Computer Host Name via a file

I'm looking for a way to find the host name of a computer via a file. Here is what I mean. I have a couple hard drives removed from old computers, but we forgot to label which machines they were removed from. Now, we need to know which hard drive is to which computer, but we don't have the original hardware anymore, only the hard drives.

Does anyone know of any files that are created in the C:\Windows or the C:\Windows\System32 folders that contain the host name of the computer while it was booted? I have the ability to read the files on the hard drives via a USB adapter.

 

Thanks!

Answer
Answer

Probably the most dependable way is to peer into the System Registry file. 

1) Copy the file: \Windows\System32\config\system from the subject drive onto your local hard drive
2) Start up Regedit (Start -> Run -> "regedit")
3) Single-click on "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" to select it
4) Do: File -> Load Hive.  Then navigate to and select the "System" file that you copied from the external disk.
5) When asked for a Key name, enter any name -- I'll Use "EXT" for this example.
6) Double-click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and you will see a "EXT" key under it.
7) Navigate to EXT\ControlSet001\Control\ComputerName\ComputerName
8) There should be an entry in the right window with the computer name.
9) To clean up, single-click on the "EXT" key to select it then File->Unload Hive.  Answer "Yes" in the next box.

HTH,
  JW

 

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Last updated January 2, 2021 Views 25,293 Applies to: