Solved SP3 install problem on older thinkpad

June 2, 2012 at 00:48:22
Specs: ??????, P3 700mhz 256mb
I have an older IBM thinkpad T21 that came with Win98SE. I installed XP Pro on it after a while, and had it fully updated with SP3. Then after a while the HDD went south. Put in a new one, tried to reformat, but it wouldn't go. I thought it was the DVD drive, bought a new one, but still no good. I tried the disc on another computer (desktop), and the disc was too scratched. Put the thinkpad aside for a while. Later needed to reformat the desktop, so downloaded an XP Pro SP3 image, burned as ISO Image (from Win7) and it worked fine. Used the original key.
Got bored one night, pulled the thinkpad out, tried to install XP from the same disc. It won't boot from it. Downloaded XP Pro SP2 image, burned same way, installed, but my key won't work. Says "invalid key" when installing. The same key that I was using before.
I don't want to buy a new copy, especially since XP is on it's way out. Tried a friend's copy of XP SP3, also didn't boot. Worked fine on two of his "newer" laptops and a couple of desktops.
I've downloaded many different copies, SP1 and 2 still boot, but say "invalid key". I've wasted many cds, still not booting from SP3.
Basically, the thinkpad just won't boot from the disc. Is there something in SP3 that doesn't allow it to boot? Do I need to do something different because the thinkpad is so old? Before anyone asks (or complains) the thinkpad is set to boot from CD/DVD and I also tried "choose temporary boot device" and used the CD/DVD option.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#1
June 2, 2012 at 03:54:50
✔ Best Answer
I just checked the manufacturer's website and they do have Windows XP drivers for the T21. It's therfore compatible with Windows XP so that's not the problem.

There is nothing in the SP3 version setup CD that would stop it from booting provided you made it properly,

Regarding the Product Key, it's only valid for the version of Windows it was supplied with, and only for that service pack level. So a key supplied with the SP3 version won't work for an SP1 or SP2 version. That's normal behaviour.

All I can suggest is you make another Windows XP SP3 disc but use a different brand of media.


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#2
June 2, 2012 at 07:28:38
If you only have 256MB RAM, XP performance will be poor. XP needs a minimum of 512MB to perform semi-decently, 1GB or more to perform well. I suggest that you either jack up the RAM amount, or install a lightweight version onf Linux that is more compatible with your weak system specs.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?di...


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#3
June 2, 2012 at 07:58:15
Read the link below.

I think your problem is that you are using the wrong type of disk to install. Your key is only good for the SLP version that came with your Thinkpad originally.

It doesn't have to be the same exact disk but it has to be an SLP version of the same version (Home/pro) and be compatible with you hardware.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System...

Of course if you already registered a copy of WinXP using the key you are attempting to use again it will not work. One installation per key at the same time.


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#4
June 2, 2012 at 20:10:26
Not to rehash what otheHill has said, but if your IBM has a COA Windows XP sticker on the bottom, it is probably a OEM key.

Retail discs (the ones you buy in a store) won't work with OEM key. OEM keys will only work with OEM media, retail keys will only work with retail media.

http://sdfox7.com


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#5
June 2, 2012 at 21:56:49
Ok, well, Phil, I used the same disc for the desktop and used the same key it had before. It worked fine. I think it was before SP1 when I first installed XP on it. So that key worked for the SP3 disc. I don't know. I'll double check that.

Rider, thank you for your input. However, I've tried to install other OSes (different versions of Linux) and they won't go either. I understand that the ram is low, but as I said, it worked before. And the XP SP2 disc ran well too. Although, I have had older versions of Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu on it before. They installed fine before.

OtheHill, actually, you can register the same key as many times as you want. As long as it is on the same computer. So when your HDD dies, you are allowed to install Windows again. Wether or not OEM. And I guess I was using the wrong disc when I had SP2 because my key wouldn't work. That's why I'm trying to use another install disc.

sdfox7 the COA on the bottom is for 98SE. As I said in my first post I bought XP later, and installed it with the key it came with.

I have done a lot of research on XP install discs. There are many versions of XP discs: Retail, OEM, upgrade, Pro, and Corporate....
I'll try to get one before any service packs, I just hate going through all of the trouble installing them.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#6
June 3, 2012 at 07:36:23
"OtheHill, actually, you can register the same key as many times as you want".

The above statement is not entirely correct. If you take the time to read the EULA accompanying the software you will find that the rules are more restrictive. Microsoft simply chooses to be lenient with them.

Because you installed a retail version of WinXP you need the same type. There are 3 types of retail WinXP disks. Full retail, which is unrestricted.

Retail upgrade, which must be used only on computers qualifying for the upgrade.

The 3rd type is non SLP OEM, which is supposed to be only sold with qualifying new hardware and usually comes with NO MSoft support and usually no support from the seller.

Each of these 3 types has its own EULA but the only one that allows unstricted use on one computer at a time is the full retail.

If you are installing clean, the only caveat is that SP1 must be integrated if you are installing to a hard drive larger than 137GB.

As you have discovered there are many different types of WinXP disks. The keys for these different type are not usually inter-changable.

This is by Microsoft design.

OEM vendors pay only a fraction of the price you would pay for a similar version. Because of this, there are restrictions. That is why vendors usually charge for replacement media.



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#7
June 3, 2012 at 09:46:29
Thank you all for your replies. The original question was: "Why doesn't the computer boot from the disc?" I was thinking that maybe being SP3 the disc was keeping the computer from booting from it, maybe because the computer was so old. Even though the same disc works for the desktop with out a hitch. I've been messing with this thing for so long, I'm running out of logical ideas. I'm almost at the point of string theory to figure this out.
At this point I'm gonna say that the computer itself is keeping it from booting off the disc. Back to storage this thing goes, for now.

Be back in a couple of months when the bug bites again.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#8
June 3, 2012 at 12:07:25
You stated the original disk was scratched up and another disk you used would not accept your installation key.

If a disk is badly scratched it is understandable that the optical drive may not be able to read it. I already explained why you got the invalid key message.

I might add that if you can locate a CD of the same type as the original scratched up CD it is perfectly legal to make a copy of it and use your installation key. That will work.

I NEVER install using the original disk. I always burn a copy and install off of it.

That way you know your archive copy and the original are both good disks.

I had an incident where newegg.com had to replace defective media because I couldn't copy the original. I never tried to install using the original.


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#9
June 4, 2012 at 00:25:59
"You stated the original disk was scratched up and another disk you used would not accept your installation key. " -correct, that is what I said.

"If a disk is badly scratched it is understandable that the optical drive may not be able to read it" -correct, that's why I downloaded the other copies.

"I already explained why you got the invalid key message." -yes you did, although there was no need to "explain" to me why I got the invalid key message. I already know "why" I got the message.

"I might add that if you can locate a CD of the same type as the original scratched up CD it is perfectly legal to make a copy of it and use your installation key. That will work." -hence the downloading copies of XP Pro SP1, 2, and 3.

I used the key from the desktop, changed it to that, went through the SP3 updates and everything works fine now.
My problem was that I was trying to install XP SP3 and the computer wasn't booing from the disc. The same thing was happening when I tried to install Linux too. Why it wasn't booting from the disc, I don't know. That's why I posted this question.
For some reason the SP2 disc worked. The key that I had originally for the laptop wasn't working with the SP2 install. If the reason was that the key was issued before any service packs, I don't know why the key that I used from the desktop worked, seeing how it was also issued before any service packs. Whatever, anyway, thank you all for helping me out.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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