PC requesting Windows XP Product Key

September 30, 2010 at 05:50:56
Specs: Windows XP
Please can someone help me?

Several years ago my PC crashed and somebody managed to re-install windows for me and backed up all me files.

Recently I installed some windows updates and for some reason when it booted up again it requested the windows xp product key.
I typed this in but it came up invalid, I rememberd that I didn't give my version of windows xp to the guy that fixed my PC when it crashed several years ago so he loaded his version of window onto my PC.

I have now lost touch with the guy that fixed my PC before, so I don't really know what I can do.

Can I re-load my version of Windows XP, and if so how, and if I do will I lose all my files?

Many thanks


See More: PC requesting Windows XP Product Key

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#1
September 30, 2010 at 06:20:06
I'm guessing that the other person probably installed XP Pro as it's the most commonly hacked version, while the key you have is for XP Home edition. The best way is to backup your data again and do a clean install with your own disk and key.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."


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#2
September 30, 2010 at 06:20:45
Depending on what type of license you have and what type of WinXP CD was used by the person that fixed your PC you may be able to edit the key in the registry. There are lots of hits when Googling for that. Look at the link below and read a few.

http://www.google.com/search?q=how+...

If the above doesn't work then you will need to do as John has suggested.


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#3
September 30, 2010 at 06:28:53
Thank you for your comments, How do backup my data? and doing a clean install is that just a case of incerting the Windows XP CD?

Is there a way I can get the product key used from the registry?


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Related Solutions

#4
September 30, 2010 at 06:49:45
Can you still boot into Windows? If so, it is possible to recover the key that is currently in use. That said, I doubt that would help you because it has been flagged by MS as either in use or pirated.

Best bet is to try changing the key in the registry as mentioned in #2. I would also suggest you at least back up your personal data, which you should already be doing anyway.

A utility called SIW should recover not only the Windows key but other install keys as well. Get SIW at the link below.

http://www.gtopala.com/siw-download...

Look under software> licenses in SIW.

You may also be able to perform an over the top installation. As John inferred, the type of WinXP must match or that won't work.

You can determine what version you are running with SIW. All that is dependent on Windows still booting.

Post back to clarify your current status.


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#5
September 30, 2010 at 07:06:30
Really appreciate your help with this,

No windows isn’t properly booting up, it starts to boot up and then is asking for the windows xp product key.

The version of windows should be a legitimate copy, I just don’t have the product key for it, I thought they were universal, ie I thought my product key would work but I guess not.

Do you know if it is possible to get into the registry without it booting up, safe mode for example?

Thanks Again


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#6
September 30, 2010 at 08:09:55
I doubt you can boot into Windows safe mode but you could try by tapping F8 at start up.

I am thinking that johnr is probably right about the version your key is for and the version of WinXP that is installed are different. Could be any number of variations. OEM home/pro, retail home/pro, corporate, etc.

You could play with this for some time and not solve the problem.

If you have personal files you need to recover then there are ways to accomplish that. One method is to boot to a live version of Linux and copy the files to optical disk or an external storage device.

Then re-install WinXP using your CD and key. I assume you do have a CD.

I don't believe you can perform an over the top (repair) installation if the versions in question are different. An over the top install does retain the My Documents folder and the installed programs but would require installing any missing service packs and updates.

There may be ways you can check which version you have installed. You should know which version is on your CD.

Hirens boot CD 9.8 has something called mini WinXP on the CD. You may be able to find out the version using that, or a live version of Linux.


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#7
September 30, 2010 at 08:27:44
I don’t think I have much choice by the sounds of it, yes I do still have my widows xp cd, so may just try and reinstalling from that, how do I boot to a live version of Linux?

I’m pretty sure it was a home edition of ex that was installed, which is the same as the edition I have, but if that’s what you think may be the problem than maybe it wasn’t.

Thank you for helping me.


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#8
September 30, 2010 at 08:35:28
You can download a disk image for Ubuntu Linux from HERE - there are also instructions on how to create the actual disk. Attach an external drive big enough to hold your data then boot the machine from the Ubuntu disk - you'll be asked whether you want to install or just run from the disk - choose the latter. When it's up & running you can use file manager to drag & drop your files from the harddrive onto the external drive.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."


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#9
September 30, 2010 at 08:59:33
I wish I had your knowledge, OK thanks guys I will try that, I'm not too bothered if I can reinstall my windows but would like to try and keep my data if poss, most I do have backed up thankfully.

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#10
September 30, 2010 at 14:53:26
Hi again, I managed to boot up the PC in safe mode and was able to install SIW, and I got the product key code for windows, I then rebooted up again in normal mode and the Activate windows box came up, I put the keycode in but it failed to authorize, any ideas?

ps I looked and it is windows xp home edition thats been installed.

