|Some of you may recall the thread I started a few weeks ago about using the same bootable XP install disk on 2 different computers. You guys helped me figure out how to find the Product Key on both machines and I found that they were indeed different.|
OK, so I finally got around to attempting the same "repair" on the second system that worked so well on the first machine. I set the BIOS to boot from the CD drive, put the bootable install disk in the CD drive, but after "Press any key to boot from CD", it just sat there flashing the cursor. No light on the drive, no spinning sound, nothing.
After about 5 minutes, I shut it down via a long hold on the power button and tried to restart Windows normally. I was presented with the screen that says "Windows did not shut down properly, what do you want to do next?" I tried Safe Mode, I tried Start Windows Normally, I tried Last Known Good Configuration. Each time the system would try to start Windows, then flash a blue screen so fast that it was impossible to read and then take me right back to the "Windows did not shut down properly" screen. It was an endless cycle.
Next I set the BIOS to boot from the DVD drive and put the disk in the CD drive. This time it booted to the screen where it gave me the opportunity to install Windows or go to the Recovery Console. I choose to Install Windows, expecting it to tell me that it found a copy of Windows on the machine, "Do you want to attempt a repair?" like it did on the other machine. Instead it said that it could not find a copy of Windows on the machine and that I needed a valid install CD in order to determine if I was eligible for the "upgrade".
The only genuine Windows disk I have is a Windows XP Home Addition Upgrade CD and I'm not sure if that CD will work since it has the Product Key from the other machine written (in my handwriting) on it. (I did not need to insert this CD when I used the bootable install disk to repair XP on the other machine, but I did enter the Product Key that was written on it when requested.)
OK, so at that point, instead of trying to fix Windows by inserting the genuine disk, I decided to install the drive from the "now bad" machine as a slave in my other system just to see if I could get to my files. They all seem fine and I can live with that, since I can at least copy what I need to my Win 7 machine over the network.
But, I'm still curious: If I put the genuine Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade CD in the broken machine, will it install Windows even though the Product Key written on the disk doesn't match the Product Key that was on that machine? As you can tell, I'm still confused by the Product Key and when and where they have to match, CD vs. machine itself.
Once again, any help you guys can offer this OS rookie would be appreciated. Thanks!
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