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Install XP without serial number

September 23, 2005 at 16:03:06
Specs: Windowx XP Pro SP2, Athlon 64 3400+/1GB DDR

Hi,

Is it possible to install Windows XP os (more specifically, Windows XP Home) without specifying the serial number during installation? I have to reinstall the same operating system with the same software setup on multiple machines for my business, and I figured that I would create an image of the required setup, then simply burn that image on each machine's harddrive and activate Windows XP with a new serial number each time.

How should I go about this? If there's a smarter way, what is it?


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#1
September 23, 2005 at 16:17:52

What you need is a copy of Wndows XP Corporate Edition which allows you to do what you require. With the Corporate edition you buy licenses for each machine you want to run XP Home on.

What you are trying to do cannot be done with a single copy of Windows XP Home or Professional as it is one copy, one machine, unless you have multiple licenses and then you will still need to enter each one for each machine.

You could make a slipstreamed copy of Windows XP Home which would eliminate the need to enter the serial no during installation, but then you would have problems when you came to activate it.

Stuart


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#2
September 23, 2005 at 18:12:45

Ok, is it possible to enter a different serial number during activation, than what I entered during installation?
I would go with the corporate editition, but I don't know in advance how many licenses I would need, so whenever opportunity comes up I would just go and purchase a copy of WinXP Home from a store, with a single user license, then use the drive image which I created, and activate the os from the image with this new serial number.

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#3
September 23, 2005 at 18:12:52

For the record, it's not called a "Corporate Edition," It's properly knows as a "Volume License"


I've been told that it is VERY costly to obtain a volume/ business license, it might just be cheaper to buy some individual licenses---but you'll still be saddled with separate keys.


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Related Solutions

#4
September 23, 2005 at 18:25:59

How to change the product key at the time of activation

HTH

Dave

If Wile Coyote had enough money for all that Acme crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?


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#5
September 23, 2005 at 18:35:42

>> Ok, is it possible to enter a different serial number during activation, than what I entered during installation? <<

No you cant. At the time activation comes around it works on the serial number that was entered during installation and there is no opportunity to change it.

Activation is either accepted or rejected and with the same serial number on multiple copies, it will be rejected.

Theres no way round it, not legally anyway, other than having separate installations for each machine.


Stuart


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#6
September 23, 2005 at 18:41:00

Stuart,

Click the link in Response #4.

HTH

Dave

If Wile Coyote had enough money for all that Acme crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?


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#7
September 23, 2005 at 19:27:16

Well there you go. The reason I had never seen is that I have never had to telephone customer support to activate Windows - I have always been able to activate over the Internet.

However, having to telephone customer support for each installation if there are more than two or three is going to a bit time consuming.

Seems to me that making a common slipstreamed disk but leaving out the serial number so it is prompted for and entered during the installation process would be the quickest option.


Stuart


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#8
September 24, 2005 at 14:50:07

I seem to remember hearing somewhere (in this forum possibly?) that after changing the Product Key, you can cancel telephone activation, then reopen activation, selecting the internet option instead.

HTH

Dave

If Wile Coyote had enough money for all that Acme crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?


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#9
September 24, 2005 at 18:38:37

You need the OPK CD that comes with 3 and 30 packs of XP (or 2000 or whatever you like). A "volume license" is only for upgrades, not new installs.

The OPK (OEM Preinstallation Kit) allows one image to be installed on multiple PC with different licenses that you have purchased.

These machines are network booted using a special floppy from a "server" PC. this machine can be any machine that the OPK tools ae installed on.

Join the MS OEM program (which is now silly easy as opposed to when I joined) to learn more or Google it.

Jimi_l



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#10
September 25, 2005 at 13:56:30

if your make Unattend install xp cd. u can do.

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