Recover Keys 2.0.0.25

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for January 1, 2009 is Recover Keys 2.0.0.25.
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{rw_good}

  • One-click scan for CDKeys.
  • You can print the CDKeys.
  • You can export the CDKeys to a HTML, .txt or .CSV file.
  • You can search all the CDKeys found.
  • You can change CDKeys.

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{rw_bad}

  • Does not pick up all the programs installed on the computer (YMMV).
  • Single license limits you to scanning only your local computer.
  • Some CDKey results are pretty useless.

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{rw_score}
{for=”Features as Described” value=”3″}Picking up only 7 ‘programs’ out of the dozens I have installed earns this program a 3.
{/for}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”10″}Very easy to use.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”3″}I give this a three because the concept of the program is nice but without actual results, it is not very useful.
{/for}
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Installation and registration went without a hitch. Just one thing to note: during installation the language will be set to Ukraine by default (it was for me) – you have to change it to English. After you install the program and run it for the first time, the first thing that will happen is that you will be prompted to scan your computer. I suggest you register the software before you do any scanning. So click no, and register the software. You can do this by clicking the “Order Me” button up top, then clicking on “Enter License Number” (you will find the registration key in Readme.txt as always):

After you have registered the software, click the “Refresh” button to scan your computer:

Just wait for it to scan your computer – it should not take long at all. After it is done, the results will be displayed with the program name on the left and the CDKey on the right:

As you can see above, for my computer, Recover Keys only picked up 7 keys. According to RevoUninstaller I have 100+ programs installed on my computer. Even if you assume half of these programs don’t require CDKeys, 7/50+ is a horrible ratio. Not to mention some of the CDKeys, such as Internet Explorer, are useless finds.

After seeing those results, I had the urge to end this review here and now but for professionalism’s sake, I will continue XD. After you get your results, whatever they may be, you can either print your results, or you can export them in an HTML, .txt, or .CSV file:

If you choose to got the print route, you will first do print preview, and from there you can print. If you choose the export route, all you will have to do is choose the name of the file and location and save it.

Besides all that is mentioned above, there are 4 more ‘features’ I would like to talk about:

  • Select Computers to Scan – from here you are supposed to be able to setup this program to scan computers besides your local computer but the single license we get from GOTD limits us to only one computer.
  • Search/Find – this feature enables you to search the list of CDKeys you have for any specific CDKey/Program:

  • Customize Columns – from here you are supposed to be able to, I assume, choose what order the columns appear in via drag + drop:

I intially had a problem on how to make this feature work. But JerryD explained how in comments on GOTD and I can confirm it works. To get any of the columns above to show, drag + drop the name of the column you want to show into the column bar on the actual program. Thx JerryD! I drag + dropped “User” and this is what I get now:

So to an extent, this program does show the user names associated with the CDKeys.

  • Options

In the second screen shot above, you see the “Filter by software titles” button. If you click on this button a window will pop up which will show you all the titles that this program is supposed to recognize:

Looking at this list, I came to two conclusions:

  1. This list is limited. A lot of the programs I have are not even on this list. Mainly I am talking about Blizzard products such as Warcraft III.
  2. A lot of the software on this list are not even picked up. Considering all the Wondershare products I have gotten from GOTD, you would think at least one Wondershare CDKey would be picked up since Wondershare is on this list.

Lastly, and I forgot to mention this when I initially wrote this review =X, is that if you right click on an entry (name of program, cdkey, doesn’t matter) you get this menu:

The most useful time in that right click menu, in my opinion is the Change License Key. Where applicable you will be able to change the license key of the software you have selected. Recover Keys will just change the registry value effectively changing the license key.

Overall, the concept is excellent but the program is only okay. It has a small footprint and scans your computer quickly. The only problem is that I wish it picked up more programs then it currently does. Also, if the program showed the username associated with the CDKey (if applicable) that would really enhance the program.

Free Alternatives:

Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder

Magical Jell Bean KeyFinder is an open source program that can find the CDKeys for many programs. Granted, since the ‘database’ for Recover Keys is bigger then the ‘database’ for MJBKF, Recover Keys found more CDKeys for me then MJBKF but this may not be so for other people. Officially, MJBKF shoud be able to pick up the CDKeys for all the programs listed here but I suggest giving MJBKF a try to see how many CDKeys it picks up. You do not even have to install MJBKF – it is standalone.

SoftKey Revealer | GameKey Revealer (thx thomasalan)

Both of these programs are also standalones. SoftKey Revealer is supposed to find the CDKeys of up to 700 programs while GameKey Revealer is supposed to find the CDKey of upto 500 games. SoftKey Revealer found 8 CDKeys for me, while GameKey found none. YMMV!

PMnet Verdict: If you should keep this program or not depends on how many CDKeys this program found for you. As I mentioned in Cons, your mileage may vary. So if this program picked up a significant amount of CDKeys for you, CDKeys that are important, I suggest keeping this program. Otherwise, dump it. Also, I suggest giving Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder and SoftKey/GameKey Reavlers a try and seeing if they pick up more important CDKeys for you then Resource Keys. With all of these programs, YMMV!

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5 comments

  1. internetexplorer

    Old column, but in case anyone reads it looking for a free key finder that is better than most, I just ran through a list of 13 I got from About.com plus a couple from CNET and FileGuru. All of About.com’s listings were either crappy (2 or 3 to 5 or 8 keys found, most of them being Microsoft products, a few of them triggered ZoneAlarm’s defenses (whether valid or not), and one of them had what amounted to ads for other software that blocked access to the program apparently until you contact the developer. I wound up removing all of them and keeping the only free standalone key finder that really worked (IMHO)–it found right at two dozen of my installed program license keys–namely, SoftKey Revealer. Just in case you ever want to do one of your usual thorough investigations of this product category, I would also like to point out that Belarc Advisor also found about twenty software licenses on the same computer, which ain’t peanuts considering the abysmal failure of most of About.com’s free standalone products. You would certainly be performing a public service by counter-reviewing About.com’s lousy list, or I guess you could take the high road and simply report the facts and let the chips fall where they may. I had previously had at least a modicum of respect for About.com articles, but after their fiasco on this subject, I will never make that mistake again. I hate to lose a source of potential good advice, but as Joe Friday said (or might have), just the facts ma’am (or sir), and I guess that we’ll have to live with another formerly reliable commentator gone down the path of being swayed by some consideration other than what the cold, hard facts are easily seen to be in the bright light of day. That said, I just hope that you continue to be a beacon of truth amid all the false and/or misleading sites out there.

  2. Jim Van Damme

    It’s good to see you gave this a sucky rating, since it actually sucks. Too many reviewers give high ratings, mostly because they want to get exposure on the software authors’ site. An example is completelyfreesoftware, which if they give a “4 doves” rating (out of 5), means the program is a real dog.