Solved Legal way to install XP without CD after DBAN?

February 16, 2013 at 08:05:09
Specs: None, Amd64, 1GB
Rebuilding a machine after a thieving ex catastrophe, I've got two 200GB hard drives completely wiped, and decent (not spectacular, but decent) equipment otherwise, and my original windows XP disc and product key.

Unfortunately, the disc isn't in working condition. It's been around a while, scratches happen I guess. This is why we save things and make redundancies, kids... As you can likely guess, i didnt make one. Since both hard drives have been completely wiped, there's no partition I can copy windows files from (official windows upgrade discs won't work for that same reason) and Microsoft's official site isn't too generous with their installation software. I don't want to buy XP again, (if it's even still on the market) as I plan to install 7 as soon as I upgrade the ram later this week, but I do need it running Windows as soon as possible for work-related projects requiring windows-only software.

Currently I can run Ubuntu, joli, BT, etc from disc, use their default browser and wired connection and hunt for solutions this way, but I'm hesitant to install Linux first with how finicky Windows is about having the first partition... I did check for Linux-compatible versions of our work programs, and no, they aren't possible with WINE.

My first thought in cases like this is "find a friend's computer, torrent an XP iso and start up Nero" but since I'm uncertain where the line Is between Fair Use and dastardly Piracy laws, I'd like to get a second opinion before risking it. On my own system I wouldn't hesitate, but out of common courtesy I'd rather not go this route on a friend's computer if it could potentially cause legal trouble.

Just in case I'm missing something incredibly simple, here's a system summary...
Compaq (originally... Can't seem to find exact model, built for xp and vista)
AMD64 Athlon processor
Pioneer DVD R/RW drive (it does work, XP disc is just beat up)
200gb seagate SATA HDD (registers under devices in BIOS, formatted ntfs)
200gb maxthor IDE HDD (also registers in BIOS, also formatted ntfs)
PCI ports have a linksys wireless N card, graphics card, and a gorgeous sound card... (specs on request, too lazy to open machine)

BIOS and jumper settings are correct. Boot order is USB, DVD drive, seagate, maxthor, network.
No USB thumb drives or external HDDs are connected, all other common boot loader and bios-related steps have been considered. I'm certain the scratched disk is the prevalent issue, although it was nice to see everything else working properly.

Running Dariks Boot n' Nuke might not have been the best idea, but the unwanted data, excessive partitioning and non-loading operating systems on those "new" hard drives were a cluttered nightmare -.-

Isnt there any way to legally obtain a backup copy of your original OS disc without angering the Copyright Gods? Or is everything built into that windows recovery menu that only works when windows is already installed?

Any responses are appreciated, links to legal ISOs would be fantastic, maybe instructions on how to get this directly from Microsoft? I'm running out of google search terms :)

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February 16, 2013 at 08:19:22
✔ Best Answer
You would need to find an SLP download in order for your key to work. If you found one then you wouldn't need to use the key. See the link below to understand what an SLP version of Windows is. Probably not legal anyway as SLP installs usually only allow you to burn restore disks ONE time.

Your best bet is to contact Compaq (HP) and request a restore set. IF they still have them available for your version model they may charge you a nominal sum ($25).

If that is not an option then I suggest you just buy an OEM full version of Windows 7. You can find them for $99 or less. You do need to determine what your currently have in order to proceed. HP would need to know.

I have seen ads for products claiming to fix scratched disks. Also, your local video rental store may have a polishing machine. Those products that fix foggy headlight lenses might work although I have no knowledge of that, one way or the other.

Sometimes copying the disk helps. Copy to your friends hard drive then burn a copy from that file. Use a slow burn speed.

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February 16, 2013 at 09:40:21
Thanks for the info!
I've already got windows 7 ultimate 64-bit, I just can't install it with the current memory.. Really, there's 4 slots, all of them filled with 512mb. It's terrible.

I probably will call Compaq, and try making a copy of the damaged disc on another computer. If those steps don't produce a solution I can implement immediately I'll probably just run to a computer shop and buy the ram today rather than wait for the online order.

Thanks for the link, too. That subject is completely new to me, very interesting :)

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February 16, 2013 at 10:05:13
2GB of RAM should be adequate to install Windows 7. There may be some other reason.

Are you sure you have a 64 bit processor? If you don't, you can't run 64 bit OS.

What happens when you try? You do know Windows 7 is on a DVD, so you need a DVD capable drive.

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Related Solutions

February 16, 2013 at 11:37:45
For what it's worth, I'm running Win7 Home Premium 32-bit on a 10 yr old HP laptop with just 1.5GB RAM & it performs reasonably well (for what it is). You'd be better off installing Win7 right from the start. You can do a clean install directly from the Win7 upgrade media, there's no need to install XP 1st. Just install Win7 (Custom Install) from the DVD but do NOT enter the product key. Once installation is complete, run the Upgrade from within Windows. This time, enter the product key.

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February 16, 2013 at 11:53:28
You can also download the XP ISO from the torrents, burn to a disc using Imgburn (or similar), then install using your key.

Here's the latest version of XP Pro SP3:

XP Home SP3:

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