created by Word, Excel. It may be useful for her. Note that these applications do not belong to Windows, so the change you've done before will not reflect there.
I suggest you find an utility called "X-Setup Pro" that does the job well.
Notice that it is a very powerful tool, so use it carefully.
The last technical aspect: the Network name of her new PC may still have your name. i.e., some people select the Network Name (Hostname) of their Windows PC as their account/real name.
To change it, do simply the following:
Right click "My Computer", then Properties, then "Computer Name". Click "Change". Type in her name. Click OK twice, then restart for the changes to take effect.
Finally, referring to the eventual moral and human aspect of your gift, please consider some points.
You may want to keep Parental Control on the Windows Media Player. You can easily find the appropriate information at Microsoft's website.
Last but not least, if the situation applies of course, you may consider to download some parental control to keep your daughter safe, like filtering harmful websites, chats, and so on.
I could suggest you NetNanny, or even better, do a search at CNETs download site, in Windows>Internet>Parental Filters
You'll have a bunch of choice for you to feel confident.
Hope these guidelines will let your daughter enter the computing world the best possible way.
Submitted by: Patrick M. of Portugal
The name you want to change is set in the windows registry. The registry is the heart of windows and has a lot of windows (and other programs) settings in it.
To change the name you must open your registry editor. Click on start and then run. In the box that appears you type "regedit.exe" (without the quotes) and then press enter.
After that the Windows Registry Editor will open. The registry is displayed as you find a harddisk with folders in the Windows Explorer. Browsing the registry works just as Windows Explorer by clicking the plus marks before the folders which are called keys in the registry.
Before you start editing, I want to warn you. Modifying the registry can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. To keep it safe you could try a tweaking tool, such as FresUI by FreshDevices or TuneUp Utilities 2004 by TuneUp Software, with whitch you can make the changes safely without risking editing the wrong values.
Depending on your operating system, you go to the following key.
Windows 95, 98 and Me:
Windows NT, 2000 and XP:
When you have found that key, you click on it and in the right side of the editor you will see a number of values. These values can be edited by double- clicking them.
To change the name you must edit the 'RegisteredOwner' value and for the companyname that is below the name, you must edit the 'RegisteredOrganization'
After changing the text in the box that appears on double-click you click 'OK'
in that box.
When you've edited the values you wanted, close the registry and you will find the new name and companyname on the system page.
A reboot could be needed for operating system other than Windows XP.
Submitted by: Jan-Willem S. of, Huizen - Noord-Holland, The Netherlands
You didn't mention what operating system you are running on that computer, so I'll assume that it's a Windows machine. If it is a 'Windows NT' type machine (like Windows 2000 Pro or Windows XP Pro) then you will need to be logged in with Administrator priviledges to make the following modifications.
Finally, this solution requires modification of the registry of your system. As long as you follow the steps exactly as outlined then you shouldn't have a problem, but be forewarned that modifying the registry incorrectly could potentially lead to system failures. (To be on the safe side, you should actually make a backup of your registry first, but I will assume that you've either done so already, or are going to be very careful to follow the steps accurately)
For all modern Windows O/S's
1. First make note of the serial number of your O/S on the same screen where you found the Registered To info. (It's located just below the Registered To name). Highlight this entire number with your mouse (dashes included) and then Right-Click>Copy to copy it to the Windows Clipboard.
2. Select the START button
3. Click on RUN
4. Type regedit in the text box and hit OK.
5. A Registry Editor window will open up. Scroll to the top of the column in the left hand side and click on My Computer at the top. (This ensures that you're searching from the Top of the list)
6. Then click on EDIT in the menu bar, and select FIND.
7. In the FIND window that pops up, delete anything in the 'Find What' textbox and then Right-Click on it and Paste the serial number into the textbox.
8. Click on the Find Next button.
9. Depending on how fast your computer is, it should eventually find a registry entry (or KeyValue) on the right hand side of the Registry Editor window called ProductID that contains that serial number as a Data value, you should also see a bunch of other entries, one of which is named RegisteredOwner with your name as a Data value. If you do not see your name in this registry Key, then simply push the F3 function button on your keyboard to continue searching for the serial number until you do come to a Key that contains RegisteredOwner.
10. Simply Right mouse click directly on top of the words RegisteredOwner, and select Modify.
11. Type in the desired value data that you want (Your Daughter's name) and click OK.
12. You can close the Registry Editor at this point by clicking the 'X' in the top right of the window.
13. If you now view the My Computer>System, you should now see your Daughter's name as the new Registered Owner.
Submitted by: Mike S. of Brampton, Ontario. Canada
This question has a very quick and easy solution, but it does require working with the registry. You should now click Start > Run > then type "regedit" without the quotes, although this is a relatively safe change to the registry it is good to backup the entire registry or at least the keys you are going to change I will tell you how to do that after you
find the correct key. If you are not familiar with the registry the
best way to find the key you are looking for is to do a search. Within Regedit click Edit > Find, then type "RegisteredOwner" without the quotes. If the computer is running WindowsXP it should then find the key at location: My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
NT\CurrentVersion, if the machine is running Windows98 it should find it at location: My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.
It should have highlighted a key called RegisteredOwner, this is the key you want to change, now is the time to make a backup copy of this key.
With the key highlighted click File on the menu bar, then click export.
This will bring up a dialog box asking where you would like to save the key, select a location that you can remember just in case to need restore the settings. Now comes the easy part just double click the key called RegisteredOwner and change the value to whatever you want, you
will need to re-open the system tab to see the changed name. Also as a
side note, you will notice the RegisteredOrganization key right above the RegisteredOwner key this can be changed in the same way as detailed above if need be. That should be all that needs to be changed in order to change the owners name of the computer.
If something was to not work correctly because of the name change you can easily restore the previous setting. This is done by going to the location of the file you exported then locate the file, then double clicking the file. It will then ask if you would like to add this information to the registry, click yes and you are now back to the name you began with.
I hope this helps fix your problem.
Submitted by: Brian S.