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Sep. 29--DEAR DR. BOMBAY: I just installed a new hard drive. Now I need the serial number for my Windows 95 disk. I bought this machine secondhand, so I have never had the number.
-- Wrong Number
DEAR WRONG: No, you've always had the number. You just don't know where it is.
One of the most irritating aspects of installing and reinstalling a Microsoft product is having to keep track of some 25-character string of gibberish. Lose the product key, and you might as well buy another copy of the software.
Look, I understand that Microsoft is worried about bootleggers, but this key thing isn't the way to handle the problem. In the first place, …