Windows XP Product Key

Sony / PCV-RS311
July 12, 2006 at 22:33:47
Specs: Windows XP, Pentium 4 / 512 MB
Okay, so here's my problem. A while back, I accidentally opened a file and it loaded a virus on my computer. Being the idiot that I am, I never created a recovery CD on my computer before I received the virus, so I had no way of reformatting my computer. So, I did the next best thing and called my friend, who was a computer expert, and he came over with a burned copy of Windows XP to reinstall it all together. I didn't think much of it at the time, so I just allowed him to install it. It's been about a year and a half and everything has been fine; but recently, I received a notice from Windows that my version of Windows was not genuine and I could be a victim of software counterfeiting. So I figured that this guy's version of Windows must have been fake and Windows just now detected it. Then, I remembered that my computer came pre-installed with Windows XP, so I decided to just change the product key to the genuine one and I'd be off the hook. Well, when I tried to change it, it wouldn't allow me to for some odd reason. Does anyone know the reasoning behind this or know how to fix it? Thanks guys.

See More: Windows XP Product Key

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July 12, 2006 at 22:54:50
That's "Windows Genuine Advantage" tool checking your version of Windows - it has taken Microsoft some time to get around to doing something about rogue installations but........... The tool will permit you to download critical updates to your version of XP but will not give you access to the other optional updates.

If you had a product key for your copy of XP then you must have had the recovery disk for your Sony??? Why did you not use that to reinstate your Sony?

Does your post suggest that you are not running any anti virus program?

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July 12, 2006 at 23:18:50
Ray Peate : I didn't use my original key because I didn't know I still had it and he already had a CD, so I figured I'd just let the "professional" do his work. I don't have the recovery CD because the product key is on the back of my computer.

Passa : What do you mean by system instability?

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July 13, 2006 at 01:49:39
I've had the same problem recently - trying to change a customer's key for a legitimate one - the usual programs don't seem to work any longer, I wouldn't be surprised if it's another ploy by M$ but the only way I could get around it was to reinstall with an OEM disk using the key on the sticker - mind you, it took 3 attempts to find the correct OEM version to match the key (it was an EMachine in this instance). As far as the instability is concerned, it's just that may not have all critical updates which fix 'holes' in the OS - it is better, by far, to reinstall from scratch, you shouldn't have too much problem finding an OEM version with Sony, your only choice will be original, SP1, or SP2, depending on how old the system is.
Final thought, you could also try contacting Sony & asking for restore disk(s) - it's worked for me on Compaq before now - didn't even cost me postage!

"I know that I'm mad, I've always been mad"

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Related Solutions

July 13, 2006 at 06:20:06
I have a couple of questions for you.

0. What version of XP came pre-installed on your Sony - Home, Pro or MediaCenter?

1. What version did your buddy put on it?

2. What method are you using to change the PID?

Eitherway, you have nothing to worry about and a reinstall *may* not even be required to resolve the situation, worst case scenario is you call the Activation Line and they'll help you out with a working installation ID since you do have a legit Product Key.

Computer Components

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July 13, 2006 at 09:38:56
You can use the Magic jellyBean Keyfinder to view the current product key installed and to change it.

Michael J

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July 13, 2006 at 16:32:50

Your findings don't mean much. Genuine copies of W98SE can load with many different keys. MS were not very hot about piracy in those days.


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July 13, 2006 at 20:11:07
I posted a message earlier with a link to a crack that disables WGA if you wanted to use it. Needless to say, my post was removed. I'm a bit annoyed, because there were other solutions that were perfectly legal that I also posted. Why not just remove the "illegal" bit? What happened to free speech? This site isn't responsible for my actions, I am. As well as this it wouldn't have been illegal for you to use the crack because you actually own a legitamite product key anyway. Let's see if Big Brother removes this too...
Anyway, enough moaning about the moderators from me. Cracks are there if you want them, you'll just have to look for yourself.
If you want a legitamite version of Windows XP, we need to know wether your computer is currently running XP Home or XP Pro and what version it mentions on the sticker on the back of your computer. We can only attempt to fix the problem legitamitely if the two versions are the same, otherwise you will need to do a complete reinstall of Windows. If they are the same, your best bet for fixing the problem is to contact Microsoft on the number it gives you when you try to enter your legitamite key into the activation program, when it tells you the key is wrong. Explain the situation to them, they'll probably be able to solve your problem with little fuss.
If Microsoft can't solve your problem, or the two versions don't match (eg your key is for XP Home and you're running XP Pro) you'll need to get an OEM XP install disc that matches the version mentioned on the sticker on the back of your computer. Either contact Sony for one, or borrow a friend's disk and use your product key with it. Make sure if you borrow a disc that it isn't a "recovery" type disc that has a hard disk image on it. Once you have this disk, attempt a repair install of XP (Boot from the disc, select install (Enter), and then look for the repair installation option. Do not select repair from the first menu, it just gives you a terminal.). If a repair install does not work you will need to do a complete reformat install (This means that everything on your computer will be deleted unless you back it up prior to the reformat. You will need to transfer your backed up data back to the computer after the install.)
I suggested using the crack in the first place because it was the easiest option for you to persue, and it's not technically illegal for you to use because you already own a liscence key for Windows XP.

Practise safe hex; avoid viruses.

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July 14, 2006 at 07:37:07
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Computer Components

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July 14, 2006 at 08:15:09
Your post was presumably removed because of the rules. If you use this forum then you either run with the rules or accept the consequences.

I'm sure the webmaster spends plenty of time keeping this forum running (for free) without us expecting him to go through every post doing a detailed edit job.

Many of have spent some time writing responses to posts only to find that there was something against the rules in the original post and the whole lot vanishes. We have to accept it. Just like the football referee, the moderators judgement is final.


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July 17, 2006 at 16:07:01
Thanks for all the help guys.
By the way, the version installed for me was Windows XP Professional and my computer came pre-installed with Windows XP Home. I guess I will try and call Microsoft and see what they think.
By chance that they don't fix it, what exactly is an OEM disk?

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July 17, 2006 at 17:19:40
OEM = "Original Equipment Manufacturer" (in this instance, a CD which came with another machine).

To my mind this is not legit either and could result in the same code for more than one machine.

As you had a legit copy of XP on the HD originally perhaps MS have some record of this and could help.


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