Thank you


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#11
September 30, 2010 at 15:26:38
In your first post you said it asked for your "windows xp product key"
Now you say it is the "Activate windows box"

The two codes are completely different. We have been trying to answer the wrong question.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#12
September 30, 2010 at 15:42:51
oh really? thats my bad i'm sorry, i was trying to remeber what it said but yes its the windows acitvation box thats comes up, so they code its asking for is different to the product key? do you know how i can find the right code then? thanks

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#13
September 30, 2010 at 16:01:53
If it won't activate online then you need to call Msoft to activate. Since the product key installed on your machine may be blacklisted by them you might have to look at first doing what was suggested by OtheHill in response 2, and replace the suspect key with your own legitimate key. Then call Msoft to activate by phone.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#14
September 30, 2010 at 16:10:44
ok thank you

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#15
September 30, 2010 at 17:12:09
Check the version of WinXP you currently have running. Right click on My computer> properties.

Compare that version with the CD you have to see if they are the same type. Does your CD have a computer brand name on it or just WinXP labeling? Home or Professional?

If the two versions appear to be the same I suggest you perform the change in the registry prior to attempting to activate. Once that is done you may be able to active online.


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#16
October 2, 2010 at 07:11:08
I am trying to compare the versions, I have right clicked on my computer, under the 'General' Tab it says

Microsoft Windows XP
Home Edition
Version 2002
Service Pack 3

Registered: to 'my name'
'Then has a long number'

Computer: 'my pc details'

On my CD its just says Microsoft XP SBE
and the keycode, but as I say this keycode is different to the one i found on my pc, because another cd of windows xp was installed on it.

My cd is old so would be the original service pack.

any ideas what i should do? should i replace the suspect key with my own legitimate key? if so how do i do that?

Thanks


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#17
October 2, 2010 at 07:20:01
See response 2.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#18
October 2, 2010 at 07:29:36
I'm just a little confused still, I have clicked on the link in #2 and read some articles on it, but I havent Deactivate Windows yet, would i need to do this first? as I tried to reactivate it, by typing in the command but it says i cant do that in safe mode, and I cant get into the registry in normal mode cause i dont have the start icon on the botom right, I just have the activate windows box?



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#19
October 2, 2010 at 07:32:45
Are you sure you are reading the label on your CD right? I think you may be looking at a CD for Microsoft Office XP SBE.

Verify you actually are using the WinXP key?


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#20
October 2, 2010 at 07:43:35
sorry yes you are right i was, all is says on the correct windows cd is Microsoft windows xp home edition

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#21
October 2, 2010 at 14:57:40
Sounds like both are the same type. I suggest you try the method in #2 above.

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#22
October 2, 2010 at 16:38:42
ok, so do you think i should change tthe keycode in the registry to the one on my cd?

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#23
October 2, 2010 at 17:56:52
Yes, I think that is what you should do. That assumes that key is not currently in use on another computer.

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#24
October 2, 2010 at 18:14:35
ok thank you, so do i need to deactivate it first? and to acitvate i need to be in normal mode dont it? the trouble is i cant get into the registry in normal mode, also will i lose all my data?

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#25
October 3, 2010 at 02:58:09
I have tried to deactivate windows in the registry by changing the oobetimer, but when i get to the step where you have to put in the command
%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a it comes up with this message
"You cannot activate Windows from safe mode"
but all i get in normal mode is the activation box asking for the windows keycode and get no 'start' icon so cannot click 'run' and type the command in.
Any ideas please?

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#26
October 3, 2010 at 04:14:55
texas

I haven't had to use that method to change the key. That said, if you are worried about losing your personal data, then back it up before you complete the operation.

As far as the message itself is concerned, there are multiple variations of safe mode. Do you have a choice of Safe Mode with Networking? I think what is happening is that Windows can't communicate with the server it needs to because you don't have any internet connection.

Hope that works for you.


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#27
October 3, 2010 at 04:43:02
Thanks fo the advice, I just tried that but when I log on I get a message "This copy of windows must be activated with microsoft before you can contnue. You cannot log on until yu activate windows, because activation canot occure in safe mode, pleas restart your computer in noral mode to activate windows." which of cours i cant do.

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#28
October 3, 2010 at 06:18:54
Perhaps you should call Microsoft and explain your situation. They should be able to help.

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#29
October 3, 2010 at 06:31:39
OK thank you for your help

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#30
October 3, 2010 at 14:15:43
It took many hours but I have finally managed to fix the problem! I inserted my windows xp cd, and pressed F12 on my dell pc on start up, and 'and hit repair' the only thing i had to do on completion was to install service pack 2 and then service pack 3, but apart from that it kept all my documents and software. I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone that helped specially Othehill

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#31
October 3, 2010 at 14:51:18
For future reference you do not need to install the incremental service packs. You can go straight to SP3 There are some additional updates available after SP3.

A point of clarification? Does your WinXP have the word Dell on it anywhere?


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#32
October 3, 2010 at 14:59:44
i did go straight to SP3 but it said you need to download SP1 first, which of course is no longer available so installed SP2 and then SP3. Yes Dell is on the WINXP CD, does that make a difference then?

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#33
October 3, 2010 at 15:14:29
Refer back to #15 above. I asked you what type of Windows CD you had. I was assuming you had a retail version, not a Dell.

Well, I am glad you got it sorted out anyway.


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#34
October 3, 2010 at 15:27:59
I'm sorry i didnt know that there was a difference, sorry for that, but thanks again for helping me out i did appreciate it.

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