This tutorial will quickly show you how to recover your SimCity 4 activation code, should you lose it.
Skill Level: Intermediate.
This process is fairly simple, but dangerous if not followed exactly.
**Editing anything in the Registry could result in messing up the operating system enough that it cannot be recovered through any means whatsoever. Never edit the Registry under any conditions unless absolutely necessary and you know exactly what you're doing.
"The Windows registry is a database which stores settings and options for Microsoft Windows
operating systems. It contains information and settings for all the hardware, operating system software, most non-operating system software, and per-user settings. The registry also provides a window into the operation of the kernel, exposing runtime information such as performance counters and currently active hardware."
To begin click the Start Button, and choose Run. When the Run Dialog appears, type "regedit" into the text field, and click "OK".
This will start up the registry editor. *Note, this tool is very powerful. Deleting or changing anything in this program will cause your programs to either not run, or run with errors. I will take no responsibility for such errors, continue at your own risk. I repeat again, editing anything in the Registry could result in messing up the operating system enough that it cannot be recovered through any means whatsoever. Never edit the Registry under any conditions unless absolutely necessary and you know exactly what you're doing.
Now then, we must find and expand some of these files, in order to find the EA Registration Key.
Expand the tree by clicking the boxes with a "+" sign in them. First expand My Computer, then HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then SOFTWARE. You should now see a complete list of all of your installed programs (or software) and they're important information stored in the registry. It is highly advised that you stick to the tutorial and do not go into any of these folders, or delete any. Doing so may cause some of your programs to work incorrectly.
After you have the software key expanded, find "Electronic Arts". Expand that key, and locate the ergc key. Click on it, and notice to the right, that your installation ID is displayed there. it should be about 20 digits long, but it is exactly the same as the ID you entered when you first installed SimCity 4.