Product key lost & HDD failed

July 2, 2009 at 03:53:37
Specs: Windows XP
The hard drive on our PC failed (no boot) and supplier couldn't find a way to "see" the disk at all. Then we found product key label was missing from box.

Is there anyway to reinstall XP. We have the original, CD we paid for with the PC but no key and no HDD to search registry.

I suspect we're out of luck! Any suggestions appreciated.

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July 2, 2009 at 10:10:15
Explore your Windows CD for a file named UNATTEND.TXT. You may have to enable "show hidden files & folders" to see it. Scroll to the bottom of the text file to find a generic product key that can be used for installation. The key will NOT allow activation though so it will have to be changed to your legal product key, once you find it.

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July 2, 2009 at 13:18:04
Many OEM disks do not need a key even.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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July 3, 2009 at 03:48:12
Thanks for those suggestions folks. I found unattend.txt and have the key. Great help for the meantime. Thanks again. Tim

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