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Windows 95 .pwl file help for small business owner


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#1
t1995

t1995

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Hello, I have a rare situation. My brother-in-law does land surveys. All his work files uses old Windows 95 SMIplot40 software application in which he bought over 15 years ago. He only has disk for demo mode only.

He can still run and access his program on old Gateway, but his friend said it was about to crash. He must keep all the files for records for the state of Tennessee purposes.

The program people said it was compatible with windows Vista years ago. Well the programmer has now passed away.

He bought a new windows vista PC.

We took the old hard drive out and copied it into a file folder we created in the C:\ drive. We copied the ENTIRE C:\ drive into a new file folder instead of certain files only thinking we might miss a file and it would not run.

All files look good, so we created an desktop icon for the file called smiplot40.exe.

We we run it, it asks for name, company, password. He does not know his password because when he gets on the old computer and clicks the icon, the program automatically pulls up.

My question is since he paid for the license already and does not and can't upgrade, then how can we determine the cached .pwl file password for that application is from the old computer?

Maybe using DOS to retrieve it would work. We feel like if we can decrypt it, it really wouldn't be illegal since he already owns the software, just updating his computer. He does not have internet access, so I have a flash drive or memory stick usb to copy things (if needed) from my personal laptop and download it in his new computer.

We tried emailed the company to send him a password or code, but haven't heard back from them.

We tried finding the task manager under processes, click on program, set affinity, uncheck co1. It didn't work.

We tried installing JAVA using my memory stick and it downloaded properly, but we still couldn't access the smiplot40.exe file.

We tried extracting another zipped file we found with the same name smiplot40 and tried opening it and it read "missing regex.dll" and wouldn't open.

We tried downloading a regex.dll file to my computer and using flash drive to install it to his new computer (that has no internet) and it said it could not continue installation without being connected to the internet.

We tried to figure out how to bypass the registration form asking for the password, but had no luck.

We tried looking at the new computer's c:\cmd then type dir *.exe and could not find any .exe files. Found Cain & Abel recovery, but not sure if it works.

We tried cmd-------net user-----net user administrator active:yes---------------net user administrator *----------created new password-------reenter new password============but all that didn't work either, still wants registrator form password. He just never knew he needed it since the old computer always pulls up properly------yes still pulls up properly, but new computer won't.

We are not sure if we have the new computer set up completely correct in order for it to read all those files.

We know the all the files copied, but not sure why the MAIN file we need is asking for a password b/c it didn't ask for one on the old computer.

We are planning on trying to adjust Regedit.exe file, but don't know how.

We were planning on trying to adjust the FAT file, but don't know how.

We didn't know if we can retrieve the password in safe mode or not.

Please help, he is already backed up for 6 jobs, but can't complete them until he gets the new computer working. Then his HPDesignJet 450C hugh printer for land surveys needs a new driver and we can't find one.

Thanks so much for any input, recommendations, suggestions, anything would help.
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#2
paws

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Hi t1995, This is a tricky one...
As a matter of policy we do not allow discussions on password breaking or circumventing the protections that they employ.

You will appreciate that although your brother in law has legitimate access to the applications and its data files on the "old" computer, here on the forum and at long range we have no method of verifying this and whilst not doubting for a moment either your own or your brother in law's undoubted good faith and honest intentions, we do sometimes receive requests for assistence from folks who maybe are not as honest as your brother in law and your goodself and we therefore have set the forum's policies accordingly.

In order to be as helpful as possible however, here is a suggestion that you may like to consider:

As the old computer has all the files on its hard drive necessary to not only run Win 95 but also the Program concerned SMIplot40 and does not require a password to be typed in then it's worth considering just fitting a replacement hard drive to the old computer and then using an old copy of a disc imaging application(like for example Norton Ghost) to copy across by way of an image the whole contents of the old hard drive as an exact "photocopy" so to speak of the original drive.... the effect will be to replicate the performance of the old machine but on a more reliable hard drive so there should be no access problems.

Once access has been achieved then immediate action should be taken to copy all the data from the obsolete format into one that can be read easily by a modern machine or failing which a complete print out of all the files and their contents could be made.
This will also overcome the driver problem with the old printer as the printer driver required will be included in the disc image and should work just as well as it did in the past.

It is also possible to use Linux to achieve similar objectives if you are familiar with the processes needed.

Hope this helps
Regards
paws
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#3
t1995

t1995

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Oh that sounds great! I knew it might be something easy, but couldn't figure it out. I'm hoping to backup all his files on an portable external hard drive as well. Just so if the computer crashed, he would still have a backup of all his jobs he completed. I had no idea many people refer back to surveys from years ago, so it so important not to lose these files. He does have paperwork files, but they are extremely unorganized and would take way too long to find. I am sorry about the how people are not very and wanting to break into other peoples computers, etc. The world is full of greed. Thanks for seeing we are honest people and giving an alternate plan. We shall try your new plan tomorrow.

Thanks so much for your help and kindness. It's greatly appreciated. I was exhausted trying to get that program to work.

Trina
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#4
paws

paws

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:thumbsup:
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